Information technology has advanced tremendously in the last couple of decades. This growth has led to countless innovations in different areas, particularly our businesses. Technology makes our daily office routines easier and more efficient.
But how exactly can technology help businesses to grow? In a recent blog post, the TPM by United Systems team discusses some of the most useful and versatile tools commonly used by business owners today.
All of the tools discussed are equally applicable to utilities and municipalities across the country. In order to create a sustainable future and continue to meet customer demand while offering the superior customer service that consumers demand nowadays, it is more important than ever for utilities and municipalities to step into the technological future and take advantage of all the tools at their disposal.
Check out the full blog for a breakdown of all these tools, applications, and benefits.
https://united-systems.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Technology-Blog-2-1024x576-1.jpg5761024Dana Fennellhttps://united-systems.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/header-logo-300x59.pngDana Fennell2022-02-09 22:00:372022-02-09 22:00:37TPM by United Systems: The Impact of Technology
For all business and utilities reliable IT support is more important than ever. Whether you have an internal IT department or not, utilizing a Managed Service Provider can offer huge benefits to your organization.
In their most recent blog post, TPM by United Systems discusses some of the key differences between typical IT scenarios. Read the full blog below and head on over to the TPM by United Systems Blog for more great IT industry info!
YOUR IT GUY VS. A MANAGED SERVICE PROVIDER
There is no question that reliable IT support is a necessity for all of us, including small businesses. The reason is that most transactions and business functions are completed online. Business owners need to decide on the type of IT support they need. Whether that be an internal IT department or a Managed Service Provider. Let’s take a look at some typical IT scenarios.
INTERNAL IT SUPPORT
This protection means keeping an in-house IT person on your regular payroll. It’s straightforward, but this is a practice that is not frequently considered unless your business uses a lot of technology. For one thing, having someone on your payroll that you don’t need regularly is not the most economical approach. Also, you will be limited to the skills and expertise of the individuals in your team.
THE BREAK-FIX MODEL
Small businesses favor the break-fix IT model because it is a simpler option. What this means is that you only hire an IT professional whenever your system fails or there is some tech-related problem. In other words, when something breaks, you hire someone to fix it.
When working with the break-fix model, you don’t have a regular IT support team to keep things running. This setup sounds like a feasible and more economical plan if you are not expecting to encounter many system problems. But this approach is also idealistic because the truth is that things will break, and more often than you would like. That usually translates to unexpected costs and a runaway budget.
MANAGED SERVICE PROVIDER
Larger companies that have more complex online systems will hire a team of experts in the form of a Managed Service Provider, or MSP, that can offer complete and diverse IT solutions. Small businesses don’t follow this path because they focus on the monthly bill and not the benefits. The typical reasoning would go like this: What if nothing breaks this month? We would still have to pay the fee for nothing, and that would be a waste of money!
But here’s the thing. When hiring an MSP, you get to choose the kind of services you pay for. It’s not a one size fits all offering. You can decide what kind of IT services or support your business needs, and the monthly flat-rate fee will be computed based on only the services you choose.
And what if nothing breaks? Well, that’s the goal of a good MSP. Your Managed Service Provider will be proactive and keep your technology operating and not approach things reactively, like a break/fix service.
ADVANTAGES OF MSPS OVER THE BREAK-FIX METHOD AND IN-HOUSE TECH SUPPORT
If you are still on the fence about hiring an MSP for your business, take a look at some of the advantages MSPs have over other types of IT support.
A Managed Service Provider consists of a team of highly skilled experts in practically all areas of business technology. If you hire an MSP, you will have access to this vast pool of professionals to help you with any tech issue you might encounter. This approach is in sharp contrast to having your own internal IT guy who may be very capable, but his skill set pales to a team of experts from different backgrounds.
With the break-fix method, you can hire top professionals for your issues, but the process of locating them and getting them on board takes time. With an MSP, all you have to do is call and tell them your problem, and they will immediately send someone over to fix whatever is wrong.
Most businesses that use the break-fix model do so with the assumption that this method will save them money, but as it happens, they usually end up spending a lot more than if they went for an MSP instead. MSPs will charge a monthly fee – that is true. But this is a flat rate. No matter how many services you ask them to perform or how arduous some of the tasks may be, you won’t have to pay a single cent more than the monthly rate. On the contrary, the break-fix model requires you to pay for each service separately, and the expenses can quickly pile up faster than you would have anticipated.
Many businesses perceive the monthly flat rate for IT support to be high. But when you take a close look at your total monthly expenses that go to IT-related services, you might be shocked at how much you are spending.
