Category Archives: Business Continuity

Why the Break-fix Model Doesn’t Work

So, you may be wondering why the break-fix model doesn’t work. Grandpa always said, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. While we love Grandpa, that truism isn’t always true. Just like the customer is always right and other similar expressions, simply because people have been saying something forever doesn’t make it correct. Still wondering why the break-fix model doesn’t work? Break-fix fails: waiting to take action when something breaks before you fix it can end up being costly and disastrous in the long run. Where do we find the balance between upgrading routinely and only replacing when you have no choice? Also, what does this have to do with this series’ theme of hiring an IT tech? Break-fix Model: Let’s Break the Cycle When a company grows andRead Full Article


IT Professional Job Description – What do they really do?

So, you’re working on drafting an IT professional job description. This series covers the most important factors to consider before you hire an in-house IT tech or team. Our last article reviewed the hidden costs of hiring an IT Professional. Now, we’re talking about what IT actually does besides ask if you turned your computer off and back on again. Depending on the size of your organization, work in IT can be complicated and time-consuming. Let’s go over the major job responsibilities of IT professionals beyond tech support and equipment maintenance. Vendor Management Outside organizations most often provide your Internet, copy machine, phone system, and computer equipment. When they break, need maintenance, or require warranty replacement, the IT professional interacts with the vendor. Oftentimes, they’re responsible for communicatingRead Full Article


The Hidden Costs of Hiring an IT Tech

If your business is at the point where you’re thinking about hiring a fulltime IT tech, congratulations! Having enough consistent needs to fill this role means you’ve worked hard and made good decisions that drove business growth. Our best advice? Don’t stop now! Moving forward with hiring requires a lot of analysis to avoid major consequences down the line, though. One of the biggest decisions whether you’ll hire someone directly or use a third-party MSP (Managed Service Provider). In this article, we’ll get into the specifics of both scenarios. Why Do You Need an IT Tech at All? In the past, business people and tech people were two different breeds. Over the years, the gap has gradually shrunk to the point that many people areRead Full Article


Beyond a Basic Disaster Recovery Plan

You’ve invested in a disaster recovery plan and now sleep more soundly at night, but the hardware itself is really only part of the solution. You want to ensure your technology provider does preventative maintenance, periodic testing, multi-location storage, and staff training. Having these things in place will help avoid downtime if the worst happens. Preventative Maintenance In addition to the hardware itself, a solid disaster recovery solution also has its own backup including generators, backup batteries, cooling systems, fire detection, suppression systems, and redundant cloud storage. You can’t necessarily head to your provider’s office to see for yourself, but you can read the fine print on your contracts as well as have meaningful conversations with potential providers. Periodic Testing Consistently ensuring everything is runningRead Full Article


A Backup Disaster Recovery Plan

No New Orleans business owner needs to be told that having a disaster recovery plan is crucial, even before the pandemic made it glaringly so. A Backup Disaster Recovery plan is one of those things that all businesses need to have in case of disaster. Whether it’s a natural disaster such as a hurricane, a hardware failure, or even an attack from a hacker, any of these could permanently disable your business if you aren’t prepared or have a proper backup plan. First of all, a data disaster is more common than you might think. Currently, 58% of small and mid-sized businesses are not prepared for data loss. Even worse, 60% of these businesses that lose their data will shut down within six months. SomethingRead Full Article


The Importance of Business Continuity

The world is battling a crippling crisis today. The global economy is in peril and businesses have taken radical measures to mitigate the adverse impacts of economic decline. Companies have had to leverage the technology at their disposal to allow their employees to work remotely in order to attempt to achieve business continuity. Although technology has made remote work feasible, the unexpected magnitude of the situation has caught most small and midsize businesses off guard. One of the challenges most companies face right now is ensuring business continuity with minimal loss of productivity of their remote workforce. While this unprecedented crisis has certainly transformed the way businesses around the world operate, it has also provided companies with an opportunity to reinforce their IT infrastructure toRead Full Article


