How Cloud Adoption Unlocks Unlimited Business Innovation

The cloud has made sweeping changes in the technology world that will be felt for years to come. Many companies rely on these solutions for critical business operations.

It’s not exactly a small operation. The public cloud services market hit $246.8 billion in 2017.

Now that cloud technology is more mature, organizations that held off on early adoption are in a position to benefit from innovation.

Here’s how they’re doing it.

Bring Your Own Device

Trying to configure network access for dozens of different mobile devices and laptops strains your IT resources. When you’re using a cloud-based system, you have less to worry about for user access.

Most cloud services are designed for anytime, anywhere access, so it doesn’t matter what hardware they use. Staff members get to use the systems that they’re most comfortable with, so you end up seeing a productivity boost as well.

Remote Work

The cloud removes the requirement for employees to stay anchored to a desk. Since nearly any device is fair game for accessing the public cloud resources, they can move away from their workstations.

You could have people working effectively when they’re on business trips or at field offices thousands of miles away. Each office could use the same tools as everyone else, giving remote workers the same access to tools that in-house staff members have.

Collaborative Environments

Many cloud platforms have APIs or native integration with third-party services. You can expand the capabilities of these services and make collaboration easier between departments. A multidisciplinary team can bring together their available resources and put them in place to speed a project along.

Multiple team members can work off of the same file and see the changes take place in real time. A centralized database configuration gives you greater visibility into the information that your organization has available. \

It also cuts down on the amount of data entry work that your staff does. When you have a strong cloud adoption strategy, they no longer need to take data from one application and type it into another one manually.

Eliminates Maintenance

Your IT staff has plenty of responsibilities that fill up their days already. They don’t always have time to handle all of the proactive maintenance that helps to optimize your infrastructure.

Cloud-based services use their own hardware to power the platform, rather than one of your own on-site servers. The IT technicians don’t need to worry about maintaining the hardware or dealing with many equipment issues that are related to that cloud service.

Reduces Upfront Costs

Deploying a completely new platform or application can take up a lot of your IT budget. You have to worry about licensing fees, ongoing support costs and the price associated with the hardware to run everything. The cloud service provider shoulders the equipment expenses. While you do have a monthly bill to worry about from the cloud services, the consistent ongoing costs are easy to handle compared to one massive upfront payment for hardware.

Cloud adoption is front and center for many organizations these days. It’s no longer a slowly developing market. Instead, it’s mature and ready to act as the basis for the next round of technological innovation.

So the question is… are you prepared to embrace the benefits of these cloud-based solutions?

 

Why Secure Application Development Is a Necessity

With news of devastating cyberattacks constantly in the headlines, secure software development is more important than ever. Yet, far too many applications remain vulnerable to exploits by malicious actors.

According to a 2016 survey, for example, 97% of Java applications use code with at least one security hole. Another study found that security vulnerabilities were present in at least 90% of web and mobile apps.

For the good of both you and your customers, security must be a priority at all stages of the software development lifecycle. Below, we’ll discuss how and why to incorporate security into your application development processes.

How to Bake Security Into the SDLC

The software development lifecycle (SDLC) traditionally consists of a series of key phases. They span from requirements gathering and design to testing and maintenance. Whether you use the waterfall (sequential) development model, or you prioritize speed and flexibility with the agile methodology, security can and should be a preeminent concern during this process.

Some helpful guidelines for making security a priority are:

  • Developers should be trained on the principles of secure programming. One good place to start is to check your applications for common vulnerabilities, such as the OWASP Top 10 security risks for web applications. OWASP also provides a reference guide for secure coding practices that developers should consult at regular intervals.
  • Keep the development tools and technologies that you use as up-to-date as possible. The massive 2017 Equifax data breach, for example, was caused by a vulnerability in the Apache Struts web application development framework that the company should have already patched.
  • Include automated application security testing as part of your testing processes.

Related: How to Prepare Your Business for Unexpected Disasters

Regulatory Considerations for Application Development

Beyond the standard best practices for secure development, companies in certain industries must take special care to protect their applications and data from unauthorized breaches.

