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Don’t Make These Mistakes When Implementing New Technology

Wrackspurt Industries is instituting a new software for their employees to use to replace some existing systems. The leadership team at Wrackspurt is excited, since the new software promises to increase productivity and reduce friction between departments.

They’ve heard good things from other companies who use the software and the employees involved in the decision-making process said it would work well. Ernie, who championed the software, has done a trial and thought it has the potential to save the company a lot of money.

Fast forward some. The new software is in place—but not much has changed. Some people use the software a lot. Some people don’t use it at all. Some employees complain that the new software doesn’t do what they need it to do. There were some issues during rollout that meant some data was lost, and some people are still dealing with that. Ernie’s reputation has taken a hit for championing something isn’t going well—even though it’s worked great for other companies.

So, what happened? And how do you prevent it from happening in your business when you make a software or technology change?

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Three Major Reasons You Should Talk to Your IT Company Before Switching ISPs

Switching internet service providers in your business can seem like no big deal. That $100 per month plan for internet can save you a lot of money and internet is internet, right? There isn’t a reason your IT company needs to be involved, right? Not so fast.

There are actually three pretty big reasons you should involve your IT company before switching internet service providers (ISPs): your IT company can help you make sure you are actually getting what you need and that you’re getting it for the best price—and they can keep your network running while you make the switch.

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How to Solve Most Basic Printer Issues

Have you ever had this happen to you? You’re on your way to a big presentation. You’ve been prepping for days, rehearsing what you are going to say, giving yourself pep talks in the mirror, and have put together a great report.

The last thing you need to do before you step out the door is print—and the printer picks that moment to screw up (my personal favorite is the “printer is offline” error message when it’s not offline).

All of us have been there at some point: dealing with a printer that just doesn’t seem to want to work. It always feels like it comes at the worst possible time, too. It’s one of the most common issues we see as an IT support company, and we experience it in our own business, too.

Thankfully, most printer issues can be solved with basic troubleshooting steps. These are the first few steps we typically take when working on a printer issue:

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What is a Fractional CIO and Why Should I Use One?

Smaller businesses typically only have a single person at the top – the business owner/CEO. That person is also responsible for many of the other executive functions of the organization as well – such as Human Resources, Finance, Technology, and Sales.

When your business hits a certain size, though, it can be challenging to balance all of these roles while still running the company. When this happens, companies will often hire subject matter experts to oversee each of these roles. Typically, the workload is more than the CEO can handle alone, but not enough to justify a full-time hire.

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Watch Out for These "Secure Email" Phishing Emails

We typically stick to writing about phishing emails and attacks aimed at businesses, but a recent trend has us making an exception. We’ve seen a HUGE uptick recently in a type of phishing emails targeted at individuals: emails posing as an encrypted email notification. Sometimes, these are pretty generic. Sometimes, they’re much more detailed and look like emails about mortgages or title loans.

The scariest part of this trend? These are convincing – some of the most convincing we’ve ever seen. Most have had very few warning signs that they’re a phishing email.

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What Role Does IT Play in the Modern Company?

As technology expands to impact nearly every business process, from customer service to business strategy, the role of the IT department is expanding along with it. IT is no longer only responsible for setting up computer systems, maintaining the server, and running the help desk.

The IT team is the keeper of the treasure that data has become. With IT’s services, leadership teams can better understand their customers, predict changes in the market, understand how to streamline business processes for improved productivity, determine where inefficiencies are cutting into profits, and spot new opportunities for innovation and growth.

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Five Things to Look for in an IT Support Company

In a small business, it’s not uncommon for technical problems to be handled be whoever happens to be the most tech savvy person on the team. That can work for a little while, but it’s not a sustainable practice.

Your team should be focused on meeting your organizational goals – not dealing with technology problems. Outsourcing your IT needs can help alleviate the burden so you can get back to business.

Here are five things to look for when looking for an IT support company:

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How to write a communication plan for a successful IT project

A large part of what we do as an IT company is deliver complex IT projects, from line-of-business application upgrades up to cloud migrations. In our experience, people focus so heavily on the technology that they forget about the people that are going to be using the technology.

Don’t get me wrong, the technology is important – but if people don’t understand how they are going to be impacted, what they need to do, and when they need to do it; the project has failed before it even starts. A comprehensive communication plan is vital to any IT project success.

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FAQ: How do you prioritize service requests?

On average, we receive about 40 new service requests (we call them ‘tickets’) a day. Some days that number can be much higher. Tickets can be anything from a password reset for a user to printer issues for a department to a server outage affecting an entire company.

Managing and prioritizing these tickets is a job in itself. Our dispatcher and service team leadership have to decide in what order these tickets are worked on (hint: it’s not first come, first serve) and who will work on them. We use a few different criteria, the main being client agreement and issue severity.

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How to Budget for IT Support

This post is the last in a series about budgeting for IT costs. Previous topics include budgeting for equipment and budgeting for people and growth

The final piece of building your annual IT budget is to determine how much you should budget for IT support.  CIO Magazine lays out some good rules of thumb in this article.  On average, they found that SMBs spent 6.9% of revenue on IT.  Keep in mind that this is total IT cost – not just support.   

 

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