The cloud is an amazing thing. It is making entirely new levels of productivity and achievement possible as more and more businesses embrace the many services available on it. However, as businesses use more cloud-based apps, the need for a solid management system increases. Cloud storage management helps keep data and infrastructure organized.

Businesses leverage cloud apps such as office suites, G Suite, Adobe Creative Cloud, Dropbox, CRM software, and secure file sharing to transform their offices into productivity powerhouses. In fact, it is estimated that at least 77 percent of all businesses are using one or more cloud applications as part of their operational infrastructure. These services often exist in different clouds but must still integrate with one another seamlessly. Fortunately, cloud storage management assists with this, ensuring that businesses retain the accessibility and functionality they need.

What Is Cloud Storage?

According to Techopedia, “Cloud storage is a cloud computing model in which data is stored on remote servers accessed from the internet, or cloud”.  At the core, the same principles of client/server and peer-to-peer networks are used. However, it is how these principles are applied that makes the software and services more “cloudlike.”

Cloud storage is the use of a service which maintain, back up, and store data which is then made remotely available to users over a network. Users can access this storage from anywhere – on any device – as long as the correct credentials are entered, and you are connected to the internet.

Benefits of Using the Cloud

The cloud delivers a host of significant benefits. These include:

  • Lower cost. Users pay for what they need, and the service is delivered over the internet. No more acquiring physical infrastructure, constant utility usage, and staff to manage it all.
  • Speed. The cloud exists on demand and is accessible as quickly as the internet connection will allow.
  • Efficiency. Helps organizations become more efficient by allowing users to easily capture and exchange information in one central place.
  • Productivity. The cloud makes it easier for users to access the tools they need quickly.
  • Disaster recovery. Backups and data are stored offsite, making recovery easier in the event of a worst-case scenario.
  • Security. The cloud is secure, keeping data stored out of reach of cyber criminals.

The Cloud Facilitates Business Success

The biggest impact of utilizing cloud technology in today’s workplace is centered on the ease of capturing and exchanging information for the purpose of becoming more efficient. Simplifying the end user experience helps employees stay focused on work. Plus, enabling an employee to become more productive speaks directly to the bottom line. 

Likewise, the cloud combines well with other productivity strategies. Process automation utilized in a cloud environment can have a big impact on streamlining business processes. 

A good cloud storage management strategy further amplifies the efficiency created by using the cloud. Since data often occurs in and sometimes moves between different cloud platforms, there still exists a risk that data gets lost, accidentally deleted, or duplicated. Cloud data management helps prevent this by keeping the entire cloud environment visible, regardless of whether or not there is more than one cloud.

How to Choose a Provider

As more businesses move toward cloud computing, more service providers are springing up. Choosing between them can be a headache but working with an expert from RJ Young can help cut through the array of choices. The right set of tools and platforms depends on the individual business. However, there are still a few things that all good providers have in common. Look for:

  • An emphasis on efficiency. The moving of business processes and workflows to the cloud is designed to make the business more efficient. A good cloud provider supports this.
  • A commitment to regular updates. Regular updates and using the latest software reflect a vested interest in keeping data secure while providing users with the best possible experience.
  • Cost-effectiveness. Using the cloud helps organizations cut unnecessary costs and a good provider understands that. 
  • Accessibility and speed of access. Data and tools should be available on demand, at a speed which keeps pace with the organization’s workflow.
  • A focus on data security. Data is the most important element of a business. A good cloud provider takes steps to encrypt its cloud and keep it safe.
  • The ability to integrate cloud services with other business processes. One sign that a provider is set up to help a company manage its cloud storage or services lies in its ability to integrate disparate systems to achieve total visibility.

The cloud brings the best of both worlds: accessible, powerful capabilities in a secure environment. A good provider likewise makes cloud services easy to use and manage.

Cloud Storage Management with RJ Young

The use of cloud services is becoming a prominent business strategy and making a huge impact on businesses. Therefore, companies need better ways to manage the variety of services and platforms which their employees use. A solid cloud management strategy helps tie these services together into a cohesive workflow.

We live in a connected world. If your company is looking to make an impact with Cloud Storage Management then contact RJ Young today. Discover how cloud managed services can connect your organization and make your processes more efficient.

The demand for managed network services is skyrocketing. As the world grows more sophisticated technologically, businesses are being forced to keep up.

A managed network service, also known as managed IT services, is the use of a third-party provider to take care of a company’s IT and network infrastructure. This includes servers, cloud solutions, networks, telephone lines, and more. Each of these systems needs to be kept up-to-date, running, and secure. However, such a task can overwhelm even the most committed of IT departments.


4 Reasons Businesses Need Managed IT Services

Managed network services, or managed IT services, step in to provide much-needed support. Here are four reasons managed IT services are critical to any business.

