The IT industry has come a long way over the last few decades. Many companies offer pay-as-you-go support for small businesses that will encounter glitches in their system. They offer immediate solutions: just call the company, they fix the problem, and you pay the bill. This no-strings-attached setup is also attractive, especially if the business owner can’t afford a subscription or regular fees.

However, there can be some problems with this kind of IT support. So to prevent any problems, you should be careful with the following points:

Erratic invoicing will cost a lot

The biggest problem with the pay-as-you-go system is that many clients think that they are saving money. However, if you calculate the cost of the individual services, you will be surprised to know that it’s actually higher than hiring a long-term IT team.

Although the initial cost will be small, a major glitch will send the invoices ballooning. It will pile up and you’ll soon have to pay a hefty price for a service with no continuous monitoring unless you pay more.

It might be better to outsource your IT to a third-party with a contract in place. This way, you have full control over your expenses and you’ll know that you’re getting the most out of every dollar spent.

The pay-as-you-go scheme can get expensive really fast

The pay-as-you-go system prides on its 24/7 on-call technicians that will assist you with any IT problem. Sure thing, this is convenient, but the cost can get expensive really fast. Some of these service providers will try to upsell you to a costly service with add-ons your business doesn’t really need.

And since pay-as-you-go services only deal with the problems you report, other system glitches may not be seen. This will lead to repetitive calls, which will pile up on the invoicing department. In just a few months, you’ll be slapped with large expenses for IT support alone.

Hourly IT support can be poor

Hourly IT support usually isn’t great. Not only does it milk money from your company, but it also allows the pay-as-you-go IT provider to slack around. Since the setup is hourly, they can take as much time as they wish to deal with the problem.

But if you use monthly IT support at a fixed contract price, the provider has the liability to perform well within a specific timeframe. If you really want to foster the interests of your company, you should avoid hourly IT support, especially if you operating a massive IT infrastructure.

Final words

The pay-as-you-go system is convenient and imbibes a sense of cost-efficiency. However, when glitches occur repeatedly, you will realize that it costs you more money than what you expect. In the long run, you’re better off outsourcing your IT entirely into a trustworthy third-party company. This way, you can uphold accountability while getting the best value for every dollar spent.

Getting the right help for your IT is important. However, the fees shouldn’t cost a fortune.

 

IT infrastructure can become very complicated, so making mistakes is easy. However, some of these mistakes could be expensive and could expose your business to harm. The more your IT system becomes complicated, the more mistakes your employees could possibly commit. Worse, you and your employees may not be noticing it.

So to give you an idea, here are some of the potential mistakes you might be making:

Not fixing damaged hardware

Many employees don’t recognize how sensitive hard drives are. They may end up damaging them without noticing. As a result, your files could be corrupted or your backups may not work properly.

If damage occurs, you should have it repaired right away. This will prevent further problems, especially for round-the-clock operations.

Performing regular checks on your hardware are necessary. Since hardware damage isn’t seen right away, you might only come across the issue once it’s a big problem.

Deleting backup files

In the world of cybersecurity, deleting backup files is almost a sin. This is true, especially if you only have one backup file. So if one of your employees deletes your backup, your business is likely to experience information loss and downtime.

Make sure that your team knows the value of backup files. Also, make redundant backups. Like they say, the more the merrier.

A wiped out backup system will prevent your business from recovering should a massive breach occurs.

Biting into phishing emails

Phishing emails are one of the most notorious avenues hackers exploit to get into a business’ system. An unsuspecting employee will open a phishing email, click to its link, and enter personal information. In some instances, malware will be downloaded upon clicking the link alone.

Training and education are necessary to stay ahead of this tactic. Your employees should know the tell-tale signs of a phishing email and what they should do if they receive one.

Acquiring technologies your business doesn’t really need

Many businesses are guilty of this one. It’s tempting to purchase the latest equipment even if you don’t really have a specific use for it.

In the end, your infrastructure will become redundant and unnecessary, and just consume your resources.

Avoid the urge to spend on unnecessary equipment if you don’t really need it. You should always consult an IT expert or your IT team before purchasing any hardware or software.

Exposing sensitive data

Some employees become complacent, which cause them to expose sensitive information like passwords, usernames, credit card information, and so on. It only takes some time for hackers to discover this vulnerability. Your business will be exposed to hacking and expensive losses. Worse, your business reputation will be compromised.

