How hardware-as-a-service can improve your business

Hardware-as-a-service (HaaS) is about more than equipment. It’s about making taking your business to the next level by putting your organization’s hardware needs in capable hands.

Because it’s custom-tailored to your business, HaaS can include a lot of different solutions. It can mean on-site equipment or remote cloud infrastructure. It can mean simple equipment agreements or full administration. The benefits HaaS delivers include cost, maintenance, security, and updates to your hardware, “…the biggest driver of IT budget increases in 2019.” In each of these areas, using HaaS lets the experts handle the equipment needs, while you handle your business needs.

Optimizing costs

As business moves increasingly toward the internet and higher expectations of service, the cost of upgrading and maintaining the infrastructure and systems that are required can be substantial. The combined cost of servers, computers, hubs and one-time upgrade fees can be a showstopper for many small and growing businesses.

In addition to passing on the efficiencies of their volume unit purchases to clients like you, HaaS defrays the cost of a single large upgrade into regular payments and makes budgeting easier. HaaS can also allow companies to effectively achieve redundancy they couldn’t otherwise afford. Keeping your expenses predictable is just the first way that HaaS keeps your business as your top priority.

Improving operational efficiency

Every year there’s an exciting new phone available. Every day we generate more data. Keeping up with the demands of your customers and your business can be expensive. The advantage of HaaS is that your business doesn’t have to undertake the large capital expenses, so you can remain more flexible.

HaaS can change to fit your needs as you expand your staff or your demands for performance. It can even accommodate short-term changes without the long-term commitment that comes with buying your own equipment.

Another benefit that often goes unnoticed is that you don’t have to become an expert in recommending or purchasing all this equipment. You don’t need to know the right brands and models or the secrets to the best pricing. There’s no need to feel overwhelmed by the dizzying array of choices and specs. When the IT hardware experts handle all of that for you, you can focus on running your business.

Maintaining productivity

Downtime can be staggeringly expensive in terms of external sales losses, customer loyalty losses or internal productivity losses. Whether it’s a hardware failure , an integration issue or a cyberattack, when your systems are down, you’re losing money. That’s why it’s important to keep downtime to a minimum through redundancy, testing, upgrades and preparation to free yourself from the unpredictable and expensive break-fix cycle.

But that requires time, resources and expertise you may not have. HaaS outsources that cost and effort so you and your team can turn your attention to your day-to-day business instead of acquiring the skills and knowledge to take care of that hardware internally.

Maximizing network security

Cyberthreats are a fact of digital business. Cyberattacks are growing in severity and complexity and more companies are dealing with data breaches or blackmail from attackers holding data hostage. Even tech giants like Google and Facebook have been victims in recent years.

A data breach can seriously damage your company’s bottom line by harming your customers, threatening your reputation, and resulting in severe fines from government regulators. A rigorous cybersecurity plan is vital, but it’s no small undertaking. Among the most common vulnerabilities with companies of all sizes are outdated hardware and software. But with HaaS, you can rely on your provider to maintain and test your hardware to help keep your business and your customers safe.

Related reading: Learn more about GB Tech managed services

4 benefits of hardware-as-a-service

Hardware-as-a-service may sound a bit strange at first. What makes it a service? Isn’t that the same as renting something? Not quite.

It’s a new way of looking at hardware that is becoming not only more prevalent but also much more useful for the average business owner.

What does it mean?

Hardware-as-a-service is similar to renting or leasing in a lot of ways and therefore has some of the same benefits.

Just the same as if you were renting, you are just borrowing and using the hardware. Whether it’s short- or long-term, you return the equipment to the owner at some point. Not all agreements entail taking the hardware back to your office, as we’ll explain in a moment.

Mostly this approach is different from rental in the thought process around it: it’s a service model.

So, what you are purchasing is not the hardware itself but rather the service to support the hardware. It’s best to think of HaaS as paying for the utility rather than the hardware, and the benefits are similar.

1. Low upfront costs

This is one of the main benefits for SMBs when renting something like network hardware – you can get the latest hardware up and running faster and cheaper than if you were to specify it, buy it and set it up yourself. Typically, as their first order of business, experts from the company you’re paying for the service will come to install it for you and make sure everything is functioning properly.

Typically you’ll owe the owner a monthly or yearly fee for its use on premises. Sometimes you may see a charge on a per-use basis, but this depends on the type of hardware and how you are using it. Most HaaS operations use a flat monthly fee, making it easy to budget for.