1. There Are More Web-Connected Devices Everywhere

Internet-connected devices, also known as IoT, are everywhere – including in the workplace. This includes both personal devices and company devices such as:

  • Camera systems
  • Handheld devices
  • Laptops
  • Printers
  • Smartphones
  • Smart devices and wearables, like watches or activity trackers
  • Tablets
  • Smart speakers
  • TVs

While your IT department will be aware of company-provided devices, keeping track of the personal devices connected to the network represents a much harder task. However, this is critical to keeping your network secure.

More devices mean more opportunities for a breach to occur because there are more ways for malware or malicious actors to enter a network. It is like having more doors in a house. While each door may be locked, the chances increase that one of those locks will wear out unnoticed, or a door will accidentally remain unlocked, or a key will end up in the wrong hands.

2. Compliance and Security Are More Important Than Ever

As the amount of data swells, there is more focus on keeping it all secure. More legislation is being introduced and passed which governs how companies may or may not use personal data. In 2019, the US federal government has introduced a bill to increase the protection of user data on the internet.

Businesses, no matter how large or small, are expected to stay up-to-date with these shifting compliance requirements. They are also expected to conform to the latest security best practices in order to keep consumer and company data safe. However, just keeping up with the latest trends in cybersecurity is a challenge – hackers are continually targeting small businesses with creative tactics. 

Keeping up with all of this is a full-time job. Fortunately, managed network service providers are dedicated to doing just that.

3. Managed Services Deliver Lower Cost Expertise 

Though startups and small businesses may struggle with network functions or security challenges, there are few things seasoned IT professionals have never seen. Managed IT services mean access to experts and professionals who can help guide a company to better processes, stronger networks, and more effective uses of IT resources.

Managed IT services can help businesses sidestep the acquisition cost of the robust IT infrastructure and professional staffing that they need. Recruiting, hiring, training, and running an internal IT department can quickly increase a budget. For small businesses, the cost might prevent hiring more than just one lone professional. However, a managed network service provider makes sure that a company has the IT support it needs without the risk of burnout or overwork.

4. Internal IT Staff Are Needed Elsewhere

Managing a network involves a lot of rote tasks. Software needs updating. Servers need patching. Antiviruses need to be run. Occasionally, hardware needs to be replaced. These tasks are low-impact, laborious and boring. However, not doing them quickly leads to outdated infrastructure which will cause much bigger problems down the road. Businesses need up-to-date IT infrastructure in order to remain competitive and responsive to market changes.

A managed network service provider takes care of all of the daily tasks which go into keeping a network monitored and maintained. This helps keep internal IT staff focused on higher-level initiatives and bigger projects which help the business grow.


Let RJ Young Provide Managed IT Services for Your Business

Managed IT services, or managed network services, are critical to modern businesses. The high degree of digitization which is sweeping through the business world means that companies are dealing with more sophisticated technology and infrastructure. As digital processes which handle tremendous amounts of data become the status quo, security and compliance are taking an ever more central position of importance in businesses.

A managed network service provider helps companies overcome the challenges presented by these features. A company can get started on the right foot the first time around with the tools and infrastructure it needs to succeed.

RJ Young is thrilled to provide managed IT services to businesses in the Birmingham, AL, Huntsville, AL, Chattanooga, TN, and Nashville, TN areas. Start a conversation with a specialist today.

Proper mainstream support for Windows 7 ended shortly before the release of Windows 10 in July of 2015. Although Microsoft has kept up extended support for the organizations which continued to use Windows 7 on their machines, they have now announced that this will end on January 14, 2020. This leaves just a little under eight months for companies running the operating system to update to Windows 10. Organizations currently using Windows 7 will have to make a choice: upgrade to the latest Microsoft operating system or pay to update Windows 7. It is strongly recommended that companies upgrade now. Technicians who maintain Microsoft Certified Professional certificates for Windows 7, 8, and 10 will help ensure a smooth upgrade.

What Does End of Life Mean?

End of life means that a vendor no longer markets, sells, or supports a product or service. In other words, the service or product is obsolete. Windows 7 will continue to work on machines it has been installed on. However, users who choose to continue with this product do so at their own risk. Technical support, security patches, or system updates no longer exist for this particular service.

End of Life Means No More Patches and Fixes—Unless the Company Pays

Windows 7 remains a popular operating system, with 35 percent of Windows users still refraining from upgrading to the latest Microsoft operating system. Companies — which cannot or will not upgrade — have the choice of paying for further extended support through 2023. However, Microsoft is making this option purposefully unattractive to encourage users to update to the latest – and most secure – version of Windows:

  • The price is per device, making it quite expensive for companies running more than one or two computers with Windows 7.
  • The price doubles each year until 2023. The highest tier is $200 per device.
  • Extended security update purchases in years two and three can only occur if the company has purchased these updates in years prior.