Final words

IT mistakes are easy to commit, but they also entail a big consequence. So before anything happens in your business, it’s best to inform your employees about these potential mistakes. This way, you can protect your reputation, your customers, and your employees as well. It could be a daunting task, but it will surely pay off in the long run. Besides, you can always tap the help of experts.

Don’t you just hate it when your computer lags in the middle of a very important task? Aside from being a productivity buster, slow computers also impact the motivation of your employees. Sluggish IT equipment will also paint an ugly picture for your business as it starts to affect your operation.

Let’s fix that lagging PC. Below are some speedy tips to boost the performance of your computer.

Turn off some of the startup programs

If your PC becomes slow as soon as you boot it, startup programs may be eating too much of its RAM immediately. You can speed up your PC by disabling some of these startup programs on the Settings.  Chances are you don’t even need most of them to open automatically.

Remove unnecessary files

As you go by your business, your computer accumulates loads of caches and documents. As the memory gets eaten up, your computer will start to slow down since space gets crampy. Performing a regular clean on your PC will help, especially if you’re handling large files every day.

Restart your PC once a day (at least)

Many businesses run 24/7, which means their PC never sleeps. Continuous usage will wear out the RAM of a computer, which needs reboots at least once or twice a day. Restarting your PC will clear up its RAM and allow the system to refresh after hours of operation.

Consider cloud storage

You don’t need to store files on your PC if you can use cloud storage services. This will free up a lot of space on your PC, plus it makes the files accessible anytime, across devices. Still, you should employ strict security measures when using a cloud storage platform to prevent a data breach.

Install the latest version of software

Outdated web browsers, processors, and other pieces of old software will drag your computer’s performance down. So if you notice that your PC is suddenly sluggish, try running an update check on your software. Make sure that you update it as necessary or coordinate with the IT department for assistance.

Check for malware

Malware is every business’ worst enemy. Most of these viruses operate stealthily and unseen in most workstations. Since they work in the background, it will consume RAM and disk space. So if your PC slows down for no reason, you should coordinate with your IT team to check for possible malware. Computer viruses should be diagnosed and deleted right away.

Avoid running too many programs at once

If possible, try to run a few programs at the same time. For tasks that require multiple programs, it’s best to upgrade to a PC with a bigger RAM and a Solid State Drive. Unlike optical disks, SSDs are way faster.

Final words

A slow computer will impact your employees’ productivity. It will also cause frustration and grumpiness in the workplace. So before it causes issues to your business, you should address the problem right away. Besides, it might be time to upgrade to a better infrastructure that can keep up with the demands of your operation.

Moving to a new office is both an exciting and stressful time. A lot has to be done. Part of this is ensuring that your IT infrastructure will be transported and set up properly. For some companies, IT downtime can be a costly sacrifice in moving into a new workspace. Although it might seem daunting and demanding, there are things you can do to minimize the losses and make the move hassle-free.

The following are some tips that will make your office move easier:

Plan the move

Before you even unplug a single PC, make sure that have an IT plan in place. This way, the move will be organized and nothing will fall between the cracks. There should be assigned personnel for every task, so the transition will be smooth. This way, your IT system will be up and running fast in your new office.

Check the office’s network

After you plan the move, make sure that the new network in your new office is all set. Check the cables, test signal levels, and other backbone systems that have been in place before moving the bigger components. This way, you have no other issues to deal with when the big move happens.

Involve your employees

It’s more practical to have your employees involved in the IT move. Besides, they are the ones running the system, which means they could possibly suggest efficient ways to reduce downtime. Make sure that you define individual tasks carefully to avoid confusion and redundancy.

Back up everything

All your data should be backed up, so if something happens during the move, your business will not be affected too much. Remember that losing important files is one of the biggest dilemmas of moving to a new office. You should always have backups for everything in order to anticipate the worst.

Come up with a site visit checklist

Aside from planning the move, you should also have a checklist prepared for after the move. This is to audit all your IT equipment and to ensure that everything is in the right place.

Also, this checklist will ensure that the IT systems are configured properly and that each workstation is in the ideal place.

Replace outdated components

Moving an IT infrastructure is also an excellent time to asses which of the components require replacements. With a new office comes new inspiration for work. Aside from that, your employees should also experience a better system to boost their productivity.

Run and test everything

Once everything is in place, run the system and make sure that each component is running properly. It’s essential to test for glitches right away so you can fix it as early as possible.

Final words

Moving to a new office is a crucial phase for all businesses. Planning is crucial to ensure that everything will be transferred properly, much so your IT infrastructure. If you’re confident with your planning skills, you can always tap the help of IT office movers.

