Nearly every business relies on technology for their daily operations. From communication and collaboration tools to data storage and security, technology plays a crucial role in the success of a company. With this dependence on technology comes the need for IT support.

When it comes to addressing your IT needs, businesses typically have two primary options: engaging managed IT services or establishing an in-house IT team. Another option is adopting a hybrid model that combines aspects of both. Each alternative comes with its set of advantages, making it crucial to discern the distinctions before arriving at a decision tailored to your business.

Let’s break down the different considerations so you can make an informed decision on what IT management model best suits your business needs.

Understanding Managed IT Services

Managed IT Services, commonly referred to as MSP, is a model where a third-party provider takes on the responsibility of your IT systems and infrastructure management. At Everound, this is how we work with most of our customers. It offers a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to technology support. A managed service provider assumes 24/7 monitoring, management, and problem resolution for businesses, allowing internal staff to focus on strategic, value-adding activities.

MSPs primarily manage IT infrastructure and end-user systems. They take a collaborative approach, offering support to an in-house IT team or operating as the comprehensive IT department.

Suite of Services

MSPs cover a breadth of IT services, such as network monitoring, security solutions, cloud management, data backup and recovery, and help desk services. They offer a diverse array of expertise, often hosting a team experienced in different IT areas.

This allows businesses to access a wide range of support and solutions without having to hire multiple specialists.

Key Benefits of an MSP

There are many benefits of working with a managed IT services provider. Some are related to cost and others are related to expertise. The key benefits to a business working with an MSP are:

  • Cost Predictability: With a flat-rate monthly fee, MSPs can often provide more predictable spending than managing it in-house. This can be especially beneficial for small businesses on a tight budget.
  • 24/7 Support: MSPs are there when you need them, ready to address any IT issue at any time. This means that businesses can have peace of mind knowing that their critical systems are being monitored and supported around the clock.
  • Access to Expertise: By partnering with MSPs, you tap into a specialized pool of IT professionals. They have the knowledge and experience to handle a wide range of technical issues, from software updates to cybersecurity threats. This can save businesses time and money by avoiding the need to hire and train in-house IT staff.
  • Scalability: Adjust your services as your business grows or IT needs change, without the HR headache. MSPs offer flexible services and pricing options, allowing businesses to scale up or down as needed without the costs and hassle of recruiting new employees.
  • Proactive Maintenance: MSPs use advanced monitoring tools and processes to identify potential issues before they become major problems. This proactive approach helps prevent downtime, data loss, and other costly disruptions that can severely impact small businesses.
  • Cost Savings: Outsourcing IT services to an MSP can be more cost-effective than managing an in-house IT team. Businesses can save on recruitment and training costs, as well as on expensive hardware and software purchases. With a fixed monthly fee for managed services, businesses also have predictable IT expenses, making budgeting easier.
  • Strategic Focus: By offloading the day-to-day management of IT tasks to an MSP, businesses can free up valuable time and resources to focus on core business objectives. This allows for a more strategic approach to IT planning and decision-making, leading to better overall business outcomes.

 

The In-House IT Proposition

Having an in-house IT team means having a dedicated group of professionals solely focused on your business needs. They offer a level of intimacy with your business operations and functions, as they are on-site every day. Gathering an in-house IT team involves recruitment, where businesses can search for talent aligned with their specific needs. It also necessitates an ongoing commitment to professional development.

In-House Advantages

For some businesses, an in-house IT team makes sense. This is often the case with large, national corporations. Some advantages of an in-house IT team are:

  • Culture Fit: Your in-house team can be deeply integrated into your business culture and objectives. This can lead to better alignment and understanding of the business goals, resulting in more effective solutions.
  • Control: With an in-house team, you have complete control over the direction and management of your IT projects. You can make decisions quickly and implement changes as needed without needing to go through a third-party provider.
  • Immediate Availability: With staff on-site, you have instant IT support ready to resolve issues. This may minimize downtime in some cases and keep business operations running smoothly.

 

Considerations When Choosing Your IT Model

Opting between an MSP model and an in-house IT is an important decision for a business owner. There are several things to consider including cost, scalability, expertise and skill sets, and flexibility and adaptability.

Cost and ROI Comparison

The decision between in-house IT and MSP hinges significantly on the delicate balance between costs and benefits. Conducting a thorough examination of the return on investment is imperative to grasp the economic trade-offs inherent in both models.

