Portal: The Foundation of White Glove Service

How Managed IT Services Can Grow Your Business

Nowadays, technology is everywhere, majorly due to its impact across various sectors. Especially for businesses, technology has helped increase efficiency and productivity by automating mundane tasks and increasing the time allotted to high-performance activities that will generate additional revenue. However, without the help of professionals, implementing IT into your business model can be complex, consume unexpected amounts of resources, and negatively affect your business.

By delegating IT processes to a third-party, your business can benefit from services that help you cut costs and increase development opportunities. Managed IT services cover various aspects, including maintaining your IT infrastructure, monitoring and provisioning equipment, in addition to handling repairs for software and hardware components. Let’s take a better look at the advantages your business stands to gain from managed IT services, starting with enhancing your business’s reliability and efficiency.

Managed IT Services Make Your Business More Reliable and Efficient

Managed IT Services Provider

Customers value a business that they can depend on and refer to for solutions to their problems. Hence, being ready at all times to attend to your customers is a critical factor and can impact your business’s revenue in the short and long term. You can ensure that your business stays proactive when satisfying your customers by outsourcing your IT services to a team of experienced professionals dedicated to optimizing your IT infrastructure — regardless of your industry.

Although you can prepare to meet various business demands with a considerable amount of IT resources, a major factor is how to use resources efficiently such that every penny counts. With managed IT services, you facilitate the use and operation of your resources, ensuring optimum performance. Whether you need to repair or upgrade your equipment to increase the speed of operations, leveraging Managed IT services in Washington DC helps you to handle such situations effectively.

Maintain Your IT Equipment and Reduce Operating Costs

Change is constant, and the rate at which technology changes is so rapid that it takes considerable effort to keep up. With new software coming up here and there, knowing which one is best for your business can be confusing, especially with different modes of applications and versions. In addition to carrying out thorough research and staying up to date with current technology trends, IT professionals have a wealth of experience and dedication to understanding your business and suggesting the best IT resources for you.

Equipment, especially hardware, requires a range of conditions to remain at optimum levels and perform operations properly. Such conditions, which vary from temperature to humidity, can be challenging to measure accurately. Getting these conditions wrong can negatively impact performance and lead to equipment malfunction, which results in repair costs.

An IT team keeps your IT equipment in the best shape by ensuring that the environment stays in optimal condition. They also minimize operational costs by recommending the most affordable and efficient resources that guarantee your business operations run smoothly. Your business can quickly scale according to your customers’ demands with such resources.

Scale Your Business Easily With Expert IT Support

A professional IT team provides round-the-clock support, handling your business’s IT-related issues immediately when they arise. With expertise and proficiency, the team also enables you to spot critical areas in your business’s IT infrastructure that can cause problems later on and help nip these issues in the bud. The IT support team is committed to assisting your business appropriately with quick response times and excellent resolutions.

When it comes to expanding your business, resources can hold you back from reaching more customers and meeting up with requests. Managed IT services ensure that your software and hardware can perform at whatever scale required by carrying out appropriate updates and suggesting reliable technology that is beneficial to your business. This consistent support enables you to dedicate more time to your other business projects.

More Time to Handle Your Essential Projects

By outsourcing your IT-related tasks, you have access to more resources to focus on essential business operations. Managed IT services keep a constant eye on your infrastructure, ensuring that it runs smoothly and that any unusual activities are immediately noticed. With 24/7 support comprising routine checks, upgrades, and maintenance for your IT network, you can channel more attention to your different operations, such as sales and marketing.

Whether setting up a new branch, moving your infrastructure to the cloud, or handling the repairs, an IT team can manage all these for you. Backed by experience in the field, they also have a good rapport with vendors, providing you with the best equipment to run your business operations without having to break the bank. While you focus on developing more innovative ways to elevate your business, the team of IT experts defends your network from malicious attacks.

Protect Your IT Infrastructure From Cybersecurity Threats

Infrastructure As A Service

Keeping information safe and secure is crucial to the success of any business. If your data or that of your customers fall into the hands of cybercriminals, it can lead to devastating effects. IT experts keep track of current happenings in cyberspace, in addition to specialization in cybersecurity, ensuring that your network is safe from threats.

