Like a persistent cough or muscle strain that won’t go away, many IT issues prove ongoing. Every time they come back you think about getting an expert’s opinion. Then, the cough fades, you can walk freely again, or your computers are back up and running. You keep on going. Until the next time. If you’re sick of ongoing issues with your IT, look to a Managed Service Provider (MSP) for help.
There are many IT ailments that can negatively impact your ability to do work. Let’s consider some of the particularly common ones, and why an MSP is the right prescription.
#1 Network and Internet issues.
Business is done online these days. Not being able to connect to the network and slow connections are frustrating. Without the Internet, how can you do your job? You can’t even check and send emails! Let alone access team documents or enter data into cloud-based accounting software. A lagging network also slows down application and data loading time. It may only be a few moments of thumb twiddling. But add that up over several times a day and multiple by employees. You’re looking at a decrease in productivity that adds up.
An MSP has the know-how to survey the IT environment for what's causing these frustrations. When there’s a problem, they’re at the ready to resolve it and help improve reliability.
#2 Repeated malware infections.
This can mean a couple of things. First, you don’t have effective system and application protections in place. These attacks shouldn’t be able to make it through the door in the first place. With the right firewalls, anti-spam, and protections, you should be able to keep your system on lock down. You don’t have to do this yourself. Your internal IT team has a lot to manage and monitor. Gain expert backup with an MSP reviewing your security protocols to keep the bad guys at bay.
Secondly, educate employees about the dangers of social engineering. Don’t let them keep falling for the pretexts and downloading malicious files. Also, ensure passwords are strong enough to avoid adding another point of entry.
#3 Printing problems.
Many businesses are printing less today, but we’re not done with hard copies entirely. So, when a printer starts whirring, spinning endlessly, or can’t connect, efficiency halts. Know that printers sold at big box stores are consumer grade quality. Avoid printer frustrations with solid business-class printers (which your MSP can identify).
#4 Application overload.
Maybe some of your employees prefer Dropbox. Others rely on their free Gmail accounts. This hodgepodge of options can cause chaos. Staff have difficulty remembering the passwords to all of the accounts they need. So, they simplify, and that makes their accounts more hack-able.
Upgrading to business-grade versions of important applications is easier with an MSP. They'll help identify the software that best addresses your business needs.
#5 Aging technology.
You’ve had your current computers for ages. They are slower than you’d like, but you don’t have the time to look for something else. Plus, you can’t imagine having to learn something new. You’re too busy. But aging tech is more likely to fail, which could prove catastrophic if you don’t have the right systems backup.
MSPs know IT. Based on your individual business needs, they can suggest a plan of attack to update the IT and keep it secure. They can also provide backup strategies to prepare for the worst and recover quickly.
Basically, a managed service provider has your back when it comes to IT. Work with experts who focus on technology day in and day out. You’ll typically save money and gain time to spend innovating in your field.
Gain a competitive advantage with the support of an MSP. Give us a call at (863) 606-8FIX today!
The majority of homes today have at least one computer, and that’s unlikely to be the full extent of the technology. Everyone has a smartphone, and there may be streaming devices, modems, routers, or printers, and – we’re guessing here – lots and lots of power cords! When something goes awry with any of this tech, homeowners can feel stuck. In an office setting, there’s the IT support desk, but at home, you could be relying on Google search, YouTube videos, and the efforts of a digital-native teen. Talking with IT experts well versed in residential technology issues can help.
As with doctors, it can be worthwhile to get a second opinion. Having an IT expert for your home can save you money and prevent disasters. With an IT guru on speed dial, you can make smart decisions for buying, repairing, and upgrading tech.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of unscrupulous computer businesses out there. They will take advantage of a buyer’s lack of knowledge about all things tech. Doing your own research is great, but it can get overwhelming. A search for a Wi-Fi-enabled, Mac-compatible printer nets hundreds of options, rankings, and reviews.
You try to evaluate a laptop or printer on function, quality, and price, but all these other elements get mentioned. You don’t even know what they mean! How can you ask the right questions? An IT expert can narrow the field and make recommendations based on your needs. You don’t have to wonder what that salesperson is not telling you.
