Nestled in an emerald valley with a backdrop of mountains, Chattanooga, Tennessee is an unlikely and thriving competitor against tech companies in New York City and Silicon Valley. Over the past decade, Chattanooga propelled to the forefront of preferred locations for tech startups due to its remarkable combination of history, forward-thinking policies, and push to create a vibrant startup ecosystem. Today, as a tech hub for fully managed IT services, Chattanooga continues to flourish due to the number of tech opportunities appearing.

Despite the abundance of fully managed IT services in Chattanooga, RJ Young has remained the preferred managed IT service provider in the area for many years. Chattanooga businesses – from small to enterprise-level – trust RJ Young to assist them with exactly what they need when they need it. No unpleasant surprises or unnecessary challenges.

Whether you are a seasoned, large organization or a tiny startup in Chattanooga, RJ Young can help your organization’s IT functions run smoothly.


What are Managed IT Services?

A managed IT service provider is a third-party that is responsible for the functionality of a company’s IT services and equipment. They maintain updated technology while managing unpredictable conditions and tight budgets to assist with a business’s needs.

Managed IT service providers can address a wide range of IT needs including cybersecurity, help desk support, networking support, anti-malware, email filtering, and more. These services can be easily budgeted for businesses as they pay monthly or annually. Most providers will do an IT network assessment and look at several factors such as the number of users, licensing, hardware and software upgrades, 24/7 support versus business hours support, and more. An effective managed IT service provider should provide a backup and disaster recovery strategy to prevent the damaging impact of an emergency, as well as recommend software solutions to accommodate a business’s specific needs.


Three Ways RJ Young’s Managed IT Can Help Your Business

Choosing an IT provider, especially in Chattanooga, can be difficult – RJ Young makes it simple.

With excellent employment opportunities, impressive tech infrastructures, and a low cost of living, Chattanooga is an attractive choice for tech sector startups and young professionals seeking a change of pace. However, a thriving tech scene also means the city has attracted an excess of managed service providers.

For the dozens of major companies who reside in Chattanooga, this overflow of managed service providers can be frustrating and can make the process of finding the right managed service provider unnecessarily difficult.

RJ Young understands the importance of helping startups transition into the new digital environment. With technology constantly changing, it’s difficult to keep systems secure and operating at peak performance. Here are the unique ways RJ Young’s managed IT services can help lightning the burden.

1.    Reliable IT Service Provider

When choosing a managed IT service provider, uptime, retention rates, and client lists are all important elements to take into consideration. RJ Young has the necessary trained staff to deliver the services required to meet a startup’s ever-changing needs.

If you are a small startup and your network goes down, you may be put in a queue behind larger organizations. It may be days or even weeks before you are up and running again. At RJ Young, their IT services team is fully staffed with help desk technicians, project managers, network engineers, network architects, and everything in between. Due to the wide range of skilled professionals on staff, unique IT needs are addressed quickly and effectively.

2.    Full-Service Solutions

RJ Young is a one-stop shop to get exactly what you need when you need it. In additional to IT Services, RJ Young offers copiers and printers, managed print services, outsourced printing and promotional items, and wide format printers. Essentially, all services to help your business be as productive and efficient as possible. Alternatively, most IT providers are only that – IT providers. RJ Young understands the importance of being that one central touchpoint for all of a business’s needs – users will have no question who to turn to in the event of an issue or challenge.

3.    Cost Control

RJ Young’s managed IT services allow businesses to take control of their IT costs and create custom solutions to match their unique business goals. When determining the cost of a managed IT services contract, RJ Young’s IT experts look at several factors such as the number of users, licensing, hardware upgrades, 24/7 support versus business hours support, and more. One of the many benefits of RJ Young’s managed IT services is that all contracts are one flat, predictable cost every month.


RJ Young Provides Fully Managed IT Services in Chattanooga and Throughout the Southeast

Today, as a tech hub for startups and fully managed IT services, Chattanooga is gaining more prominence each day. However, not all fully managed IT service providers in Chattanooga are created equal. When it comes to choosing a professional service to support a startup’s success, experienced companies offer the best insights and solutions to handle whatever challenge that may arise. RJ Young has been in business for over 60 years and has experience developing custom solutions for startups, small businesses, and established enterprise-level businesses across a variety of industries in Tennessee and throughout the Southeast. RJ Young partners with some of the best companies in the industry to provide reliable and secure hardware and software solutions.

