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Why Your New Year’s Resolution Should Be To Fire Yourself From Your IT Department

IMG_1853Business owners love planning, creating, promoting and selling their business, and most dread dealing with technology - so then why do so many insist on trying to manage it?

For many owners the answer lies in the essential nature of technology, the fact that it's an integral part of day to day operations and is an absolute requirement for their business's functionality.  Any down time hurts their bottom line, but many don't stop to consider how much their bottom line is hurt by the time they spend working on their technology instead of selling their business!

And for many it comes down to the concern that it can be so hard to find a company you trust to take care of your technology for you.

How many have experienced hiring a new IT company only to have them come in and start putting their stickers on everything?  Or more concerning to the bottom line, come in and tell them it's all old, out of date and needs to be replaced?  Have you become accustomed to wait times for service of a day or longer, making it easier to just try and fix it yourself?  Or worse a persistent problem, like a virus on a computer that no matter how many times your IT company comes out they just can't seem to get it removed?

These are not unusual stories, making it understandable that so many business owners have taken on the task of managing their own computers and network.  However, what most don't really have a full view of are the costs of mismanaging their technology needs.

Here are several areas to review to help you decide if firing yourself from technology should be your New Year's Resolution:

IT Isn't Easy...There are many IT tasks that should be left to knowledgeable sources, time used dealing with technology is time not spent working on promoting your company and products.  If you've found yourself as the key player in the technology process, it's time to remove yourself and find a reliable IT source for your day to day needs.  If the duties below have been added to your schedule it's time to take your schedule back!

  • General tech support - Virus and malware removals, software errors, running updates, monitoring usage and system health, and installing new software.
  • Server management - Any kind of server updates, maintenance, troubleshooting and patches.
  • Backups - Daily backup solutions and restoring files.
  • Network monitoring - Monitoring threats including making sure your anti-virus is up-to-date, monitoring employee computer usage, keeping network policies up-to-date.
  • Equipment replacements and improvements - Determining when to replace equipment may still seem like it fits into day to day managing of a business, but when you're working with a trusted IT resource having a technology replacement strategy in place would be a part of that relationship.  As well as any hardware upgrades that need to be made.
  • Up-to-date technology policies - Including concerns over bring your own device, social media, any personal use of company assets, as well as disaster recovery procedures.

How much time does it take to keep up with your business's IT needs?  It is estimated that even at smaller companies 10-20 workstations & servers combined, IT management takes 6-10 hours of work each week.  Most of that time is spent by business owners putting out fires, fixing email issues, figuring out why the backup failed, cleaning up viruses or malware and running updates.

Small business IT management trends show that approximately 3.8 million small businesses have "involuntary" IT managers managing their IT, is that you?  If so it's time to stop worrying about putting out the IT fires and fire yourself from technology!

"Work on your business, not in your business!"

In a recent article SmartCompany listed hiring an outside IT support provider as one of the top ways to free up your time to work on what's really important in your business.  Tim Ferriss went on to say "Test for reliability."  If you're concerned about relinquishing control of your technology or worried about finding a truly trustworthy IT resource "test on a small project, not something that is mission critical."

Hopefully you've now seen all the reasons to make firing yourself from technology your Business New Year's Resolution.  If you're interested in outsourcing your IT needs or are currently fighting a fire, don't hesitate to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Top Speed Computer Services today.  We're here to be your trusted resource!

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Still Running Microsoft Windows Server 2003?

WindowsServer2003WhiteWith so many companies still tackling the upgrade or replacement of Microsoft XP computers and Microsoft Exchange 2003 servers, the last thing many want to hear is that another server operating system is also about to hit it's End Of Life.

July 14, 2015 has been given by Microsoft as the end of life date for Windows Server 2003, meaning it will no longer be supported with security updates, other updates or patches.  Wes Miller of Directions on Microsoft says, "There are a surprising number of them (Windows Server 2003 servers) out there, in SMBs, and we're still seeing it pretty regularly in the Enterprise space."

Many users have stayed with Windows Server 2003 for the same reasons they've stayed with XP for so long; it was a good operating system that has served them well, with few issues for many years.  Miller went on to say, "Windows Server 2008 and later editions did change the game quite a bit, but a lot of people were happy with Windows Server 2003 R2.  A lot of businesses are happy with it, so there's no motivation to change it."

End Of Life such as this can be very frustrating for companies where the existing system is running well, or if the option to upgrade is financially prohibitive or could significantly disrupt business operations for a time.  The other side of all those concerns is that without security updates you'll be leaving your server and likely your entire network vulnerable to attack.

As with Windows XP's vulnerability, where recent industry experts have estimated that 20% of all users are still running Windows XP, but over 30% of cyber attacks are being aimed at those XP computers, Windows Server 2003's vulnerability, due to lack of security updates, will be in the sights of future cyber attacks as soon as the security updates stop coming.

The good news is your'e reading this article now and have almost a full year to plan and make the transition.  You have time to consider your options and to check with your software vendors to make sure their software will be compatible with the new operating system you decide to go with.

If you're ready to look at upgrade or would just like to discuss upgrade options get in touch with Top Speed Computer Services today!  

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