Information Technology (IT) is a growing industry, and can help your Florida small business get the advantage over competitors, improve client relations, and grow your business. Business owners who are looking for IT Support in Miami Dade and Broward have plenty of providers to choose from. However, choosing an IT support company is a difficult and time-consuming job. To choose the right IT support company for your business, ask yourself these questions to help make the decision easier for you.
What size company do I need?
Most of the time, you will want an IT company that is about the same size as your small business. If you are a smaller business, you may find that working with a large service provider is difficult in that you don’t get access to their best talent. On the other hand, if your business is large, you might not be able to get all the support you need from a small IT company.
Is this company excited about what I’m doing?
It’s important to have a service provider that is not only enthusiastic about the services they provide, but about what they can do for your company. If an computer support company seems indifferent about what they do, you may want to look elsewhere because this can make a huge difference in growing your small business. An IT company that is enthusiastic about what they do is more likely to be up-to-date on the latest technologies.
Do they understand my needs and problems?
Enthusiasm is important, but an IT company also needs to be able to actually help solve your small business problems and meet all of your technological needs. Ask any company you are considering about specific issues that you are having to see if they have solutions they can offer or if they have solved similar issues before with other companies.
What types of services do I need?
The types of IT services you need will help you determine what support service to choose. If you only need maintenance of your existing technology, then there are companies that do that. But if you are looking for a company that will be more proactive in their support, then you need to ask about that as well. Always make sure you know what is covered in the contract, because most of the problems between small businesses and IT companies are a result of a misunderstanding in support contracts.
Do they have good referrals?
Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals from other companies that they are currently working with or have worked with in the past. Then, contact at least a few of those companies to ask specific questions about the experiences that they had with the IT support company.
Do I need a local IT company?
If you may need support in the form of a visiting computer technician, you will need to find a local company or a company that has a branch in your area, the closer the better. Typically, you will want a company to be within 2 hours of your business. If you are a strictly internet-based small business, you may then have a wider range of options.
When choosing an IT company, your first step should be writing out a list of what you are looking for in a company by using these questions. You also need to ask yourself what types of changes that you want to be made in your existing infrastructure. Having a clear understanding of your goals in regards to your desktop and laptop computers, computer networks, photocopiers, and other pieces of technology will help you find out which of the many IT companies out there can best help further your small business.
Recently, news has come to surface that the Home Depot Inc. might have been hit by hackers. Information of customers has likely been hacked. The well-known home improvement product retailer reported that it was collaborating with bank officials and security professionals, but was not in a position to confirm whether a data breach actually took place or not.
After Brian Krebs, the security journalist, reported that Home Depot’s customer data might have been compromised by hackers, the company spokesperson Paula Drake told that the moment they came to know about the possibility of data breach, their security staff, as well as forensics staff, started working to minimize risks.
In case hackers really stole information regarding cards and payments, the retailer will join companies such as Target Corp., Michaels etc.
Aleksandr Yampolskiy from Security Scorecard Inc. has a view that no matter how hard large corporations try, it is not possible to prevent security breaches altogether, although reduction of such events is certainly possible with the right measures. The expert feels that many weak links that a corporation has are simply too much to handle, and so if a hacker is truly determined, he can eventually succeed.
A small percentage of the known retailers in the US feel that embracing cards that have embedded chips may reduce the chance of encountering a hack, as such cards provide better security compared to cards that have magnetic strips and store personal data.
Underwriter Nick Economidis, at Beazley, thinks that the absence of chip cards is one of the main reasons why most breaches and frauds are aimed at the US, as opposed to the European countries. But since EMV implementation all over the country is likely to take years, and attract millions, or even billons, of dollars for successful completion, such a measure cannot be expected to be present everywhere very soon.
Yampolskiy and other experts think that most corporations and retailers are not doing enough to prevent security breaches in the first place. Interestingly, SecurityScorecard gave Home Depot just a C in terms of how secure it was, as opposed to giving a B to Costco and Wal-Mart.
While the average time taken for cleaning up malware for the retail industry is just 1 day, Home Depot has been known to take nearly 1.3 days in order to eliminate any malware from its system. Besides, various vulnerabilities were discussed by hackers on the Atlanta website of the retailer from as early as 2008!
Cloud computing is the new ‘in’ thing, and everyone is talking about it. While some say it is just a fad, others are willing to swear and bet that cloud is here to stay, forever and ever. Both the sides of the argument have strong and valid points. It is not possible to know which is correct and which is not at this point in time. Whatever that may be, there are 10 facts about cloud storage which are truly fascinating:
1. On an average, a single organization uses at least 545 different types of cloud services at present, knowingly or unknowingly
2. While back in 2008, the cloud industry was worth about $46 billion in total, it has been predicted by multiple sources that by the end of the year 2014, the total worth of the industry will surpass $150 billion
3. Astonishingly enough, few recent studies suggest that almost 50% of all information technology data is going to be stored in the cloud within the next 4 to 5 years, which is huge considering the present size of data stored in the cloud right now
4. By the start of the year 2016, the Asia-Pacific industry is likely of use 1.5 zettabytes of cloud storage, and the North American industry is likely to use about 1.1 zettabytes, which is defined as one billion terabytes
5. At present, the highest percentage of cloud data consists of photographs, the second highest data type is emails, followed by business documents, calendars, address books, music and research notes, in decreasing order of percentage
6. The largest budget for enterprise cloud computing is a massive and impressive 125 million dollars, while mean enterprise budget is also quite surprising at $8,234,438; on the other hand, median enterprise computing budget is $675,000
7. Three commonly known cloud services are used the most at present, which are Google Cloud, Amazon Cloud and Microsoft Cloud
8. More than 82 percent of companies in different sectors report that the transition to cloud storage from regular storage saved them considerable amounts of money
9. At present, more than 1 exabyte of data is estimated to be stored in the cloud, which is equal to a whopping 1,000,000 terabytes
10. More than half of all companies store very confidential and sensitive data in the cloud at the moment, and 56% of companies report to trust cloud’s ability to protect sensitive data