In February 2015, we wrote a post describing seven Information Technology (IT) terms that business leaders needed to know in order to have meaningful conversations about their companies’ business technology systems. As technology has evolved, so has the required vocabulary. Here are seven more terms to help growing businesses take maximum advantage of technology.
- Managed Services
A Managed Services Provider (often shortened to MSP) is the company that manages and assumes responsibility for a defined set of services to related to the client’s computing infrastructure and network for a fixed monthly fee.
The services that are included within the scope of the fixed fee differs from MSP to MSP. It’s crucial that you understand what services your business needs on a recurring basis so that you can match your needs with the right MSP.
At IND Corporation, the scope of our TotalCare managed service agreement includes all of the IT services that is needed for the recurring, pro-active support of all business systems, as well as unlimited remote and onsite helpdesk support, and IT consulting. Our proactive model enables us to become your outsourced IT department, usually at a cost far lower than keeping even a single full-time IT employee, and with far better results.
Managed services is a relatively new service model that is replacing older models of IT support: in-house and pay-as-you-go consulting and break/fix services. Before the MSP model, most small- and medium-sized businesses were stuck with pay-as-you-go IT support or had an employee whose expertise and capabilities could not possibly be as broad or deep as a managed IT services provider offers with network engineers, IT consultants, 24/7 system monitoring, tech support, and more.
- Public Cloud
When most people think of Cloud services, they think of things like Dropbox or Google Docs. These are examples of “public” Cloud services, which just means that many different people/businesses are sharing the same software service.
The big advantages to public Cloud-based services are cost and access. Because of the sheer volume of people using the service, the per-user expense can be very low for organizations. Also, businesses and their employees can access these services from anywhere they can get online, which is very handy if you have people who work offsite or if you have an interruption of your local internet connectivity.
Among the downsides of the public cloud are security, specificity, and compliance. All that access means more exposure to hackers. Likewise, services aimed at broad sections of the public may be missing some of the functionality required by your specific industry, including compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley, PCI, and HIPPA. You also have little to no control over how the service is run, how updates are made or any of the operating functions of a public Cloud service.
- Private Cloud
A private Cloud, on the other hand, refers to a specific, dedicated server (virtual or hardware) or a data center that is only used by a single entity. A private Cloud solution lets your organization take advantage of the Cloud-based deployment model while maintaining complete control over security, compliance, and configuration. Although it’s much more expensive than using a public Cloud service, it is well suited to larger businesses or those with very specific software or security requirements.
- Total Cost of Ownership
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is an accounting term most business owners are familiar with. In the IT world, TCO includes system hardware, startup costs, operational costs, and retirement costs, all of which involve a number of sub-considerations that are easy to overlook or incorrectly estimate. An accurate TCO enables decision makers to do a proper comparison between different solutions and determine a meaningful ROI. Before making a significant IT investment, always seek the advice of an IT professional who understand your business.
- Mobile Device Management
Mobile Device Management (MDM) typically refers to the software that businesses use to monitor and manage the cell phones and tablets used by their employees, regardless of the carrier or the operating system. This is important because employees frequently use these devices for both personal and business purposes. MDM allows the company to ensure compliance and security, even in a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) environment.
- Business Continuity
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) defines business continuity as “the capability of the organization to continue delivery of products or services at acceptable predefined levels following a disruptive incident.”
What happens to a business when things go really, really wrong? In the IT world, this means having backups and mirror-image operating systems, and a business continuity plan in place in case of a disaster. Increasingly, smart business owners are incorporating programs like IND Corp’s TotalContinuity service into their business continuity plans.
Ransomware hijacks your files by infecting your computers with malware that encrypts your files, which prevents you from opening them until a ransom is paid. Victims are often tricked into these transactions when they receive an email with a link to a malicious website or an infected attachment.
If your company has fallen prey to ransomware, it is essential that your backup system can restore your corporate data. Recoverability of data is an absolute must for any organization and your IT service partner should provide your business with full system backups and have a plan in place for efficient data recovery and system restoration.
IND Corporation is one of New Jersey’s fastest growing managed service providers and a leader in IT planning for the advertising, healthcare, legal, and financial services industries. Contact us today to discuss how IND Corp. can help your NJ-based business make better IT decisions, increase data security, and improve employee productivity.