Critically, the paid extended security updates are not available to the general public. Personal users who resist upgrading will be left without support after January 2020.

Why Upgrade to Windows 10?

End of Life for Windows 7 will make machines vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Regular security patches and updates occur because hackers and malware programmers are persistent. Data is valuable. Even if firewalls and antiviruses are kept up to date, these measures are useless if malicious codes by hackers find a way through the operating system and the antivirus does not recognize it is there. This constitutes an unacceptable level of risk for businesses.

Windows 8 and 8.1 Will Also Reach End of Life

Microsoft has suggested that Windows 10 will be the last version of Windows. Microsoft will update and maintain Windows 10 from this point, and all other versions of the operating system will find their way into obsolescence as well.

Windows Server 2008 and Server 2008R2 Will Also Reach End of Life

Soon companies will be losing another popular Microsoft standby –Server 2008R2. January 14, 2020, Microsoft will be officially ending its support for Windows Server 2008 R2 (including all editions Datacenter, Enterprise, Standard, and Hyper-V role). If your company is running Hyper-V on a Windows Server 2008R2 platform you need to start strategizing now if you want to ensure your company is protected and your infrastructure is secure moving forward.

  • No Support Leaves Your Operating System at Risk

Once a product reaches its end-of-life no new features or fixes are releases leaving the operating system open and exposed to outside infiltration because future security gaps will no longer be plugged by software updates.

The year 2020 will be here before you know it, therefore, updating an IT infrastructure is a large task

How to Prepare for Windows 7 End of Life

Companies can still avoid costly security updates and office chaos by beginning the upgrade to Windows 10 now. Each machine may take several hours to upgrade as this may require reinstalling programs and reconfiguring each device. However, through a systematic and organized approach, even a single Microsoft Certified Professional technician can enhance a company’s computer fleet over the coming months.

1. Identify Machines Which Require the Update and Ones Which Can’t be Updated

Conduct a full audit of company computers and devices running Microsoft operating systems. Machines which cannot be updated due to software compatibilities will require special attention to maintain security beyond End of Life.

Take extra care to inventory embedded devices on a network. These are electronics with a purpose-specific computing system, and they are commonly referred to as the Internet of Things. They often run a special version of Windows called Windows IoT, which was released alongside each Windows version.

Devices at risk for running outdated Windows IoT versions usually have user interfaces, such as point of sales devices, kiosk computer systems, ATMs, and handheld barcode scanners. For instance, it is estimated that 1.5 million mobile healthcare devices are running this version of Windows 7.

2. Identify Software Which is not Compatible with Windows 10

Windows 7 had a compatibility feature to run software designed for Windows XP. This feature does not exist in Windows 10, and some older programs will not run properly. These should be replaced with modern software.

3. Optional: Research Alternative Operating Systems

Companies which are strongly opposed to Windows 10 may wish to look into alternative operating systems including those by Mac and Linux. However, consider whether this involves replacing entire machines rather than merely the operating system.

4. Develop a Timeline and Budget

Upgrading will be time-consuming, but it can be done piece by piece. Develop a timeline which minimizes disruption to employees and prepare a budget which adequately addresses this process.

5. Plan for Employee Training on the new System and Updated Software

Windows 10 uses an intuitive interface, but employee training will help foster confidence and reduce frustration, especially if new software is involved.

Upgrade with a Microsoft Certified Professional

It’s time to move forward and embrace the reality that Windows 10 will be the final, and only, version of Windows which Microsoft supports. However, continuing to procrastinate can lead to unnecessary stress and headaches. Get help from Microsoft Certified Professionals to streamline and simplify the upgrade to Windows 10.

RJ Young’s trained and certified technicians are standing by to assist with the transition to Microsoft 10. Contact us today to get connected with a Microsoft Certified Professional and learn more about upgrading your operating system.

What are Cloud Solutions?

Cloud Solutions promise it all: unbridled computing capabilities, access from anywhere at any time, and storage capacities to handle massive amounts of data modern businesses are expected to manage. It is easy to get starry-eyed about the potentials of this technology, especially when cloud computing has become so wildly popular.

Public clouds pose several risks that may make this technology inappropriate for businesses. Cloud services are amazing, but they are not a cure-all for improving business efficiency and productivity.

The Hidden Risks of Cloud Solutions

Cloud solutions are known for reducing costs, improving accessibility, and allowing companies to perform data computing tasks beyond what their native current infrastructure allows.

However, with these advantages come risks which are sometimes not obvious or carefully considered.

1. Latency and server problems will impact business operations – Companies choose cloud-based services because outsourcing infrastructure is less of a headache. However, this also means downtime and latency are outside of a company’s control. This becomes more of a problem when a company shares space with other operations on a public cloud. Just like when someone ties up bandwidth by downloading massive files, other users on the public cloud can throttle accessibility for everyone. In addition, bandwidth restrictions can throttle access to the cloud, limiting accessibility and productivity.

