Does Your Law Firm Need Managed IT Services?

The practice of law is labor intensive. Between writing briefs, interviewing clients, research, and court time, lawyers work very long hours. Because of these long hours, IT technology, when it works, can be a great help. However, an IT system can be a tremendous burden to any law firm when it is not working properly. Read more

On the Fence about Managed IT Services?

As your company continues to grow, you might be wondering how to make better use out of your existing resources. Your expanding infrastructure demands updates in IT equipment, manpower, networks, and access. But should you expand your IT department to accommodate all of this growth or focus on the products and services your company provides? If IT isn’t your industry, it might be time to consider partnering with a Managed Services Provider (MSP) and utilizing managed IT services to relieve some of the burdens of expansion. Read more

Is Your IT Team Keeping Up with Network Monitoring Best Practices?

Hacks and data breaches are all over the news. If your business handles or retains customer information, you probably shudder inside when you hear of yet another major company disclosing a data breach. Practically every week a new network exploit is discovered. Staying on top of the ever-changing landscape of IT best practices takes serious effort and unflagging attention to detail. Consider the following network monitoring best practices and evaluate whether your company is keeping up. Read more

On-Site IT vs. Cloud IT: Which Is Right for My Business?

No matter what type of business you run, one thing remains true for all: data is everything. For this reason, every business owner needs to make that key decision—should you utilize on-site IT or cloud IT? The answer to this question depends on several factors. Every business operates differently with unique data requirements.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of these two approaches to help direct you towards the method that will best fit the needs of your business.

 

On-site IT

Pros

  • Everything you need is physically there for you whenever you need it. There’s a sense of control by having your data stored on-site.
  • Your storage needs can be assessed easily when everything is on-site. This will help you properly monitor the kind of space that might need to be added in the future.
  • Choose your own hardware. You don’t need to rely on a specific software like you would with cloud IT.
  • You know exactly where your data is at all times. When it comes to sensitive data, you won’t have to worry about it ending up on another server or in some random data center.

 Cons

  • Theft can be an issue. If someone steals your equipment, your data is gone just like that.
  • The costs associated with on-site IT tend to be high. It takes a trained IT professional to maintain and manage these devices properly. Some of the equipment itself can be quite expensive as well, depending on how much data you need to store.
  • Human error comes into play more often. Backups need to be done manually, which can be costly if a backup does not occur.
  • If a disaster occurs, such as fire or flood, your equipment could get damaged. You could potentially lose all of your data in this type of situation.

 

Cloud IT

Pros

  • Utilizing a cloud-based infrastructure is all about convenience. You don’t have to worry about maintaining the hardware or staying up-to-date with the latest security features. All of these things are taken care of by your cloud service provider.
  • Setting up the cloud is easy. You don’t need to set up all of your hardware and connections. Instead, just fill out a quick form and submit. You will be ready to start using the cloud in minutes.
  • Cloud-IT brings scalability and flexibility. You can add cloud resources with a few clicks of the mouse to scale with your data use. For example, if you know you need more space during a busy season, it’s easy to add on without the headaches of buying more hardware that comes with on-site IT.
  • Automated backups take away the chance of human error. Your data is always backed up and available in the event of a disaster.

Cons

  • You will always need an internet connection of some kind to access your data. If a disaster strikes and you have no internet access, you will not be able to access the cloud.
  • You will have less control over your cloud interface and infrastructure. The software that you use is designed by an outside company, therefore you need to choose a set up that works best for your needs.

 Whether you choose on-site IT or cloud IT depends on your company’s particular needs. Oftentimes, it’s best to find a balance of both worlds by mixing and matching various applications to be on-site and cloud-based. For more information on both of these options and help assessing your Iowa-based business’s unique data storage needs, contact Infomax today. We will help you find the right fit for your business.

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Boost ROI with Managed IT Services

The goal of just about every business is to boost their return on investment (ROI). Businesses can improve their ROI by earning more or saving more. While you may be focused on earning more, you should consider the savings that comes from spending smarter with Managed IT Services. Here is some information about how Managed IT can boost your ROI significantly.

Increased Efficiency

One way Managed IT Services can boost your company’s ROI is by freeing up your IT department for more value-adding tasks. Chances are, your IT department currently spends a substantial amount of time on troubleshooting issues that are beyond their scope. However, with Managed IT, your IT department won’t have to deal with these issues anymore. Instead, your IT department can focus on more important matters that are within their skillset.

In fact, when it comes to Managed IT, your IT team is not only the department that will benefit. Non-technical employees will also be able to focus on their respective tasks without having to worry about trying to diagnose issues on their own. Productivity will soar when your employees are able to focus on the tasks that they do best.