REDUCE YOUR EXPENSES BY SWITCHING TO A MANAGED SERVICE PROVIDER
Your flat-rate fee will vary depending on the extent of IT support you require. Contact the TPM team so they can calculate the monthly fee that fits your requirements. Chances are it’s lower than what you are spending now, which means that hiring an MSP could save you a considerable amount. Ready to find out?
https://united-systems.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/IT-vs-Managed-Service-Provider.jpg5631000Dana Fennellhttps://united-systems.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/header-logo-300x59.pngDana Fennell2022-01-13 17:01:032022-01-13 17:01:03TPM by United Systems: Your IT Guy VS. A Managed Service Provider
Did you know that October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month?!
National Cybersecurity Awareness Month was established in 2003 by the National Cybersecurity Division within the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cybersecurity Alliance with the goal of helping Americans stay safe and secure online.
Americans continue to become more and more reliant on tech and online solutions. The lines between our online and offline lives continue to blur to the point of becoming essentially non-existent. From social media to smart homes to cloud environments, our lives are becoming more and more reliant on tech and as such more and more susceptible to cybercrime. Our personal information, financial information, and critical business information lives in cyberspace and it is critical that we all do our part to keep this information secure.
The theme for Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2021 is “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.” The goal of this year’s theme is to inspire people and organizations to own protecting their part of cyberspace. If we all do our part by implementing stronger security practices, raising awareness both in our communities and work environments, educating vulnerable audiences, and training employees, we can help to make our increasingly interconnected world safer and more resilient for years to come.
Throughout the month of October, the Technology Process Management by United Systems team will be covering important information related to cybersecurity in their blog and on their social media pages beginning with the differences between cybersecurity and internet safety.
ARE CYBERSECURITY AND INTERNET SAFETY THE SAME?
We hear the terms cybersecurity and Internet safety, but are cybersecurity and Internet safety the same? The short answer is no. However, cybersecurity and Internet safety can incorporate many similar elements, and both involve online safety solutions. Yet, there are differences, which we’ll explore in this blog post. Essentially, internet safety is about individual people and their safety, while cybersecurity is more about securing devices or information held on systems.
Head on over to the TPM by United System website to read more and learn the key differences between internet safety and cybersecurity and how you can use this knowledge to protect your business!
And for anyone who is ever online (most people!), it’s essential to know all about Internet safety too. View our Cybersecurity Resource to download our Internet Safety eBook. This is a great resource for everyone: children, parents, older people, employers, and employees alike. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.
We’ve all heard of cyber threats such as phishing and malware. While we all may be familiar with these terms and be educated on how to avoid or protect ourselves and our organizations from these types of attacks, these threats are only a small part of a much larger scheme called social engineering.
Over the last few weeks, the team at TPM by United Systems has been discussing social engineering, how cybercriminals use social engineering, and ways to protect yourself and your organization!
Breaking Down Social Engineering
Most people have heard terms like phishing and malware. But did you know those are only part of a larger scheme called social engineering? This cyberthreat is not a new kind of fraud. It has been used for many years to manipulate a wide range of people into giving up important data about themselves or their workplace. A prime example of social engineering goes back to Greek mythology with the Trojan horse. They infiltrated the city of Troy with a “peace offering” filled with soldiers, thus winning the war. With technology at the forefront of our lives, social engineering has entered a new era. Physical human interaction is not necessarily required anymore. These criminals gain information through emails, pop-ups, and public Wi-Fi networks, to name a few. The main objective is to influence, manipulate or trick users into giving up privileged information or access within an organization. They are doing this right under your nose, and if you’re not paying attention, you might be a victim as well.
https://united-systems.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/social-engineering-blog-1-image.jpg6671000Dana Fennellhttps://united-systems.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/header-logo-300x59.pngDana Fennell2021-09-23 16:37:042021-09-23 16:37:04TPM by United Systems - Social Engineering
We still see the same scene in horror movies: the main character runs into the house, slams the door, locks the deadbolt, and sighs in relief — but the killer still sneaks up and attacks them from behind!
If you own a small business, you might find yourself in a similar situation. Sometimes small business owners spend large amounts of time and resources physically protecting their operations just to let the most dangerous threats sneak in through the figurative back door.
In a recent blog, TPM by United Systems discusses the 8 biggest security threats that small businesses face. Use the link below to read more!
https://united-systems.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/breaches-blog-2-image-1.jpg6671000Dana Fennellhttps://united-systems.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/header-logo-300x59.pngDana Fennell2021-08-30 20:57:352021-08-30 20:57:35TPM BY United Systems - 8 Biggest Security Threats to Small Businesses
Over the last few weeks, the TPM by United Systems team has been discussing threats to businesses such as hackers and phishing and what businesses can do to protect themselves.