Opting for an in-house IT department involves substantial initial expenditures, encompassing the recruitment of specialized staff and the acquisition of equipment and software. Further ongoing costs may include training, maintenance, and upgrades. In contrast, MSPs typically levy a flat monthly fee for their services, presenting a potentially more cost-effective solution in the short term.

The advantages offered by MSPs extend beyond mere cost considerations. They provide intangible benefits like heightened security and minimal downtime, complemented by tangible cost savings. For instance, MSPs can furnish a team of highly skilled professionals at a fraction of the cost associated with hiring full-time employees. Moreover, their specialization in IT services affords them access to cutting-edge technology, translating into greater expertise and efficiency.

On the other side of the spectrum, in-house departments boast strengths in team familiarity with your operation, potentially yielding long-term financial gains through staff retention and accumulated knowledge capital.

In the crucial decision-making process between an MSP and an in-house IT department, the aspect of long-term ROI must not be overlooked. MSPs offer a degree of predictability in costs and service scalability, contributing to long-term planning security. In contrast, the long-term ROI with an in-house team may fluctuate more, contingent on organizational growth and the associated costs of staff development or replacement.

Scalability

Scalability is a pivotal factor in achieving business success, and your IT management model should accommodate it. Managed Service Providers excel in this regard by offering on-demand services that dynamically scale in alignment with your business’s evolving needs without requiring lead time.

Conversely, the process of expanding an in-house team or scaling up IT infrastructure can be both time-consuming and financially burdensome. By opting for an MSP, your business gains the invaluable advantage of promptly adding or removing services in response to growth or changes. This not only enhances adaptability but also fosters a more agile and responsive approach to IT management, aligning your technological resources with the dynamic needs of your business.

Expertise and Timeliness

MSPs swiftly implement solutions and updates via their specialized teams. They have the expertise and resources to stay up-to-date with the constantly evolving IT landscape, ensuring your business is always using the most efficient and effective tools. Additionally, MSPs provide timely support and troubleshooting for any technical issues, minimizing downtime and preventing potential disruptions to your operations.

In-house teams may be more attuned to the immediate needs of your business and can potentially offer more customized services. However, they may not have the same level of expertise or resources as an MSP, leading to longer response times and potential delays in implementing solutions.

Flexibility and Adaptability

Every business situation is unique, and the chosen IT management model must flex to accommodate this. Adapting to emerging technologies and sudden market shifts is equally an assessment of IT strategy as it is of the IT personnel.

Managed IT services providers have the edge in readiness. MSPs by design are attuned to IT developments and are quicker to adopt change and can help strategize and implement long-term technology plans with efficiency.

Internal IT departments need to actively manage their readiness for technological shifts. They must be aware of emerging technologies and trends, and have the resources to quickly implement them.

The Hybrid Approach

For many small businesses, a blend of managed and internal IT services may offer the best of both worlds. It requires a strategic and thoughtful fusion to ensure a cohesive and effective IT operation. By partnering with a managed service provider, businesses can tap into their expertise and resources while still maintaining some level of control over their IT operations. This hybrid approach allows for flexibility and agility in adopting new technologies while also keeping costs in check.

One major benefit of the hybrid approach is the ability to leverage the strengths of both internal and external IT teams. Internal IT departments can focus on day-to-day operations and managing more critical systems, while the managed service provider takes on tasks such as network security, data backup, and disaster recovery planning. This division of labor helps to reduce stress on internal teams while allowing them to prioritize projects that align with business goals.

Another advantage of this blended model is cost savings. Managed service providers typically offer customizable plans that allow businesses to only pay for the services they need, rather than investing in expensive equipment and software that may not be fully utilized. This also eliminates the need for constant upgrades and maintenance costs, further reducing IT expenses.

In addition to potential cost savings, hybrid IT also provides scalability. As businesses grow and their technology needs change, they have the flexibility to adjust their service plans accordingly. This means that companies can easily scale up or down as needed without being locked into long-term contracts or purchasing unnecessary hardware.

Moreover, a hybrid approach allows for greater agility when it comes to adopting new technologies. With an internal IT team focused on day-to-day operations, a managed service provider can stay up-to-date on emerging technologies and help businesses integrate them seamlessly into their existing systems.