For example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires health care organizations to secure patients’ protected health information (PHI). Companies that suffer a data breach must report the attack soon after its discovery. They may face financial penalties if the information was not adequately protected.

Another security standard, PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard), regulates how organizations may handle and store customers’ payment card information.

Related: Why You Must Never Neglect Software Testing

The 12 PCI-DSS requirements include the installation of a firewall and the encrypted transmission of cardholder data across open networks. Failure to meet these guidelines may result in harsh fines and even the revocation of your company’s ability to process credit cards.

The Role of MSPs During Software Testing

You may feel overwhelmed by the potential vulnerabilities and security flaws that you need to account for. But rest assured that you don’t have to go it alone. A growing number of companies are relying on managed security providers (MSPs) to assist them with application security testing during the development process.

By working with an MSP, you can focus on your core business functions while leaving the security tests to the experts. MSPs will subject your application to a variety of both automated and manual tests. Automated vulnerability scanners can immediately identify a number of weaknesses and flaws, while manual “penetration tests” evaluate the software’s resiliency to attack.

Partnering with an MSP can give you high-quality, efficient and timely security tests so that you can keep pace with your development schedule without sacrificing software quality.

How the Cloud Fits Your Business

In the past, only large corporations considered moving their systems to the cloud. Today, cloud computing can fit any size business. In fact, migrating to the cloud offers a variety of benefits for organizations of all sizes. With an effective migration plan, organizations of all sizes can use the power of cloud computing to accelerate growth.

Cloud Computing is Becoming a Necessity

Small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) are facing the same type of heavy competition as their larger brethren. Cloud computing is revealing itself as a significant competitive advantage for SMBs and has moved from a viable alternative to a necessary tool.

Financial Benefits: Cloud Computing Will Tie Some Benefits Directly to Cost Savings

  • When you use cloud storage and cloud services, you naturally experience economies of scale. And, your computing resources can easily adjust to workload variations.

 

  • Your power consumption will automatically decrease, and you will spend less on managing a large number of onsite systems.

Related: 3 Types of Clouds: Which is Right for You?

  • Personnel costs will drop significantly. Often, the largest share of the IT budget goes to maintaining staff. When you migrate to the cloud, some of the personnel savings you experience locally will help to pay for your cloud services. In addition, your IT staff can then concentrate on doing more strategic tasks and acquiring new skills.

 

  • Migrating to the cloud doesn’t require any capital outlay. This is a definite advantage for SMBs that need to find capital for increasing their in-house operations.

 

  • Your SMB will only pay for the power you need. Maintaining flexibility in in-house systems typically requires the acquisition of more computing power than is needed on a daily basis. It’s critical to be able to handle failures or emergencies, as well as quick increases in sales. With cloud computing, the systems can be adjusted easily and only on an as-needed basis.

 

  • Cloud computing is a great way to level the playing field against larger competitors, allowing an SMB to acquire a larger market share.

Competitive Benefits: Some Benefits of Cloud Computing Will Give SMBs More Capabilities That They Can Apply to Win Against Competitors

  • Gathering and analyzing business data provides a significant competitive advantage through more accurate and faster decision making. The use of cloud computing provides the cloud storage and power needed to store and analyze a meaningful amount of business intelligence.

Related: What Does the Modern Cloud Look Like?

  • Information gathered by AlertLogic and Microsoft indicate that businesses using cloud computing have actually experienced a lower rate of security problems than those using in-house data centers. Besides that, 94 percent of SMBs have seen better security due to keeping systems, spam filters and antivirus programs up to date.

 

  • Cloud computing demonstrably provides more uptime, as 75% of SMBs report improved availability after migrating to the cloud.

Well-Planned Migration Is Critical

Migrating to the cloud effectively requires careful planning. While many SMBs report better security when cloud computing is used, it’s still up to the individuals planning the migration to ensure that security is at the top of the list of requirements. These are the most critical considerations for your migration.

  • Start small: Don’t try to migrate all of your systems at one time. Start small to get experience in completing the migration.