2. Big data has big questions about ownership – Lack of visibility with cloud services is another major factor that companies should consider. This also includes where data resides once it has been put on the cloud and exactly who owns this data.

Most contracts from major vendors indicate that whoever uploads the data owns it. However, that will not stop vendors from locking companies into contracts and rendering them dependent on the services. It also does not mean that data created on the cloud will necessarily belong to the company and not the vendor.

3. Anticipating needs and Budgets is harder than it looks – Although companies choose cloud services because of scalability, scalability in the cloud is hard to understand.

Cloud service vendors enjoy large fee structures, costs of services, and what is or is not included at each price tier. Combine these factors with a miscalculation about what a company needs and many businesses end up paying for too much or end up paying for the wrong service.

4. Compliance Requirements can get Complicated – The healthcare industry, financial services, and other similar industries have strict compliance guidelines that they are required to follow. Using cloud infrastructure in these industries can become more trouble than it is worth if not addressed correctly. A shift in the cloud infrastructure may cause a company to become noncompliant without realizing it. Therefore, companies will need to implement new compliance measures that were not previously thought of before.

Companies can also have compliance issues when they only think about the cloud compliance. In order to stay compliant, organizations must not only maintain compliance on any device used to access the cloud resource.

Concealed Costs

The other major risk associated with cloud services involves unexpected costs. Businesses are sometimes hit with unexpectedly large bills because they do not understand what they are purchasing or what their business truly needs. These unexpected bills can occur:

  • During egress from the cloud.
  • By signing up for “free” services that are, in fact, trials.
  • Through paying for potential capacity, not actual capacity.
  • By requesting services or features which cost extra.
  • As a result of bugs or glitches, which spike server traffic.
  • From rogue cloud resource usage by employees.

The true cost of cloud computing is rarely visible unless focused planning and proper governance occur. Avoid these costs through:

  • Turning services off when they are not being used.
  • Using cloud computing strategically, and not for everything.
  • Restricting access to cloud solutions on a need-to basis.

Benefits of Keeping Data Private

It may be more appropriate from a business standpoint to build dedicated infrastructure rather than relying on a public cloud or cloud service. Some of these business needs may include:

1. Control of Data – Organizations such as those handling personal health insurance need to retain full control of data storage, transmission, and use.

2. Resource Dedication – Dedicated cloud computing capabilities do not suffer from downtime or latency problems caused by neighbors on the cloud.

3. Cost Visibility – Operating private infrastructure prevents expensive mishaps such as paying for unanticipated — but needed — equipment, purchasing too much storage, or requesting support that is not included in the purchased package.

4. Better CustomizationCustomization often drives up the cost of cloud computing services. Organizations requiring customized cloud solutions may consider looking into building their own.

Do Not Stay Foggy About Cloud Solutions

Cloud solutions are a powerful, flexible way to bring new capabilities to a business and there are many instances where such technology is appropriate. However, the hype around cloud infrastructure sometimes blinds users to the risks associated, especially the concealed costs.

Avoid getting caught off guard with an unmanageable bill by taking the time to understand the nature of cloud infrastructure and the services it offers. Contact an expert at RJ Young today to learn what is right for your organization.

In today’s modern business world, technology plays a greater role than ever before. Employees are more connected, new devices are regularly introduced, and efficiency is improving. However, with new technology, there can be new needs and new risks to come. As a result, many businesses find it challenging to balance their wishes to improve technology implementation with the required investment of time and manpower.

This is where Managed IT Services can help a business bridge the gap.

What Are Managed IT Services?

Simply put, a Managed IT Service provider is a company that is responsible for the functionality of a business’s IT services and equipment. They maintain updated technology, while managing unpredictable conditions and tight budgets to help support the business’s needs.

Business IT services can be complicated. Often, existing internal IT staff struggle to keep up with the growing needs of businesses. As a result, companies are faced with the prospect of bringing in additional staff or looking for other solutions. Managed IT services is usually the obvious answer for budget-conscious businesses that want to ensure they have the best IT support available at all times.

Managed IT providers can address a wide range of IT needs including cybersecurity, helpdesk support, networking support, antimalware, email filtering, backup and disaster recovery, and more. Best of all, these services can be budgeted easily for businesses as they pay monthly or annually to retain the services of a managed IT provider. This makes projecting costs much simpler when compared with IT providers that charge on a per incident basis.

3 Benefits of Managed IT Services

So, what are the benefits of Managed IT Services and why should businesses consider hiring a managed services provider?

1. Greater Cost Control

Managed IT Services allow businesses to take greater control over IT costs. Instead of hiring new staff or enlisting the support of third-party IT support on a per incident basis, businesses can budget for the fixed monthly fees associated with Managed IT Services. Costs become less variable and businesses can then dedicate funds to other areas of the business without worrying about skyrocketing IT costs due to unexpected incidents.

