IT Consulting

How Can IT Consulting Services Help the Manufacturing Industry?

Gone are the days when the manufacturing industry involved a lot of manual work. With the implementation of new technologies, automation has become the buzzword in manufacturing. The speed and efficiency of operations in manufacturing right now are growing at an inconceivable rate thanks to data-driven models and simplified tools.

The cutthroat competition in manufacturing has forced all sizes of businesses to align themselves with the digital revolution. With modern IT consultant service and expert development solutions, companies can embrace the new technologies quicker and help their employees adapt to the new working styles.

As a growing manufacturing industry, here is how managed IT services and technologies are helping to scale and improve efficiency.

5 Ways IT Consultant Services Can Transform Manufacturing Plants

There are thousands of ways IT services can bring a change in a manufacturing unit. It all starts with identifying the best technology for your operations and ensuring that it’s compatible with the rest of the plant.

Once you start implementing new IT solutions and technologies in your plant, you need to implement them in all aspects of the plant to achieve uniform growth — and ensure high ROI and operational efficiency. IT consultant service can help your manufacturing unit in many ways:

  • Improve the Efficiency of the Production Cycle

A good majority of a plant’s success depends on how efficient your plant production is. When you get the help of an IT consulting company, they can analyze far behind the production and look at the little details that compromise this efficiency, and suggest quick and simple IT applications and toolkits that can prevent that.

You can also automate various sections of a production cycle, utilize the new tools in the market to integrate with the rest of the process, and make sure that the final output contributes to your ROI.

  • Integration with IoT

You don’t need to visit the location of your measurement tools anymore with IoT devices.

You can install IoT channels with your critical measurement units to make or break your output efficiency and use an automated control system that intuitively manages production levels.

You also need the assistance of managed IT services to deploy these units, set up the IoT network with proper routing, and integrate all of that with fully functional software. This way, you can sit at the control station, monitor the measurements, and let the software modify the input channels to get the desired output.

  • Automate Compliances

A manufacturing plant needs to comply with a lot of regulations. It can be local, state, and central regulations, not to mention the industrial standardization audits. 

With so many regulation guidelines to follow, it can be a real problem to keep track of everything and ensure that the plant is running within the due guidelines. But with automated compliance regulation systems, you can automate the majority of monitoring the compliances. You can set notification alerts when a compliance requirement is deviated and take remedial measures to keep them within limits.

This could save you a lot of time and help your employees focus their working hours on something more productive.

  • Equipment Upkeep & Monitoring

You can detect any equipment troubles ahead of time with the right IT solutions. 

Whenever equipment fails, you need to stop the operation to either fix it or replace it. It can cause significant downtime, which again contributes to loss of production.

To avoid such issues, you can install IT monitoring solutions to keep an eye on the parameters of your critical equipment. Since this system will have all the historical data of the equipment, you can also conduct proactive upkeep before the equipment starts the trouble. This will save you a lot of downtime that goes to waste. Instead, you can still keep your plant running and perform preventive or proactive maintenance to nip the issues as they begin.

  • Protection Against Cyber Threats

Every manufacturing plant uses technology to a certain extent. And with the development of technology comes the rise of cyber threats. 

It’s vital to protect your IT systems against cyber threats with the best of the security systems, firewalls, anti-virus programs, malware protection programs and ransomware prevention algorithms.

Just installing these programs on your systems isn’t enough. You need to regularly monitor the communication, network and device usages to make sure that there isn’t any dormant malware present silently feeding on your information. 

Since at least a part of your operation is dependent on digital means, it’s crucial than ever to implement the best security solutions to protect your plant from unwanted online threats.

In Conclusion

IT consultant service can do a lot for a manufacturing plant. From improving operational efficiency to preventing unnecessary downtimes and improving output quality, there’s no limit to the probabilities of including IT solutions in manufacturing. As much as we enjoy the pros of IT services, we also need to safeguard our systems with the proper IT security measures.

At LayerOne Networks, we offer security services in Corpus Christi and the surrounding areas that reinforce your digital protection. We also work with manufacturers, helping them to optimize their operations and implement new technologies. If you want to consult us for any IT services, reach out to us now.

IT Consulting

Finding IT Support Service for Small Business? 5 Key Things to Keep in Mind

Do you know how these top-tier corporates are managing their zettabytes of IT systems?

Three words — excellent IT support.

IT support is one of those areas present in business of any scale but often ignored. Companies that give due importance to IT support are the ones that have smooth functioning IT processes.

Good IT support can prepare your business for any new challenges and ventures to create easy working spaces for the employees. Finding such reliable IT support is critical — even for startups.

If you’ve decided to get support for your IT system, then you’ve made the right choice. But choosing the best IT support can be a tricky deal breaker.

This blog will help small business owners to analyze, understand and find the right IT support to build and secure the future of their companies.

5 Things You Need to Know When Finding IT Support for Small Businesses

In 2015, 15% of US adults didn’t use the internet. Right now, the numbers have reduced to 7%, which means 93% of US adults are active online.

Your business needs to co-exist where the market is– online. Without strong IT support, you cannot grow your business in the cut-throat digital world. 

Here are five essential things that you should consider when searching for an IT service provider.

  • The Scope of IT Support

First of all, you need to understand that many companies offer IT consulting services and managed IT services in the market. You need to get your priorities straight to find the perfect support team to help you scale up.