10 Things to Do Before Business Picks Back Up

While businesses are opening back up and we are starting to see a slow uptick in activity, now is the time to take the opportunity to do those things that you never have time to do. Here are ten things that you should do now for your business so that you’re ready to excel when this crisis is over. 1. Maximize your security protocols. New security threats pop up every day. Especially amidst COVID-19, hackers developed phishing attempts to prey on peoples’ thirst for news surrounding the virus, PPP grants, stimulus checks, and plenty else. What happens when a hacker gains personal information from one of these attempts? Often, the value isn’t in the initial data theft or financial potential therein. Hackers really don’t careRead Full Article


Working from Home: Some Considerations

In the last several years, the concept of working from home (WFH) has become increasingly more popular. Though some still remain skeptical, it has been gaining in popularity and become more widely accepted among management circles. That said, the current pandemic essentially set the debate entirely aside, at least for the time being, because WFH became the only choice between working and shutting down. Aside from mandatory quarantines, why have organizations been adopting working from home policies? There are several factors that are motivating companies to select working from home. Employee satisfaction: Many, but not all, employees like the freedom to work from home at least part of the time. Offering WFH opportunities can increase levels of employee satisfaction. This ties in to the increasingRead Full Article


Four Tips for Getting Back to Work during this In-Between

We’ve reached an in-between status of this quarantine as many are eager to get back to work. Businesses are starting to open back up (with restrictions), but a lot of employees are finding themselves in an awkward spot between working in the office and remaining at home. Doctors are utilizing video and teleconference appointments but are holding office hours to see patients and perform “elective” surgeries. Companies are requesting that their employees work from home, if possible, but they’re relaxing requirements for coming back into the office. Other organizations are welcoming people back from teleworker status to full in-office expectations. With “in-between” operations, we’ve helped our clients through a few technology hiccups and wanted to help you avoid them too. Here are the top fiveRead Full Article


Tips for Successfully Working from Home

COVID-19 has forced event cancellations, school closures, and a consideration for remote work where possible. As more companies are sending their employees to work from home, we compiled this list of tips to be successful away from the office. If your employer still has not made the transition, and yours is work that you can do from home, we refer you to two of our recent blogs regarding making and implementing that decision. 1. Reliable Internet: Nothing is more frustrating than having spotty Internet, especially when you’re trying to work on a big project through a remote access connection to your work computer. Most Internet packages available today will be fine. However, you might need to curb ancillary access of the Internet, like streaming andRead Full Article


Telecommuting Basics

The sudden rise of COVID-19 has likely required you to implement work from home policies, also frequently referred to as telecommuting or working remotely. Two weeks ago we offered some preliminary tips for business owners concerned with COVID-19 and the impact on their business. This is our follow up. There are a lot of excellent reasons to adopt telecommuting policies beyond a quick reaction to this pandemic, especially for those of us who are impacted by hurricanes. Research has shown that the ability to telecommute improves employee satisfaction. In an era of tight employment, the opportunity to telecommute can be the benefit that keeps present employees and attracts new ones. Beyond that, contrary to fears of some managers, the ability to telecommute for at leastRead Full Article


Technology Tips for Local Businesses Part 2

In our last blog, we discussed two of the five important technology issues that every business owner should consider (hardware/software and cybersecurity). In this post, we cover the other three, namely, IT training, Data Backup and Recovery, and BYOD (bring your own device) checklists. IT Training Checklist Everyone in your office needs some training on the technology that is in place. An IT training checklist serves as a good process document for any new staff or for any staff working on new hardware or software. Following the IT training checklist can help cut down the learning curve. And it ensures the hardware/software is leveraged in the best possible way, thus making your staff more efficient. Here’s what your IT training checklist can offer. What rulesRead Full Article


Coronavirus and Your Business

The Center for Disease Control has provided some very good guidance for business owners in the face of the threat of the coronavirus (or, more specifically, COVID-19). It includes helpful suggestions regarding hygiene, sick leave, and other practical advice. The CDC also urges business owners to allow employees to telecommute, if possible. Explore whether you can establish policies and practices, such as flexible worksites (e.g., telecommuting) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts), to increase the physical distance among employees and between employees and others if state and local health authorities recommend the use of social distancing strategies. For employees who are able to telework, supervisors should encourage employees to telework instead of coming into the workplace until symptoms are completely resolved. Ensure that youRead Full Article


