Staci Stickovich

Benefits of virtualization for small businesses

In today’s competitive business environment, SMBs are always looking for ways to streamline operations and reduce costs. Oftentimes, technology can be an easy solution to both. One such technology that can help is server virtualization. According to IT Manager Daily, businesses with upward of 10 or 15 servers will definitely see a return on investment when implementing virtualization strategies. Here are some of the key benefits of virtualizing your infrastructure for small business owners:

Increase server efficiency
The biggest advantage of connecting all company servers to a virtual network has to do with how computing power can be optimized to create more streamlined¬†operations. Virtualized servers can more efficiently use computing resources, according to Paul Mah’s recent article on CIO.com, because data isn’t bottlenecked by processing restraints. Continue reading

Staci Stickovich

How much money should businesses spend on cyber security?

A cyber attack can cripple an organization or even put it out of business. That is why it’s imperative businesses take the necessary precautions to protect their data. Cyber security helps organizations mitigate the risk of hack or data breach. The market is segmented by security type and consists of network, endpoint, application, content, wireless, and cloud security.

According to a MarketsandMarkets report from last year, the cyber security market will expand to $155.74 billion by 2019. The main factors propelling the market include wireless communication, cloud-based services and strict government regulation.

While it is evident that businesses need to have some type of cyber security, many business leaders are unsure which type, or how much to budget for their cyber security initiatives. Continue reading

Staci Stickovich

4 benefits of ERP solutions for SMBs

Small and midsize businesses looking to improve organizational processes should consider an ERP solution. With enterprise resource planning (ERP), SMBs can cut costs and enhance productivity by integrating business operations into one manageable system.

ERP systems are especially beneficial for SMBs that need to streamline operations and improve resource allocation. According to a study by Aberdeen, 70 percent of “best-in-class” enterprises have a standard ERP implementation. A company’s success can largely depend on its utilization of ERP systems.

Read on to learn about the four primary benefits of ERP solutions for small and midsize businesses. Continue reading

Staci Stickovich

Is Office 365 a sound investment for SMBs?

Office 365 is Microsoft’s cloud productivity suite hosted on its Azure platform. The most commonly stated benefits of migrating to Microsoft’s cloud solutions are increased productivity with universal access across devices, better business intelligence and reporting, enterprise-level security, and improved cost control for technology. To many SMBs, the benefits sound too good to be true so, in late 2014, Forrester Research conducted a study on the Total Economic Impact of Office 365.

The study was aimed to provide readers with a cost vs. benefit analysis that evaluates future technology, business flexibility, and associated risk. Forrester looked at five key areas to discern the true value to business. Those areas included Technology, Mobility, Business Intelligence, Control and Compliance, and Enterprise Social. Continue reading

Staci Stickovich

The number one way to protect your data from cyber threats

If your employee opened an attachment that contains a virus, would he or she know to disconnect their device immediately and have an IT technician examine the issue as soon as possible?

Educating employees on cyber security can go a long way in protecting your data from a potential breach. All employees, not just IT personnel, should be taught how to avoid cyber attacks and what to do should their devices be compromised. Having a cyber security policy that clearly outlines security measures in place and how to respond to an attack can help improve overall security efforts. Continue reading

Staci Stickovich

Three key areas that give SMBs a competitive edge

The way SMBs do business is changing. Technology trends are transforming the business landscape. Cloud adoption is growing at 24 percent per year, and mobile and remote use is skyrocketing. To stay ahead of the competition, small and midsize businesses need to focus on three key areas: cost control, productivity, and customer insights.

Cost control – be lean and stay lean. When it comes to technology investments, you need to make sure you are getting the most value out of the products and services you purchase, and that you are not purchasing more than you need. For that reason, businesses are turning to the cloud as a means to reduce hardware costs, IT maintenance and utility expenses. Continue reading

Staci Stickovich

Understanding Mobilegeddon and how it may affect your business

“Mobilegeddon” is a humorous term given to Google’s latest algorithm update which is expected to seriously impact many SMB’s search engine rankings. Starting April 21, 2015, Google’s new Web search algorithm will favor mobile-friendly, or responsive websites, over their non-responsive competitors. Google has already begun labeling search results as “Mobile-friendly” for queries done on a mobile device.

So what does Mobilegeddon actually mean, and how should SMBs¬†adjust their websites to comply with the algorithm changes so they can maintain their sites’ current rankings? Continue reading

Staci Stickovich

Cloud computing provides SMBs with better backup solutions

Systems failure can be caused by many reasons, including malicious malware, power outage, human interference, or worse. According to the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), forty percent of businesses that experience a hazardous event never reopen – and another twenty-five percent close within two years.

High profile disasters such as Super Storm Sandy, severe Winter weather, and Hurricane Katrina have made recovery and business continuity solutions a priority for many organizations. Successful recovery from an unexpected event requires more than a disaster recovery solution. Getting your applications and systems back to where they were before the event is paramount. Significant financial losses can occur if your RTO (recovery time objective) or RPO (recovery point objective) are not met. Continue reading

Staci Stickovich

CFOs play an important role in preventing cyber attacks

With cybercrimes on the rise, many businesses need to take extra steps to protect themselves. According to a USA Today article written by Kim Komando, hackers have several strategies for stealing information including using drive-by downloads, bypassing passwords, using open Wi-Fi and installing a Trojan horse.

Until recently, cyber security largely fell into the hands of IT personnel. As hackers become more sophisticated in their methods, CFOs have begun to a play a bigger role in identifying security threats. A CFO should be aware of where the organization’s financial information is located at all times, how it’s protected, which individuals might want to steal it and where vulnerabilities lie that could be compromised. Continue reading

Staci Stickovich

Is technology slowing your business down?

The only constant is change, especially when it comes to business. And the pace of change is continually accelerating, whether as a result of major innovations or economical impact.

Technology should not hold your business back from growing. It should help you anticipate, manage and respond quickly to changes. If your current systems and processes do not provide the flexibility necessary to adapt quickly to changing business needs, then it may be time to modernize your infrastructure. Continue reading