Everound: Your Technology Partner

The debate between Managed IT Services and in-house IT is more than an operational consideration; it’s a strategic business decision. Whether prioritizing cost-effectiveness, customization, or scalability, your choice in an IT management model will shape the trajectory of your business’s technological capabilities.

Still unsure which model is the right fit? Assess your business needs and align them with the advantages offered by each model. The best decision is an informed one — ensuring that your IT investment yields the maximum ROI and propels your business to the next level.

As you navigate the labyrinth of IT management models, consider the path with Everound, a leading managed IT service provider. We offer services tailored to your specific needs, ensuring cost-effective, secure, and optimized IT systems. Our team can provide comprehensive managed IT services or integrate seamlessly into a hybrid model, enhancing your in-house expertise with our external insights.

Let’s start the conversation so we can learn how to best support your business.

 

Significance of Tech Resolutions

 

As a business owner, you understand that staying competitive and relevant requires keeping up with technological advancements. Adapting to evolving tech trends not only enhances efficiency but also fortifies your business against unforeseen challenges. One way to stay on top of the latest technology tools and advancements is to set tech resolutions for the year.

As a leading managed IT services company, here are our top recommendations for tech resolutions in 2024. These resolutions focus on improving your business’s IT strategy by optimizing infrastructure, strengthening cybersecurity, embracing innovation, and simplifying workflows.

Optimizing IT Infrastructure

Transition to Cloud-Based Solutions

Cloud computing is a game-changer for businesses, offering scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency. Migrating to the cloud enables seamless accessibility, enhancing collaboration and remote work capabilities. With the cloud, you can scale resources easily, adapt quickly to changing needs, save costs, and work from anywhere.

Implement Virtualization Technologies

Virtualization is like a superpower for businesses. By enabling multiple operating systems and applications to run on a single physical server, virtualization allows for better utilization of hardware resources. It means getting more out of your existing infrastructure without needing additional physical servers.

With virtualization, you can reduce costs and improve efficiency by consolidating your hardware. It also makes data management easier and enhances disaster recovery capabilities.

Regular Infrastructure Audits and Updates

Regularly performing audits of your IT infrastructure helps maintain optimal performance and security. These audits allow you to identify inefficiencies, vulnerabilities, and areas that require improvement within your systems.

By conducting routine audits, you can gain valuable insights into how your IT infrastructure operates. You’ll be able to pinpoint any bottlenecks or areas where processes can be streamlined, ultimately improving overall efficiency.

Audits also help you identify potential vulnerabilities in your systems, such as outdated software or weak authentication protocols, allowing you to take proactive measures to mitigate risks.

Strengthening Cybersecurity

Implement MFA

Enforcing Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) goes beyond traditional passwords, adding an extra layer of security. It mandates users to provide multiple forms of identification before accessing sensitive systems or data.

Think of MFA as having a lock on your front door that requires multiple keys to open. With MFA, simply entering a password is not enough to gain access. You must give more proof, such as a fingerprint scan or a special code from an app, to enter.

By implementing MFA, you significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access to your sensitive information.

Regular Employee Training and Awareness Programs

Did you know that human error is one of the main reasons behind cybersecurity breaches? According to various studies, it accounts for a staggering 82% to 95% of all incidents. In other words, mistakes made by people can lead to costly and damaging breaches of sensitive information.

But why does human error play such a significant role? Well, think about it in everyday terms. We’re all prone to making mistakes, whether it’s accidentally clicking on a malicious link or using weak passwords. Cybercriminals take advantage of these slip-ups and exploit them to gain unauthorized access to systems and data.

Regular cybersecurity training reduces the chance of human error-causing breaches. Organizations can create a watchful workforce against cyber attacks by teaching employees about current threats. They can also show them how to recognize phishing emails and stress the importance of strong passwords.

Implement Robust Endpoint Security Solutions

Securing endpoints like laptops, desktops, and mobile devices is crucial for safeguarding your network. Think of your network as a castle and endpoints as vulnerable entry points needing strong protection. Endpoint security acts like a shield, stopping cyber intruders from accessing your data.

Using tools such as encryption, firewalls, and antivirus software, endpoint security creates robust barriers against unauthorized access. It’s similar to locking doors and windows at home for added security in our digital lives.

Moreover, endpoint security doesn’t just defend; it actively watches for suspicious activity or malware. This proactive approach helps catch and stop potential attacks before they do harm.