Some businesses may already have an IT team in place and may want support for a limited time. And some would wish for a long-standing agreement for IT support to take charge of specific IT processes.

Whatever your requirements and reasons are, note them down on paper. These should typically be the responsibilities you want your IT support team to take charge of. 

Having this checklist will make it easy for you to talk to different service providers and see if they can meet your requirements.

  • The Different Types of IT Support

Many small businesses look for external IT support because of the flexible services they can get. There are a few definite models that IT consulting firms provide. It is important to know and pick the one that is best for you.

Firstly, there’s the pay-as-you-use service where you ring up the support team when you need an extra hand or deal with some specific issue. The next one is the 24×7 IT support. The external team will become an extended part of your internal team. This team will monitor your IT infrastructure, fix them, run regular checks, and assist in any future developments.

There’s one more model that’s in between the pay-as-you-use and the 24×7 support. And that is the specialized services. You hire the team for specialized IT support for a few of the functionalities or applications. The duration of the agreement is usually long-term. For example, you can hire a team to run regular malware checks or for disaster management.

  • The Value for Money

As a small business, you don’t want to spend a lot of money on IT support. However, don’t expect out-of-the-world services from companies charging peanuts. 

Analyze how much you can pay for the IT services and the current market rate as a guide in hiring an IT support team that’s within your budget. You should, of course, get the value for the money you spend. So, make sure to ask about the team’s expertise  and if they would be able to cater to the services you require.

  • The Security Measures

‘How safe is my data?’, is one question that we tend to contemplate over and over again.

Many IT consulting firms pride themselves on being the top providers who value your privacy and security more than anything else. And you need to find this type of company to support you.

Ask the team about the different security measures they’ll be taking from their end to keep your data safe. Ask about the authorization protocols and the access controls. Let your in-house IT guy discuss and analyze their security systems. Ask them about their policies and security systems for phishing attacks, malware protection, DDoS attacks, hacking, and data breach protocols. 

This will give you an idea of how much you can rely on them to keep your information safe and secure. 

If you’re already using an outsourcing team, ask them questions and see if they live up to your requirements. If not, it’s essential to make a shift to a new provider now.

  • The Level of Control

With an IT support team, you need to clear on where you draw the boundaries. The work of an IT support team is to ‘support’ your IT operations while the complete control rests with you.

While you don’t need to micromanage them on a day-to-day basis, you still need to check up often, set access limits, and have overall control. An IT support team will help keep the everyday operations up and running and regularly do a standard set of tasks. 

But anything more than should come under your control and guidance. 

Finding that right IT support team could relieve you of a lot of headaches and small processes that consume so much of your time. Keep our 5 pointers in your mind when choosing the right IT support team.

If you’re looking for a reliable and experienced team for IT support in Corpus Christi, Texas, then reach out to us at LayerOne Networks now.

IT Consulting

Reason to Use of Managed IT Services & Boost Business in 2021

2020 threw us a curveball and many of us were left scrambling to sustain our business in the new face of uncertainty. 

2021 brought in a lot of hope and opportunities with learnings from 2020. We’re presently at this crucial point in the industry where adapting to new technology and finding better ways to manage our IT systems can make a whole lot of difference.

This is when we need to make a decision — the best way for managed IT services to position for business growth.

In this blog, we’ll look at various reasons and ways to hire managed IT services to survive in the new normal in 2021 and accelerate your business development.

4 Reasons Says You Need Managed IT Services

The need for managed IT services is steadily increasing. In 2019, the global market size of managed IT services was $185 billion, while in 2020, it hit $207 billion. In five years, it’s expected to grow to over $356 billion.

This increase in the market size of managed IT services shows the demand it has.

There are so many reasons why companies look for managed IT services from external firms. As a top IT consulting firm, LayerOne Networks has worked with several businesses providing custom IT services to manage their business and remove bottlenecks. 

So, are there any specific reasons or situations when you need an IT service provider’s help? Yes, there is.

Reason 1: When You’re Risking Overrunning Your IT Costs

It’s a good thing when your business grows. But your IT system should also be capable of growing and accommodating that development.

When you don’t have a large budget for IT system management or when you’re registering unprecedented growth and you’re quickly overrunning your IT budget, then it’s a sign that you’re headed for some serious damages.

There are only two ways to go from here. One is to update your IT system quickly and invest loads of money in resources, technology, and workforce to compensate for the new needs. Or, you can hire an IT consulting firm that already can supply you with the workforce and technology to handle your current and future needs. 

The latter can be achieved with less budget and less accountability, while the former needs a heavy budget and lots of time to create such a system. 

This is when many companies go for managed IT service providers to make the work simpler and better with the best resources.

Reason 2: When You Want Your IT Infrastructure to Be in Its Best Shape

Installing a hi-tech IT system is only the start of the job. You need to constantly update it, maintain it and modify it to adapt to the changing business needs. 

And when your system is becoming outdated or not maintained adequately, it can run into several technical issues, all of which would deter your business operations.

Hiring an IT service provider to manage your IT infrastructure will make sure that your systems are always healthy and ready to manage your rising volume of IT operations. You wouldn’t ever have to worry about the capacity of your IT system when you’re planning a new business move. The IT consulting firm will take care of the expansions on the IT side while taking care of the rest.

Reason 3: When You Want to Stay Ahead of Your Competitors

There’s barely any industry right now that’s not influenced by technology. From agriculture to teaching, technologies have taken over the progress and innovation.