 

  • Choose cloud service providers carefully: Make sure you’re working with trusted and reliable suppliers of both cloud technology and the cloud support services you’ll need to make the migration successful.

 

  • Diversify passwords and user permissions: The migration is an excellent time to ensure that all the access points to your system are secure. Enforce secure passwords and restrict permissions to the greatest extent possible, and educate employees on the need for security.

 

  • Confirm backup procedures: Ensure that the cloud technology supplier you work with has a backup configuration that will allow you to access files from previous versions in the event of a problem.

Related: The Managed Services Pre-flight Checklist  

Next Steps

If you’re not one of the 66% of SMBs that see technology as a key success factor for meeting business objectives, now would be a good time to revisit that issue. As digital transformation affects more of the business community, using cloud computing will only become more critical for success.

 

3 Types of Clouds: Which is Right for You?

If your business doesn’t have a solid plan for backing up data, you’re tempting fate. Not only are your physical hard drives and servers limited by finite space, but if they crash you may be in serious trouble.

Cloud storage is becoming the go-to approach for keeping your data secure and always accessible. The cloud doesn’t require any physical equipment on your side and there are many different platforms and pricing tiers.

In other words, there’s bound to be a cloud service that meets your needs.

The three general types of cloud storage services are public, private and hybrid. But do you know enough about your options?

Find out what makes each cloud setup unique and the pros and cons for business use.

Related: What Does the Modern Cloud Look Like?

Public Cloud

Public cloud storage is owned and operated by a third-party provider, managed in a remote data center and delivered over the internet. You use a subscription service to manage pricing and service levels. Multiple businesses (“tenants”) share these remote resources to efficiently and reliably support applications and data for online, testing and development services.

Pros: Public cloud services are usually very cost-effective because you are sharing costs and maximizing reliability across more servers. You benefit from the latest and greatest technology without having to purchase it, house it, or manage it.

This type of storage is also scalable, so you can buy more as your business grows. Public cloud services have end-to-end encryption to keep your data safe. The off-site data center location gives you extra redundancy for your working and backup data.

Cons: The public cloud service will be owned and operated by a third-party provider, so the terms and conditions could change. That can affect the cost, level of service (storage or bandwidth) or performance you expect.

You are also limited in which data and applications you can locate in the shared public cloud. After all, it’s, not a dedicated environment. You’ll lose a certain amount of control and security with public cloud storage, in exchange for savings and simplicity.

Related: How Does the Cloud Work, and How Does It Benefit Your Business?

Private Cloud

Private cloud storage is just as it sounds: a totally private storage center. The data center can be located on-site at your business or hosted remotely with a service provider, but the equipment and software are not shared with any other entity. Government, financial and healthcare organizations often favor private cloud for their business-critical operations.

Pros: With total control over the infrastructure and application resources, you have increased security and flexibility with a private cloud setup. Private cloud servers are the perfect solution for securing and scaling critical customer and financial systems to meet compliance demands. You can also customize a private cloud to your specific IT requirements.

Cons: With greater control comes greater expense. A private cloud server requires additional  maintenance, whether you pay a provider or hire dedicated staff for the extra oversight. Hosting servers on-site also increases your risk of threat from natural disasters or internal breach.

Related: From Obscurity to Ubiquity: How the Cloud Became A Tech Essential

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid cloud solutions strike a balance between public and private clouds. You can operate certain critical systems on your dedicated server and handle  high-volume, lower-security activity on a remote public server. Many businesses use a public server for general access applications and private cloud storage for daily internal operations and reporting.

Pros: A hybrid cloud model allows you to mitigate the higher cost of a private cloud setup by utilizing public cloud options for less critical applications or data. You can enjoy the efficiency of the public cloud alongside the control of the private option. The hybrid setup also allows for greater operational flexibility. Hyprid clouds do that by balancing or sharing resources during seasonal activity peaks that may temporarily overload private cloud capacity.

Cons: Operating resources across two different environments can make data backup and recovery more complicated depending on how you split your storage. You will also need to monitor multiple security protocols and carefully organize your operational processes to ensure full coverage, performance and availability.