Maybe you usually go to a big-box store to buy your technology. Yes, they can have good deals, but often there’s a reason that laptop is so cheap or that printer is such a great deal. These temptingly priced technologies can be just too slow to do the job, or they’ll break down sooner. Or that astounding deal on a color printer is going to backfire on you down the road because the cost of the ink is crazy!
With an IT partner providing a second opinion, you can avoid being bamboozled. Your IT support team will take the time to get to know the issues you’re facing and how you plan to use the product. They can steer you towards tech that is good value and makes sense for the problem you're trying to fix. They’re not trying to sell you the actual technology, only acting as a consultant. They don’t benefit from your buying a particular brand. You don't go home with something that duplicates or doesn't work well with your other tech.
The best technology is going to be a combination of the right product at the right quality at the right price.
Beyond Buying – IT Support for You
When it comes to replacing or repairing technology, it helps also to get a second opinion. You wouldn’t want to get surgery when a week with a splint would do the trick, right? Well, you don’t want to buy a new computer to solve a problem that could be fixed by taking off under-performing but processing-power sucking applications. Or pay to repair a device when you could pay the same amount for a new one that works even better in the way you need.
IT support isn’t only for enterprise-sized businesses. Tech experts can help a homeowner:
Get the help you need to keep your computers and technology in top shape at home. Contact us today at (863)606-8FIX (that's 606-8349) .
“Why is this computer running so slow?” It’s a common complaint. The question is whether it’s your computer or your internet connection.
You may feel your computer is moving at a snail’s pace, but it used to be cheetah-fast! You’re going to want to identify and address the issue to get back up to speed. Yet it’s hard to know whether to blame your computer or the internet, especially now that so many computer applications rely on internet connectivity.
So, how do you determine whether it’s your computer or connectivity that’s the problem? If you are having the problem only on one device in a network, you can guess it’s the computer not the connectivity. Otherwise, think about when you are having slow woes.
If you notice programs are taking longer to load up, your computer may not be up to the task. Running large applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office, or some accounting packages can cause slowdowns. The hardware may be overwhelmed. You may not have enough available storage space. Sometimes your computer’s parts are simply too old and not fast enough.
Even a new computer could be the problem if it’s an inexpensive one. Or perhaps you didn’t get enough random access memory (RAM). Your computer needs RAM to run applications or games; it’s the short-term memory of the computer. This is where the computer loads all the things it thinks it might need soon so that it can process them quickly. Without enough available RAM, the computer has to work harder (and slower) to get the results you want.
No wonder common advice for people dealing with slow computers is to invest in more RAM. If your device is less than five years old, you can often upgrade the RAM inexpensively, or switch to a solid-state drive (SSD). An SSD reads and writes differently than a traditional hard drive, which allows it to access information faster.
Meanwhile, buying a replacement computer may be the answer if your device is more than five years old.
Then Again, Maybe It’s the Internet Connection
On the other hand, you might notice computer slowness when online. Web pages might be slow to load, or you might be waiting ages to access YouTube videos. If the lag is happening on only one website, it could be that site’s problem. Otherwise, internet slowness could be a provider problem. Or you might have a poor connection.
One way to confirm a connection issue is to check your internet speed. A site such as fast.com or speedtest.net can measure your speed, then you can compare it against the connection speed you’re paying for. Don’t know that? Check your service bill. You may have a slow internet speed plan. Maybe you haven’t changed it in years but have added many more devices. In that case, you’ll want to call your service provider about an upgrade … or confiscate the kid’s devices when you want to stream a favorite show.
When testing, you are looking for a speed of at least 10 Mbps. Anything below that, and you’ll start seeing slowdowns and start hearing the complaints from all corners of the house. To put that in perspective, Netflix needs at least 5 Mbps to stream in HD.