RJ Young provides expert guidance in business processes and managed IT services in Chattanooga. Contact RJ Young today to get started.

Medical offices are fast-paced, dynamic environments which handle an array of different types of data and technologies. From life-saving devices to document management processes, healthcare providers and medical professionals need to be as well-versed in tech as they are in their careers. As such, their IT needs also represent some of the more unique challenges. However, medical IT support can ease these challenges by providing the right set of tools and guidance.

Managed IT services deliver a host of benefits to medical offices, as well as healthcare organizations. Therefore, medical offices should consider using a third-party IT support team to keep their infrastructure running, secure, and efficient.

How Managed IT Services Benefit Healthcare Organizations

Medical offices benefit from IT support and managed services in four significant ways. These include:

1.    Keeping Data Secure

The modern medical office emphasizes superior care for its patients. To do so, it must maintain the highest level of security to protect Electronic Health Records (EHR), and Protected Health Information (PHI). A managed IT service can help with this in two main ways:

Access and Policy Controls

The term access control refers to controlling physical access to data. One instance is a locked door where only certain people have the key. Likewise, policy control refers to a set of rules by which information may be accessed. For instance, one example of this includes user accounts and specific documents, which are “approved” for printing. A managed IT provider can help an organization identify instances where either type of data control are missing and then establish the proper measures to improve security.

Backups

Healthcare organizations handle a tremendous amount of data. Therefore, they need a robust backup strategy to help prepare for things like disaster recovery, and security risks. Managed IT services can develop automated backup solutions to help medical offices keep its data secure in the event of an emergency.

2. Streamlining IT Infrastructure

Medical office IT support often focuses on optimizing IT infrastructure to support more efficient internal processes.

Develop a Strong, Flexible Communication Infrastructure

Healthcare organizations need intense infrastructure to manage the difficult nature of the industry. For instance, to gain a sense of exactly how large it is, consider that the healthcare sector in Nashville alone earned $47 billion in 2018—and much of it is digitally interconnected.

Likewise, the lightspeed pace of the healthcare industry requires the ability to communicate information quickly and accurately. Therefore, a managed IT provider can help a medical office build a robust communication infrastructure which reaches every part of the organization—and grows as the office changes.

Maximize Uptime

Managed IT services help minimize a network’s downtime, as well as maximize infrastructure effectiveness by making sure that everything continues to run and work correctly. Ways to ensure maximum uptime include routine updates, preventative maintenance, adaptive strategies, and frequent assessments to spot weaknesses. In other words, partnering with a Managed IT Network provider means the network downtime is handled immediately, and systems are restored rapidly.

3. Maintaining Compliance and Confidentiality

The healthcare industry, unlike many other industries, is legally required to maintain certain levels of compliance and confidentiality in addition to managing security risks. An experienced managed IT service provider understands these requirements and can assist in ensuring compliance with the below:

Implement HIPAA Compliant Solutions

The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act is a law designed to provide privacy standards to protect patients’ medical records, as well as other health information provided to health plans, doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers.

However, many standard tools used—such as web-connected office document suites—are not always HIPAA compliant depending on the version or how they are used. Therefore, all systems that are used to transmit, receive, store, or alter electronically protected health information need to have HIPAA compliant solutions incorporated to ensure the appropriate security measures are being taken. In addition to that, HIPAA privacy rules apply to both written and visual information.

Risk assessment and IT management are key considerations for HIPPA compliance. Therefore, businesses should work with a knowledgeable managed IT service provider to ensure implemented solutions are compliant.

Monitor Solutions for Continued Compliance

Technology continues to evolve, and as it does, services or tools may become compliant or non-compliant at a moment’s notice, or even without notice. A typical example includes updates to cloud services which affect compliance even if these updates make the service more secure. However, a skilled managed IT service provider can help spot and prevent instances of this from occurring.

4. Minimizing Overhead Expenses

The healthcare industry is not exempt from the pressures to remain competitive. For instance, like other forms of managed services, medical office tech support reduces an organization’s operating expenses by streamlining the IT infrastructure and cutting unnecessary costs. This occurs through:

Known IT Services Budget

Working with some IT providers often means that the organization receives a flat rate bill every month, or an expected estimate through metered services. In addition, there are no hidden expenses, unexpected bills, or questions about how much maintenance or upgrades will cost. Although RJ Young does offer a flat monthly fee, not all providers do, therefore make sure to research before choosing a managed IT services provider. 