2. You’re not responsible for maintenance

If the machine falters, you can just call the company you’re renting from and they’ll send someone out to look at it. They’ll have someone monitor it periodically and complete proactive maintenance or updates to keep things running securely and smoothly. Either way, you won’t have to pay for repairs – that’s almost always factored into whatever recurring fees you’ve agreed to. Additionally, it’s often possible to swap out the malfunctioning unit instead of having to wait for repairs. That way, you’re at little risk for extended downtime.

3. Obsolescence isn’t a problem

One major way hardware-as-a-service can differ from rental is that the owners can keep your equipment current with the latest technology. When a new version of a particular technology arrives, they’ll be in charge of updating it for you, when necessary, rather than you having to deal with it yourself. You won’t have to worry about investing in technology that might shortly become obsolete because your provider will want you to be running as quickly and efficiently as possible – they’re incentivized to make sure you’ve got the best equipment for your needs and budget.

4. Unique applications

Hardware-as-a-service includes things like cloud solutions or server storage that you rent from another company. You can pay to use their hardware rather than investing in your own infrastructure.

Even the Citi Bike system in New York City is a good example of HaaS. Citi gains and maintains a customer base by making sure you get where you need to go quickly via the hardware they’re providing. Cloud computing and server storage providers are keeping you productive by using the hardware available through them. If you’ve got a great idea but not enough processing power, HaaS companies that specialize in server farms are happy to help you without all the hassle of managing that much computing power and integration yourself.

Their expertise is a key component of the Service part of Hardware-as-a-Service.

The bottom line

Hardware-as-a-Service allows you to operate to your full potential with minimal risk and investment. Luckily for most businesses, this is quickly becoming the norm and will certainly evolve into more productive and creative practices and services as time goes on.

If this makes you curious and you’d like to find out more, don’t hesitate to contact us today and ask any questions that you might have.

5 steps to maximize network security

As a small business, you may believe you are at low risk of being victim to a cyber attack. After all, what cybercriminal is going to take notice of what you are doing?

Unfortunately, statistics have shown that 43% of all cyber attacks are targeting small businesses. This is a substantial increase from 2011 when just 18% of small businesses were targeted.

This means that one out of every 40 businesses is at risk of being a victim of cyber crimes. Now is the time to take steps to protect your business. One of the best ways to do this is by implementing the network security tips found here.

1. Employee training and education

Human error is the number one cybersecurity threat to a small business. It can include a wide array of mistakes, such as leaving an account open on a shared device, not updating passwords, downloading malicious files, and more.

It’s your job to train and educate your employees. Done properly, you can mitigate some of the risks to your network. Make sure to cover things such as reporting procedures for stolen or lost devices, security application policies, mobile device management, file sharing best practices, password requirements, and more.

2. Implement a secure backup plan

You should already have some type of backup plan in place from your MSP; however, if you don’t, now is the time to make this investment.

A secure backup can help you make it through any type of disaster from accidental file deletion to flood damage and destruction. The same backups can also help you overcome cyber attacks, like ransomware.

In that case, if a cybercriminal threatens to delete all your data, you can get it back right away via your backup system. It’s best to ensure your backup data is stored at a remote, secure location away from your main office. This provides protection from cyber and physical threats.

3. Check your firewall

The firewall you have in place provides protection by blocking unauthorized access to your network. Be sure your firewall is current, and that everything is updated and patched on a regular basis.

While checking up on your firewall, be sure that updates are being made to your firmware, too.

4. Protect your WiFi

Your WiFi network may be the point of entry cybercriminals are searching for. As a result, you need to make sure that it’s protected. This involves your firewall (mentioned above) and making sure all the data that passes through the network is encrypted.

Be sure you also protect your router with a password and only permit access to employees. You may want to hide your network, too, so others can’t attempt to access it. If your business requires a public WiFi connection for vendors or customers, create a second network specifically for this purpose.

5. Use a VPN

Virtual private networks offer an additional layer of security for web browsing. This is especially the case when you access business files over an unsecured or public network.

With a VPN, your IP address is masked and all data is encrypted, keeping your passwords and browsing history protected from would-be hackers.

If you have performed a network assessment and discovered there are holes or gaps present, then it may be time to improve your network security. The tips here will help you get started.. If you have any questions about these tips or anything else, reach out to your managed IT services provider.

5 best practices for IT security audits

A security audit is nothing less than a necessity for a company of any size. During this assessment, cybersecurity experts will scrutinize your digital infrastructure and business operations to find weak points.

