IT Consulting, Managed IT Services

Technical Support vs Managed Services: Which One is Best for Your Business?

You may not give it much thought, but the IT providers you choose to support your business can significantly affect your bottom line. You’re losing money if you’re experiencing downtime due to poor support. Even worse, if you’re being overcharged for services you don’t need, that’s money that could be put to better use elsewhere in your business.

So how do you know which type of IT services provider is right for your business? Let’s examine the differences between technical support and IT-managed services.

What is Technical Support?

Technical Support

Technical support is a service that provides help with technology-related problems or questions. This may include troubleshooting issues, providing information, or fixing hardware issues like replacing broken parts on computers or other devices.

Technical support is a reactive model and can fix problems after they’ve already caused damage to your company. Technical support is like the traditional firefighter role for computers. When something goes wrong with your system, you call tech support and they run in to put out the flames.

It is offered to help businesses on a case-by-case basis. For example, if a computer or device malfunctions or stops working, technical support will be provided to help fix the problem. If a virus infects an entire system or individual machine, technical IT support will be offered so that the infected computer can be cleaned up and restored to its original state.

What is Managed Support?

Managed Support

Managed services refer to a service delivery model in which the service provider takes on full responsibility for monitoring and maintaining the customer’s infrastructure. This includes applying patches, updating software, installing new versions, and more. In most cases, this also provides access to a help desk that handles simple requests and escalates issues to more complex levels as required.

Managed services is a method of outsourcing day-to-day IT management as a strategic method for improving operations and cutting expenses. Through an IT consulting service, businesses can access resources they wouldn’t normally have access to due to budgetary or skill limitations. The company’s employees will be able to focus their attention on running the business while their provider takes care of the IT needs.

Technical Support vs Managed Services: Which One to Choose?

Technical support and managed services are two of the most common types of IT support, but they’re very different. Choosing one over the other can have a major impact on your company’s future success.

Technical support is a reactive service that responds to issues as they arise. IT managed services, on the other hand, are proactive. It anticipates possible problems and takes measures to prevent them from arising.

But which is the best for your business? Let’s find out.

When Do You Need Technical Support?

Technical Support

Technical support is a more generic way of describing IT services. The term can be applied to almost any aspect of IT services – from software installation and application maintenance to general troubleshooting and ongoing system management (including installing patches, updates, etc.). It can also involve other elements such as providing strategic guidance for decision-making or helping train employees on how to use new tools.

  • When you need regular support: Your business needs regular technical support to keep your IT infrastructure running smoothly.
  • When you require a highly experienced team to solve issues quickly: There are times when you encounter a particularly hard IT issue for which you need experts to handle. This is when a technical IT support team can step in and solve it for you with minimal downtime.
  • When you handle tech that requires specific expertise, several technologies are pretty narrow and something that many IT technicians may not be exposed to. In such times, having access to a tech support team that’s expert in your tech is useful.

When Do You Need Managed Services?

On the other hand, managed services are usually provided by a third-party company that specializes in IT solutions for businesses. If a business has a problem, they simply call on the managed services provider (MSP) to fix it rather than trying to troubleshoot it themselves or calling a technical IT support specialist.

Since IT managed services are an ongoing partnership with your IT consulting firm, they can help you in numerous ways. Let’s look at some situations when you need managed services:

  • If your systems aren’t properly maintained: Your IT infrastructure and systems require regular maintenance to ensure they’re running efficiently and securely. If they aren’t properly maintained, they can become slow, prone to crashing, or vulnerable to hacks and malware. A managed service provider will maintain all your systems so that you don’t have to worry about them crashing or getting hacked.
  • When you have outdated technology: If you are still using legacy hardware and software, you may need to consider IT managed services. With the rapid pace of technological change, you need help keeping up so that your business can stay relevant and competitive.
  • When you have plans for future growth: The right IT partner will help you plan for future growth. They will ensure that your current systems can handle the additional pressure of an expanding team or client base.
  • When you want to save on costs: While managed services do come with a monthly fee, businesses often save money in the long run because their technology is performing optimally at all times. By regularly maintaining your systems and infrastructure, small issues are fixed before they escalate into bigger problems that cost more to fix.

When Do You Need Managed Services?

On the other hand, managed services are usually provided by a third-party company that specializes in IT solutions for businesses. If a business has a problem, they simply call on the managed services provider (MSP) to fix it rather than trying to troubleshoot it themselves or calling a technical IT support specialist.