Cloud computing and storage is a convenient and increasingly common way to more effectively manage diverse applications and data for businesses of all sizes. Combined with managed IT services, cloud computing options can create a seamless network solution.

Related: The Managed Services Pre-flight Checklist

What Does the Modern Cloud Look Like?

The evolution of cloud computing has been an incredible thing to watch for businesses. The cloud solutions that are available these days offer benefits in almost every category of business improvement.

Though the technology advances with each passing day, as you’re making business decisions now, it’s important to understand what the world of cloud computing looks like today.

The Current Cloudscape

How are business reacting to cloud solutions? Businesses are taking to the cloud by storm. And with the enormity of solutions available, it’s no wonder that 70% of enterprises will be implementing a multi-cloud strategy by 2019, according to Gartner.

This isn’t just limited to a cloud-based business app here and there. Companies now run 79% of workloads in cloud, which means the power of mobility, connectivity and productivity are translating to a big part of IT strategy.

Major Cloud Providers

While there is a wealth of cloud providers offering an ever-expanding catalog of cloud solutions, the top three have dominated the market and are often the go-to cloud provider for businesses looking ways to scale and improve workflow.

Amazon Web Services

The cloud as a commercial product really begins with Amazon Web Services, giving enterprise and small businesses alike the opportunity to build applications with powerful cloud software and host software platforms for their customers. Clients include Netflix and Expedia.

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure offers cloud solutions that interweave seamlessly with its most popular platforms, like Office 365. Azure boasts 90% of Fortune 500 companies on its roster, including Adobe and 3M.

Google Cloud

Google Cloud gives you innovative machine learning, data analytics and more to help businesses harness previously unavailable computing power. Their top clients include Coca-Cola and Spotify.

Types of Cloud Solutions

For many businesses, choosing the type of cloud depends on the needs and goals of the individual business. Cloud access comes in three forms:

Public Cloud

Public cloud offers you the most flexibility in terms of mobility and scalability. With the public cloud, users effectively share access to storage and computing power. Likewise, there is no required management with the public cloud.

Private Cloud

For businesses who want higher security standards, the private cloud gives you sole access to data center servers. There is no sharing, which reduces flexibility but does mitigate risk at a higher level.

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid cloud solutions give you an opportunity to utilize both the public and private cloud wherever each is most beneficial. In this circumstance, some of your workflow (like emails) may be in the public sphere for speed and flexibility, while others (like customer data) may stay private for extra security.

Related: The Cloud: Why It’s More Important than Ever

Variety of Applications

The variety of cloud applications is virtually limitless. Businesses looking for scalability may find virtualization in the cloud fulfils those needs. Others looking for business continuity options, too, may find that the cloud gives them the best backup and recovery support choices.

 

No matter what your business needs may be, there are cloud solutions available to you if you know where to look.

Contact GB Tech today to talk about your cloud options for business.

Learn More: Work More Efficiently from Anywhere with the Cloud

How Does the Cloud Work, and How Does It Benefit Your Business?

Cloud computing has caused a storm in the tech sector. It’s just a gimmick, people say. It won’t last. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Cloud computing improves cash flow, boosts productivity and keeps all your data safe and secure. It’s no wonder, then, that experts predict the public cloud computing market will be worth more than $159 million by the year 2020. Get used to it, cloud computing is here to stay. What’s the forecast? Clouds everywhere.

Is Cloud Computing the Future of Tech?

There’s a lot of hype that surrounds cloud computing. Even a few experts believe it’s just a trend – soon to flop like the Dreamcast games console or Microsoft Kin. But cloud computing isn’t a fad, it’s the future. And the statistics speak for themselves. Cloud spending has grown 4.5 times faster than IT spending since 2009, and experts predict it will grow six times faster through 2020.

How Does It All Work?

Here’s the technical bit. The cloud refers to delivering and managing information services through a remote network like an internet, instead of a computer system.

Think of the cloud like your basement – a place where you can conveniently store loads of seasonal, bulky or special stuff that you don’t need right now and access it whenever you like. You can keep documents and photos and resources in a virtual space, away from your premises. This provides you with loads of security benefits.

