So many IT solutions, so little time. With countless new support services, platforms, tools, and technologies hitting the market on a daily basis, it can be madness trying to determine which ones warrant a further look, implementation-wise. Not unlike making your March Madness bracket picks. There are so many factors to consider, and so many varied options to wade through. Here we break down some of the common IT services for Cape Cod businesses your organization should be looking at.
Selecting a Managed IT Services Provider
Leading the madness is knowing how to best select the right Managed Services Provider (MSP). As technology becomes more and more integrated into all business operations, as it becomes more complex, and as new cyber vulnerabilities continue to materialize on a daily basis, more and more organizations are turning to managed IT services to keep them safe and on track. In fact, this is one of the most common IT services for Cape Cod businesses.
Some of the questions that organizations need to ask themselves as they explore prospective MSP partners include:
- Is the MSP big enough to provide the support required by our organization?
- Do they bundle services, allowing for cost savings?
- What does their response time look like?
- Are they knowledgeable and experienced when it comes to compliance and cybersecurity insurance mandates?
Must-Have Cybersecurity Tools and Services
Your organization will get hacked. That is an unfortunate reality that organizations need to understand and plan for. The field of cybersecurity is broad and complex, and what is needed for optimal security will vary based on your unique requirements and operations. Some of the must-haves that should be in your cybersecurity toolkit include:
- Multifactor authentication
- Security information and event management (SIEM) systems
- Application whitelisting
- Tools for screening against malicious attacks
- Endpoint detection and response
- Vulnerability management
Our free cybersecurity scan is a great first step in determining what is required to keep your organization as safe and cybersecure as possible.
Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
VoIP and unified communications have never been more critical than they are now, during these times of rampant work-from-home (WFH) policies and practices. Unified communications is one of the key advancements that has allowed for the WFH movement to gain the momentum that it has, allowing employees to answer phones from any device. That, along with collaboration tools and platforms, such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Knowing which tools and platforms will work best with your organizational needs can be challenging, and making the wrong choice in this regard can lead to frustrations, limited adoption by employees, and even increased downtime.
When To Engage IT Consulting Services
It can be challenging to know when to bring in an IT management consultant expert and when to try to make a go of something without one. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this; the response will vary based on the skill set of your team and the resources on hand. However, there are a few areas that have substantial complexities and moving parts that could definitely benefit from bringing in an IT consultant to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks:
- Cybersecurity monitoring and implementation – this it too important, ever-evolving and best left to the experts who know this world inside and out.
- IT strategic planning – engaging a consultant as part of your IT strategic planning process will save significant time and stress in the long run.
- Budgeting – an IT consultant will be able to help assess whether your IT budget looks as it should, where your organization can potentially save some IT-related costs, and where they should budget more.
- Mergers and acquisitions – trying to merge two (or more) sets of business processes, tools, and operations without expert IT support is a huge and headache-inducing risk.
- Business growth – whether your organization is looking to grow their product/service line, diversify regionally, or target new markets, having the right IT supports in place will help you get there more seamlessly.
Disaster Recovery Planning
Disaster recovery is a major, and necessary, undertaking for organizations large and small. Does your organization have a disaster recovery plan in place? One that can have your team back up and running within a day? Is your recovery plan hybrid, accounting for local recovery as well as cloud-based recovery? Is the disaster recovery plan robust enough to account for all manner of unplanned disasters, including natural disasters, cyberattacks, and power outages?
These are just some of the questions that organizations need to consider in assessing whether their disaster recovery plan is up to par.
Microsoft 365 is a subscription service that gives organizations access to the full suite of Microsoft Office products. And a full suite it is. From Visio to Project, it can be daunting to know which apps and services make the most sense for your organization and then how to go about ensuring a strong and widely adopted implementation.
Aside from the basic commonly used apps (like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), Teams and SharePoint are the top Microsoft 365 tools that organizations typically adopt. Power BI, a tool that gives your team access to robust data analytics, also has grown in popularity in recent years.
According to IBM, human error is responsible for 95% of data breaches. So, despite all the high-tech and impressive cybersecurity tools on the market, a cyber-educated and informed workforce is still an organization’s strongest line of defense. Which is where cybersecurity training comes in.
Cybersecurity training should begin as part of the employee onboarding process. And then repeated at least twice a year. Depending on what industry you are in and what compliance and regulatory conditions you answer to, this regular cyber training may be mandated. Optimal training solutions also include customized curriculum, easily accessible training materials that can be referred back to by employees as needed, and interactive engagement.
Avoiding the IT Solutions Madness
Phew! Like we said, so many IT solutions, so little time. The best way to avoid the madness altogether? By partnering with the Secure Networks team, the leading provider of common IT services for Cape Cod businesses. We take the hassle out of IT, freeing you up to focus on more important things. Like growing your business. Or, like March Madness. Go team go!