More Efficient Use of Resources

Managed IT services help medical organizations use existing technology and resources more effectively. In other words, this allows offices to do more with less. When devices and infrastructure are utilized to their optimum, it becomes easier for employees to get high-quality work done quickly.

Choose RJ Young for Your Medical Office IT Support

Healthcare professionals need reliable, efficient solutions to provide the best possible care to their patients. IT support for medical offices provide that. However, when so much relies on the correct implementation of infrastructure tools, it’s worth it to choose a provider with demonstrated industry knowledge and technical expertise. Only experienced providers, such as RJ Young, exhibit the skills and qualities necessary to deliver exceptional managed IT solutions.

Ready to talk with RJ Young about your medical office IT network support needs? Contact RJ Young today to discuss the design of your medical office’s customized IT Services plan.

At some point, every organization will experience unplanned and unavoidable expenses. For instance, the company vehicle might blow a tire on the far side of town or the air-conditioning might break in the heat of summer. Similarly, the server can fall prey to malware, paralyzing operations at a moment’s notice. However, while the first two may make a day more stressful, the last can prove fatal. Here’s how to avoid cybercriminals year-round with IT services management.

What is IT Services Management?

Just like when the air conditioning quits on a 100-degree day or when a network goes down on a busy workday, it gets people’s attention. It is an urgent problem, and many companies will pay whatever it costs to get their core business functions up and running again.

However, that is an expense which is entirely avoidable – even preventable. IT services management, also referred to as managed IT services, is one strategy many companies adopt to avoid a server going down in the first place. In other words, a managed IT service is the introduction of a third-party team of experts to develop and maintain a company’s IT infrastructure.

RJ Young provides managed IT services for one flat monthly fee to provide typical IT services to businesses, including strategic IT planning, monitoring, incident management, anti-virus protection, backup/disaster recovery, cloud storage software, and help desk support. This flat monthly fee is to avoid any unexpected disasters and to help take care of smaller matters as they arise.

The chief benefits of managed IT services are:

  • Predictable and reduced IT expenditures. Clients will enjoy strategic IT planning, monitoring, cybersecurity, and service requests at a fraction of the cost of developing in-house infrastructure.
  • Reduced downtime. IT services management helps make sure that the infrastructure stays up and running to reduce disruptions in business operations. Having a managed IT network means your network downtime is handled immediately, and systems are restored rapidly.
  • Internal focus on high-value initiatives. A managed IT service provider takes care of the routine tasks of keeping software up-to-date, servers patched, and data backed up so that internal employees can stay focused on high-impact activities which drive continual improvement.
  • Strategic technology planning. Businesses grow and change—so do their technology needs. Managed IT services build custom solutions with growth in mind to ensure that a company will always have what it needs as well as planning for the future.
  • Enhanced security. Every breach event may seem like a new, creative attack on an organization. However, there are few things seasoned cybersecurity professionals have never seen. Managed IT services mean businesses get the right tools with the best security to keep valuable company data safe. Route audits can help your company reduce the risks of potential security breaches.  IT service management can also help businesses stay IT compliant with government mandates including Sarbanes-Oxley, FERPA, HIPAA, and other industry privacy regulations.

Cyber Security Tips for the Holidays

Most cyberattacks happen between the dates of Black Friday and New Year’s Eve. In many industries, summer is the slow season for cybersecurity, as fewer major breaches have historically been documented. Here are a few tips to help your organization or business prepare for the holidays.

  • Do a little late spring cleaning. Change old passwords, update the antivirus, and remove any user accounts which are no longer used.
  • Get a shadow IT assessment. If employees have been installing or utilizing IT resources outside the view of the IT department, now is the time to rein it in and make sure no unnecessary security risks exist.
  • Develop plans for increased security around holidays. Take the time to understand what sort of attacks typically occur during the holidays and develop a strategy to defeat them.
  • Take time to educate staff on phishing attacks and cybersecurity. An educated staff is the best frontline defense. Make sure staff understand how to stay safe online and when handling data.
  • Stay vigilant. Even during the holidays, cyberattacks are possible. Make sure your security team is adequately staffed during the holidays and that your organization or business is prepared for the increase in cyberattacks.