Cost Savings

Managed IT Services have been shown to lead to major cost savings for businesses. If you hire a single network manager, you will need to pay for their expertise, including salary, overhead, and benefits. Consider that you will also need to purchase all of the infrastructure like software, hardware, and networks, as well as pay for continuing education to ensure your employees are up-to-date on the latest tech security and trends. On the other hand, if you outsource the management of your IT network to a Managed IT Services provider, you won’t have to worry about all of these costs. The costs will be spread across all of your provider’s clients, creating a much more affordable option for your business.

Streamlined Systems

Not only is sharing your infrastructure more cost effective, it is also much more efficient. Many businesses have transitioned to shared infrastructure, creating a more sustainable and efficient setup. If you’ve been thinking about switching to shared infrastructure, a Managed IT partner will be able to help you every step of the way. Your Managed IT partner will ensure the maximum efficiency of your power, servers, storage space, drivers, and more.

Security

Recently, many large companies have been on the news for experiencing data breaches. Fortunately, a Managed IT provider can keep your data secure and regularly backed up, so even your network crashes due to human error, you can be back up and running in no time. Having a Managed IT provider in your corner to protect you from hackers and ensure your systems are available gives businesses peace of mind to focus on their core efforts instead of focusing their time and efforts solely on IT.

For more information about how you can boost ROI with Managed IT, contact Infomax today.

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Comparing the Benefits of In-House IT vs. Managed IT Services

All companies both large and small rely on technology to do business today. However, the modern IT environment is a complicated one, requiring significant resources to manage your operations. There are two approaches when it comes to managing your IT infrastructure: In-House IT or Managed IT Services. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each method.

 

In-House IT

Pros: An in-house approach allows you to hand pick your team of IT professionals, as well as the technology you feel will benefit your company most. It’s a good approach for those who are up-to-date with today’s technology. It’s also beneficial if you are developing a product or service that is not currently on the market.

 

Cons: An in-house IT department is commonly used by larger corporations, as hiring and training an IT staff can be expensive. Small- to mid-sized businesses also cannot afford the unpredictable overall costs that are associated with in-house IT. It’s also difficult to train a staff if you do not have IT professionals with qualified backgrounds in place.

 

Managed IT Services

Pros: By outsourcing your IT management, costs can be broken down to fixed monthly payments, as opposed to the large (and unpredictable) investments that occur regularly when managing an in-house system. Small businesses can especially benefit from this predictable and cost-effective approach. Outsourcing your IT to professionals keeps your company up-to-date with emerging technologies, as research is done for you by qualified industry experts. These professionals are also available to you 24/7, so assistance can be provided when it’s needed. Infomax Office Systems’ professionals provide you with a safe and secure IT network that you can always rely on.

 

With managed IT services, there is also the potential for an increase in scalability. When it’s time to expand your services as your organization grows, outsourced professionals can provide you with well-designed systems that have been successfully developed through years of research. Relying on these IT professionals for major innovations allows your in-house team to remain focused on other value-added projects.

 

Cons: Organizations that want to avoid outside help and maintain complete control of all decision making should not utilize this approach. Outsourcing IT requires complete trust in another company to carry out tasks that will meet the needs of your business.

 

As you can see, both approaches to IT management have their pros and cons. However, for most businesses, managed IT services is the most effective and cost-friendly approach, allowing your company to utilize the latest and greatest technologies. For more information on how a Managed IT Services partner can help accomplish business’s IT goals, contact Infomax Office Systems today.

Top 5 Things the IoT Can Give You

Internet of Things

 

 

Think of all the data collected from consumers, companies, and devices. Now imagine all of that data being connected in a network of information, an ecosystem of devices that talk to you, each other and the world around them—that is the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT is real, it’s growing, and most consumers interact with it on a daily basis. But what is it doing for you? Here are the good, the bad, and the ugly truths of what the Internet of Things can bring to your business.

 

  1. More customers

 

With smartphones and a variety of interactive technology, consumer data is more accessible than ever before. Many customers are willing to share their information through apps and digital interactions, which means you know your customers. And if you know your customers, you know your potential customers.

 

Using the information you have based on your current customer base, apply that knowledge toward connecting with new consumers. Maybe you’ve learned that most of your demographic is more likely to make purchases in the evening. Creating an evening sale or late-shopper incentive could be a great way to find new buyers.