So one of the best ways for companies to be at the top of their market is to be technologically advanced. And this is only possible with intelligent IT systems that can propel your business forward and implement new initiatives to stay ahead.

Having a reliable and experienced firm offering managed IT services would mean that you’ll always be kept informed of the new tech trends in your industry and how you can implement them fast before your competitors do.

Reason 4: When You Want to Minimize the Hassles of IT Management

As we discussed earlier, when your business grows, you need to keep hiring a bigger team to manage your IT needs. This would mean constant changes to the IT department in terms of employees, tools and technology. All of this takes a lot of money and, most importantly, your time.

If you want to focus on your core business objectives, you can do away with all of this work and just outsource to a local firm that can manage your IT needs as and when that happens. So, all you need to do is communicate your plans and your idea and the team can help you come up with the right technologies needed.

How to Choose the Right Provider for Managed IT Services in 2021?

Since the landscape of IT services are changing, you need a team that is:

  • Experienced enough to handle any complications.
  • Updated enough to keep you abreast of the industry tech changes.
  • Certified enough to provide you with IT services that are tangential to the current needs.
  • Resourceful enough to help you create backups and store your data securely .
  • Flexible enough to change with your business dynamics.
  • Skilled enough to manage any complications in the IT system and resolve them swiftly. 
  • Reliable enough to take charge and pitch in during emergencies. 

Conclusion

Getting the help of IT managed services for your business is the best way to handle your IT needs, prepare your business for future growth and position yourself at the top of the industry. Make sure to be aware of when you require the support of managed IT services and hire them before the critical point arises.

LayerOne Networks offers managed IT services in Corpus Christi. Reach out to us if you want to grow your IT system to support your business ideas.

IT Consulting

Tips on How to Switch IT Service Provider Hassle-Free

When your current managed IT services aren’t performing as well as you wanted and you’re left scrambling to make things work, it can be a real hassle. 

It can either be the communication issues, lack of expertise or resources available. Whatever the underlying reason, maybe, when the IT services you hired aren’t adding value to your business as intended, then it’s time to make a switch.

When you’re thinking about switching IT companies, you want to make sure that no such problem gets repeated. 

Wondering how you can find such a reliable IT consulting firm to work with your business and switch to them? Here are a few things that you should consider.

5 Things to Do When Switching the IT Service Providers

When you’re switching to a new company providing managed IT services, you want to improve the current process. The below points detail how to look for a new one and transition smoothly from your old provider.

  • Acquire Full Control

Many IT service providers have complete control of your accounts and networks, including usernames and passwords. Before you switch to a new one, you should make sure to gain full access to all your accounts and, if possible, change the access codes and passwords. 

While most IT companies wouldn’t cause any issues like locking you out of the accounts when they’re fired, but it’s always better to do so. 

Once you’ve gained completed access, the next step is to acquire all the IT records they’ve maintained about your company. This is essential to make sure that your new IT service provider has enough data and documentation to start the work soon and get familiar with the infrastructure. The documentation also gives you an idea of the work done by the current service provider.

  • Create Backup

While you may already have created a backup system, it’s essential to create a separate backup just for the transition. This backup will contain all the information and documents that the current IT provider has access to.

There are so many things that are not in our control and having a backup will ensure that you always have a fallback option when things don’t go your way.

  • Look at Your Current Service Agreement

When you’re entering into a contract with an IT consulting firm, you would’ve signed an agreement that detailed all the scope of the service. 

This would include the services they offer, the access to software that comes under the monthly fixed cost, the access to documents and the important one, the duration of the agreement.

If you’re terminating the agreement after completing the term duration, you won’t have any problem. If you’re hiring a new IT service provider before the term of the previous one, then you may have to pay an additional fee that would compensate for the rest of the agreement duration. 

Make sure to be aware of how much you have to pay and calculate if this is something that you’re ready to bear.

  • Create a Process Flow for the Transition

When you’re shifting between IT companies, there’s so much information transfer required.

This is why having a process flow and a procedure for this transition will come in handy. You can send out printed information about transferring the login details and the network from the old one to the new one.

Ensure sufficient information for your current provider to have enough time to collect the information and get ready to move the data.

  • Facilitate Communication Between Both the Companies

Some businesses transfer the IT infrastructure’s control to themselves first before shifting it to a new provider. However, this can be a tedious process, especially when you don’t have a sufficiently equipped in-house IT team. The new provider may have lots of questions for you that your old provider can only answer.

When you’re transferring the power of handling your networks and IT systems directly between the two companies, you can cut out a lot of back-channel talks and pass on the information quickly. However, this is easier said than done since the old provider may not be happy to cooperate as much as you require. 

This is when you need to mediate the transition and smoothen things out and facilitate proper communication.

9 Tips to Find the Right IT Service Provider

After your unsatisfactory experience with the managed IT services, it’s time to be cautious enough when searching for a new one. Here are a few things to look out for in an IT company. 

  1. Look for a local IT company if you prefer face-to-face meetings.
  2. A clear and transparent service agreement with no hidden fine print.
  3. Open communication channels and feedback responses.
  4. Quick, reliable team compromising of engineers, developers, designers, managers and experts.
  5. Ability to scale the IT system as and when required and accommodate your growing IT needs.
  6. Knowledge of your current software and vendors and expertise in new technologies for future implementation.
  7. Ability to quickly take over the transition from an old IT company free of charge.
  8. Proposes minimal or no downtime during the transition and lays out the supporting documentation to prove the same.
  9. A self-starting team can take a load of the transition work and quickly get the information without making your job harder.