Since IT managed services are an ongoing partnership with your IT consulting firm, they can help you in numerous ways. Let’s look at some situations when you need managed services:

  • If your systems aren’t properly maintained: Your IT infrastructure and systems require regular maintenance to ensure they’re running efficiently and securely. If they aren’t properly maintained, they can become slow, prone to crashing, or vulnerable to hacks and malware. A managed service provider will maintain all your systems so that you don’t have to worry about them crashing or getting hacked.
  • When you have outdated technology: If you are still using legacy hardware and software, you may need to consider IT managed services. With the rapid pace of technological change, you need help keeping up so that your business can stay relevant and competitive.
  • When you have plans for future growth: The right IT partner will help you plan for future growth. They will ensure that your current systems can handle the additional pressure of an expanding team or client base.
  • When you want to save on costs: While managed services do come with a monthly fee, businesses often save money in the long run because their technology is performing optimally at all times. By regularly maintaining your systems and infrastructure, small issues are fixed before they escalate into bigger problems that cost more to fix.

Want to hire an expert team to provide technical support or ongoing managed services? Reach out to our firm offering managed IT services in Corpus Christi to discuss your IT-related needs.

IT Consulting

Managed IT Services vs IT Consulting Services: What’s the Difference?

In today’s technology-driven business world, your IT infrastructure has a significant impact on the efficiency of your operations and the productivity of your employees. As a result, many businesses now choose to outsource their IT services to third-party providers. Additionally, with the advent of cloud computing, more and more IT services are being provided remotely by these outside vendors.

However, there are several distinct forms of outsourced IT services, each providing different levels of support for handling your business’s technology needs. The two most common types are managed IT services and IT consulting services.

There are several differences between managed IT services and IT consulting services. If you are trying to decide which option is right for your business, you must understand these differences and this blog will give you the clarity to make the right choice.

The Differences Between Managed IT Services & IT Consulting Services

IT Service Provider - Layer One Networks

The Scope of Involvement

What’s the main difference between managed IT services and IT consulting?

It all comes down to how they work. An IT consulting service is a short-term relationship that helps you solve a specific problem. A managed IT service provider, on the other hand, acts as an extension of your business by providing ongoing management and support. 

In many cases, managed services providers will take over management for all aspects of your computer network, from your computers themselves to the network infrastructure to the applications you use. This type of service is to have one service provider responsible for all technical issues related to a company’s computer networks and other technology needs.

On the other hand, with an IT consulting firm, you hire a team to come in for a specific amount of time to complete a project or evaluate a specific area of your business. Once the project is finished or the evaluation is completed, you no longer work with them (although you could hire them later).

The Duration of Services

IT consulting service is a short-term project. Typically, consulting engagements involve a specific problem or opportunity that is solved through research and analysis, planning, strategy development, and implementation. Consulting projects can be as small as a few hours or as large as several months.

On the other hand, managed IT service providers are responsible for handling all aspects of the client’s network, from daily support to long-term planning. The goal is to ensure that everything runs smoothly and efficiently, with as little downtime as possible. In addition to fixing problems when they arise, managed services also include preventative maintenance designed to head off issues before they become a problem.

Proactive vs Reactive Approach

IT managed services can be a more proactive approach to your business’ IT needs. With this approach, you typically outsource all of your IT needs to a third-party vendor or provider who agrees to keep your systems up and running smoothly. This means they are responsible for monitoring and managing your systems on an ongoing basis. 

By continuously monitoring and managing your technology, they keep it running smoothly, so you avoid downtime, data loss, and security breaches. 

With an IT consulting service, the external team will work with you at various points throughout the year to help implement projects and ensure your systems are running smoothly. They often serve as a more reactive approach when something goes wrong.

The Outsourcing Cost

In contrast to traditional on-site services, managed services are proactively provided at a fixed cost. You can agree on a set of tasks that’ll be handled by the outsourced IT provider and decide on a fixed cost for the work. This allows businesses to predict their monthly expenses better and free them up to focus on strategic initiatives.

IT consulting services can also be hired at a fixed cost, but as the scope of the project changes or when the IT consultant needs to get more involved, the project costs can increase.

When Do You Need IT Managed Services?

Managed IT Service - Layer One Networks

This type of service is typically an excellent option for businesses that don’t have time, expertise, or resources to manage their networks. It can also be a cost-effective option because you only pay for what you need. You won’t be paying software licenses, hardware, maintenance, or staffing costs. You will also be able to provide your employees with expert support.