The services delivered and managed by providers can also help reduce costs as a result of IT incidents. When businesses have the right tools and protections implemented, they can avoid some of the devastating costs associated with inadequate cybersecurity.

2. Room to Grow

When a small business operation quickly grows, so do their IT needs. The additional costs of hiring new IT staff can prove to be prohibitive for many businesses that are focused on growth. As an example, according to Indeed, the average IT professional in the United States earns more than $50,000 per year. Specialized IT staff can demand a salary much higher than that. Furthermore, finding and hiring these employees can be a challenge as they are in high demand. Fortunately, these considerations are not something with which growing businesses need to be concerned.

Managed service providers already have the necessary trained staff. As a business grows, their managed service provider can deliver the services required to meet their ever-changing needs. Even complex IT needs can be addressed by managed service providers, as they keep a range of skilled professionals on their staffs.

3. Better Service Made Simple

Businesses that do not use a managed service provider often have a wide range of vendors they may contact for various needs including printer supplies or software support. This can create confusion and frustration. Relying on one Managed IT Service provider ensures that the process is much simpler. All needs are processed through one centralized portal.

The same goes for managed IT support. Instead of trying to contact the right vendor for support, a helpdesk can be available for employees to reach out to in the event that they need help with their devices or programs. Utilizing just a single touchpoint, users will have no question about who to turn to in the event of an issue or a challenge.

Focus on Business, Leave IT to the Experts

Ultimately, business IT services should be in place to help businesses focus on what they do best rather than worrying about managing vendors or IT needs. Cybersecurity needs, networking needs, helpdesk support, and malware protection can all be delivered with one single service provider.

RJ Young is your one-stop shop to get exactly what you need when you need it, with no unpleasant surprises about functionality or cost. They can lighten the burden by providing end-user support with a phone call or click of a button. RJ Young can also assist your business with larger IT projects, create unique business solutions, and offer consulting services or staff augmentation to help you achieve your goals.

To learn more about Managed IT Services and the cost benefits of choosing a managed services provider, please contact RJ Young.

The fast-paced, tech-savvy environment makes managed network services a smart move for startups and small businesses. Rather than scrambling to throw together digital infrastructure, fully managed IT services in Chattanooga, Tennessee provide professional-level expertise and security from day one. Below are three benefits of small business IT Services in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Why a Small Business Benefits from Using Fully Managed IT Services

Starting off on the right foot in the digital environment gives a leg up to any modern business and represents a critical requirement for survival in a startup-oriented economy. Here are three benefits for small business IT Services in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

1. A Managed IT Provider Increases Security and Reduces Risks

Hackers dedicate their careers to breaching security. Businesses should meet this dedication with equal vigor. Managed IT providers give businesses the same level of professional cybersecurity as the leading tech companies.

When it comes to technology, small businesses are at a disadvantage and hackers know it. Since 2011, cyber attacks have increasingly targeted small businesses because they bank on the assumption that startups and family-owned operations will not have the expertise to thwart infiltration. This approach has worked up until now.

Managed IT services provide one prominent solution to this problem. One of the largest benefits of these services involves the ability to leverage professional experience and infrastructure without needing to make the costly investment to develop them in-house.

The IT industry is rapidly evolving and that is not set to change any time soon. Hackers continue to find more creative ways to make off with valuable data. The challenge of staying on top of all their tricks may stress and bloat a company’s security budget.

This environment creates more ways for critical details to slip through the cracks and create exposure. Conversely, there exist few problems which professional cybersecurity experts have not seen before. When it comes to small business IT services there is no excuse to slack on partnering with a reliable provider.

2. A Managed IT Provider Simplifies Compliance

Finance, healthcare, and manufacturing comprise the three largest industries of Chattanooga. Regulatory compliance is far more than just a buzzword or even a best practice in these industries. Legal requirements make it a priority.

Compliance regulations cover the storage, use, and transmission of data. When correctly followed, they provide a framework which guarantees the safety of employee, patient or consumer data; depending on the industry, these may range from encryption recommendations like in NIST, to legally mandated procedures such as in HIPAA. Failure to comply often involves costly fines or even lawsuits resulting from a breach.

Managed network service providers know regulatory compliance and can help streamline an organization’s achievement of the requirements. In the case of managed IT services, the burden of compliance gets shifted to the professionals. Small businesses can stop worrying.

3. Stay Focused and Boost Competitiveness

Small business IT services keep employees focused on what matters: making the business successful.

IT problems can disrupt productivity and can cause businesses to lose money because most businesses heavily rely on digital infrastructure. The smaller the business, the greater the potential impact. Rather than focusing on profitable strategies, employees spend time detangling problems and searching for the right fix.