 

At some point, your employees will ask for a new piece of technology. It could be to boost their productivity, to solve a dilemma at hand, or to improve customer relations. As much as it has a purpose and you want to be a good boss, you have to evaluate such tech requests first.

Sure, you have the budget, but you have to remember that tech requests aren’t just fringe benefits. It should have a pivotal role in your operation and it should boost your bottom line in some ways.

Even if you provide the technology, it could still lead to unfavorable outcomes. To prevent that from happening, we recommend the following tips:

Don’t give in right away, but don’t reject it either!

Some employers tend to give in to their employees’ requests for the sake of keeping them happy. However, most are quick to dismiss the request as unnecessary.

If your employee sent a tech request, don’t do any of the two above. Remember that your employee will not send the request without a good reason. Also, your employees know their job and they will surely give further details that will enlighten you about the purchase.

Also, if the request isn’t too expensive or far from your line of work, you should consider giving it a go. We said ‘consider’ because you have to think of the succeeding aspects first:

Ask why your employee needs it

After receiving the request, it’s best to talk to the employee. Ask why they need it and where they got the idea. Most likely, you’ll discover that you’re missing out on new trends and your employee is just exerting the effort to uplift the company.

Also, it’s possible that your employee just got hyped after seeing a specific gadget that they want to try on their own. Still, if there are productivity gains, you can move to the next aspect. If not, and it’s just a plain product of excitement, then you should advise your employee that it’s not a cost-efficient choice.

Still, if your employee insists, give him or her the benefit of the doubt. Ask the person to support the request with documentation and proof that it will really benefit the workplace.

Assess the cost and benefits

Once you find some good reasons to entertain the purchase, it’s time to assess its cost and benefits. Be real with the dollars and factor in the price of implementation and maintenance. If it’s a sophisticated piece of technology, you may need to spend more on re-training your IT team.

Sometimes, even if the technology is worth it, some small businesses just can’t afford it right off the bat. You should be honest with your employees about this.

Final words

Tech requests are part of running a harmonious workplace. By allowing your employees to send their ideas, you’re also promoting productivity. Still, you should evaluate each request carefully to ensure that the purchase is truly worth it. If so, investing in it won’t just improve your bottom line; it will also make your employees feel valued and heard.

In this era mired with data security threats, backing up your computer is absolutely essential. You can lose your data anytime and in a snap of a finger. At some point, you might encounter an error in your system, which will cause the unintended deletion of important information. Whatever happens, a backup will save you from data ruin and the problem of retrieving lost files.

So how do you back up a computer? There are many ways to do this. Remember that the more redundant the backups are, the better. This will give you multiple contingency copies of your data should anything comes to worse.

Here’s how a proper backup should go:

Backup on flash drives

For small businesses that can’t afford to pay for expensive backups, flash drives are the most convenient and cost-efficient method. Since the backup hardware is small, you don’t have to deal with extra storage facility.

The memory is also faster as it works at flash speed. And when you need to access the data or files, you simply plug it into your computer.

Although flash drives are portable, they can only hold so much data. Also, its small size makes it prone to misplacement or theft.

Backup on external hard drives

If you need more memory than flash drives can provide, you can purchase external hard drives instead. You can also sync the external hard drive to your computer so it will be updated automatically. Like flash drives, external hard drives can be plugged into another computer for access.

The biggest benefit with external hard drives is its larger memory space. However, it tends to work slower and could be prone to data loss at some point. Again redundant backups are ideal if you really want to protect your data.

Backup on a cloud storage platform

Instead of using physical backups, you can also consider saving a copy of your data on a cloud storage platform. With a cloud storage platform, you can give access to the files, modify it, download it, and so on. Still, for added security, it’s best to encrypt the files to ensure that no one will have unauthorized access over it.

The only concern with cloud storage is its safety, which could be boosted with various security measures. Most paid cloud storage platforms also use a stringent security strategy to guarantee that no one will take hold of your data without your permission.

Backup on internet backup systems

With an internet-based backup, your data will be synced to a third-party platform that will automatically look for changes in your files. These changes will be backed up automatically as the system works at the background.

Unlike cloud storage that requires manual saving, internet backup systems can be set up and allowed to do its job alone.

Final words

Regardless if you have a business, are working on your own, or are a student preparing for exams, it’s always important to back up your files. You’ll never know when your computer will bog down. Also, a hacker may get into your device and ruin your data. When this happens, you should always have a contingency plan.