Leveraging Innovation

Embrace Emerging Technologies

Staying ahead in the business world means embracing cutting-edge technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and the Internet of Things (IoT). These innovations have the power to revolutionize how businesses operate and enhance customer experiences.

AI streamlines tasks by automating repetitive processes and enables data-driven decision-making. For instance, AI-powered chatbots offer immediate customer support, freeing up human resources for more complex tasks.

ML focuses on teaching machines to learn from data, revealing patterns and insights for improved decision-making and personalized recommendations.

IoT involves interconnected devices sharing data, allowing real-time monitoring, workflow automation, and efficient management of resources. For instance, IoT-enabled devices track inventory and optimize supply chains.

Adopting these technologies unlocks immense potential, transforming operations, empowering better decisions, gaining a competitive edge, and delivering outstanding customer experiences. Embracing these innovations is pivotal for success in today’s business environment.

Everound: Your Technology Partner in 2024

Are you ready to set and achieve your technological resolutions this year? Partner with Everound to take proactive steps toward achieving your tech resolutions for the year ahead. As a leading managed IT services provider, we provide comprehensive support and innovative solutions, ensuring businesses thrive amidst technological transformations.

Make 2024 the year of technological advancement for your business! Embrace change, fortify your IT strategies, and stride confidently into 2024 with Everound as your trusted technology partner. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your goals. Let us focus on your IT so you can focus on your business.

WiFi is No Longer an Amenity

When you visit a business, chances are you look to see if they offer guest WiFi. After all, connectivity is no longer an amenity, but a necessity. Offering guest WiFi has become an expectation for many customers and clients. This is particularly true for businesses in the hospitality, retail, and service sectors. With the rise of remote work and the need for seamless online access, the need for dependable WiFi is greater than ever before.

Of course, offering guest WiFi comes with its own set of pros and cons. On one hand, it can help to attract and retain customers, increase foot traffic, and even prevent negative reviews. On the other hand, it can also be a drain on bandwidth, a security risk, and potentially time-consuming to manage.

Before deciding on guest WiFi for your business, consider the pros and cons to make an informed choice. Let’s take a close look at the benefits and risks of offering guest WiFi and the best practices for setting up and managing guest WiFi at your business.

Benefits of Offering WiFi

Providing free WiFi to your customers can make a significant impact on the success of your business. Offering guest WiFi has several benefits that not only elevate customer experience but also boost your brand’s visibility and reputation.
Here are some of the top benefits of guest WiFi:

Improves Customer Satisfaction

It feels great to be able to access the internet while enjoying a cup of coffee at your favorite cafe or waiting in a queue at a store. Providing guest WiFi means that your customers can browse the web, check their emails, or catch up with work on the go. This adds a level of convenience that customers value and increases their overall satisfaction with your service.

Free WiFi Encourages Customers to Stay Longer

Guest WiFi offers your customers a source of entertainment and an opportunity to relax and unwind. They can stream videos, read articles, or connect with friends and family on social media. This keeps them interested and makes them stay longer, leading to more money for your business.

WiFi Lets Customers to Engage with Your Brand

While waiting for their orders to be fulfilled, customers can use your guest WiFi to explore your website or social media pages. This gives them an opportunity to engage with your brand and learn more about your products or services, effectively promoting your business for free.

Positions Your Business as Tech-Forward

By providing WiFi, you show that your business is embracing technology to better serve your customers. This makes your business look modern and attracts tech-savvy customers who value digital amenities.

Potential Risks and Challenges of Guest WiFi

Guest WiFi can be a great asset to any business, but it can also come with its own set of risks and challenges. Here are some of the risks and challenges you should keep in mind:

  • Network slowdowns: Sharing your WiFi with guests can put a strain on your primary business network, causing it to slow down or even crash altogether. This can negatively impact the productivity and efficiency of your employees, as well as the customer experience.
  • IT expertise required: Setting up a guest WiFi network isn’t as simple as just plugging in a router and giving out the password. It requires a certain level of IT expertise to properly configure the network and manage the bandwidth. If you lack this knowledge, you may end up with a poorly optimized network that is prone to technical issues.
  • Possibility of getting hacked: If your guest WiFi network isn’t properly secured, it can make your entire company network vulnerable to cyber attacks. This can put your sensitive data and confidential information at risk, potentially leading to a major breach and significant financial loss.