“Each cloud service is a series of servers, each with its own purpose,”says Technology Services at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “Some servers store data while others run software or control access to information. The function of the servers is largely dependent upon the cloud service being provided.”

Cloud Benefits for Your Small Business

So, how can the cloud work for you? First, this tech-savvy network model reduces inefficiencies in your workplace. You can access your data from anywhere in the world and reduce the amount of IT infrastructure you keep on your premises.

Second, you can improve your data security by implementing a cloud setup. When your data is maintained in a  remote, professionally managed environment, you won’t lose valuable information if your local network hardware or software malfunctions or you experience a physical disaster like a flood, fire or hurricane.

“Cloud services can be especially practical for smaller organizations because they reduce internal IT resources and the time spent managing them,” says Tom’s IT Pro. “Instead of relying on additional hardware and software and people to manage and secure them, organizations can take advantage of cloud’s flexibility, scalability, security, availability, reliability and more.”

The Future of the Cloud

The forecast for this technology isn’t cloudy. Research suggests that 83 percent of all data will be cloud-based within the next three years. That’s a lot of data.

Hiring a managed service provider helps you maximize those cloud benefits. These professionals provide around-the-clock security and monitoring services to ensure your data is safe from hackers. No longer will you need to maintain your IT hardware, either. Plus, you save on your electricity bills because everything happens off-premises.

Incorporating cloud computing into your small business just makes sense. If you want to reduce infrastructure costs, improve efficiencies and boost security, this tech provides you with a solution. If you think this is just another fad, think again.

From Obscurity to Ubiquity: How the Cloud Became A Tech Essential

The cloud is a funny thing. Its nebulous nomenclature has caused some confusion for the tech-challenged. For these folks, videos of their kids’ third birthday party were just hovering in the atmosphere, ready to rain down data on anyone who looked up.

But for those who early on envisioned the possibilities of the coming technological climate change (not least of whom was Jim Carrey in The Cable Guy), cloud services were the future.

Make no mistake. The cloud is the internet. Or rather, it’s the infrastructure of the internet. If the internet is the global network of connected computers and devices – the information superhighway – then the cloud is the transfer station.

If you want to perform an action online, such as watching that clip from The Cable Guy, the internet gives you access to YouTube’s data center which houses the file.

You don’t get to keep the file. You just access it for 23 seconds. The transfer of data packets to your device from the hosting in the data center takes place in “the cloud”.

Since the advent of cloud technology, businesses have been clamoring for cloud services to help improve their workflow, increase their profits and compete in the marketplace.

Related: The Cloud: Why It’s More Important than Ever

The Intergalactic Computer Network

This is how it was described by J. C. R. Licklider back in 1963. “Lick” and his colleagues set out to find out a way to time-share computer processing. (You can read his memo here.) The vision was for a future that connected everyone, anywhere, at any time.

Eventually, this vision came true. Lick, however, died in 1990 and neither saw the full potential of the modern internet nor the satellite scene from The Cable Guy.

Thanks, Amazon

Two major things happened in the subsequent years. Salesforce, a sales and marketing CRM platform, offered one of the first instances of cloud-based software in 1999. This would ultimately become commonplace, and branded as Software as a Service, or SaaS.

In 2006, Amazon decided to lease out some of its unused computer power to companies looking for cloud services and solutions. This would eventually be known as Infrastructure as a Service, or IaaS.

Between these two ideas, the world of cloud computing exploded.

Related: 5 of the Most Anticipated Technology Trends of 2018

Ownership vs. Rentorship

So, what’s the big deal?

One of the major elements that propelled the cloud’s ubiquity is the concept of renting components. It used to be that only enterprise-level companies could explore top-tier technology to help improve business because the tech was so expensive.

But with SaaS and IaaS on the table, everything changed. Suddenly, businesses were able to lease technological capabilities for a flat-rate monthly fee using only what they needed instead of putting down enormous capital expenses. Now, the little guys could compete with the big boys.

Learn more: Work More Efficiently from Anywhere with the Cloud

The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the latest and greatest movement in cloud computing. Think about it: You hear everyday of new things that have “smart connect” capabilities, like football helmets, diapers and refrigerators.