 

  1. More competition

 

You aren’t the only company with this consumer data gold. Other businesses are collecting this information as well, and they know what to do with it. Your company needs to stay innovative and use the data to create better business and better products. Staying ignorant of the latest and greatest will not only make you fall behind, but your customers will notice your lack of innovation and knowledge.

 

  1. Smarter business

 

Smarter technology throughout the workplace means smarter business. Features like electronically tracking your inventory and equipment sending you notifications on functionality issues and energy usage create optimum performance and efficiency. We all love the pizza tracker, don’t we? And Amazon’s shipment locator is a gift from above when you’re anxiously waiting for that new cast-iron skillet. Utilize technology to increase your efficiency and foster customer loyalty.

 

  1. Higher security risks

 

The more information you have, the more you have to lose. With data breaches becoming a regular occurrence, it’s more important than ever to secure your information for both your company and your customers. Consumers trust you with their data, but one breach can change that forever. Building credibility is a long road, and once it’s damaged, it takes even longer to re-build.

 

  1. More revenue

 

If used correctly, the IoT can bring you more customers, more efficiency and more data to work with—which all result in increased revenue. It’s all about how you connect, how you interact and how you choose to use data to your benefit. Those who understand its potential are the ones who will succeed. Using data to cater to your clients and bring in new leads is the ultimate goal, so make sure you’re harnessing technology properly in order to meet that goal.

31 Flavors: A Variety of Email Threats to Beware of

Every business relies on email to communicate effectively. Unfortunately, email-centralized cyberattacks are a growing trend around the world. For this reason, businesses of all sizes are focusing on email security more than ever before. There are many ‘flavors’ of email threats out there with the potential to harm your network. Let’s take a look at a few of the most common types that are making the rounds in 2017.

Phishing
Phishing attacks are becoming increasingly popular. This is when a cybercriminal impersonates a business or person with the intent to steal personal data or login credentials. It’s usually in the form of an ‘urgent’ message that attempts to scare users into giving up vital information. Defensive technology is important to prevent employees from falling victim to phishing; however, do not overlook the importance of ongoing education and awareness for all users on your network.

Spear Phishing
This type of attack is on the rise in the ever-growing world of social media. Attackers create fake profiles on social media sites to gather information on unsuspecting users. This information is then used in email attacks. It is again important for users to be educated on how to safely navigate social media sites, especially in the workplace.

Ransomware
Ransomware has frequently been in the headlines over the past year or so as more and more businesses, hospitals, and government agencies fall victim to these attacks. Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts the victim’s data and blocks access to it until a specified amount of money—a ‘ransom’— is paid. This epidemic is spreading quickly through emails that contain malicious links or attachments.

User awareness is an important component of protecting your business from these types of attacks. Along with this awareness, defensive technology also needs to be in place to balance out the risk of human error. Cybercriminals are constantly trying to fool users with new schemes; blocking these malicious emails from your network is your best bet to remain secure. For more information on how to protect your business from email threats such as phishing, spear phishing, and ransomware, contact Infomax Office Systems today.

Why More Businesses Are Embracing Mobile Device Management

It’s no secret that people love their smartphones. People around the world are glued to them for a number of reasons. Businesses too are embracing mobile device technology with the intent of changing the way they operate. Mobile technology gives employees the freedom to create flexible work plans in remote locations. The opportunity to work remotely will drive results that cannot be achieved sitting behind a desk in an office all day.

There are benefits of mobile device management that cannot be dismissed. Many of these benefits revolve around security. Since mobile devices allow your employees to work from multiple locations on a daily basis, security is a top priority. Your business is made up of sensitive data that you need to protect, even while your employees are out and about doing their jobs. Here are some of the ways mobile device management will help you secure your information.

Remote management
You can guarantee the security of the mobile devices connected to your network 24/7 through features such as remote locate, lock and wipe, device restriction settings, restriction of website browsing access, and BYOD (bring your own device) privacy settings.

Compliance reporting
Adherence to regulatory compliance standards is a major concern for many organizations today. You cannot afford to have an unauthorized device on your network. With mobile device management, you will have end-to-end control of your devices through registration and configuration. You can track and monitor your organization’s compliance initiatives, along with analytics and reporting.

Secure Document Sharing
Employees rely on a variety of documents to carry out their daily responsibilities. For example, sales people rely on updated presentations and contracts that vary from customer to customer. With mobile device management, you can securely and quickly share documents amongst the users on your network.

Mobile technology is making it easier to conduct business on the go. With mobile device management, you can implement a secure system that will allow your employees to operate from anywhere without the worry of compromising any of your vital data and information. If you are ready to implement an easy-to-use mobile device management plan for your business, contact Infomax Office Solutions today to learn more.