This type of service is usually best suited for companies without an in-house IT department or those who want to outsource their entire technology department.

When Do You Need an IT Consulting Service?

IT Consulting Service - Layer One Networks

You can get the help of an IT consulting firm when you have a specific issue or a project for which you don’t have in-house expertise. Even when you have an IT team ready to work, there can be particular tech gaps that an outsourced consultant can fill. This consultant can get involved in the project in any capacity you require and will then hand over the project to your team once the job gets done. You can get an IT consulting firm to help when you don’t have the technical expertise or hands-on working knowledge to handle certain situations.

Want to hire a skilled team for your managed IT services in Corpus Christi or get guidance from expert consultants? LayerOne Networks has a team of highly-talented and experienced developers, testers, and specialists on various technologies and networks. Get in touch with us to learn more about how our team can help your business.

 

IT Consulting

Which One is Right for Your Business: IT Managed Service vs. IT Support

Enterprises need to drive their business objectives, such as growth, and IT infrastructure must support these objectives. It is critical for any business owner to ensure that their IT infrastructure is well maintained to run efficiently and reliably. This, in turn, will help the business grow.

This is where the role of an IT service provider comes in. An IT service provider helps enterprises with their operational needs and efficiently manages technology so that it can support the business’s strategic goals. IT service providers offer two types of services: IT managed services and IT support services.

Both IT managed service, and IT support are essential business functions that can contribute to the success of your business. They are similar but also different in many ways.

Both may provide help desk support, but the scope and depth of the services offered vary. The primary difference between the two is how IT managed services and IT support functions.

In this blog, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about managed IT services and IT support and which option is best for your business.

How Managed IT Services Work?

IT Services

A managed services provider (MSP) manages a company’s information technology systems to improve operational control, reduce costs and increase productivity. Managed service providers monitor your entire network – servers, workstations, network devices, storage devices, and more – around the clock and take steps to address potential issues before they affect your business.

Managed IT service is a proactive approach to information technology. Businesses contract with a managed service provider who handles all of their IT needs. The company pays a flat fee, typically based on the number of computers or employees. The provider works with the business to set up the systems and software needed and then monitors those systems 24/7 to ensure everything is working properly. The provider proactively resolves issues before they become serious problems and makes recommendations to improve performance or security.

How Does IT Support Function?

IT Support Services

IT support includes helping an organization use its IT infrastructure effectively and efficiently by providing technical support for end-users or clients who are using products or services provided by the organization.

IT support is the service of managing your technology systems. This includes your software and hardware, like your printers and computers. They work with you when problems arise, patching up your systems and restoring them to working order via an on-site visit or remote connection. In short, IT support helps you troubleshoot technical problems when they occur. 

It provides you with the assistance you need when something goes wrong with your computers or applications. If someone clicks on a bad link in an email or accidentally downloads malware onto their computer, an IT support team can help remove it and get users back up and running as quickly as possible. When an employee has trouble with their computer or a specific piece of software, they can contact an IT support specialist to resolve the issue quickly. 

Difference between Managed IT Services and IT Support

IT Services Near Corpus Christi

The most significant difference between IT managed services and IT support is that the former is proactive while the latter is reactive.

IT managed service is a long-term solution to the technical needs of your business. A company offering IT managed service provides you with a team of IT professionals who will manage your entire network and all connected systems. They take care of everything from hardware to software, security, updates, backups, etc.

On the other hand, IT support is more like an on-demand service that you call when something goes wrong with your IT infrastructure or you need advice or assistance on specific issues. Different companies offer it and can be tailored to fit your needs.

IT managed services take this a step further. They support your company’s employees and help manage your IT infrastructure. They proactively manage your organization’s technology needs. Instead of waiting for problems to arise, a managed IT service provider will work to prevent them from happening.

When Do You Need IT Managed Services?

If you want to eliminate downtime and ensure that your IT infrastructure is always up and running optimally, it’s better to get an IT managed services provider (MSP). 

Managed IT services are most suitable for small to mid-sized businesses that don’t have an internal IT team. It’s also appropriate for internal teams that want to outsource specific functions, such as security or cloud services. Companies that want to focus on their core competencies without worrying about whether their computer systems are up and running typically find it helpful.

When do you need IT support?