While there are a number of potential risks with guest WiFi, having the right precautions and measures in place can minimize these risks and reap the benefits of offering this amenity to your customers.

Best Practices for Secured and Managed Guest WiFi

If you are ready to move forward with guest WiFi at your business, it’s crucial to have it set up and managed properly to mitigate risk. Here are several best practices to keep in mind:

Create a Guest Network

A separate public network with guest controls is a fundamental feature of a secured guest WiFi network. It allows you to distinguish guests’ traffic from your internal network, limiting possible cyber threats that could exploit weakly-protected guest devices to access your systems. Secure guest WiFi reduces the risks of unauthorized access, data theft, and fraud.

Require a Password or Legal Waiver

Your guest WiFi should have a distinct network name and password. To control guest access to the internet, you can have them agree to the network rules by using a login portal and agreeing to a legal waiver.

Monitor and Limit Bandwidth Usage

Monitoring bandwidth usage will help ensure that heavy usage by one user does not cause internet speed issues for others. Having a bandwidth monitor will help you understand your usage trends, determine the capacity, and ensure that speed and user experience are not impacted.

Protect Sensitive Resources

Secured and managed guest WiFi should limit access to sensitive internal resources such as financial data, customer databases, or servers. These resources should not be accessible to everyone, especially guests. Make sure you configure your network wireless settings properly and block any unauthorized activity.

Regularly Update Password and Settings

Ensure that you change your guest network password and settings regularly to keep them confidential. Hackers can quickly gain unauthorized access, view, and misuse the old settings, resulting in business losses. 

Make Sure Your Primary Network Remains Private and Secure

Securing your primary network should be a top priority. Ensure that you set up security measures such as firewalls, VPNs, and encryption. Having a separate guest WiFi network helps reduce the risks of unauthorized access to your private network.

Work with an IT Professional

Working with an IT professional to set up a secured and managed guest WiFi network is vital. With their expertise and experience, they can help you design and execute a customized solution tailored to your unique requirements. This means that you can save time and effort, free up valuable resources, and ensure that your network remains up-to-date and protected against security threats in the long run.

Guest WiFi Installation and Protection with Everound

Setting up guest WiFi rightly can seem daunting, but you don’t have to do it alone. Our team of IT professionals has the expertise to handle the setup and installation of guest WiFi. Why leave your business open to risk by doing it yourself?

Every business has unique needs and client expectations, and your guest WiFi setup should reflect that. Contact us today to discover how we can make this happen. Let us focus on your IT, so you can focus on your business.

 

Work Smarter, Not Harder. 

Need to keep yourself and your team members focused? Do you want to track how much time it takes to complete a task? As a business owner or team member, there are many ways to increase your productivity including Google Chrome extensions.

Chrome extensions offer a range of features that can increase productivity and streamline workflow. These extensions allow users to customize their browsing experience, enhancing their ability to complete tasks efficiently.

Chrome extensions for productivity can assist both business owners and employees in managing their daily tasks. From time management to project management, there are countless Chrome extensions available that can cater to different needs and preferences.

Here are top Chrome extensions to boost workplace productivity, along with a few warnings about browser extensions.

Google Chrome Extensions to Use at Work

Here are some of the most effective Google Chrome extensions designed to boost your productivity at work. These tools range from grammar checkers and time-tracking features to website blockers and task management platforms. By integrating these extensions into your workflow, you can streamline your tasks, manage your time more effectively, and ultimately enhance your overall work productivity.

Grammarly

Grammarly is a powerful tool that takes your writing to the next level by checking for errors in grammar, punctuation, and style. It not only corrects common mistakes but also enhances your writing style by offering suggestions for better word choices or phrasing.

Whether you’re drafting an important email or creating content for your website, Grammarly ensures your communication is clear, effective, and free of embarrassing typos. The real-time feedback it provides helps you improve your writing skills over time.

Clockify

This is a robust and user-friendly time-tracking tool designed to help you monitor how much time you spend on various tasks. It’s an essential tool for anyone looking to manage their time more effectively, be it freelancers, remote workers, or businesses of any size.

With Clockify, you can easily start a timer when you begin a task and stop it when you’re done. It records the time spent, allowing you to see exactly how your day has been distributed across different activities. This data can then be used to analyze your productivity patterns, identify time-draining tasks, and make necessary adjustments to improve efficiency.