Wrapping Up

Any business performance hinges majorly on the IT team and its efficiency. With the right IT service provider, you can create several automated processes, simplify handling data, and leverage the IT systems to your advantage. When your current provider isn’t meeting your expectations, it’s best to cut your losses and find a new one with better experience and capability. 

If you’re looking for a reliable company offering managed IT services in Corpus Christi, then reach out to our consultants at LayerOne Networks now.

 

IT Consulting

Finding a Perfect IT Company Near Me

Finding the right IT company to hire isn’t easy.

And if you’re reading this, then you probably know this from first-hand experience.

There are so many IT companies present around the country with varying expertise and resources. So, if you’re wondering, ‘then how can I go around finding that perfect IT company near me?’

Well, this blog is your answer. 

We have put together our years of experience in offering IT consulting services to several companies to analyze and present the best way to identify the right match. So, let’s dig in and find out how you can find a suitable IT consulting firm to cater to your needs.

 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

Before we go on to talk about finding the IT companies near you, let’s take a breath and analyze what your preferences are.

You need to be very clear on your requirements. This is the best way to shortlist the companies quickly. So, here are 5 questions that you need to prepare for.

  • 1. Do you want the outsourced team to work along with your in-house team?

This is completely based on the IT project. You can either ask the outsourcing team to work standalone and deliver the final project. Or, you can hire a few developers, designers, and engineers from the IT consulting firm and ask them to work with your in-house team. Whatever it is, it’s essential to know what your choice is.

  • 2. Are your needs long-term or short-term?

If you’re planning to hire the IT team for a one-off project, say a VoIP installation project or an in-house software implementation, then you can look for people that match the exact expertise. If you’re planning to hire them on a long-term basis, you need to make sure that the company can use resources to match your scaling plans.

  • 3. What kind of expertise in tools and technologies should the IT company have?

Your in-house IT team would already be working with a set of software, tools, and technologies. So make sure to enquire with the outsourcing IT company about their knowledge in these.

  • 4. Do you plan on extending the scope of the services beyond the current project?

Some plan to hire a team initially for a single project to assess and then extend the scope of their services later. If that’s your plan, then make sure to be clear on the expertise that you may need for future projects.

  • 5. What kind of working model do you prefer?

IT consulting firms work in several pricing models: per-project cost, per hour cost, or monthly retainer cost. While most companies give you a choice to choose, it’s best to calculate your needs and budget to figure out the cost-effective model and working style you prefer.

How Can You Find a Perfect IT Company Near You?

Now that we’re clear on your requirements from the IT solution consulting companies, the next step is to actually search for them. How do you do that? Let’s find out.

Look for the IT Consulting Firms Near You

When you need onsite support from the IT firm, then it’s best to search those in your city, preferably around your area. 

If there’s any kind of emergency or quick assistance you need, a support team that’s working in your timezone and present near you would respond quickly. You can also set up regular meetings with the team, get their opinions on your IT processes and make them an extended part of your in-house IT team.

Research About Their Expertise

Once you identify the IT companies near you, research about the industries they’ve worked in, the companies they’ve worked with, and the years of experience. 

A team of IT specialists who know how your market operates and who your target audience is will have a better understanding of executing the IT systems. As you enquire about their experience, make sure to ask about the tech stacks they’ve worked with. 

You need a team with a multitude of expertise in the tech stacks you currently use and exposure to the upcoming technologies. This way, you can depend on the team for new projects in the future.

Analyze Their Size with Your Scaling Needs

You may have plans of expanding your company a few years down the line.

If you’re planning to stick with the same IT service provider, then you need to make sure that they can handle your scaling requirements. You don’t want a company that promises you to supply resources when they are running short now.

You want a company that already has the staffing to meet your scaling needs, even if that occurs only a few months from now.

Notice Their Speed of Response

Timing is everything in the IT department. When hacking happens within seconds and IT systems collapse in milliseconds, you want someone who’s highly responsive, smart, and intuitive. 

While you may not know their responsiveness without working with them, you can ask around in the circles where their current clients are. Or, you can also run a trial period to understand if they can match your working style.

Wrapping Up

While there can be so many IT companies near you, the best way to find them out is to analyze their working style, expertise, and scalability.

When you follow the pointers mentioned above and test the company to see if they’re a good match, you can quickly choose a perfect IT company that can contribute to the bottom line.

If you’re looking for a reliable IT consulting firm in Corpus Christi, reach out to our IT specialist at LayerOne Networks now.

IT Consulting

Outsourcing vs. In-House IT Consulting Services: Make the Right Choice

Every business needs the help of technology to maximize its reach and work in the current world. So, it suffices to say that the IT systems form a core part of the business.

When it comes to maintaining your IT systems, there goes a lot of work regarding the updates, exploring new techs to improve productivity and work among the competition. You will need a team of IT specialists to take regular care of your systems and keep them in good shape.

Now the biggest question is: do you plan to outsource the IT work or keep it in-house?

In this blog, we’ll compare both the choices and lay out the practicalities in both options for you to decide.

How Can You Choose Between an In-House IT Team or an Outsourced IT Company? 

When you require continuous IT support, be it for application updates, regular monitoring, or implementing new IT systems, which is the best choice: an IT consulting team or an in-house team? Let’s find out.