IT support is a good choice when you don’t want to spend a lot of money on maintaining the IT infrastructure. 

Support incidents are often paid on a per-incident or per-hour basis. This can help you keep costs under control if you have a very small business that doesn’t use its technology much or if you already have an IT department that handles most problems internally but occasionally needs assistance with more complex issues. 

If you want to extend the functionalities of IT support further, you can go for proactive IT support rather than reactive IT support. 

Conclusion

When you’re trying to choose between an IT consulting firm for managed IT services or IT support, it’s often best to look at your IT infrastructure, its complexity, and the amount of support you’ll need to manage it.

At Layer One Networks in Corpus Christi, we offer an incredible IT consultant service to help you decide between both of these options and provide customized plans for managed IT services and IT support. Reach out to us today to get started.

IT Consulting

IT Consultant vs. IT Managed Services: Which One is Better?

As technology has become a more significant part of our daily lives, so has the demand for technology professionals. This is true for both large and small businesses alike.

While there are many different types of IT professionals available to work with, the two most common types are IT consultants and IT managed services. Both provide different benefits to businesses; however, they each best serve different types of organizations.

It’s important to know which type of professional service your business needs to stay productive and competitive. Here’s some helpful information about the role of an IT consultant and how they differ from IT-managed services.

How Can IT Consultant Services Help Your Business?

IT Consultant - Layer One Networks

The role of an IT consultant is to provide strategic and technical guidance to the business. Through a series of meetings and discussions, they will figure out your business needs, what is currently lacking, and how to strategically approach those gaps.

Through IT consultant service, an outsourced expert offers technical advice to a business about maintaining their IT infrastructure and making new improvements. It can be a single person or a team of professionals who work together to provide services for their clients. 

A consultant is typically hired to provide an objective opinion or advice on an issue related to their area of expertise. They’ll be able to review your current business practices and identify areas of opportunity for improvement. The recommended changes may include upgrading your current technology, implementing new systems, or streamlining processes. A consultant will typically provide guidance, assist with a project or help train employees at your company.

How Can IT Managed Services Help?

IT Service - Layer One Networks

In managed IT services, a group of IT professionals works together to provide support in response to your business needs. Whether that be network maintenance, system upgrades, or simply troubleshooting a problem for you, their role is essentially to fill in the gaps of your existing team.

They ensure that their equipment, software, and systems remain up-to-date and protected from outside attacks. They offer 24/7 monitoring and maintenance support to companies throughout the year while focusing on other business matters. 

Once hired, these companies will become responsible for the smooth operation of all computer systems within their client’s business. They will handle all software updates and upgrades, hardware repairs, network security, and internet connection issues as they arise. This can save you time and money to focus solely on your business operations instead of fixing tech issues all the time.

Differences Between an IT Consultant and IT Managed Services

IT Consulting Firm - Layer One Networks

Involvement in the Everyday IT Operations

An IT consulting firm will work with a company’s staff to understand their needs and develop a solution that meets those needs. Consultants do not get involved in the day-to-day operations of your business. They are hired to assist with long-term planning and recommend process improvements. On the other hand, managed services assist with day-to-day tasks like system monitoring, updates & maintenance, issue resolution, etc.

The role of Managed Services Providers (MSPs) is very different. MSPs are responsible for managing almost all aspects of an organization’s network. From monitoring security on the network to managing email accounts and firewalls, MSPs take care of everything IT-related. In some cases, MSPs can even provide cloud services or help with website management.

Solution for a Specific Outcome

IT consultants are often hired for a specific project or outcome (ex: create a new internal system). Once that outcome is achieved, they are no longer needed. Managed IT services come in as an ongoing support solution to tackle any issues that may arise after the project is completed by an IT consultant, as well as anything else that comes up along the way.

Cost to the Company

One major difference between the two is cost. A company won’t need to hire an IT consultant company full-time; instead, they will only be brought in when required for specific projects. This makes it easier for companies to budget for their services, as they only pay for what they need when they need it.

When Do You Need IT Consultant Service vs. Managed IT Services?

IT Consultant vs Mananged IT Services - Layer One Networks

When You Have New Technologies to Implement

A managed IT service provider helps you maintain your network and servers but would not implement software or hardware systems. This is where an IT consultant can be helpful as they have deep insights into a wide range of technologies and help choose the right ones for your business.