Adopting fully managed IT services in Chattanooga, Tennessee also gives small businesses a competitive edge, especially in the city’s startup tech sector. The city where Coca Cola bottled its first drink has a reputation for innovation. Citywide access to fiber internet and investment into startup infrastructure has attracted workers and investors looking for the next big thing which will disrupt an industry.

This means small businesses need to present a professional digital face from the start. They must convey the same stability as established companies, along with the promise of agility and creativity not found in a larger company.

A broken website, half-functioning server – or worse, a successful hack – simply does not send that message. With the right managed IT provider providing seamless support, even startups can send the message that they take security seriously.

Managed Network Services Give Startups a Boost

Managed IT providers constitute a logical choice for startups and small businesses for many reasons, and those benefits are amplified for newer businesses. Professional experience in digital infrastructure and cybersecurity ensure that a business gets off the right start.

Sixty percent of small businesses fail with six months of a cyber attack, making managed IT services a vital component of every organization. Interested in ensuring the longevity of a business? Contact us today to see how RJ Young’s managed IT services can support your business’s success.

Finding a Huntsville Managed IT Services provider can be challenging, especially in the growing technology market.

A 2018 survey indicated that two-thirds of small businesses reported experiencing a cyber-attack in the twelve months prior. Unfortunately, that mind-boggling number is not a fluke. Hackers bet on a lack of experience within small businesses to secure their customer data and trade secrets. As more regions develop startup infrastructure like the Huntsville technology economy, these attacks will only grow more common.

An increasing number of businesses leverage professional IT services and support to avoid becoming a part of that statistic. Partnering with a managed IT provider will have many immediate benefits including freeing up employees for other strategic applications. Agility constitutes a critical ability in the fast-paced world of tech startups. Managed IT services can help provide this skill.

Technology Guide: What to Look for When Choosing a Managed IT Services Provider in Huntsville, Alabama

There are more than a dozen managed IT providers that operate in the Huntsville, AL area. This area had been recently called the tech hub of the South. Look for these three qualities in a managed IT provider to ensure you are making the best choice.

1. Modern and Well-Planned Facilities

One of the main advantages of using managed IT services includes cost-effectiveness. Outsourcing IT lets a small business gain access to newer technology and improved cybersecurity without the upfront investment which such infrastructure demands. A full service managed IT provider must be able to deliver on these points with a modern, robust network operations center.

Up-to-date facilities indicate a proactive approach to data security. Sophisticated automation technologies or artificial intelligence deployed in deep analytics represent two emerging capabilities in cybersecurity which clients can expect to see. These technologies create the flexibility to rise to the challenge of addressing security in a perpetually evolving digital environment.

Physical investments in redundancy and disaster recovery indicate a commitment to protecting against data loss. This includes considering physical location. A business in Huntsville, Alabama must consider infrastructure prepared to deal with flooding. Many people believe that living on a 100-year floodplain means that they will never see the historic flooding often mentioned in the news.

This means that such a disaster will catch most people off guard when it happens, and a good managed IT provider will consider this when planning its physical and cloud infrastructure.

2. Strong Hard and Soft Skills

The thriving tech scene of Huntsville, Alabama is ideal for attracting startups, but qualifications do not equal experience. IT professionals need a strong set of technical skills, and the ability to know what solutions are appropriate in different environments. IT deployment looks very different in the case of large corporations and small businesses. Leveraging IT solutions to meet the needs of small and growing companies often require the type of creativity and ingenuity which only come with experience.

Additionally, soft skills matter because small businesses often exhibit more specialization than larger ones. They often benefit from service programs which specialize in specific industries. A managed IT provider experienced in working with retail businesses will understand the needs of a retail business much better than one which primarily works with industrial manufacturers.

However, soft skills go beyond simply understanding the unique composition of a small business. IBM identifies deep skills like managing change, professional communication, and cross-platform integration as hallmarks of competent, reliable service. A managed IT provider may implement adequate cybersecurity for a business which can deepen client and vendor relationships, making the provider ultimately sustainable.

3. The Ability to Grow with a Business

Small business can pose particularly challenging IT requirements. They may have unusual business structures which underscore the demand for bespoke solutions. Small businesses constitute dynamic systems which experience change rapidly. Look for a provider who can keep pace with an organization as it expands, changes direction, and encounters unexpected circumstances.

A good clue as to a managed IT provider’s ability to scale lies in its approach to solutions architecture. Effective scaling relies on features like modular infrastructure, and this often manifests as a services catalog. A provider adopts software or processes which fit together like building blocks in this approach. The result creates a high degree of customization possibilities without needing to rebuild an entire system each time.

Scalability has advantages which sustain both the client and the provider. Scalability ensures long relationships with clients, deepening the value and support which a managed IT provider can achieve in the long run.

Looking for a Managed IT Provider in Huntsville, Alabama?