 

 

 

AI or Artificial Intelligence has been evolving significantly over the past few years. From advanced laboratories to small businesses, AI has come a long way. This technology aims to speed up your operation and cut operating costs as well. So how does AI help your business? Do you need to integrate it into your business? The following are some of the benefits of this innovative technology:

It offers improved online security

AI allows you to put up a layer of protection in your system that will prevent the entry of spammers and hackers. Paired with machine learning, your AI technology will soon become smarter. It will give your business better online security.

This translates to a reduced risk of data breaches, hacking, and cyber threats. Remember that hackers are zooming in on SMEs, so you should have a layer of protection in place against their dark pursuits.

It automates some tasks

Only a few people enjoy data entry jobs. It tends to be boring, monotonous, and less rewarding. So to save your employees from the burden, you can use AI to automate the data entry task. Also, AI works fast and accurately, which helps you save time, money, and resources.

Some advanced AI systems can read documents and file them on the proper categories, folders, or systems. Soon enough, AI will be taking over this job and you can shift your manpower to more important tasks.

It customizes your marketing approach

AI is already widely used in marketing, with ads and promotions made to target specific groups of audiences. This includes analyzing the person’s demographics, purchase history, recent search queries, and other data. Through this, you can bring your products closer to the people who are actually interested in availing it.

AI makes marketing much easier, cost-efficient, and time-saving. And most of the time, there are pre-programmed plugins that you can install with no technical knowledge needed.

It boosts productivity in the workplace

Poor productivity is the enemy of every business. It slows down operations and impacts the revenue of a company. To prevent this from happening in your own business, you can implement AI to speed things up.

You can block social media sites that tend to eat up the time of your employees. Also, you can track their activities to ensure that tasks are done in a timely manner.

It reduces human errors

Before, humans used to check for potential errors of the software output. Nowadays, with AI, it’s the software that will check for possible errors on human output. For example, AI software can now check your grammar in real time, translate sentences for you, and so on.

These little details improve the efficiency of work and it also prevents expensive mistakes among businesses.

Final words

AI has arrived and it’s here to stay. Some stay that this technology will steal people’s jobs. But if implemented well, it can actually open up more opportunities in the future. Besides, artificial intelligence is the future and every business should keep up. That way, their staff won’t experience layoffs and their business will grow as well.

Many businesses purchase the latest IT infrastructure without thinking about their returns. As much as the intentions are good and it may actually boost workplace productivity, new IT systems may not always boost your bottom line. So before you purchase any IT system, make sure that you ask yourself this question: will this purchase boost my income?

Since a new IT purchase costs a lot of money, it’s imperative that you calculate if you can recover the amount and make more out of it. Here are some of the questions you should also answer:

Does it save time?

Among many businesses, saving time is the same as saving money. So if your new IT purchase will speed up operations without reducing the quality of work, then it might be worth it.

Check if the new integration will save dozens of hours per week. If so, then you can purchase the new system for your business.

Does it save money?

Every business will always exhaust means to save money. So how does an IT purchase save you money if you’re actually shelling out dollars for it? Well, if the new technology can automate some tasks and remove unnecessary manpower hours, then it may save you more money in the long run.

Make sure that the calculation isn’t just your opinion. It’s best to have an objective basis and documentation to support it. This way, you can justify it to your bosses and avoid any problems in the future.

Does it impress my customers?

Many times, customers will be impressed and convinced to use a product or service if the company has an exquisite piece of technology. Customer prestige makes an IT purchase worth it, but this shouldn’t be the only consideration. Make sure that aside from impressing your customers, you’re also earning a higher bottom line from it.

Nevertheless, avoid over-purchasing IT systems just for the sake of impressing your customers. You might be surprised to know that you’re losing money because you went overboard with these luxuries.

Does it keep my business safe and decrease potential liability?

Many IT systems are designed to boost the cybersecurity of a business. Although it doesn’t directly boost your bottom line, it shields you from expensive damage that might slash your revenue.

Also, some systems are necessary to comply with government rules and standards. Eventually, you will also record decent savings from your purchase. Implementing these systems will save you from cyber threats and other glitches in the future.

Does it bring new opportunities for my business?

If the new technology will allow you to cater to more customers, then it’s possibly a great investment. Some IT purchases will also complement your current infrastructure, which will boost your revenue.

Final words

Evaluating your IT purchase is essential, so you won’t regret it in the end. Make sure that the purchase will bring benefits to your business and boost your income flow. Aside from that, it should be sustainable and you should have a plan on how to maintain it.