  • Flexibility in Terms of Implementation

When you’re a startup or small business growing rapidly in your market, it’s hard to anticipate your IT needs clearly. When your expectations aren’t clear, then it’s challenging to recruit new employees for your IT team and make the best out of the team.

In such situations, having a reliable outsourcing IT support team reaps so many benefits. Even when there’s an unprecedented amount of work for you, the company offering IT support makes sure to cover all your rising needs. Instead of worrying about requirements for new technology, you can focus on product development and implementation and have a supportive IT team to back you.

  • Room for Scalability

Yes, having internal resources you can walk-in any time and speak to is great. But have you thought about scaling the team?

It’s an enormous task, one that’s difficult for a growing company aspiring to become a scale-up. By scaling, we don’t just mean the IT team but also the resources, tools and software your in-house team relies on to provide the best IT services. 

Having an outsourced IT consulting firm ready to fill in when the need arises would help your IT team keep with your scaling needs. When you need to release a new IT product fast, update an application or create new automated process pipelines, the outsourced team will already have the experience, resources and skills to handle them.

  • Access to Skillset

Your decision to choose between an in-house team and an outsourced team could also depend on the skills you require right now and in the near future. When your IT support requirements are simple, you can do well with a few in-house employees.

But when you have complex tasks and unexpected IT challenges to manage, you need a highly skilled and updated team to quickly attend and resolve the issue. If not, it can lead to security issues, system failures or a lot worse.

While you can create such an expert team in-house, it can’t be done in a day. And of course, you need to spend a lot more money to hire such highly-skilled employees, which takes us to the next point.

  • Cost Factors

Hiring a whole team of IT experts full-time means a lot of money that goes only for the salary. But it doesn’t stop at that. Even the most skilled IT team can’t give their all without the best resources to work with. This means you need to shell out more to procure the IT tools, systems and software for the in-house team.

When you go with an outsourced IT solution consulting team, you don’t have to worry about salary, buy the technical resources, or search for new employees to recruit. You can solely focus on your main task and pay the team a monthly agreed amount to work with your internal team.

This could not just save you money but the troubles of going to the lengths and hiring IT experts, managing them and overseeing their work.

  • Availability

Of all the employees in an organization, the IT team is the one that should be available round-the-clock. You never know when there’s an emergency or a breach in the security and you need the skilled team to quickly rectify the issue. 

Particularly for this factor, it’s best to have an outsourced team working 24X7 so that they can be on top of any emergency and fix it.

What Options Do You Have?

Let’s say that you already have a small in-house IT team helping you with the day-to-day work. But your business is expanding and the team is struggling to handle the workload. 

So, what are your options?

Do you ditch your in-house team and take on an outsourcing company?

Do you hire more in-house employees even when you aren’t sure if you can manage the cost and the workload in the near future?

Well, there’s an in-between option here – you can keep your in-house team and outsource a good chunk of the work to a good IT consulting firm. Since your in-house team is familiar with your ongoing IT systems, they can help the outsourced team understand and begin the work. 

The outsourced team can absorb the workload that your employees can’t handle. They can coordinate the work for any new project, provide educational assistance for your employees to learn the ropes of new technologies and it can turn out to be a win-win for all.

You can even search for ‘IT services near me’ online and find one near your area of business. This way, you can have face-to-face discussions periodically if that’s what you prefer.

If you’re looking for an IT consulting firm in Corpus Christi, you can reach out to our experts in LayerOne Networks. We provide outsourced IT services with flexible models and pricing to take care of IT system management.

IT Consulting

How to Find the Local IT Consulting Firm?

If there’s one thing as hard as hiring in-house employees, it’s finding that perfect IT consulting firm to support you.

You want a reliable IT consulting company that’s really invested in making your business work efficiently and explore technologies to leverage to your advantage. You don’t want someone who is focused more on the billable hours than your progress.

You should be able to weed out the IT consulting firms that aren’t interested in your success in the initial consideration stages. This way, you don’t waste your time and money with a firm that adds no value. But doing that is easier said than done.

This is why we’ve put together a blog to guide you to make the right choice.

4 Things to Have Prepared Before Looking for an IT Consulting Firm

Before we talk about how to exactly search and find the right firm to help you, we’ll see how much you have to be prepared to go through the process.

  • 1. Be Clear on Your Expectations

There are so many IT consulting firms in the market and everyone is an expert in one thing or the other. Some work mostly with certain business types and some are specialized in startups. Some provide consulting only for IT services and some for product development.

So, you need to be clear on the type of assistance and consultation you’re expecting.

Do you need a consultant for the entire duration of a project?

Are you hiring consultations to help with the general direction of progress?

How many consultants are you planning to hire?

What are the specific topics of priority you need their help with?

You need to be very clear about where you stand and how the IT consulting experts will fit your business.

  • 2. Decide the Term Length and Location

How long do you want the IT consultants to work with you?

You may require a consultant for an ongoing project which means they need to start work as immediately as possible. Other times, you may want to create a long-term partnership with a local IT consulting firm that’ll support you in all your tech developments.

So, based on your expectations, outline when you need them, how long you need them, and where you need them to work. If you want the consultants to visit your office occasionally and work with your team, then you need to be perfectly clear on that.

  • 3. Determine the Level of Involvement

How involved do you want your IT consultants?

This is one key question that many often forget to consider. Do you want them to oversee any operations and give suggestions? Or, do you want them to go in-depth, analyze and offer the insights?