Huntsville, Alabama has made a name for itself as one of the fastest growing tech hubs in the US. Acquiring the IT services and support which a startup or small business needs can be a challenge. Also, it can be especially challenging in an environment that embraces a self-reliant and entrepreneurial spirit.

Managed IT services help small businesses put their best foot forward in the digital field. They ensure their most valuable data remains secure from day one. Find out how managed IT services can benefit startups and small businesses while providing excellent customer service. Contact a managed IT services professional today!                      

Businesses spend countless hours attempting to make their office compliant. Their team researches the best ways to become compliant and how to implement them, but just because they are compliant does not guarantee IT network security. As a business grows and new staff members come on board, employees must be taught about compliance and trained on recommended processes and procedures. Data must always be secure, but with recent cyberthreats, the bare minimum is not sufficient to protect a business – even if they meet compliance standards.

The Advancement of Technology

Cyberthreats have become more advanced and prevalent over the past few years, with the first data breach of 2019 occurring in the first 24 hours of the year according to Computer Business Review. Other large breaches from 2018 included industry giants like Facebook. It is more imperative than ever for businesses to secure their networks, which means exceeding compliance standards. The Chapter President of the Chattanooga chapter of ISSA puts it simply, “being compliant does not mean you are secure.”

There are several cases of businesses, who have networks that meet compliance regulations, falling victim to cyberattacks. A primary cause of this is businesses neglecting to realize the speed at which technology evolving. Though compliance regulations are updated frequently, they are often reactionary and are not updated as frequently as needed for true network security.

Employee Education Is Key

In addition to the proactive measures taken by a company’s IT team, employee education serves as another safeguard for a business’s network. IT professionals should conduct seminars with both new and current employees to educate them on potential threats and how to avoid them. They should also be taught how to keep mobile devices secure and why enforcing security is vital to the health of the organization.

Data breaches are so common now that Experian releases an annual Data Breach Industry Forecast, while the Information Security Media Group was formed to keep the public updated on the latest company breach updates. Staying educated and updated with these tools helps companies avoid putting themselves in situations similar to the breached companies.

Without proper precautions and education, technology can allow massive breaches in security systems to happen quickly via a misdirected email, an unsecured server, or even a disgruntled employee. Failure to have adequate safeguards can create liability for an entire company.

RJ Young’s IT team can help small to enterprise-level businesses achieve true security with IT services ranging from project work to full Managed IT Services. Contact RJ Young or call them at 800-347-1955 to find out more about how they can help protect your business.

Cyber security is a major concern for any business, from small mom and pop shops to major multinational corporations. In fact, it is estimated that cyber crime could cost users and businesses $6 trillion globally by 2021. That is a staggering figure that could seriously hinder the growth and operations of any business. Perhaps one of the scariest issues surrounding cyber security is that hackers are constantly finding new ways to attack devices and networks. Businesses must stay on their toes and work hard to eliminate threats before they become legitimate targets. To help prevent threats, IT professionals should be aware of the top IT security trends for 2019.

The Growth of IoT

IoT (internet of things) refers to the many different connected devices that are entering mainstream business. There was a time when businesses mainly had to concern themselves with basic connected devices like computers, multifunction printers, and other essential network devices.

Today, businesses need to consider things like connected speakers, smart assistants, tablets, smartphones, connected light switches, among a whole host of other devices. It is estimated that the IoT industry could grow by up to 15% year over year through 2020.

This poses an interesting dilemma for businesses and cyber security professionals. Do they embrace IoT and the potential risks that may be associated or ignore the rapidly growing trend? Businesses that hope to be a part of the future may not have much choice. Rather than ignore one of the biggest IT security trends for 2019, businesses should get ahead of this issue.

Cryptocurrency Mining Malware

Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, were a part of the mainstream consciousness as prices reached all-time highs in late 2017 and early 2018. After a major crash in the value of cryptocurrencies, there was much less discussion about this modern investment and payment technology. However, cryptocurrencies have not disappeared and neither have the threats associated with them.

Although the value of cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, are not as high as they once were, they are still widely accepted online and still have potential for growth in the coming years. This makes cryptocurrency mining malware a very real cyber security threat in 2019 and beyond.

This form of malware is installed on unsuspecting devices without users being aware. It covertly takes control of processing power to mine cryptocurrency in the background while users complete normal daily tasks. This leaves less processing power for users to take advantage of and, in some cases, could lead to premature equipment failure. This ultimately costs businesses money as they replace devices much sooner than they should need to.

The Rise of Mobile Technology

The way people do business is changing. 80% of people are using smartphones todayIn addition, more and more apps are being released that make doing business on mobile devices more efficient and effective. This is a huge opportunity for businesses, but could also become a major cyber security threat if handled incorrectly.