When You Have to Conduct Specific Tasks

An IT consultant will be able to execute specific projects that you may not be able to take up due to a lack of resources or expertise within your organization, like migrating from the on-premises to the cloud or setting up a new office network.​

When You Need Guidance on Specific Tech Stack

IT consultants are hired to provide temporary assistance for a specific project or problem. They can propose a solution for any issues in your business’s IT infrastructure, as well as offer guidance and support to help you get the most out of your systems — which can then be implemented by our in-house IT team.

When You Need to Evaluate Technologies

Let’s say that you want to include new software in your workflow but aren’t sure about the best choice. An IT consultant service is the best option to figure such issues out.

When You Don’t Need a Full-Time Staff

Many businesses don’t need a full-time tech staff on hand. Their technology needs are small, and they only need occasional support to keep their computer up and running.

In this case, you can make use of the managed IT services to get the work done at just a fraction of hiring an entire IT team.

When You Need Long-Term IT Assistance

Managed IT services are the better option when you need long-term help but don’t want to hire full-time employees. Managed services companies offer remote monitoring, management, proactive maintenance, and support to keep everything running smoothly without onsite staff.

Are you looking for the right IT service for Your Business?

Reach out to our experts who offer managed IT services to businesses in Corpus Christi! We have the knowledge and expertise you need to keep your business running smoothly.

IT Consulting

Proactive Vs. Reactive IT Support: Which One is Better?

Who do you think provides a better service?

Proactive support or reactive IT support?

Proactive support goes the extra mile and provides amazing services for prospecting clients. Reactive support performs only necessary tasks to keep your old clients happy.

Does one scenario work better than another?

In this article, we’ll discuss the differences and similarities between proactive vs reactive IT support, so you can figure out which option suits you best.

What is Proactive IT Support?

Proactive IT Support - Layer One Networks

Proactive support refers to the strategy of preventing problems before they occur. The key to this is to identify and fix potential issues and vulnerabilities in advance of causing outages.

Proactive IT support will often involve the use of a monitoring solution. A monitoring solution allows you to monitor all aspects of your network, including servers and workstations and external factors such as the Internet connection. 

By doing this, you can spot any potential issues that may arise, allowing you to stop them from escalating into full-blown problems. IT consulting firms also guide how to avoid situations where these problems may arise or implement fixes for security vulnerabilities before hackers exploit them.

What is Reactive IT Support?

Reactive IT Support - Layer One Networks

Rather than taking steps to prevent problems from taking place, reactive support refers to the strategy of responding to problems once they occur. 

Many businesses will only call an IT support specialist when something has gone wrong and needs fixing. 

In the traditional sense, reactive IT support is the model of help desk support. A customer runs into a problem, and to fix it, they submit a ticket to the IT department. The IT department then looks over the ticket and determines what action to take, if any. Technicians then address Tickets by phone or on-site visits, depending on what kind of access is required for resolution.

This approach can involve a lot more downtime and frustration for employees, who will have to wait until a technician is available rather than receiving help at the first sign of a problem.

Proactive vs Reactive IT Support: Which Do You Need?

IT Support Specialist - Layer One Networks

Proactive IT support is a more modern approach to fixing problems before they occur. Reactive IT support refers to a traditional approach that relies on fixing problems as they occur. While both are IT support services, there’s a lot of difference it can make to an organization.

Duration of Support

When comparing proactive vs reactive IT support, it’s also important to think about how much time you want to spend managing your computer systems. Proactive service providers will spend more time than reactive IT services helping you manage your network than reactive ones. While this might sound like a hassle in the short term, it will save you time and money in the long run by preventing more serious problems from occurring.

Structure of Support

Proactive support continually monitors your organization’s network to prevent problems before they occur. The provider makes sure you have the right technology in place, applies updates and patches, and keeps a close eye on your network, servers and devices.

Cost

You might be surprised to learn that proactive support is less expensive than reactive support over time, despite the higher up-front cost of implementing proactive strategies. This is because a proactive approach helps you avoid all the small issues that add up over time and cause expensive damage down the road.

If continuous operation is your priority

Then proactive IT support is what you need.

Proactive IT support is the best way to avoid IT issues and prevent downtime. By taking the time to research products, perform network monitoring, and provide ongoing maintenance, you can minimize downtime. You can also reduce your need for reactive support, saving you money in the long run.

If affordable IT support is your priority

Then reactive IT support is the best option.

