Proactive Services Are Keeping Business Running Fluidly

proactive technology services

2020 was filled with challenges and many small and medium-sized businesses have been put through the ringer. With everything still going on, and many things causing obstructions to business-as-usual, getting out in front of the things you can control can pay great dividends for your business. Today, we’ll take a look at how the Managed Service Provider can help you stay on top of everything.

What It Means to Be Proactive

A lot of business is preventing major swaths of downtime. Seriously, the more downtime you have, the less you get done. There are plenty of risks inherent in doing business, so being more proactive allows you to mitigate them more effectively. Think about it, a problem pops up in your business, you immediately stop what you are doing to fix the problem, which takes you away from the productive endeavor you were working on. By being proactive, however, you ensure that no problem exists, making certain that your time is used productively. If the effectiveness of your business comes down to the amount of time you can focus on it, being interrupted with constant problems to fix destroys that focus.

Avoiding Downtime

Your business isn’t some publicly-traded, multi-national company. If the most lucrative businesses faced even an hour of downtime, they are wasting six, sometimes, seven figures worth of capital. That’s why they routinely write proactive measures into their processes.

For your business, the amount of wasted capital will be substantially less, but it might just be a larger percentage of revenue lost or capital spent. This can sink your business; and, it doesn’t just come from having to stop what you are doing. Downtime can be problematic in these ways as well:

  • Customer frustration – Your relationships are extremely important. Too much downtime can have a major negative impact on your customer relations. Not only will customers be inconvenienced, they will let you know it. This time spent smoothing everything over can get extremely expensive, especially for the small business that needs their people to be productive, not engaging in costly support roles.
  • Staff frustration – As hinted at in the previous paragraph, many small businesses rely on their staff to do more than one job. One of those jobs isn’t always fun. That is a customer service representative. Many employees–especially if they were hired for a specific purpose–tend to get fed up when they have to spend a large chunk of their work life supporting a faulty product.
  • Exorbitant cost – Cost will always come with downtime. If you are paying people who should be building your product or service to sit around dealing with downtime, you are wasting valuable capital.

By being proactive you are effectively controlling the amount of downtime your organization has to deal with.

Being Proactive!

At AE Technology Group, a WheelHouse IT company, we offer a couple proactive services that could really make a difference in the profitability and efficiency of your business. They include.

  • Remote monitoring – Your hardware and network need to be in tip-top shape for your staff to be as productive as they can be. By remotely monitoring your entire IT infrastructure, our knowledgeable technicians can find even the smallest incongruency. Doing so before downtime has a chance to rear its head and affect your business works to keep downtime to a minimum and productivity high.
  • Cloud computing – Moving some of your IT to the cloud is a proactive move as public cloud resources are typically managed by the provider. Having a cloud provider take on the comprehensive management of your IT, while also gaining anytime, anywhere access, is a sound strategy for any-sized business.
  • Patch management – Software vulnerabilities can be a major problem for your business if the wrong people find out about them. Our team keeps your software patched and up to date.

Building a proactive business strategy can help you get out in front of some really difficult problems. Call our IT experts today to learn more at (877) 771-2384.

6 Signs Your Business Has the Right Remote IT Support Services

signs you have good remote support

Remote support is a lifeline to businesses that need immediate help for their in-house IT or workers trying to salvage a workday. Having an effective remote support company as part of a business’ safety net can be the difference between hours of downtime and lost business and getting back on track in a few short minutes. Understanding whether you have good remote IT support services or need an upgrade is a simple matter of ensuring the organization embodies these six positive signs.

Automation Takes Care of Simple Requests

One sign of a great remote support company is that many of the simple solutions are available as part of a self-service platform. For example, some remote support businesses will allow a client to log in to their account and access a list of common solutions to various problems. If the network is not acting properly and needs to be reset, it can be done automatically and remotely without requiring intervention from remote support agents or technicians.

The Support Center Has Easy Solutions for Customers

How hard is it for your business to get the solutions they need from the remote support company? Do you need to go through menu after menu to get to the tools that you already need? That should not be the case. A good remote support company knows what its customers need and make it simple for them to get to it. For example, live customer support should be available upon request at every point during the support interaction instead of being locked behind page after page of customer responses.

Remote Support is Fully Integrated on the Business’ Site

A business should not have to request remote support for an issue. The ability to access direct remote support should be integrated into the customer’s journey. That way, when they are putting in a support ticket, clients can see that they have a direct line to help when they are suffering from a serious problem.