Some audits are limited in scope, examining only a few aspects of a company’s cyber defenses. However, for the best results — especially if you haven’t had an audit in a while — go for a total inspection.

After all, potential vulnerabilities are everywhere. Perhaps your employees neglect web browsing safety practices; maybe your antivirus software is out of date, or perhaps any number of other things are going on with your network.

Here are some best practices for a successful and insightful audit.

1. Hire outside experts

You don’t want in-house IT pros handling this process. It’s like when people defend themselves in court; it almost never works out well.

Someone who works for you may be reluctant to be too critical, which could mean an incomplete report. Furthermore, when you inspect your own workplace, it’s easy to have blind spots and overlook problems.

Instead, seek excellent outside IT consultants to run the audit for you. Look for extensive experience with corporate security projects and enthusiastic references.

2. Get everyone on board

Call a company-wide meeting and let all of your employees know about your upcoming audit. You can explain why their full cooperation is essential, answer questions, ease concerns, and prevent rumors.

Also, you can find out if your staff members have any needs that you’ll have to work around. For instance, if one of your managers is showing a potential client around next Thursday morning, you could ask your auditors to show up after lunch that day.

3. Gather info beforehand

To expedite the process, ask your auditors ahead of time what information they’ll require. Then do your best to collect it all.

That info may include your network topology map as well as a list of your mobile devices, antivirus programs, app providers and so on. You might also need to provide them with an indemnification statement in case your network flags their activities as suspicious.

What’s more, ask your auditors for a copy of their official policies. That way, you can be sure that you’re comfortable with their tactics before you let them in.

4. Study the report

Once the audit is complete, the security pros will put together a customized plan for your company. Study that document carefully with your leadership team, and ask the IT experts for help with any parts you don’t understand. Afterward, organize another meeting with every employee to sum up the results and announce what will be changing.

Your IT consultants can then supply you with the hardware, software, monitoring services, staff training, and data storage on the cloud that you need. And they can formulate an ideal backup and disaster recovery (BDR) plan for your organization.

5. Don’t let up

Remember that one security audit isn’t sufficient. Rather, an annual audit is wise considering how rapidly technology-related dangers change.

For sure, cyberattacks are scary. They happen frequently, and they strike mom-and-pop stores and international conglomerates with equal fury. They expose customers to identity theft and other serious crimes. They often put companies out of business within months if not days.

The only way to stop cyberattacks is with a layered, coordinated and high-tech defense system. And the best way to organize such a defense is to receive full audits from outstanding IT specialists.

4 common endpoints you should be protecting

In the world of information technology, an endpoint is what it sounds like. It’s a machine or device with which a person (the end user) accesses a company’s network and the internet in general. A list of endpoints includes computers, mobile phones, tablets, printers, and retail kiosks.

These days, many corporate cybersecurity plans emphasize techniques for defending mobile applications and operating systems. Nevertheless, it’s still vital to protect those precious endpoints. They can be attacked in various ways, making your entire digital infrastructure susceptible to criminal behavior.

Here are 4 endpoints you should always protect and some suggestions for keeping them safe.

Desktop and laptop computers

Don’t believe otherwise: You still have to install up-to-date firewalls and antivirus software on all of your computers.

Some people argue that antivirus programs are unhelpful because of zero-day attacks. A zero-day attack is one in which, on the day a software flaw is found, hackers break into IT networks via that weakness. In such situations, antivirus programs likely can’t save the day. However, around 70% of hacking attempts are not zero-day attacks, and antivirus programs can usually stop them effectively.

Believe it or not, the majority of data breaches occur when computers and laptops are stolen. For that reason, you should take special care to physically secure those machines. Chain them down whenever possible, and keep them inside locked rooms at night. Set up security cameras and alarms, too. And, if you have the budget to do so, you might hire an around-the-clock security team.

Phones and tablets

Many small businesses find it convenient to let their employees work remotely and even sometimes in the office, on mobile devices. To protect sensitive information, though, you should remind all of your workers to be extremely cautious with those tools.

It’s of the utmost importance that your staff members know what they’re doing and what they’re using at all times. That is, they shouldn’t click on any link, respond to any text message, use any public WiFi network or install any app on their mobile devices unless they are positive that they can trust the source.

On top of all that, when these cell phones and tablets are not in use, their Bluetooth and WiFi capabilities should be turned off.