One of the biggest IT security trends for 2019 will involve employers embracing the mobile workforce and its associated challenges. How can employers ensure that devices are secure without holding their employees back with outdated security efforts?

Mobile employees will need the right devices to ensure they can do their job wherever they may be. This enables employees to do their best work at any time but, of course, companies must first embrace this technology.

Bringing Cloud Security Down to Earth

The business world may be on the edge of a data revolution. More and more businesses are moving data and services to the cloud. While this enables businesses to become more agile and move away from physical storage, it also introduces new security concerns.

When businesses move to implement cloud services, they must ensure that their organizational security is ready to handle this new technology. Luckily, cloud services can be made to be as secure as any other data storage method – as long as the right steps are taken.

There are also potential savings for businesses that choose to adopt cloud services. Large spaces for data storage equipment will no longer be required and associated costs, like electricity, can be cut as well. This cost-benefit will certainly make cloud security and implementation one of the biggest IT security trends for 2019.

Keeping Step with Technology and Cyber Security

Predicting technology and cyber security trends can be a challenge as the industry moves so quickly. It is impossible to say what the next great app, service, or device could be. However, having a trusted partner is essential to keeping up with the constantly changing technology landscape for businesses.

To learn more about the cyber security trends of today and tomorrow, contact RJ Young and learn about their managed IT services that can protect businesses from new threats, while allowing them to embrace new technologies at the same time.

Technology, in general, has been an important tool for businesses of all types. These days, it has become the norm to see smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other exciting technologies in modern business environments. Of course, with each new device that employees and employers adopt, there are new concerns that arise including compliance concerns, security concerns, and compatibility concerns. To help navigate the changing landscape of technology, many industry professionals are using Managed IT Services for legal service companies.

The expectations of IT staff have changed as much as the technology in offices. How does IT support for law firms services improve the service and security that firms can offer? This article will cover some of the most important points to answer that question.

Spend Money More Effectively with Managed IT Services

As more devices enter the offices of law firms and technology becomes more advanced, the duties of IT staff also become demanding. The cost of employing a full in-house IT staff can be significant with some IT managers earning over six figures. Of course, the cost of not having adequate staff could be more significant if law firm data security becomes threatened. Modern law firms must ask themselves if they have the resources to hire and maintain in-house talent.  

When law firms trust managed IT services with many of their essential IT needs, they are able to more effectively spend their IT budget. Existing on-site staff can be redirected to tasks that will make the most difference within the business. Law firms without on-site staff can reduce their hiring plans and allocate that piece of their budget elsewhere.

There is also the benefit of having clear monthly costs dedicated to managed IT services for law firms. Instead of paying hourly wages as well as potential overtime expenses on top of equipment costs, law firms can count on one simple monthly expense. This is important when considering that in the digital economy also earn almost double average salary for other employees.

A Greater Focus on Compliance

In today’s modern connected word, IT services are about more than just making sure all devices are working correctly. Law firm data security is important to the competitiveness of a firm, the protection of client information, and compliance with applicable laws or regulations. A serious data breach for a law firm could be costly both with regards to money as well as reputation.

By shifting the responsibility for compliance to dedicated Managed IT services, law firms can trust that professionals are monitoring compliance standards and remediating any shortfalls. Most importantly, any changes to laws, regulations, or best practices can be followed and implemented quickly.

Managed IT services for law firms also offer 24/7, around the clock support because hackers don’t always wait for business hours to launch attacks. This level of support also allows software to be remotely updated to ensure security without interrupting business operations. Simply updating software could reduce one of the greatest security risks within a law firm and help ensure security compliance.

Embrace an Agile Work Environment

Technology and the way people work are constantly changing. Nearly 70% of people use their own personal devices to complete work tasks and businesses are embracing this change. What happens as new technology is introduced, new staff is brought on, and new offices are opened? All of these scenarios could become compliance and logistical nightmares. 

An important role of managed IT services for law firms is to implement a device policy and ensure that the devices people are using are compliant with law firm security standards. The same goes for devices issued by the firm to employees including smartphones, tablets, or laptops.

Deploying new devices can be a time-intensive undertaking for IT staff that are already stretched thin. Managed IT services allow law firms to embrace agile work environments by deploying devices quickly, ensuring compliance, and verifying that all services are working as intended. This reduces downtime for employees and also allows other IT concerns to be managed quickly and effectively. On-site IT staff simply do not have the manpower to manage device deployments as well as other requests in the same way that managed IT services can.

Better Security, Exceptional Service, Lower Costs

Data security is always a top concern for law offices across the country. Balancing the use of new technologies with the need for client data protection is something that every law firm must address. Embracing new technology can allow for better service to clients as well as better efficiency, but a poorly planned IT strategy or overwhelmed IT department could turn into a compliance and security risk.

If you are interested in learning more about 24/7 managed IT services for your law firm, contact our team today.