This  access to information can help you determine from afar how hard a quarterback was hit, how full a diaper is and how empty a fridge is.

From a consumer standpoint, the effects are obvious. You can track and upload data to the cloud and effectively manage it using real-time analytics.

IoT is still an evolving industry, and it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a regular part of business strategy. But for now, business-grade cloud computing solutions are faster, more powerful, and more practical than the IoT.

In short, cloud services can give you an incredible opportunity to propel your business and help you scale at the speed you need.

To talk about cloud services and your business, call GB Tech.

The managed services pre-flight checklist

Your business bags are packed and ready for travel. The destination? Growth and expansion. There’s just one problem– how will you get there? The route will have storms and turbulence that will be hard to avoid without the right technology co-pilot by your side.

The right managed services provider (MSP) can be that co-pilot. A smooth trip is all about the right technology solutions. With that in mind, here are your managed services pre-flight checklist.

Related: How to Prepare Your Business for Unexpected Disasters

Data backup services for continuity

Who will get your back when bullying cyber thieves come for your mission-critical data? And who will keep it safe from harm when storms try to take your business out of flight?

The right MSP can provide data backup solutions that ensure your important data and systems are backed up with the multiple redundancies needed to make sure you never lose so much as a single piece of your data.

Backing your data up onsite and on your own can be a recipe for disaster. Your data is the fuel in your engines. Lose it, and there’s no way you’ll be able to take off.

Related: 3 Malware Threats to Watch Out for in 2018

Network security for brand protection

Are you vetting the people trying to travel in and out of your network? A qualified MSP can secure your network from potential threats with constant oversight and consistent intervention when threats arise.

Employee training on threats such as phishing scams or email spoofing and general network oversight will mean that your business stays in flight (rather than grounded by downtime).

Related: What is the Value of a Brand?

Help desk and oversight for network harmony

Who’s there to help you troubleshoot? It doesn’t take a smoking engine to or frozen flap to cause problems in your flight plan. Slow computers, unresponsive programs, and network bottlenecks can all become major productivity stalls.

Engaging with the right MSP’s help desk solution puts a trusted team of qualified engineers at your beck and call 24/7 to deal with problems ranging from minor annoyances to major issues.

Even if you already have your own in-house IT expert, it’s likely there are places a good MSP could fill in the gaps. They can provide the kind of total network support that can keep your business soaring above the competition by focusing on growing and meeting company objectives instead of fumbling with frustrating technology.

Where will you fly with managed services?

The right technology is a powerful advantage that creates great momentum in your business operations. By trusting an MSP to take the technology yoke you can set your business up for growth, efficiency, and long-term success.

So what are you waiting for? Prep for takeoff.

Related: The Countless Benefits of Managed Services

Hurricane Harvey and Other Disasters: Why Your Business Needs a BDR Plan

In August of 2017, the Houston area experienced around 50 inches of rain in a four-day period due to Hurricane Harvey. The storm was devastating. Lives were lost and homes and businesses were destroyed.

Even those businesses that remained physically intact suffered huge losses because they experienced power and data outages, forcing them to shut down. Few companies emerged unscathed, but those companies with a BDR (backup and disaster recovery) plan minimized their losses.

In fact, many of the companies with a plan in place were able to get back to business quite quickly after the rain stopped. This fast response allowed construction companies and other rebuilders to help the entire city recover.

What is a BDR?

A BDR is a detailed plan to recover and restore your data when disaster strikes. A BDR includes multiple strategies, including comprehensive data backup and methods to minimize downtime. A good BDR plan will ensure that your company stays productive during extreme conditions and lets you work even if your office is destroyed.

Related: The Cloud: Why It’s More Important than Ever

How Does a BDR Plan Work?

A BDR plan will typically call for storing copies of files and other data in separate locations. If business computers are damaged or hacked, you can retrieve all of your important information, usually through a cloud service.

Disaster recovery may include recovering a physical or virtual server by using a virtual machine. This process restores files and other data that may have been damaged.