BlockSite

This is a highly effective tool that aids in enhancing your focus and productivity by blocking access to distracting websites. Distractions are just a click away, but with BlockSite, you gain the power to control your online environment.

BlockSite isn’t just limited to blocking websites. It can also be used to block specific apps on your device, further minimizing digital distractions. This makes it an excellent tool for maintaining a healthy work-life balance, as you can schedule blocks during your work hours or family time.

Win the Day

This is an innovative productivity tool that aims to transform your regular web browser into a dynamic platform for setting goals, tracking habits, and enhancing focus. It’s designed to help individuals maximize their productivity by providing a structured and user-friendly interface right within their browser.

Win the Day allows you to set specific goals and then break them down into manageable tasks. This feature encourages users to focus on one task at a time, thus reducing feelings of overwhelm and increasing the likelihood of achieving set goals.

Scribe

This is a powerful tool that empowers users to create step-by-step guides for any process, thereby improving clarity and boosting efficiency. It’s an invaluable resource for organizations looking to streamline their operations and enhance understanding among team members.

With Scribe, you can easily break down complex procedures into manageable steps, making it easier for others to understand and follow. Whether you’re documenting a technical process, outlining a business procedure, or creating a guide for a software application, Scribe provides the platform to do so in a clear, concise, and visually appealing manner.

Word Counter Plus

This is a handy tool designed to facilitate quick and easy word and character counting. It’s a lightweight extension that integrates seamlessly into your browser, enabling you to select any text from any webpage, right-click it, and immediately view the number of words and characters it contains.

The primary function of Word Counter Plus is its ability to provide instant word and character counts. Whether you’re writing a blog post, crafting a social media update, or simply trying to keep track of your word usage for any piece of writing, this tool can prove immensely useful.

OneTab

This is a highly efficient tool designed to combat the common issue of tab clutter in your browser. It works by converting all of your open tabs into a neatly organized list, significantly enhancing your ability to navigate and manage tasks more effectively.

The benefits of this are twofold. First, it drastically reduces visual clutter, making it easier for you to focus on the task without getting overwhelmed by a sea of open tabs. Second, it allows you to quickly find the tab you’re looking for, saving you the time and frustration of having to manually search through multiple tabs.

Postlight Reader

This browser extension takes the concept of ad-blocking a step further by not only eliminating ads but also removing what it refers to as “clutter” from web pages. The aim is to enhance the user’s reading experience by leaving behind only the essential elements – the words and images.

Unlike traditional ad-blockers, which focus solely on preventing ads from displaying, Postlight Reader also targets other potential distractions. The result is a more focused and enjoyable browsing experience, where users can concentrate solely on the text and images they’re interested in.

The extension can be applied to virtually any site, providing a consistent, clutter-free reading view across the web. Whether you’re reading a news article, a blog post, or an academic paper, Postlight Reader ensures that your attention remains firmly on the content.

ClickUp

This productivity platform is designed to streamline your tasks, help you stay focused, and enhance your overall productivity. It aims to replace multiple apps by integrating a variety of features into one centralized tool.

ClickUp offers a range of functionalities, including task management, document creation and storage, goal setting, and team chat capabilities. By consolidating these features into one app, ClickUp allows users to manage their work seamlessly without having to switch between different tools.

Words of Caution About Browser Extensions

Browser extensions can greatly enhance productivity, but they also come with certain risks that you should be aware of:

  • Permissions: Some extensions, particularly those for Chrome, may require permissions to access your device or browser data. Granting these permissions could potentially expose your data to third parties.
  • Malware: It’s possible for extensions to contain malware or become infected over time. If this happens, the security of your device could be compromised.
  • Data Theft: Given that extensions often have access to your browsing data, there’s a risk of data theft.
  • Malicious Extensions: Some extensions are designed with malicious intent and can steal sensitive information, such as credit card details.
  • Risk Impact: Interestingly, nearly half of all Chrome extensions are classified as high risk due to the permissions they require upon installation.

To minimize these risks, it is highly recommended to only install extensions from trusted sources, like the Chrome Web Store.

IT Support in Harrisburg and Central PA

The value of Chrome extensions for enhancing productivity cannot be overstated. However, it’s equally important to have a reliable IT support system in place to ensure smooth operations. This is where Everound comes in.

As a managed IT services provider, we play a crucial role in helping teams improve their productivity through a strategic approach to information technology. Our IT professionals stay on top of current and upcoming apps and can recommend solutions that drive efficiency and streamline your work processes.