Other Tidbits to Tackle Slowness
You might also try rebooting your computer or your modem and router. If you leave these running all the time, never actually turning them off, they can get stuck in a slow rut. If you’re on Wi-Fi, that could also be the root of your problem. Maybe you’re on a network with too many users making demands. For instance, if everyone in your family is streaming on their devices, expect a slowdown. You might be in a signal dead zone. In that case, you could look into a Wi-Fi mesh network.
Ultimately, there are many reasons for a slow computer or internet connection. Don’t get stuck with a tortoise of technology. A managed services provider can find the root cause and get you running faster. Contact us today at 863-606-8349, that's 606-8FIX!
Managed IT Services is a maintenance program which bundles services such as IT Support, Network Security, Systems Administration, Cloud Services Management, and Data Security. We tend to group backup and general data protection, data loss prevention, and data security under our Data Security service—5 years ago we would have referred to this as data mobility, but now data is growing and moving around our planet so quickly that we struggle to remember what cloud storage service a document is stored in.
Right, right…but what does that mean? Well, let’s start at a high level and make our way down until we can see our spot on the beach—you know, the one with a lounge chair and your favorite drink.
Today, your IT support may be like a Prairie Dog; popping its head up when something needs to be fixed or a virus or some other malware needs to be removed (dare we say a ransom paid or backup data restored, with incident response procedures to ensure the data is viable). The goal of Managed Services is for that Prairie Dog to be constantly vigilant and equipped with the tools and expertise to drive off predators or play the role of medic when called for. Okay; tactical Prairie Dog, got it.
Instead of being reactive, Managed Services is the constant oversight of your IT services by an external organization. It is monitoring, maintenance, and self-repair of networks, hardware, servers, and software to keep your business’s data protected and available to allow your team to deliver outstanding customer service, deliver product on time, build the right product the first time, you name it.
Usually, one or more employees find themselves “pitching in” for the IT role. While this is helpful in the moment, it takes away focus from their primary role and technology is always an afterthought. When things get really complicated, a call goes out to another resource or consultant to bring your service back online. You can open QuickBooks again? Great, until the next time an outage occurs. Be prepared for a 3 to 4-hour staff meeting until the IT guy is available and makes the corrections to get the services running again.
What if your servers, workstations, network, and business applications were monitored 24×7? Taking a more proactive approach ensures the technology you rely on has improved up-time. Beyond monitoring, IT Protectorate reviews trends and automates processes designed to keep your systems running smoothly.
With our focus on your technology operations, IT Protectorate can provide insight to your strategic planning. Keeping track of your assets, cloud services subscriptions, software licensing, and device configurations can be a daunting task. We’re able to keep track of this data in our specialized systems and provide you with summary reports that will help plan the future of your business.
A proactive approach will prevent IT problems before they occur, ensuring your technology is as reliable as the service you provide your customers. Allow us the opportunity to assess your network and work with you to establish a reliable IT maintenance program for your business.
What do you expect from the technology that helps run your business? Is it a benefit or a burden? We believe your success is our success and strive to help guide our customers through their digital transformations. Most importantly, we get you thinking about defining goals and setting clear intentions. This helps develop realistic expectations around the digital systems that help employees clock in or look up information to ensure they deliver quality customer service.
The first question is what are we trying to accomplish? How are we going to measure the success of this implementation? What does success mean to us?
Having walked our customers through countless upgrades, hardware failures, and data recoveries, we’ve found that clients with clearly defined goals use their technology to its fullest. Translation: thinking about the value of your data or what your customers need from your database means we can recover exactly the data you need from the exact day two weeks ago that you needed it. Or, when a customer calls in needing a serial number from an air conditioning system, pool pump, or hydraulic jack they purchased from you four years ago, they happily get that serial number quickly and think of you the next time they need your products or services.
What are your biggest operational challenges? Where would you like to see the most improvement? Thinking through these questions will help you define your businesses goals regarding the technology that helps store and retrieve data for you and your customers.
Elroy is the man behind the scenes; writing posts, checking status of servers, managing networks and endpoints, and enjoying coffee in his favorite spots in Lakeland and Winter Haven, FL.