Get Started with an IT Assessment Today

With the holidays quickly approaching, businesses should start preparing. Now is an as better time as any to reconsider an organization’s IT budget, strategy, and long-term trajectory – as well as prepare for the expected rise of cyberattacks during the holiday seasons.

Let RJ Young’s Managed IT Services team take care of your company’s security so that you can enjoy the holidays. Contact us today for an assessment of your IT infrastructure.

Printing is a quintessential business activity across the board. When it comes to setting up a print environment, there are many different configurations according to the printing needs of an office. One strategy is to set up a print server which connects printers and computers via a physical server. You might be asking yourself what do I need to know about a print server setup?

A print server has advantages for businesses with multiple printers and a demanding print environment with centralized printing. However, this approach also has drawbacks for other print environments or needs. Here is the scoop on what a print server is, and when you should use one.


What Is a Print Server?

A print server, or printer server, is a device which connects printers to computers over a network. All print jobs are sent from the computer to the server, which then sends the print job out to a printer.

Print servers are quite common in demanding print environments where there may or may not be more than one printer. Every computer can access a printer on the same network, and the server ensures that each printer does not get overloaded.


Advantages of a Print Server

Print servers have several major advantages which have caused them to remain so popular for the past several decades. With a print server, an office can:

1. Enjoy the Cost-Effectiveness of Having Fewer Devices

A print server regulates the flow of print jobs to the printers, meaning that an office can have fewer devices. Not every employee needs their own printer. It also keeps the print environment simplified so that an office does not need to purchase a whole array of print supplies for different machines.

2. Central Management Is Easier

Many modern print servers come with software to help with the central management of a print environment. Since all print jobs are sent to the server first and not directly to the printer, it helps the systems administrator keep an eye on everything, introduce stricter printer settings, and stronger environmental control.

3. Better Handling of Large Print Volumes

A print server queues print jobs on the server, sending them to the printer when it is ready. This helps avoid network jams from too many print jobs going to the same printer all at once.

4. Better Security

Printers are rarely monitored for security despite the fact that they handle tremendous amounts of sensitive data. In contrast, a print server is a much more visible device which can be secured as well as help to separate printers from other computers on the network.


Make Sure a Print Server is Right for Your Business

Print servers are not appropriate for every office. There are a few potential points of concern to consider:

1. A Single Point of Errors

A print server centralizes the print environment. However, that also means that if the server goes down, the entire print network goes down. Offline printing is only possible if the printer is within physical access.

Centralized printing is nonetheless often extremely valuable for many offices. RJ Young can help mitigate server downtime by ensuring that offices have access to a Help Desk and Live Chat at all times. Should the server go down, RJ Young is prepared to assist at a moment’s notice.

2. Acquisition Costs

Acquiring the necessary hardware and software for a full print environment represents a sizeable investment for many companies. It can be tricky to find the right combination of hardware and software which suits a business’ needs which is where an RJ Young on-site print specialist can help.

However, owning the right printing equipment gives businesses a solid leg up in their workflow efficiency. RJ Young offers in-house leasing and financing services which give businesses financial flexibility on software and equipment so they can adjust to accommodate for future growth.

3. Requires Expert Installation

When incorrectly configured or deployed with the wrong print environment, a print server can cause bottlenecks in performance. When configured correctly, print servers help keep printers from getting overloaded and make sure that jobs flow smoothly from start to finish.

RJ Young can strategize with a company to determine if a print server will make a positive impact on a print environment. Workflow experts will identify where to strategically deploy a print server to deliver the greatest possible benefits in efficiency.


When Is a Print Server Best?

Despite the fact that they have been around for decades, print servers are still a valuable component to a print environment. Strongly consider using a print server when:

  • An office has a large print volume or many parallel print jobs which need to be handled reliably.
  • Computers need to be kept unburdened of the computing load it takes to print.
  • The company network and print environment need to be separated.
  • Centralization is desired.
  • There is a need for stronger access control or printing permissions.

Get a Print Server Setup with RJ Young

Setting up a print server can make a print environment much more efficient. A print server provides many advantages such as centralized printing and the separation of the printer network from the company network. However, it is but one of a few strategies which offices can consider when determining how best to set up their print environment.

RJ Young helps companies achieve efficiency in their print environment through the setup of print servers, office equipment, and software. Get started today by reaching out to a print environment expert. 

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, small business 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 managed network services or 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.

Small Business IT 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.