A Data Protection Officer (DPO) isn’t a new role, but it has been emerging rapidly among companies. This role is responsible for data protection of companies, much more so for businesses that handle sensitive information. But what is a DPO and does your business really need one?

The role of the Data Protection Officer

A DPO is a leadership role proposed and required by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This is part of the effort to prevent the increasing cases of data breach among businesses. Also, this position will solely focus on the planning, execution, and overseeing the data protection strategy of a company.

With a DPO handling your data safety, a business will have an added security layer, which will possibly put a stop on hacking and other unauthorized access to information.

It’s also part of streamlining the security system of businesses as well as upholding the highest standards in cybersecurity.

Does your business need a DPO?

Some businesses don’t really need a DPO. To check if your company needs one, the following are some of the points that you need to consider. A DPO is only a requirement if your company meets the following conditions:

*If your core operation involves a large chunk of personal data about offenses and convictions

*If your core operation involves systemic monitoring of large amounts of data

*If the operation is performed by a public entity, body, or organization

*If your business works with citizens in Europe and needs to be aware of GDPR regulations

It’s easy to think that SMEs could be exempted, but as long as the business meets these conditions, they will have to appoint a DPO.

Responsibilities of a DPO

Based on the GDPR compliance details, a Data Protection Officer has the responsibilities not limited to the following:

*Serving as a representative or contact point in everything that concerns the company’s privacy and access requests. This includes data breach reporting and the likes.

*Educating the employees of their obligation under the GDPR compliance rules

*Consistent monitoring of the company’s data protection compliance based on the GDPR rules.

*Advise the management about data protection impact assessments and other concerns about data security.

Who can you appoint as a DPO?

You need to appoint a professional with experience in this role. This is especially true if you are a small business with little experience in data protection. That means it is essential the person you hire should have experience and knowledge about data protection laws to become a compliant DPO.

While you can appoint a current employee as DPO, you can also outsource the role so you won’t have to shoulder the training and compliance.

Final words

A Data Protection Officer (DPO) will help level up the security of your company. As much as not everyone requires this role, it’s best to check if your business will benefit from it. It’s an additional role, but it surely secures your business from various data threats.

 

Network cabling can be a big headache. It’s one of the most complicated yet most important parts of your IT. If not placed well, you’ll be left with a messy cobweb of cables and a lot of work to do. To skip the hassle and guesswork, we discussed here a short guide you can use for your office’s network cabling:

First things first: make it identifiable

Before you even plug those cables into their respective ports, make sure that you’ve placed an identifier. You might think that you have remembered everything, but once all the cables are in place, you’ll barely be able to pinpoint which is which.

We recommend using either color-coding or labeling. You can use different cable colors or attaching a label to each one, so everyone will know what its purpose is. This will make troubleshooting much easier in the event of a glitch.

Get the right length

Don’t you just hate it when your cable runs shorter than what you need? As much as going long might be tempting, the excess length isn’t always ideal. Some cables offer better signal when they are the shortest possible length.

So if possible, spare the extra and stick to the length that you actually need. Aside from optimizing the signal, you’re also reducing cable clutter in your office.

Always opt for high-quality cables

Some companies that cut corners in their IT department will usually purchase the cheapest cables in the market. Although you may not notice a physical difference with the expensive versions, its performance will surely reveal the quality.

If possible, use Ethernet cables as these receive better signal than other cables. Also, you should choose the right cable for the specific speed that you need. Sometimes, you’ll end up under-utilizing your resources due to the wrong cables.

Structure your cables

In everything that you do in your IT department, planning is always the key. This will reduce the time you need for cabling while preventing any glitches.

Structured cabling offers better performance, but it could be difficult to deal with if you don’t have an expert on your business. The process will include engineering, installation, and inspection. All of which requires a specific set of skills.

Organize your server rooms

Are you familiar with those dark server rooms where only the IT guy has access to? This is the setup you should avoid. Server rooms should be fully lit, organized, and squeaky clean to ensure that your system is on top shape.

Remember that a big part of your operation depends on this room so you should always maintain it well.

In doubt? Tap the help of an expert

If you don’t have the technical resources to handle the cable installation for your office network, you can always tap the help of professionals.

Final words

Setting up your office network cables is a daunting task. Still, you can plan it out to avoid the cable mess of other businesses. Also, if you don’t have the skills, you can always hire someone else to do it for you.

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