The Business Solves Issues and Prevents the Next Ones

Remote support businesses understand that problems tend to cascade into others. If a company with HIPAA implications has a risk assessment performed and it comes back and shows serious deficiencies, then the next problem will be how to secure their workplace. That issue requires personnel training, new security measures, and more. Your remote support should anticipate your future needs after they identify your immediate problem and offer solutions.

The Remote Support Teams Actively Work Together

A good remote support company will have seamless interactions between their technicians in the field and agents in the remote office settings. That means the total amount of time to solve a problem should be very low if you have remote support and a technician on the same task. Furthermore, the technician should come to the job site with a good idea about how to quickly fix the problem because they have been informed by the remote support agents.

Most Issues Are Resolved Remotely

Every call to your support center should not result in a technician coming to your workplace and adding billable hours. A remote support company is most useful because it solves problems without stepping foot in a business. Remote support techs visiting your site should not be a common occurrence when most solutions can be delivered over the internet. Of course, there are some cases where work must happen in-person.

If your business is lacking these six signs, then it may be time for a switch to a provider like AE Technology Group. As a Managed Services Provider with over two decades of experience helping customers, and a member of the WheelHouse IT family, AE Technology Group has what it takes to swiftly help clients get the support they need. Their offices in Fort Lauderdale, Long Island, and Los Angeles allow them to deliver on-site and remote support to small and medium-sized businesses in the busiest corporate hubs in the U.S.

Strengthening Business Continuity Is Urgent For Financial Services

strengthening business continuity is urgent for financial services

While most businesses handle at least some customer personally identifiable information on a daily basis, there is little more important than a client’s financial information which consists of what is likely a significant portion of their life savings. Firms that manage investment and savings accounts spend years cultivating relationships with their clients, with complete trust as one of the foundational pillars of these relationships. That’s why strengthening business continuity is so important for financial services organizations.

With data hacks on the rise, financial services organizations must do everything they can to ensure their client’s investments are safe and secure. This also means ensuring they are able to deliver continuous service such as deposits and withdrawals, and even simple account review 24/7/365. Financial services firms must also protect against identity theft and/or impersonation, which can even be more devastating to clients as these types of crimes affect not only their investments, but almost every other aspect of their daily life.

Business Continuity Defined  

In order to understand business continuity, it’s important to define it as it relates to data and information systems. In order for a firm to have continuity of services, they must have a complete solution, not just a plan for backup, but also recovery in the event of a disaster. This means client data is protected both on-premise and in the cloud in order to keep data safe and secure, even in the event of a device failure.

Do Your Backups Measure Up?

Companies still working under the impression that a daily back-up of all corporate data is sufficient, are at high risk for significant problems. This traditional way of viewing backups overlooks many gaps including instances such as when those in charge forget to perform a backup or the process fails in some way. Other potentially disastrous scenarios include losing an entire day’s worth of work after a failure and/or lack of backup validation, which is then discovered to be useless when needed for a restoration.

Other issues can occur from only keeping backups on-site, which means if a disaster such as a tornado, flood, or fire should occur, the backups become useless. Incomplete backups that only include raw data, rather than including other crucial data such as server configuration and application files means it could take several days to get fully back online in the event of a system failure. 

Finding the Optimal Solution

At this point, smaller financial services organizations may recognize they simply do not have the IT resources to implement the right protective strategies to safeguard their clients from irreparable financial harm. Fortunately, there is still a way to fully protect clients and their investments in the event of a disaster, whether natural or manmade. 

For smaller financial organizations, the ideal solution is to outsource their IT needs to a company that also has experience in the financial industry. By partnering with such a firm, smaller companies can be confident they are doing everything they can to protect not only all the valuable assets and information pertaining to their clients, but every online function related to operating their firm. 

An IT firm specializing in the financial industry can handle all compliance and regulatory issues that go along with protecting client data, as well as offering their expertise in the areas of timely hardware and software updates and maintenance, and ensuring the integrity of backups and their restoration process in the event that action becomes necessary. A specialized IT firm can also establish and provide continuous review and maintenance of system security practices within the financial firm. With a firm that specializes both in the IT and financial industries, financial services firms can have the best of both worlds and know they are doing everything they can to maintain the assets and the trust of their clients for decades to come.    

If you are a financial services firm and are ready to update your data backup strategy to industry standards, please contact us.