Reactive support means the IT team waits for users to report problems and then fixes them, usually as quickly as possible. This type of support is typically more affordable than proactive support; however, it does not address issues until after they have occurred, potentially causing downtime and loss of productivity.

Wrapping Up

There are many options when it comes to IT outsourcing services, each one offering something different. It’s only after you start using these services that you understand the features that matter when choosing between these firms and what exactly you should be looking for in a decent, affordable and reliable IT support provider.

If you’re looking for a reliable IT support specialist to work on proactive or reactive IT support, reach out to us. We have expert technicians who can offer assistance to support your IT infrastructure and ensure its smooth operations. Book a consultation call to see how we can help you.

IT Consulting

In-House vs. Outsource IT Support: Which is Better for SMB?

With the growing trend of outsourcing IT support, many small to medium businesses are shifting their priorities to consider this option. On the other hand, some organizations still prefer to handle their IT in-house, to ensure that experts address all of the problems at hand.

The debate on whether it is best for SMB to hire an in-house IT staff or outsource their IT support is quite controversial. The truth is that both in-house IT and outsourcing IT have their pros and cons.

Let’s examine some of the points which will help you decide whether outsourcing your IT is better for your small business than in-house solutions.

Deciding Between In-House or Outsourced IT Support

IT Services Firm

Let’s approach this blog with questions. Instead of comparing the pros and cons directly, we’ll go through a set of questions to compare and decide the best-case scenario for you. 

1. Which is Cheaper?

Entrepreneurs are often tempted to cut costs by handling IT support in-house. After all, computers and software can be expensive, so why not avoid paying for help? But, unfortunately, the cost of doing so is often much higher than you may think.

When your in-house IT department is working for you, you’re paying for a whole day of their time along with medical insurance and other additional support. But when you bring on a managed services provider for IT services, they’re taking care of your network 24/7 for a fixed cost that’s just a fraction of the total price you pay for your IT team.

2. Which has Minimal Responsibilities?

Let’s imagine having an in-house team with no external help. You’ll be in charge of supervising the team apart from managing your core business responsibilities — which means too much burden for you.

If you outsource your IT services, you do not need to worry about managing the team or any other duties associated with it. Instead, your outsourced partner will handle all the responsibilities of maintaining and upkeeping your computers and network infrastructure. This takes a lot of stress off your shoulders, leaving you enough time to focus on other important things like improving productivity or growing sales.

Your business can stay focused on its core competencies while an outsourced provider takes care of the technology piece.

3. Which is Best in the Fast-Moving World?

As a small business owner, there are many things you should be focusing on to ensure your company’s success. The last thing you need to be concerned about is maintaining and supporting your technology infrastructure. Keeping up with the latest technological trends and developments can be incredibly time-consuming, especially when you’re focused on running your business.

Outsourced providers exist to make sure technology doesn’t become a distraction or a detriment to your business’ success. They’ll help you stay updated on the latest technologies to ease your IT burden, so you don’t lose valuable time or money while trying to figure it out yourself.

4. Which Can Help in Complex Situations?

Whether it’s an in-house IT expert or an outsourced IT support specialist, you need a reliable team to help you in terms of crisis.

Hiring an expert IT team member would be of immense help since you’ll have their expertise throughout the day. But such an expert would cost you a lot to hire on a full-time basis. 

On the other hand, you can still access such experts at a low cost by outsourcing to a reliable, experienced team. Moreover, utilizing an outsourced provider, you can tap into their knowledge and expertise without recruiting and managing internal staff members who have these strengths in-house.

5. Which is Best When You have Plans to Scale Your Business?

If you think you will be growing in the next few years, outsourcing is the way to go. An outsourced IT team would be able to provide you with the kind of support that would fit the needs of your business – no matter how much or how soon your business is scaling. 

If you outsource your IT services to a reputable company, they can provide you with the resources you need to keep your business expanding. Whether you’re just starting and don’t have many employees, you can outsource technology infrastructure, hardware and software support, and even employee training.

6. Which Helps in the Long Run?

With an in-house IT team, you need to select the right team members and train them thoroughly before they start working with your data and devices. For example, if someone is handling a technical issue but does not know how to use the software program relevant to the issue, all your efforts might go in vain. 

Also, if the employee leaves the organization halfway through the training period, new employees need additional time and effort to get trained fully.

But by outsourcing IT support, you don’t have to worry about anyone leaving as the outsourced company will be responsible for replacing an equally skilled team member to carry on the work without a glitch.