Partners in protection

Of course, when it comes to endpoint safety, you never have to go it alone. To the contrary, reputable IT consultants can make sure that you have the strongest possible security measures in place. They can also review your company’s existing security policies and verify that they’re robust enough to counter today’s potent threats.

Perhaps above all, these consultants can educate your staff members. That way, your workers will understand what their responsibilities are when it comes to endpoint security. Respectful and thorough training programs reduce the kinds of employee errors that so often lead to hacks and breaches.

In sum, when endpoint protection becomes a company-wide priority, you can feel much more confident that your business secrets will stay secret and that your data will remain in the right hands.

8 helpful tips for safe web browsing

You don’t have to look far to find plenty of real-world examples for what can go wrong when you don’t treat the internet with the care it deserves. A careless mistake can have dangerous consequences.

Falling victim to a phishing scheme could cost you a lot of money, or worse – it could cost you your identity. Downloading unauthorized software could mean downloading malware that destroys your computer or invites a ransomware attack. As scary as these possibilities are, a little caution and some safe browsing guidelines will help ensure that you stay safe online.

We’ve compiled our 8 best tips for staying safe while you browse the web.

1. Limit sharing personal information

Every piece of personal information that you put online can become available to the world forever. Not everyone needs to know your home address, birthday, or relationship status. If you would not share it with strangers on the street, don’t share it with strangers online.

2. Manage your privacy settings

Marketers and hackers will do anything to learn all about you. They can learn a lot from your browser and social media usage. Web browsers, mobile operating systems, and social media platforms all have privacy-enhancing settings available. These settings can be difficult to find, but they are worth the work to safeguard your information.

3. Use a secure connection

Whenever possible, connect to the internet using a secure internet connection. Be cautious of unsecured public wi-fi. If you must use a public connection, avoid entering or accessing sensitive data while connected.

4. Be cautious of downloads

Downloads from unknown sources are often the vehicle used to deliver malware and viruses to unsuspecting users’ computers. Beware of downloading attachments from suspicious emails or unauthorized sources online. When installing software, look for software that has a valid SSL certificate.

5. Choose strong password

When it comes to choosing passwords, make sure to choose a unique password for each account. Choose something that is easy to remember, but difficult to guess. Read more tips on creating secure passwords for your accounts.

6. Shop securely

When shopping online, be certain that you only provide payment information to sites that provide secure, encrypted connections. These sites start with https:// or are marked with a padlock icon near the address bar.

7. Stick to compliance/BYOD policies

Many organizations have strict BYOD (bring your own device) and compliance policies. These policies are in place to help ensure that you do not accidentally cause a data breach or disclose information in a non-compliant manner. The ramifications for not following these policies can be severe, including steep financial fines, so be sure to take these policies seriously.

Related: Expand your workflow potential by safely implementing BYOD

8. Keep your security software updated

While security software cannot protect you from every threat, it can protect you from most known viruses and detect and remove malware infections. It is important to keep your software up-to-date. You can set it up to automatically update so you don’t have to remember to update it yourself.

You can also use a managed IT services provider who will keep everything updated for you.

The basics of cloud computing

Even if you don’t work in technology, you’ve probably heard of cloud computing. Writers, accountants, and even landscapers use cloud computing. So do hugely popular services such as Netflix.

Here’s a look at the basics of cloud computing and how it can benefit your business.

How cloud computing got its name

Old telecommunication companies used a cloud symbol to represent the telephone network. Later, a cloud was used to represent a network or technology that was managed by someone else. Basically, the cloud symbolized a network or system you used but weren’t responsible for maintaining for running.

How cloud computing works

In a nutshell, cloud computing is the ability to store data at a remote location. In practice, it means that people are able to take advantage of on-demand computing services, apps, and processing power on a pay-as-you-go scheme over the internet. They can use devices such as smartphones, tablets, and even game consoles to access the cloud. However, when the internet is down, users cannot access the cloud.

With cloud computing, your business can:

  • Save money and space on an IT infrastructure
  • Get access to apps, file storage and more from a cloud provider
  • Tap into programs for word processing, design, marketing, sales, data analytics, and disaster recovery, among others
  • Scale operations up and down easily
  • Increase employee collaboration
  • Help more employees telecommute from home
  • Conduct distance training and seminars
  • Pay only for the resources it uses

Cloud computing examples

Many people use cloud computing and don’t even know it. For instance, you may have cloud storage set up for the pictures you take on your smartphone. Similarly, Gmail is a form of cloud computing, as are most of Google’s services. Netflix depends on cloud computing as well (through Amazon Web Services).