Phishing 101

Phishing 101 While the number of people falling for sending personal information to the crown prince of Nigeria in hopes of receiving his promised wealth and riches seems to be dropping, phishing remains a major issue. In fact, the number of phishing campaigns pursued by hackers around the world increased 65% in the last year. What exactly is phishing? Hackers mimic the emails, forms, and websites of legitimate companies in an effort to lure people into providing their private, personal information, like credit cards numbers, social security information, account logins, and personal identifiers. The victim typically doesn’t realize they’ve been compromised until long after the event, and oftentimes only after their identify or finances are affected. In the past, an attack was carried out relatively quickly.Read Full Article


VoIP Phone Solutions

Today’s blog is about office phone systems. You have one. They are dull, necessary, and no one wants to deal with them. They need to be re-configured for new employees, they’re confusing, and the telephone lines probably cost you more money than you’d like. The solution is VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). Like everything else, office phone systems began transitioning to fully online/digital well over a decade ago.  In a practical sense, VoIP means that your phone lines are no longer coming in over traditional, “plain old telephone” lines, or other standard protocols from the 1960s to the 2000s. Instead, voice signals are now being carried to your phone from via the internet, such as your broadband connection. You cut the higher landline charges, especiallyRead Full Article


VoIP: A New Dimension in Communication

Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP is about a decade old technology that is gaining popularity among individual subscribers and businesses. In conventional systems, phone calls are made using telephones or handsets that are connected by phone cables. These calls are routed using the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) carrying a signal from one telephone to the other. But instead of connecting telephones to the phone cables through phone jacks in the walls, VoIP uses the internet where phones can be connected to broadband devices, adapters or PCs using broadband. With this system, voice is converted into a digital signal and carried over the Internet. Let’s take a look at all the options that are available to make calls using VoIP. Make Calls from aRead Full Article


IT Disaster Recovery: Human Error

Human error accounts for the highest percentage of  IT disruptions and emergencies requiring disaster recovery. That’s right, “Hurricane Human,” should be your top concern when considering the proper disaster recovery plan for your business. Did you know that your employees often unwittingly ‘help’ cybercriminals gain access to your system? Often, employees play a part in compromising the security of your IT infrastructure, even without them realizing it. For example- When your employees use their own devices for work purposes such as to access emails, to connect to work servers, or to work on office files. In the event their device gets infected by a malware or hacked, the virus or the hacker gets access to your data as well. Your employees may put your networkRead Full Article


Breaking News: Downtime Kills Small Businesses

Downtime is bad news for any business whether big or small. A recent two-hour New York Times’ downtime occurrence sent Twitter ablaze and their stock price plummeting. Google going down for one to five hours resulted in lost revenue up to $500,000 and decreased overall web traffic by 40%. While the hourly cost of downtime for a small-to-medium sized business won’t be nearly as large as that astronomical Google figure, downtime is often more detrimental to smaller companies. Smaller enterprises are more susceptible to downtime and are neither large nor profitable enough to sustain its short and long-term effects. Downtime Leads to Unhappy/Unproductive Employees   Even the happiest of employees become dissatisfied when they can’t perform basic day-to-day job functions or properly service customers or clients. While someRead Full Article


Business Continuity: What Every Business Owner Should Know

Technology is full of difficult jargon. To further complicate things, certain terms are often used in a different context between one publication or service provider and the next. An example of this is the usage of backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity. These terms are commonly used interchangeably, often resulting in confusion. In an effort to alleviate some of this confusion, let’s describe each physical process. You will see an overlay among all three, although they are each different processes. Backup  In IT lingo, the most basic description of backup is the process by which your data, as in files or programs, is copied from its original location to another. The purpose of this is to ensure that the original files or programs are retrievableRead Full Article


Business Continuity for SMBs

 8 Cold Hard Truths for SMBs Not Worried About Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity   The foundation of any successful business continuity solution is the ability to retrieve data from any point in time from anywhere. When the topic of data recovery and business continuity comes up, many decision makers at smaller businesses and organizations think that they cannot afford to put enterprise-level protections into place.   Further, so many people think bad things only happen to other people. Just because we hear about a fatal car accident on the morning news, doesn’t mean we fixate on that news when we ourselves get into a car and drive to work. So no matter how many times the owner or executive of a small to midsize businessRead Full Article