When you’re clear about how much you want them involved, you’ll find out the various other specializations required of them.

  • 4. Know Your Budget

What’s your budget?

Understanding how much you can afford to spend on an IT consulting firm will set you clear on the type of firms that fit your bill. Have a realistic budget by looking at the current market rates and decide on something good enough to hire an expert team.

How to Find the Right Local IT Consulting Firm?

When you’re prepared with all the details needed to shortlist and choose the firm, you’re one step closer to finding the right one. As you go about searching for local IT consulting firms, here are some tips to guide you.

Test Before Hiring for the Long Term

Even when you’re looking to hire a firm for the long term, it’s best to test them out for a trial project or a few weeks to see if they’re a good fit. Else, you may end up working with someone you aren’t comfortable with or lose money or both.

Look at the Previous Businesses They Worked With

IT consulting firms gain experience as they work with more and more organizations. So, look for firms that are in the industry for a very long time. And look at the companies they’ve worked with.

See if they’ve worked with someone from your domain. This way, they would have a better idea of your market and you can start working from the get-go.

Analyze Their Communication Skills

Sometimes, even the most skilled people have poor communication. And as consultants, you need them to be very clear on what they speak.

When you contact a local firm initially, you’ll probably be talking to the sales team or customer service people. You can ask to speak with the consulting person who will probably work on your project before deciding. 

Since you’re looking at local firms, you can even go to their place and have a good idea of their work culture and speak with the consultants face to face. 

This small step would give you so much insight into how they speak and their expertise.

Hire the Team with Good Response Rate

As you shop around to find IT consulting firms, make sure to note how fast they get back to you. While this may not be how the consultants work, it’s a good indicator of their culture and how they respect the clients.

Wrapping Up

Finding the right IT consultants would make a world of difference to your business. Make sure to do the due preparation before you contact the firms and then use the above pointers to gauge them and hire the best one.

If you’re looking for IT consulting firms in Corpus Christi offering security service, then you can talk to our experts at LayerOne Networks.

IT Consulting

7 Reasons for Hiring an IT Services Provider for Your Business

Emerging technology. 

A secure IT system. 

Simplified IT processes.

All of these are the need of the hour for every business. 

But when we consider a startup or a small-scale business, the overhead costs of such IT systems can be so huge that it takes up a massive chunk of the revenue. This is when we need to add one more factor to the list.

Affordable IT solutions.

For businesses who want a well-maintained, cutting-edge IT system but don’t have a lot of capital to begin with, hiring an IT provider is the best option. Moving from in-house managed IT services to getting the help of IT consulting firms can have a lot of perks.

Let’s look at some of the main reasons why you should do so.

Why Should You Outsource Your IT Services?

Just imagine the amount of reliance your business has on your IT system. Everything depends on your IT system from interactions with customers and managing the finances to business projects. Just imagine what would happen if it stops working all of a sudden.

Scary, isn’t it?

To avoid the unthinkable, you can hire a dedicated IT service provider to make sure that your IT systems are up and running in their best state. 

At LayerOne Networks, we provide IT solutions and security service to businesses in Corpus Christi. We have seen a good many occasions where outsourced IT services have saved businesses on many occasions.

In this blog, our IT experts will discuss some practical reasons why outsourcing your IT services is the best way.

  • 1. Focus Completely on the Core Business

When you’re running a business, there are so many responsibilities that would take away your focus from the core purpose. Outsourcing such jobs that others can do is the best way to manage the overload of additional work.

Even when you have a good in-house IT team, you need to keep recruiting more and more employees with different expertise to keep updated with the latest technology. Else, your current employees will feel overworked and drained, which is a red sign for organizational growth. This could also keep you worked up and lead you to focus on managing these difficulties instead of your main responsibilities. 

You can outsource your IT services to a good external provider and focus 100% on the core business tasks requiring your attention.

  • 2. Get Round-the-Clock Support

An IT system needs to run 24X7 even when you aren’t using it. There can be no downtime as security threats or system failures can come up at any time. This means you have to be always on your watch and should also be capable of managing these issues when they crop up.

This is when having an expert support team 24X7 pays off. The outsourced team will detect and handle any such vulnerabilities or issues quickly and keep your system safe.

  • 3. Manage Your Scaling Needs

When you’re planning to scale your business, you need to scale your IT system too. When you have an outsourced IT provider handling your systems, you can easily scale without worries about procuring additional equipment, hiring new employees and other resources.

  • 4. Keep the Risk Factors at Bay

There are several ways through which your IT system can be put at risk. Not updating the software, not optimizing the processes or missing to check for security can all lead to one thing – making your business vulnerable.

You need to implement high-security features, check for software updates, monitor your cloud systems, run regular maintenance checks and keep your IT system healthy to avoid risks. This is when an IT outsourced team will be of immense help to do all of these tasks without any initiation from your side.

  • 5. Have a Predictable and Manageable IT Budget

In any business, predicting revenue and expenses is always a challenging task. When you hire IT consulting firms for outsourcing, you will clearly know how much you’ll be spending on IT systems for the next few months. 

Not only that, you will have a manageable budget that is affordable to your business and doesn’t eat away at your revenue.

  • 6. Create Room for Technological Innovation

The influence of technology on businesses is swiftly expanding. The technology we are using today is not the same as the one we were using five years ago. Your business needs to keep up with these technological innovations to get a strong foothold in the market. 