Microsoft Office 365 is a popular cloud service, and families and businesses can use apps such as Excel, Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and OneNote for a monthly or yearly subscription fee.

How cloud computing developed

Cloud computing landed in 2006 with Amazon as a leading infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider. The companies to keep an eye on now include Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Salesforce and SAP.

Cloud computing has developed to include the following common uses:

  • IaaS (for servers, storage, and networking, among other things)
  • SaaS (software as a service, for software and applications through the internet)
  • PaaS (platform as a service, for building and delivering applications)
  • File storage
  • Disaster recovery
  • Backup
  • Big data analytics
  • Testing and development

Many vendors now only sell cloud versions of their software (like Office 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud). Cloud software benefits the consumer because it has a cheaper, monthly cost and you always have the latest version of the software. It also benefits the vendor because all users are using the same version, which makes support and troubleshooting potential issues easier.

Public vs. private cloud

There are two main types of cloud computing available to businesses, public or private cloud. A hybrid cloud is a third option that combines a public and private cloud.

In a private cloud, your business uses cloud computing behind a firewall. The infrastructure for the cloud may be on site or off site. This type of cloud computing can be more secure, but it also costs more.

The public cloud is also secure, but may not have the same security measures required by some industry regulations. Public clouds are owned and operated by a third-party provider and are cheaper and easier to set up.

For more on cloud computing, check out this article that discusses cloud security myths and other cloud myths.

7 cloud computing myths debunked

New technology brings about great innovation, but also myths and misconceptions about how it works. Cloud computing is no exception. With cloud computing on the rise, it’s no wonder people have questions about how it works.

We debunk 7 common cloud myths so you’ll know exactly what to expect before making the leap to the cloud.

#1 You will lose control

Moving to the cloud means that as your business grows, you’ll no longer need to swap hard drives or use extra RAM. You will still control access to your data, as well as work processes, but will have to spend less time on things like system maintenance. You will also find it easier to grow or shrink your operations as needed, give you more control over the future of your business.

#2 The cloud is more expensive

The cost of cloud computing depends on the amount of data you store, your backup needs, and the number of users and applications. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for cloud computing. You only pay for what you use, which can be instantly upgraded or downgraded as needed. This scalability helps you save money on your IT expenses.

#3 The cloud is not secure

Cloud services are more secure than most traditional infrastructures. Instead of you being responsible for the security of your data, with the cloud you gain a team of experts dedicated to protecting your data and preventing all kinds of disasters. You also have the added security of backup and recovery services should anything happen.

#4 The cloud is unreliable

Every system in existence will suffer from setbacks now and then and it’s important to know how downtime can affect your business. But unlike traditional infrastructure, with cloud computing, your data isn’t all stored in one place. This means that if an issue does arise, all of your files are safe and getting everything back up and running again will take a fraction of the time, compared with traditional systems.

#5 The cloud costs your IT staff their jobs

Any new software or technology requires people to effectively implement it into your business structure. The cloud is not a people replacer, it’s an innovative tool that allows your staff to focus on priorities and projects that drive your business forward and meet your objectives.

#6 Changes are difficult

Adopting a cloud infrastructure isn’t like traditional systems where you need to manually access and update all the machines at your site when deploying something new. Cloud computing offers a more innovate way of working, remotely and over the Internet. You can make large changes to a number of users without being chained to a desk, saving you a ton of time.

#7 Cloud migration is too time-consuming

This will only really be true if you’re working with extremely outdated servers and you need to do lots of technical cleansing to your systems. But for the most part, an experienced and reliable cloud provider will be able to assist in migrating all of your data efficiently and smoothing with the lowest amount of downtime possible.

What Can IT Consultants Do for Businesses?

IT consultants advise clients on the best ways to use information technology to meet their business objectives. Similarly, they help clients resolve IT-related issues to increase productivity and performance across multiple departments. This includes software applications and network data security, along with hardware implementation for enhancing IT structure and efficiency in various organizations.

Still, the role of IT consultants differs from managed services in many ways. Here are some of the key roles these well-versed and experienced professionals play in the world of digital computing.

How can an IT consultant help my business grow?

The job of an IT consultant is complex and intricate at best. In fact, they must stay abreast of all the latest industry developments and trends. This enables them to guide companies on the right path to growth, while ensuring maximum correlation between their technical teams and staff.