Our role goes beyond just providing tech solutions. We are dedicated to taking the stress of IT management off your shoulders, allowing you to focus more on what truly matters – your business. By entrusting us with your IT needs, you gain more than just technical support; you gain a partner committed to your success.

Contact us to learn more about how we can partner with your organization to make you and your team more efficient through a strategic IT approach. Let us focus on your IT so you can focus on your business. 

It happened again! Your network hit some kind of glitch and the whole office is staring at frozen screens. You tried “turning it off and turning it back on again.” That didn’t help.

Your whole network is down, the guy who installed it told you it might not come back up.

So you sit there, paying people to stare at screens and wondering how this is going to get fixed.

The answer is simple: You need help desk.

What is help desk?

Help desk is a group of techs you can call when there’s something wrong with your computers or your network. They help with everything from resetting a password to rebooting the network.

The people at the help desk are there 24 hours a day or however many hours your office is open. They answer questions about everything from your desktop programs to what’s happening with your servers.

In short, they’re there to make sure that your technology keeps functioning exactly as you need it to.

Do we need help desk?

Does a small or medium-sized business need a help desk? Yes.

Every time someone can’t get their computer to start or loses a password, you’re losing money. Even if you’re the only person in your company, do you really want to spend a lot of your time figuring what’s wrong with your computers?

Very often, help desks are paired with managed IT services. Managed IT makes sure that your network is up-to-date and running smoothly. They do all the maintenance on your systems, often even physical maintenance.

By pairing managed IT and your help desk, you’ll know that you have a team answering the phone that really understands all of your systems and programs. When you call them, no matter what the questions are, they’ll know how to help you get back to work fast.

Can I afford help desk?

Yes, definitely.

IT companies, like Everound, know that not everyone needs a help desk every day. We offer a variety of packages to choose from.

  • On-call – This is one that most people think of. The company pays to have a team on call 24 hours a day. This is ideal if you have a team that works 24 hours a day. This can help prevent the boss from getting calls at 2 am on a Sunday morning. This type of service is almost always part of the larger managed IT services programs.
  • Limited Hours – You can get IT help desks that are only available during your business hours. If your company works Monday through Friday, 9 to 5, you don’t need someone to answer program questions on Saturday afternoon. Talk to your help desk provider to see if they can offer this type of assistance. It’s less expensive.
  • On-Demand – You can arrange for a help desk provider to simply bill you for whatever time they’re on the phone or fixing issues. That might be an hour one month and 10 hours the next. While this might be unpredictable, you’ll know you’re spending money when you do it.

The easiest way to find out what’s best for your needs is to schedule a call with a help desk provider. Talk about the size of your company, how often you need help, what types of systems and computer programs you have, and your budget. Together, you can come up with something that works for your company.

IT Help Desk for Customers

An IT help desk is a great investment in your customer relations, as well.

  • Ecommerce – If you have an online store, you don’t want to lose a sale because the customer is having problems with your system. A 24-hour help desk can chat or speak with your customers to help them get their orders placed. Companies that don’t offer a help desk can lose thousands of dollars every month just because a customer is not clicking a button or is confused.
  • Mobile apps – Apps can give customers fits. If you have an ecommerce app or other complex app that your customers need to navigate, you need someone there to answer questions and fix problems.
  • Ticketing and scheduling – For important things, like concerts and doctors’ offices, scheduling is important. Being able to assure someone that their appointment or seat is reserved is the difference between staying in business and losing a lot of customers.
  • Personal accounts – Any business that allows customers to have a personal account, whether it has money on it or not, needs a help desk. If a customer has information that they will need access to, you need someone there to help if there’s a problem.

In short, customers like help desks. They’re used to them. Not having someone to help quickly can mean the difference between more sales and more brand loyalty and having a lot of very angry customers.

The ROI of SMB Help Desks

Do you get a return on your investment with small- and medium-sized business help desks?

Definitely. If you choose the right plan, that one that fits your company’s needs, it will help you take better care of your staff, keep your customers happy, and reduce downtime. You’re less likely to lose sales to broken technology. Your staff will spend a lot less time looking for answers or just staring at a blank screen.

Choosing a IT Help Desk Company

It’s easy to find one of those big help desk companies. They are everywhere with their advertising and you’ve even interacted with them. But they’re often not the right choice. One-size-fits-all programs and canned answers aren’t necessarily great customer service.