In a recent blog, the team discusses how businesses may be making themselves targets for hackers.
Whether it’s outdated devices, outdated software, human error, or malware, things may be in play that are making your business an easy target for hackers with malicious intent.
In order to protect your business, it is imperative that you are aware of the threats that exist, ways in which you may be exposing your business, and partner with a knowledgeable team to help ensure that your organization stays protected.
Read more about ways in which you could be making your business an easy target for hackers!
https://united-systems.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Data-Breach.jpg6671000Dana Fennellhttps://united-systems.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/header-logo-300x59.pngDana Fennell2021-08-10 14:57:162021-08-10 14:57:16TPM BY United Systems: Data Breach- Are You on a Hackers Watchlist?
Over the last few weeks, the TPM by United System team has been educating users on what phishing is, spotting a phishing attack, and ultimately, how to ensure your organization is protected against these kinds of attacks.
Their most recent blog discusses how your organization’s employees could be your weakest link unbeknownst to you and them!
Two things aren’t going away in business: employees and security threats. So make sure that you’ve taken care of everything you can to avoid falling victim to these attacks!
You can have every piece of security hardware available: firewall, backup disaster recovery device, and even anti-virus. However, your employees will be the biggest vulnerability in your organization when it comes to phishing attacks. Is it possible to mitigate the risk?
Ask yourself these questions: Do your employees know how to protect your network and all the data within it? Can they spot a malicious email or link before clicking on it? Do your staff members know how to secure your digital information from social exploits by sophisticated hackers? Are you using an outdated operating system that is no longer supported?
In this blog, the TPM by United Systems team offers you some tips on password creation, training your employees, and how to spot a malicious email. These are key factors to the security of your database. One breach, one crack in your security, and you may fall victim to stolen data, ransomware, and the possibility of closing your doors.
https://united-systems.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/phishing-blog-image-3.png830980Dana Fennellhttps://united-systems.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/header-logo-300x59.pngDana Fennell2021-07-26 20:46:012021-07-26 20:46:01TPM by United Systems: Fixing Your Weakest Link
When you hear talk about the cloud, it can be a little overwhelming to understand this unique technology. Cloud architecture offers a huge number of solutions, and cloud technology’s rapid development has ensured that it is a field with huge potential. However, many people are not aware of what it is.
As such, our team of IT consultants at TPM by United Systems are on hand to help you understand what the cloud is. In their most recent blog, TPM by United Systems discusses how people and companies are using the cloud to enhance modern data management systems.
https://united-systems.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/cloud-definition-blog-04092021.jpg334500Dana Fennellhttps://united-systems.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/header-logo-300x59.pngDana Fennell2021-04-14 16:28:022021-04-14 16:30:04TPM by United Systems: Cloud Definition
AI has been rapidly evolving in recent years with the IT industry placing demand on this innovative technology solution. It began life with humble origins compared to the immense potential that modern AI software can offer for business networks. In their most recent blog, TPM by United Systems looks at what AI is, how it originated and developed, and how your business can take advantage of this tool.
A Brief Look at AI for Business Networks – What It Is (And Isn’t)
It’s important that we know what AI actually is. Indeed, many businesses don’t entirely understand how AI can be beneficial for their tech problems and solutions.
Let’s define what AI is and what it isn’t. When someone mentions the term “Artificial Intelligence,” you probably think of automatic computers or machines, like robots. This belief was widely popularized by Alan Turing’s statement claiming that “one will be able to speak of machines thinking without expecting to be contradicted.” However, artificial intelligence IT solutions are actually a bit more complicated than this; the modern realm of AI certainly isn’t capable of self-awareness just yet, but it is still capable of offering a huge amount of potential for businesses.
So, AI isn’t just an android; rather, it’s a program that is capable of completing tasks to a similar standard as a human or better. AI systems can be categorized as: Narrow, General, or Super-Intelligent. Narrow and general AI systems are already available for business networks to implement as an IT solution. These systems serve to do a small number of specialized tasks. Super intelligent AI is still in development though, and will likely not exist for a long period of time.
https://united-systems.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/artificial-intelligence-coworker.jpg334500Dana Fennellhttps://united-systems.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/header-logo-300x59.pngDana Fennell2021-03-12 23:29:422021-03-12 23:29:42TPM by United Systems: AI - What It Is and Isn't
When it comes to working remotely, making use of the most up-to-date and high-quality cloud infrastructure and cloud computing services is very important. Cloud computing offers a number of options for business profitability, and a huge improvement for the ability to work remotely. However, you must have the right cybersecurity protocols and software in place to keep your network secure from hackers.
In their most recent blog, the TPM by United Systems team discusses cloud security measures you should know!