Why You Need a BDR Plan

Every area in the country is vulnerable to some sort of disaster, whether it be weather-related or a result of hacking. Your company needs a BDR for multiple reasons, including the following:

Finances

The downtime resulting from a data disaster can put your business in the red or even cause it to close. In fact, downtime costs small businesses up to $8,600 per hour. Though the number grows for larger organizations, the core message is the same – any amount of downtime can be financially devastating to your business.

Inevitable Issues

Your company will face system issues at some point. Hardware and software are prone to failure. Cyberattacks are all too common. Very few businesses exist without at least one major data crisis, and some must endure multiple failures.

In short, your business can’t avoid disasters, but you can plan for them.

Related: 3 of the Worst IT-related Disasters Ever (And What You Can Learn From Them)

Customer Expectations

Customers have little patience for system failure. They have come to expect constant access to your company, often through the internet. If you are not available to meet their needs 24/7, they will find another company that will.

After Hurricane Harvey, many small businesses suffered from terrible physical damage as well as system failures. Six months out from the hurricane, some businesses were still struggling.

Those with a BDR plan were able to quickly resume service again.

No business can afford to function without a clear disaster plan that safeguards their data and their servers. If you do not have a detailed plan, a disaster can put you out of business. If you have not made preparations for a crisis, consult with IT specialists to find out how to get started.

Title Fight: Break/Fix vs. Managed IT Services

The ideal state of technology for most businesses is one that drives them to their business goals, propels them into the future and helps them compete in their market. For others, the reality is that technology is a constant hindrance, perpetually dragging down their productivity and collaboration. This, we feel, is the title fight between the managed IT services and break/fix models of IT.

What are these IT Models?

Break/fix has been around since the dawn of technology. Basically, it means that you buy a piece of hardware or software, and when it breaks, you call someone to come fix it. The model is simple and focused on tactical response. It’s the old-school fighter in the ring, ready to give as good as he gets.

Managed IT services is effectively outsourcing your IT department for a flat monthly rate to keep everything running smoothly. This gives you a set of core network services delivered by a team of experts that are not direct employees. This is the emerging pro on the circuit who has a top-notch entourage and smarts to match his ambition.

Did you know? 47% of companies haven’t started to embark on digital transformation. Microsoft

Why Break/Fix Always Loses

There are a couple of major problems with the break/fix method of IT. And they have a tendency to creep up on you.

It’s too reactive.

Break/fix is always reactive. You are consistently trying to fix problems as they are occurring. This can greatly increase your downtime, depending on the intensity of the problem, because you are not necessarily addressing the root cause or the big picture.

It’s too costly.

Calling out technicians can be a costly venture. Particularly when they aren’t the ones who set up your network. Likewise, if you’ve got older hardware, the lack of strategic thinking about your technology can mean that your cost of upkeep is increasing, while productivity is decreasing.

It’s too slow.

Break/fix technicians get paid more the longer they’re there. This means there’s no real urgency to speed up or resolve the issue for good. And lacking a total grasp of your system or your processes can extend the resolution timeline for the technician.

Related: 3 of the Worst IT-related Disasters Ever (And What You Can Learn From Them)

Why Managed IT Services Always Wins

Businesses are increasingly choosing to outsource their IT to managed services providers because the long-term benefits greatly improve performance and results.

It’s proactive.

When you outsource your IT, you put the burden of performance on your provider. This shifts the momentum for companies who have dealt with a lot of technical issues in the past. Proactive IT support often solves problems before they are noticed.

It’s predictable.

When you’re bootstrapping a company or your CEO is looking to cut CAPEX costs, managed services may be the way to go. With predictable monthly expenses over three to five years, you offload your IT costs to OPEX, giving you a significant tax advantage and balancing out spikes when your network needs extra attention.

It’s fast.

With a managed IT services team, quick resolution with IT support is the name of the game. The better your provider knows your company and your network, the better your system runs. The better your system runs, the more effectively you and your provider can operate as a team. The burden of proof is outsourced.

Is managed IT services right for your business? Call GB Tech to find out.

Related: The Countless Benefits of Managed Services