Wrapping Up

Whether you’re running a small or medium-scale business on the verge of expansion, the problems you face with technology are the same. You want your IT to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

When it comes down to it, though, you’re going to have to decide whether you can do this on your own or need outside help in the form of IT support. Of course, both options have their benefits and drawbacks, but which one is right for you?

Based on these questions, you can choose from one of the experienced IT consulting firms around you or hire IT experts to keep your systems running smoothly. 

IT Consulting

The Importance of a Business Continuity Plan

Imagine a situation where your computer systems crash, you’re not able to access your data, and you’re losing clients. How would you deal with that? Would you be able to recover quickly?

Troubleshooting is not only time-consuming, but it’s also stressful. Every day, businesses face business continuity problems like server downtime, loss of data, etc. It’s best to have a strategy or plan in place to handle these situations before they happen.

In this blog, let’s look at everything you need to know about a business continuity plan.

What is a Business Continuity Plan?

Backup Recovery System

A business continuity plan is a document that details how your business can still be successful even when faced with unexpected circumstances. Unless you have a plan in place, your business may not be able to survive should a situation arise that requires immediate and comprehensive action.

Business continuity planning aims to prevent or minimize damage caused by threats to the business. This can be in contrast to disaster recovery planning, which is the process of dealing with a threat that has already happened and involves repairing or restoring damaged systems and recovering data. 

Business continuity plans (BCP) are tailor-made for every organization. They can be as simple as a list of contacts or as complex as an entire database of systems and software backups. The important thing is to put business continuity plans in place before any disaster strikes. Luckily, your business can rely on experienced IT consulting firms to draw up the BCP.

Developing an effective BCP protects information and ensures that a minimum level of services is restored efficiently.

Why is it Necessary for Every Business to Have a Continuity Plan?

IT Services Near Me

We’ve listed some of the most critical reasons why having a business continuity plan is essential for your business:

1. Reduces stress levels: Having a plan helps you deal with such situations more efficiently and effectively. You don’t have to rely on external help or specialists whenever there is an issue with your network, servers, or data.

2. Avoids downtime and allows for quick recovery: Downtime can bring down your productivity and result in loss of revenue and clients. In the event of a system failure, a backup plan ensures that even if one system fails, the others can take over smoothly without causing any disruption.

3. Minimizes chances of data loss: Data loss can be costly from both a customer and business perspective.

Types of Business Continuity Plans

Business continuity plans come in many different styles and formats, each designed for specific situations. However, the following are the most common types of plans:

1. Crisis Management Plan: A crisis management plan focuses on all aspects of a potential disaster and how your company will respond. This plan details the actions that will be taken and the roles and responsibilities of employees during times of crisis. It also describes how the information will flow so that everyone has clear direction on what they need to do while working together as one cohesive unit.

2. Continuity of Operations Plan: A continuity of operations plan is a blueprint for how your business can continue operating during an emergency or disaster situation. It is a plan that covers the business’s day-to-day operations like any equipment failure, inclement weather, natural disaster, etc.

3. Emergency Response Plan: This plan is a compilation of procedures that define how an organization will respond to various emergencies. The plan defines roles and responsibilities for staff members in an emergency situation. It also provides details about alternate worksites, data backup procedures, and other infrastructure requirements.

What Should a BCP Include?

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Creating a business continuity plan is an essential part of planning for disaster. A plan should be created to ensure that your business can continue to operate regardless of the circumstances with an expert IT support specialist at your side.

A business continuity plan is made up of multiple components:

Business Impact Analysis

This is a detailed assessment of how each department contributes to achieving the company’s broader objectives, how each department would be affected by disruption and how long you would survive without this function. You’ll need to identify any critical applications and infrastructure which could cause loss of availability or data loss.

You can reach out to an IT consultant service to draw up these assessments to serve as a foundation for your BCP.

Continuity Planning Policy 

To ensure that your organization maintains continuity, you will need to develop critical policies that employees must follow in an emergency. At the very minimum, this will include your policy on working from home.

Contingency Plan 

This is a collection of documents and procedures that you will follow when an incident occurs.

Testing and Review 

Once your BCP is finalized, it’s time to put it to the test. You can create a simulated emergency and see how the plan works in real-time. Then, you can observe the response to make some tweaks to the program.

Wrapping Up

If you establish a good business continuity plan, your business can grow, prosper and produce results that will help it to become more profitable and successful. Business continuity plans are vital in ensuring the success of your organization, even if it’s just a startup.