Having an expert IT team on the go will ensure that you can innovate as much as you can without worrying about implementing new technology.

  • 7. Take Proactive Solutions

It’s one thing to get support after an issue strikes. But it’s a totally different advantage when you can detect and prevent the problem from happening in the first place. 

The outsourced IT team will monitor your systems regularly and conduct regular security checks. This ensures that we can detect any vulnerability before it becomes a huge issue and make steps for its prevention.

Wrapping Up

Deciding on outsourcing your IT system management is a huge thing. But when you look at the huge list of benefits it can make for your business, it’s clear that this is the way to go. You can cut down your operational costs while getting expert advice and high-quality IT maintenance with options for scalability without any additional efforts from your side.

If you are looking for a reliable IT service provider in Corpus Christi, you can now speak to our IT experts to find how we can help your business.

IT Consulting

Biggest Cloud Computing Challenges in 2020 for IT Service Providers

Today cloud computing has become a general term preferred by many professionals. Cloud computing is nothing but storing, managing, and accessing a wide range of data and software applications over the web.

Do you know, why is cloud computing so popular?

In cloud computing trends 2020 the entire data has a shield of firewall networks. Without using your system hard drive you can use any tool or software as well as with the software and data is installed in several data centers across the world. Cloud computing services are preferred by a wide range of people across their daily lives. One of the most common examples of cloud computing technology is preparing any of the documents over the web or web-based email services.

Cloud technology is being leveraged for business development, as the results are timely and positive. There are many types of cloud computing like:

  • SaaS – Software as a Service
  • IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service
  • PaaS – Platform as a Service

The selection of best cloud computing services can help your business to reach new heights while a small mistake can land your business in great trouble. All the technologies bring with itself a set of benefits and shortcomings. Cloud computing comes with its share of disadvantages regardless of being the fundamental strength for some of the leading business industries.

Characterized as ghosts in the cloud, let’s have a look at some of the cloud computing challenges in 2020.

Data Protection

A lot of questions remain unreciprocated about the security risks of cloud technology. Hacking and virus attacks are some of the mysterious threats that remain to be the biggest problems of cloud computing data security. Before adopting cloud computing technology, entrepreneurs need to consider these things very carefully for their business. Before transferring important company details to a third party you have to make sure that you have a cloud security and management system.

As compared to any other IT professionals, cybersecurity experts are more alert about cloud security. Out of 10 cybersecurity experts, 9 are worried about cloud security. Other concerns are data privacy, data loss, data leaks, and violation of confidentiality.

Vendor Teradata conducted a survey which reported that 46% percent of those who were surveyed reported more security without the challenge of cloud computing. Numerous solutions are being provided by vendors to overcome the threats of cloud security. Apart from these, a survey by the crowd research partners shows that the enterprises depend upon the training and certifications of their IT staff and security tools which is provided by the public cloud vendors to minimize their risk.

Handling of Cloud Spending

Companies make many blunders that lead them to increase their expenses. Also, IT workers or developers fail to rotate a cloud event to be used for a short duration and turn it off. Many companies are astonished by the unexplained cloud pricing plans that offer many prospects for concessions that cannot be used.

Companies can procure help from technological solutions for cloud cost management challenges. Cloud computing services like auto-scaling features, cloud cost management solutions, automation, server-less services, containers, and many more management tools offered by cloud vendors can assist you to reduce the scope of the problem. By building a central cloud team some companies are successful to manage costs and usage.

Lack of Skills/Knowledge

All the companies do not possess a relevant and ample amount of understanding as to how cloud solutions should be implemented. There are no tools or expert personnel to utilize cloud technology correctly. Hence it is tough to provide information and choose the right cloud in the right direction. It becomes a big challenge to train your staff about the tools and processes of cloud computing. It is disastrous for any company to turn to cloud-based technology without the correct information.

Many companies strive to overcome this situation by hiring cloud computing vendors or to train the existing employees and get them up-to-date with the current technological demands.

Power of Control or Governance

As cloud-based technology has taken over, IT fails to have complete control over the operation, provisioning, and delivery. This is the main reason why IT fails to provide the required data quality management, governance, risks, and compliance. IT has to accept the traditional IT management and control processes to minimize the uncertainties and risks involved to shift to the cloud.

As the business units, core IT plays an important role in preference, control, and mediation over cloud services. Moreover, third party cloud computing services are offering best practices which include establishing and enforcing related policies. Also, cloud management software is offered by different firms to automate and simplify the process.

Compliance

One of the threats faced by cloud computing is compliance. This is a hurdle for anyone using cloud storage or backup services. Each time when a company moves its data to the cloud from its internal storage it faces compliance with industry laws and regulations.

One of the interesting law aspects of GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation is that it will aid compliance in the future. As per the requirements of the law, many companies hire a data protection officer to look into data security and data privacy requirements.

Considering these professionals are aware of the compliance requirements of the company they are being employed for, focusing on the responsibility for compliance will support the companies to fulfill each of their legal needs.

Managing Multi-Cloud Environments

Nowadays most of the organizations are not only working on a single cloud. RightScale reports reveal that almost 84% percent of the companies are following a multi-cloud strategy and 58% percent of them have already their hybrid cloud tactic that is combined with the private and public cloud. Furthermore, organizations are utilizing 5 different public and private clouds.