By understanding your business model and strategies, consultants are able to tweak and modify areas that need efficient IT-related improvement. Similarly, they are able to monitor your brands’ development and growth – while fostering safe and secure environments and platforms for everyday business and communications. IT consultants also offer the following for companies of all sizes and industries:

  • Advise clients on the best solutions for data security, networking, communications and daily business directive and goals.
  • Analyze and assess existing IT platforms, while recommending the right technologies to streamline and centralize cost-efficiency; apps, software, hardware, cloud servers and even BYOD plans.
  • Diagnose and refine your business challenges to increase productivity, performance, and lead – profit – revenue generation.
  • Serving as bridges between your technical teams and staff. Making sure everyone is on the same page towards achieving your short-term and long-term goals.

What if I already have an IT team in place?

Not a problem. IT consultants are not there to replace your in-house or remote IT teams. They are, however, there to work with your technical teams, while making sure your IT infrastructure is operating at peak performance levels. With that in mind, your consultant is also able to ensure the following:

  • Working with your IT teams to effectively communicate with the rest of the staff. This bridges the gap between those who know and those who don’t, but also increases high-quality performance across all levels and departments.
  • Analyze all possible threats and risks with timely, effective and lasting solutions. Increase your business growth by helping your brands tap into the latest innovative technologies. That includes app development, mobile device management, software- web application security, cloud, help desk support, and unified communications.
  • Guaranteeing business continuity with an IT infrastructure that is up and running 24/7. Helping your brands’ secure higher visibility with little to no downtime for upgrades and maintenance. Keeping your client and employee communications safe, secure and running – even during inclement weather.
  • Consultants also provide network support services for monitoring your business systems and platforms. This ensures optimal communications for daily communications for customer – client and staff fulfillment.

What skills does an IT consultant bring to the table?

IT consultants have years of extensive industry experience. They are also highly trained in making sure your company is making the most of its IT plan and network. From relevant advice and effective communications to technical and IT knowledge, consultants bring a plethora of vital skills to the table. They also have the tools and expertise to offer true business insight, while implementing techniques that improve IT management and performance at every turn.

If your business needs IT revamping and remodeling, consultants are able to breathe new life into your business platforms and protocols. Most consultants have a proven track record of success, and are able to meet and address your IT needs within time and budget.

5 things IT consulting does for your business

IT consulting is different than hiring an in-house IT team or using a third party IT firm to handle all the technical needs for your business. An IT consultant may only work with your business for a short time. They can also come in intermittently to make sure everything is running as it should and make adjustments or recommendations.

Here are 5 ways hiring an IT consultant could help you:

1. Make projects happen

You’ve been considering a technological project, but you are not a technical expert. It can be hard to launch other projects when you are focused on your small business’ day-to-day operations.

Whether it is implementing a new CRM, setting up services in the cloud or making sure your technology infrastructure is truly secure, an IT consultant can come in and make it all happen, finally.

IT consulting can leaves you with space to focus on your area of expertise while giving you the comfort knowing your project is not simply getting done but getting done in a timely manner with professional oversight and accountability.

2. Help you get the most bang for your buck

IT consultants can help your business save money by implementing new and innovative solutions. For example, virtualization can help your business run multiple operating systems on the same server, letting you harness the power of different programs while saving you money on server space.

Moving to cloud services and storage with the help of IT consulting can also save money on expensive physical data storage costs.

3. Keep you secure

Digital security is of the utmost importance in this day and age. One way IT consultants can help to keep your business and data safe is by helping you to manage mobile devices and policies around employees using their own devices for work.

An IT consultant can make sure that your team connects via a secure VPN to encrypt any data transferred between mobile devices and your company’s valuable digital assets.

They can also help you come up with policies that protect data during the onboarding and offboarding process when personal devices are involved. IT consultants can also further minimize risk by training your team on digital safety risks like phishing schemes and malware viruses.

4. Be prepared for disaster

Hire an IT consultant to get your business ready for the unthinkable. Of course you hope you will never need to use these solutions, but it’s best to be prepared. Let an IT expert help you come up with a disaster recovery plan for your technology infrastructure, create trustworthy backups and educate your team on how to avoid errors that could lead to data loss.

5. Communicate better

Communication is the foundation of any small business. You have to communicate with your employees, your vendors and your clients.

Having the latest in VoIP technology, seamless integration of applications like Office 365 and other modern solutions, and proper training on using these tools can make your office function as efficiently as possible.

Contact an expert IT consultant to get more information on how consulting can help with your small business IT needs.