Don’t have a business continuity plan yet?

Reach out to our support team that offers IT consulting services to help businesses prepare, prevent and brace for the worst. Our IT services can help to protect you against any emergency and create a continuity plan to keep your business operations running smoothly at all times. 

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Importance of Network Management for Your Business

Most businesses are dependent on the internet. Whether you need it to run your business or simply need to be online so that people can contact you, running your business without a reliable network is a risk that you don’t want to take. 

A solid IT infrastructure is vital to the success of any business. You need to ensure that your systems can handle the demands of modern-day computing and network management is an essential part of maintaining your company’s IT infrastructure.

This blog will explore network management in detail and why you need it for your business.

What is Network Management?

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Network management refers to the process of maintaining and upgrading the hardware and the software that is used to connect multiple computers. Many problems can arise if you set up a business network — whether it’s for your company or a group of employees — you’ll be able to easily access data throughout the network, such as files and programs.

The importance of network management is something that most SMB owners fail to realize. It is the process of monitoring the stability of your network. When your business relies heavily on the network to run your everyday operations, you need to strengthen it as much as you can.

Network management can help businesses improve productivity by providing employees with proper system integration and an optimal online working environment. It also allows easy access to data and allows multiple workers to share information and programs.

An experienced IT network specialist will offer all of the following network management solutions:

  • Device Configuration
  • Network and Server Administration
  • Monitoring & Troubleshooting
  • Capacity Planning
  • Network Security
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Quality of Service (QoS)
  • New Technology Integration 

Why Do You Need to Invest in Network Management?

Network Management Importance - Layer One Networks

As a business owner or a stakeholder in a company, you need to know what’s so crucial about network management that you need to invest in it.

There are numerous reasons and instances where a protected and reliable network has saved companies thousands of dollars. But let’s start with your network security.

Securing your Network:

The number one reason businesses need network management is that they need security. Every day, there are threats out there trying to get into your systems and steal information. 

Many problems can arise if your company doesn’t have a secure working environment. Your efficiency will decrease, and your risk of being hacked or encountering malware will increase. When it comes to network security, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. The more secure your working environment, the better off you and your company will be.

Network management allows you to secure your network, so threats don’t get in, whether you have local storage or cloud computing. Several network management tools can help you keep unauthorized people from accessing sensitive information. You can get the help of an IT support specialist to learn more about the best network management tools for your business.

Optimizing IT Operations:

If your company does not have any network management in place, it can be very easy for someone on your IT team to become overwhelmed by the amount of work they need to accomplish. Network management can aid in resolving this issue by giving them additional tools and resources that will assist them in managing the IT side of their organization.

Efficient Disaster Management:

Network failures can have a significant impact on an organization’s productivity. Downtime results in delayed deliveries and missed deadlines, leading to loss of sales and a poor public image. 

For example, if your website goes down at any point, potential customers may lose interest in purchasing from you. It could cost you a lot of money in lost sales, not to mention the disappointment of customers who can’t connect with you to make a purchase. 

A well-managed network allows users access to their data and applications even when there is a network failure. 

Preventing Bigger Issues:

Network management goes a step ahead and can help you locate and fix issues in your system before they become problems.

If your business depends on computers and network systems, you need to ensure that they are working correctly. If something goes wrong or if any of the components fails, you need to know about it as soon as possible so that you can take the necessary steps to fix the problem before it becomes too big to handle.

Securing your network with the help of an expert IT service provider can help you avoid such problems altogether so that you can plan your work without worrying about any disruptions.

Our Conclusion

If you are currently experiencing issues or want to ensure that your business runs smoothly, it is essential that you look into network management for your organization. It can also help to improve the efficiency of your business. 

Unfortunately, searching for the right network solution can be time-consuming and difficult. It can feel overwhelming, especially if you don’t know what questions to ask or how to make those inquiries. 

The good news is that IT support specialists are well-versed in these matters and are happy to help you narrow down your options. Their assistance can take some of the burden off of you and allow you to focus on other aspects of running your business.

Our IT consulting firm, LayerOne Networks, can assist you with network management and disaster management solutions. In addition, we offer customized IT services and IT support for your business. If you want to learn more about securing your network and protecting your business, reach out to us today!

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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 consulting 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.

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  • 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.

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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.

IT support

  • 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.

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  • 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.