A long-term prediction on the future of cloud computing technology describes a much complex situation faced by the IT infrastructure teams. To overcome this condition some of the best practices like active vendor relationship management, re-thinking procedures, tooling, training staff, and doing research has been suggested by professionals.

Cloud Migration

Releasing a new application in the cloud is although a very simple process but transferring your existing application to a cloud computing environment is quite hard.

Many organizations moving their applications to the cloud reported slow data migration, difficulty syncing data before cutover, difficulty configuring security, downtime during migrations, and trouble getting migration tools to work correctly.

To overcome these troubles, a survey of the IT team players described that they wished to hire an in-house expert, do more pre-migration testing, set a more extended project timeline, and increase their budget.

Immature Technology

Many cloud computing services are at the leading forefront of technologies like machine learning, virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and advanced big data analytics. The biggest disadvantage of using these new technologies is that these services do not meet organizational expectations always in terms of usability, reliability, and performance.

So the only potential solution to the difficulty is adjusting prospects, building your own solution, or waiting for the vendors to improve their offerings.

Integration

Those organizations, particularly with hybrid cloud environments account for challenges regarding accessing their public applications and tools to the public cloud to work together. Incorporating legacy systems and new cloud-based technology requires proper resources, time, and skill-set.

It cannot be denied that Cloud computing is transforming the IT Industry. Although there are challenges but if due care is taken these problems are not there to make your IT roadmap stranded.

The cloud has substantially changed the way IT systems function. In the current technological era, the future of cloud technology is dynamic and positive. Layer One Networks can be your best cloud computing services solution provider with well-managed cloud hosting services.

Place your Query, Call us on 361.653.6800.

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IT Consulting

How An IT Consulting Firm Can Help Your Business Grow?

In today’s world when technology has taken over every facet of our lives and is expanding at a breakneck pace businesses must keep up with technology. IT consulting has emerged as a giant industry in the United States put in place to help businesses of every size scale their growth with technology. The complexities that come with trying to manage existing and new technologies help business owners understand how  an IT Consulting Firm can help grow their business.

IT Services have become more important in recent years as many companies look for ways to cut costs by reducing their own in-house IT staffing.

The initial phase of investing in Information Technology Services may not feel cost-effective for a business trying to maintain its balance sheet, but the ROI (return on investment) can be long lasting and worth much more than the initial expese.

IT Consulting Firms

Let’s take a look at some of the important points that can help you make your decision to bring in IT Services  help.

  • You can concentrate more on your core tasks

Let’s admit it, we can’t be masters of everything. Focusing on your core business and outsourcing everything else can free you up to give your organization the time dedication that it needs. Every organization has different objectives and requirements, outsourcing IT Services gives you the flexibility that you need to manage these requirements now and as you grow.

Outsourcing your IT requirements means you can concentrate on your business and let the IT Services Company take care of everything IT related. They will have an effective action plan to take care of any technology roadblocks and free you up to run and grow your business.

  • One Point of Contact

Today with ongoing technological upgrades, there are many different softwares and technologies on which businesses rely. It becomes tedious and at times confusing to navigate among all of the services your company uses.

Having a single point of contact allows you to make one call when a problem arises and get it resolved. Your Business IT Services vendor will have many relationships with different service providers and will access this help on your behalf. This can save your business crucial time which otherwise would have been spent trying desperately to get the issue resolved yourself.

  • Enhance Your Productivity

Businesses can boost productivity with technology by taking advantage of better communication, collaboration, and knowledge sharing within your company/organization. However, knowing which  technology will be perfect for your business can be tough. Partnering with an expert IT professional allows you to find the perfect technology to fit your company without wasting time or guessing.

  • Best Return on Technology Savings

A new research report from Accenture suggests only one out of seven companies can harness technology-enabled innovations to its fullest. Also over the past few years, ROI has declined considerably. The main reason behind this is the gap among the organizations’ knowledge and ability to manage and implement new technological systems.

By hiring a good IT consulting firm, you can capitalize on technology-enabled innovations.

  • Get 24/7 X 365 Days Support 

The best IT consultants serve you with constant monitoring of your systems 24/7 X 365 days so that you can have peace of mind knowing that even when something goes wrong, they are there to help get things back on track as soon as possible. Also, monitoring solutions will often help determine the issues even before they occur and allow them to be fixed before they become a problem.

  • Saves both Time and Money

Hiring an IT consultant can save you money because you are only paying for the services you need and not paying for full time employees that may not have full time work.  Also you can save on lost downtime, which can be avoided as you have hired specialists to focus on various problems as they arise.

IT consultants generally charge on an hourly or project basis. This flexibility is vital for new businesses that have to focus on their cash flow.

  • Unmatched Expertise

When you hire IT consulting services, you get the experience and expertise of a team of highly skilled professionals. This team can ensure that with the best available technology you take all necessary steps to streamline your business operations.

Technology is moving faster than most of us can even imagine. Even the most competent IT experts can face several issues as they struggle to keep their organizations up-to-date with recent trends, quality, innovation, and design. This makes selecting the right  IT Services provider vital.

Layer One Networks, located in Corpus Christi is the best IT Services Provider in South Texas designed to help you grow your business. Since its inception in 1999, Layer One has focused on creating and managing cutting-edge technology solutions for small and medium-sized businesses. We believe in a people-oriented approach and strive to support the technological needs of every individual, not just the applications, services or devices they may use.

Whether you are looking to outsource your IT Services or need us as an extension of your in-house IT department, give us a call at 361.653.6800