Three ways the Internet of Things (IoT) will Impact Business

The face of technology has changed significantly within the last decade. The consumerization of IT, best exemplified by the rise of the smartphone, has altered the relationship that technology has with the professional world.

IT personnel used to be considered the gatekeepers of the systems and software that keep businesses running. Now, rather than being assigned a device or waiting for IT staffers to provide assistance, employees are taking the wheel. Because of this, IT departments are now tasked with creating secure environments that enable tech-savvy professionals to navigate their own way. Continue reading

Staci Stickovich

Brutally Cold Winter Impacting Midwest Businesses

Old man winter has his grip on much of the country, including the Midwest. While this season it seems that Boston has beared the brunt of the weather, Indiana has also received above average snowfall. Winter storm warnings, whiteout conditions, and mandated travel advisories have forced area businesses to close time and time again.

Severe winter weather can greatly affect productivity if companies are not prepared. Power outages and unforeseen consequences of inclement weather can take business systems offline for hours, days or longer – halting operations until they are restored.

To help businesses cope with harsh Winter weather, Pinnacle has compiled a list of suggestions that can help improve employee productivity and reduce downtime. Continue reading

Staci Stickovich

The importance of upgrading and updating operating systems

There has been a lot of talk over the last few years about modernizing operating systems. One of the most relevant examples of this was Microsoft’s push for customers to move off of Windows XP. In terms of the average life of an operating system, XP long outlived its value. This was one of the reasons that Microsoft elected to pull support for the OS in April 2014 – 12 years after its initial release.

In spite of the lacking functionality and a set date on which official assistance would end, many people continued to use XP. This was because, simply enough, they were used to it. According to InformationWeek contributor Michael Endler, there were “hundreds of millions of people” still running XP less than one month from its end of support date. Continue reading

Staci Stickovich

The difference between business continuity and disaster recovery

The unfortunate reality of business is that nothing is guaranteed. Even if a company does everything right, an unexpected variable can throw everything off course and cause untold hours of downtime. Even being offline in some capacity for just a minute can result in lost business, and every moment that downtime is occurring can be another step toward closing for good. This is why companies put business continuity and disaster recovery strategies in place.

But what is the difference between these two things? Some people use the terms interchangeably, which can be confusing for those still trying to understand. While they sound similar, business continuity and disaster recovery are actually two very different things. Making sure that an organization has plans in place for both of them is important should an emergency arise. Continue reading

Staci Stickovich

Six considerations when planning your migration off Windows Server 2003

With the approaching end of support for Windows Server 2003/R2, CIOs are pressured to come up with viable migration solutions for their line of business (LOB) applications. There are clear benefits associated with upgrading to a newer Windows option, including virtualization, standardization, enhanced features and capabilities, cloud platforms, etc. However, migrating your entire environment can be costly and time consuming.

If you think you don’t have the budget for a migration, consider the costs associated with running your IT on unsupported software solutions, not to mention the risks of an unsecured IP.

In a recent IDC whitepaper, the research firm looked at migration options for businesses currently using Windows Server 2003/R2 and developed the following six considerations to help plan for a successful migration: Continue reading

Staci Stickovich

Grow your business, not your budget, with cloud computing

Keeping up with the acceleration of new technology is expensive. Just as soon as you purchase an IT solution, it seems something better and faster becomes available. Although investing in IT solutions can be costly, the benefits of having newer tech can give you the boost needed to stay competitive.

Many CIOs that want the benefits of newer technology without the high cost it comes with are turning to cloud-based solutions. Cloud solutions enable organizations to keep their competitive edge without expanding their IT budgets. They are more cost-effective than on-prem solutions because businesses are only required to pay for what they need, as opposed to what they don’t. This frees their budgets for other business-critical necessities. Continue reading

Staci Stickovich

Disaster recovery and security should be among top 2015 investments

Have you ever been in a situation where you worked on a project for a long time without hitting the save button? Then, at the worst possible moment, your computer freezes up and there is nothing you can do but restart it and cross your fingers that the auto-save feature backed up your file.

Now, imagine if that was your business. You take years to establish it in the marketplace and then, one day, an unfortunate circumstance shuts it down unexpectedly. Perhaps a fire started in the office breakroom causing the fire sprinklers to go off throughout the entire office, or a power outage takes out your company’s power grid, or vicious malware causes your systems to fail – halting business operations; would you be prepared to restart your business? Continue reading

Staci Stickovich

Organizations using Windows Server 2003 after July 14, 2015 are putting their data at risk

Support for Windows Server 2003 family of products will be coming to its End of Support (EOS) on July 14, 2015.

We understand that this EOS brings complexities, but it also brings exciting possibilities to transform your Datacenter. Don’t think of it as a lift and shift, but rather an opportunity to position your business for the future.

Now is the time to begin planning to migrate your applications off of Windows Server 2003. Your migration destination does not only include Windows Server 2012 R2, but also Microsoft Azure as well as Office 365.

So what happens when Windows Server 2003 support comes to and end? Continue reading

Dan Griffiths

Why an understaffed IT department can cost you more than you think

For IT organizations today, the need to cut costs is clear: budgets are shrinking, but expectations are staying the same. The pinch is especially hard on small and midsize businesses. These organizations are limited when it comes to financial resources, and IT is often the first thing they cut. In this post, we’ll discuss why an understaffed IT organization is a short-sighted way of approaching cost savings, particularly when there are better options available.

The hidden costs of an understaffed IT department

1. Unscheduled project delays

When you stop to consider that all business users in your company depend on IT personnel to be able to do their jobs correctly, it becomes clear that your IT employees are among the most important people in your company. If they are overworked and unable to respond to tickets in a timely manner, the whole company can grind to a halt while they wait for IT to catch up. Continue reading

Staci Stickovich

ERP market expected to gain significant advancements in 2015

Businesses should expect to see significant advancements to Enterprise resource planning tools in 2015, due to cloud and mobile trends impacting IT. A Panorama Consulting report recently detailed the top predictions for the ERP market this year.

The report indicates that mobile and business intelligence solutions will gain traction in 2015 as companies begin to realize the benefits they bring to ERP solutions. Business leaders, in particular, will begin to rely more on ERP suites’ robust reporting capabilities to gain insight on core business operations. This information can be leveraged to make strategic business decisions and gain market share. Continue reading