The reality is that a smaller company, like Everound, provide your customers, both internal and external, with better, more personal service. A room full of help desk people reading canned answers from a screen is not the personal touch that most small- and medium-size businesses want.

In other words, choose a help desk company that’s closer to your company’s size to ensure that every interaction is as personal and professional as the ones you have with everyone.

Everound has been successfully engaging and supporting businesses to adapt to this new era of remote workers. From every facet of a company’s IT, we can assist, from employee experience to data center to cybersecurity and much more. If you need assistance transitioning your company to a work-from-home environment, we can help. Contact us today by calling us at +1 717.312.5890!

COVID-19 hit, and all your employees went home to work. We all thought this would be temporary, last only a few weeks, maybe a month… Employers are now seeing remote work is possible. Users can be efficient from a spare bedroom. What does this mean for IT? How can we make sure our company is secure? How do we optimize our budget? Let’s talk.

Define what will need to be accessed by employees within the LAN.
Step 1: What and How are employees accessing work data since COVID-19?

Let’s review what will need to be accessed by employees. Commonly, file servers are still used by many small to mid-sized businesses for their low cost and easy management. While this is ideal when employees are onsite, you are now over utilizing your firewall with VPN and slowing transmission speeds from your users downloading and constantly accessing large files. Solutions such as Egnyte, Dropbox and SharePoint can offload your data to a secure cloud while retaining IT security and disaster management over the files.

Next, you have applications on local servers. Consider VDI or Remote Desktop to minimize access. By using VDI, we can narrow down VPN access to one entry point and control the traffic. VDI will also give you the ability to increase resources to the backend of the infrastructure to, you guessed it, improve your user experience!

The key to success here is to keep thinking, constantly review your environment. What do your users need access to? Ask why. Shutdown, remove or lockdown the areas that will not need to be accessed remotely.

Decide what applications can be moved to a cloud environment.
Step 2: Did COVID-19 strengthen our move to the cloud?

Can we offload old applications? How many times are we hanging onto legacy apps or databases for no reason other than lack of time or the disruption to users? Well now disruption is everyday! Now is the time to review these systems. Is there a better cloud app out there? In most cases, a couple minutes of “Googling” lands you a solution someone with the same problem decided to fix and sell.

Selling these applications to the CEO can be easy. Remind him how Joe spends 3 hours each day connecting to VPN, opening an SRSS report, running a report, exporting to CSV, formatting, and saving to PDF only to email it to 30 colleagues. This new app automatically emails the report every morning and there’s a mobile app! Sold! Another server decommissioned and more users off VPN.

Spend the time to understand what your users need to be successful. Use this knowledge to present new solutions.

Review your security and device management. Do you still have the same control?
Step 3: Review security and management since COVID-19

Are you still in control? How are you handling group policies and windows patching? The traditional SCCM build isn’t going to work if no one is connecting to VPN. Consider solutions such as Azure Admin Center, Datto, PolicyPAK, ManageEngine or VMware Workspace One. All provide many tools to help with RMM, group policies, software installs and windows patching for your remote users.

What can you reduce or remove from your internal network which is no longer useful?
Step 4: Reduce from COVID-19

Identify areas of your network that are no longer used. We’ve just looked at areas where you will need to spend money to improve the experience of your employees and also to keep them secure. Now we need to identify where we can reduce cost.

Look at your circuits, do you have empty offices or servers with less applications that can be combined. Review the use of your PRIs and VOIP platform. Finding areas to reduce cost and using that budget to optimize your infrastructure with new technology is proof of a successful IT professional.

Speak with your CEO. Understand the long-term vision
Wrap up

Key to any changes you make, is to be aligned with your company. Speak with the President, CEO or board. Understand the needs and direction they plan to take long term. Your agility to adapt to their vision will solidify the success of your department.

 

Additional reading can be found here https://www.cio.com/article/3545534/sharp-it-budget-cuts-expected-in-wake-of-covid-19.html.

Everound has been successfully engaging and supporting businesses to adapt to this new era of remote workers. From every facet of a company’s IT, we can assist, from employee experience to data center to cybersecurity and much more. If you need assistance transitioning your company to a work from home environment, we can help. Contact us today using the contact form below or by calling us at +1 717.312.5890!

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