Business Owners 12x More Likely to Be a Cyber Security Target Here’s What You Can Do About It

cyber security target

As a business owner or operator, it is up to you to protect yourself and your employees from cyber attacks. Unfortunately, many small business owners either underestimate the damage a cyber attack can cause or fail to take the proper steps to protect themselves. Below is a look at some reasons why business owners are more likely to be a cyber security target and some steps you can take to reduce your risk.

Why are Business Owners More Susceptible to Cyber Attacks?

A recent study by Verizon highlights how vulnerable business owners are to cyber security attacks. When compared to other employees, business owners and senior executives are a dozen times more apt to become a victim of a cyber security attack. Small businesses were especially likely to be targeted, accounting for 43% of cyber attacks and data breaches. Here are a few reasons why business owners and executives are more at risk:

They are incredibly busy

Business owners and top executives are usually preoccupied with the day to day activities of running a business. They are so busy focusing on customer issues, troubleshooting, and promoting their business that they do not have time to think about cybersecurity. 

They often know little about protecting themselves

In addition to having little time to think about IT threats, business owners typically know very little about cybersecurity. They have no idea about the most common threats or what measures they can take to protect themselves.

They think they are immune to attacks

Small business owners, in particular, are especially likely to think that they will never become a target of a cyber attack. They often assume that hackers will target larger, more profitable companies, and therefore focus little on prevention.

They underestimate the damage an attack can cause

With the average cost of a cyber attack now exceeding $1 million, a cyber attack can spell financial doom for a business – especially a small one. Between lost productivity, service disruptions, and a poor customer experience, cyber attacks can cause lasting damage to a business.

What are some simple steps you can take to help prevent attacks?

The path to preventing cyber attacks begins with knowledge and training. By having a keen understanding of your risks, you will be motivated to increase your focus on cybersecurity. Here are a few simple steps you can take to protect yourself from cyber attacks:

  • Make cybersecurity a top priority at your business
  • Incorporate cybersecurity details into your training initiatives
  • Ensure data is kept in a safe, secure location
  • Implement security surveying and testing procedures
  • Closely manage your internet firewall protection

What is the single best way to protect yourself from cyber attacks?

As outlined above, there are many reasons why business owners are at an increased risk of cyber attacks and data breaches. And while there are some measures you can take to help prevent these problems, the single best way to protect yourself and your business is to seek the services of an experienced IT partner. An accomplished IT partner will work with you to educate you and your team about the most common threats. More importantly, they will arm you with a strategic plan to protect you from those threats.

As New York’s premier provider of IT services, AE Technology Group is your solution to preventing cyber security attacks. We invite you to contact us to discover why business owners across NYC and Long Island trust us to protect their identity and their companies. For 20 years, we have delivered five-star IT support and management to businesses of all sizes. We look forward to giving you and your business the cyber security protection you deserve!

Tips on Purchasing Computers for Your Small Business – Computer Tip of The Day

tips on purchasing computers for your small business computer tip of the day
Purchasing Computers for Small Business

For most modern businesses, their office’s computers are their most valuable tool, and having quality, high-speed computers can help to boost productivity.

However, due to the vital role computers play in most offices, it can be daunting for small business owners to choose new computers when it comes time to replace their current units. With so many different options on the market, it can seem overwhelming trying to choose the right computer.

To help get you started, here are a few things you should consider when choosing new computers for your small business.

Don’t be Afraid to Spend Money

If you are like many small business owners, one of your primary concerns when choosing new computers for your office will be your budget, as you will not want to go overboard on how much you spend on new technology. However, it is also important that you do not overcompensate by buying the cheapest computer on the market.

If you go too cheap with the computers you choose, the lack of processing speed and memory will cost you more in reduced productivity than the amount you would have spent purchasing a better model. It is important to see purchasing new computers as an investment in your company.

While you don’t need to buy the most expensive computers, it will be in your best interest to at least go for a mid-range model.

Consider Whether You Will Require Portability

Another thing you will want to consider is whether you should purchase desktops or laptops for your business; in other words, you will need to decide whether portability is important to you.

Having employees work remotely from home is growing in popularity among businesses in a variety of industries. However, allowing employees to work on their personal computers can be complicated and may pose a security threat. However, it can also be costly to provide employees with separate work laptops.

If allowing your employees to work from home is something you want to start doing, you may want to consider purchasing laptops instead of desktops for your office, as this will allow your employees to take their work computer with them when they will be working from home.

Contact us for additional advice on things you should consider when purchasing new computers for your small business.