Upgrade Your Business’s Performance With Managed IT Services

Taking your business to the next level does not have to be a hassle. You can optimize your business’s resources and channel them towards growth with managed IT services. From routine checks to a swift response when you need it, your business can enjoy various benefits that will keep your IT infrastructure secure and reliable.

Shipshape IT not only offers comprehensive IT support but also points out potential risk areas and recommends effective remedies to help your business grow. Call us today at 703-312-9040 or fill out the quick contact form on our website; let us discuss IT solutions to enhance your business.

Portal: The Foundation of White Glove Service

How Your Business Benefits From Technology Business Reviews

Maintaining your technical platforms starts and ends with security, but are you confident all your platforms are fully optimized for your unique business needs? As your company grows over time, your technology platforms also grow and evolve. Sometimes that happens organically, which can lead to software that doesn’t fit together exactly as it should and integrations that are a little iffy—at best. 

Creating a business plan and executing a full review of your tech stack against your business goals is often difficult and time-consuming. This is why many businesses turn to a trusted technology partner to complete this type of assessment. Working with your managed service provider in Washington DC or external consultants often provides the added firepower needed to prioritize a business review. Investing time and effort in reviewing your current technology and operations against future business needs can provide the competitive advantage you need for long-term success. 

What Is a Technology Business Review? 

How Your Business Benefits From Technology Business Reviews body image 1

What if you could have an external business consultant come into your business and confidentially review all your operations, providing expert advice on where to optimize systems and processes? That’s what you’re getting with a technology business review from a trusted and qualified IT services professional or team of experts. This deep dive into your infrastructure is aimed at creating a snapshot of your business processes as well as identifying opportunities for improvement to aid your operational excellence in the future. 

Here are a few questions a solid technology business review can help answer: 

  • Should I upgrade my hardware this year or wait until the future? 
  • Am I using the most efficient hardware? 
  • Would offsite data hosting provide better security? 
  • Are my systems fully compatible, or are there risks for data loss or security gaps? 
  • Is my cybersecurity profile up to date? 

One of the most important questions involves fully defining where your business is suffering from tech debt—the likelihood developers will have to rework code in the future due to rushing through requirements gathering and builds. 

Uncover Inefficient Operations 

It’s not unusual to find process redundancy when you’re working through a systematic technology business review. Teams may be using slightly different software platforms to perform the same functions, which introduces unnecessary complexity and creates potential security risks. An external IT partner able to ask the difficult questions of your teams may find there are options for consolidating operations, as well as software or hardware platforms. This can reduce inefficiencies, save money on redundant systems, and create a more secure environment in which your business can thrive. 

Redefine Security Standards Throughout the Business 

Security is a leading challenge for businesses of all sizes. Don’t believe your security risk is low just because you’re a small- to mid-sized business! The opposite is likely true—hackers may target your systems simply because your security barriers are perceived to be easier to break through. A review of the technology providing a foundation for your business can uncover some of these situations. External IT consultants are able to introduce best practices and leverage their cross-industry knowledge to redefine security standards in a way that works for your users as well as your business needs. 

Benchmark Industry Best Practices 

Are you confident you’re using the best software and hardware for your unique business needs? A technology business review can help identify cutting-edge tech that could be leveraged to drive efficiencies throughout your business. IT consultants often specialize in a particular business vertical, allowing them to gather best practices from a wide range of companies. Having this information available first-hand as you’re reviewing business goals allows your IT partner to make solid recommendations that will add efficiencies, reduce costs, and improve the overall security of your business. 

Reduce Tech Debt 

There’s always tremendous pressure on developers and project managers to deliver clean and consistent code under too-tight deadlines, often with limited information. When this happens, it can lead to significant rework that costs the business additional time and competitive advantage. Identifying where this could potentially happen with current projects may allow the business to adjust timelines or deliverables to a more realistic framework. An external technology services partner can often identify where this type of situation is occurring and provide the business with justifications for making changes to projects struggling with tech debt. 

Enhance Cost Structures 

How Your Business Benefits From Technology Business Reviews body image 2

Are you confident you’re getting the best possible price for your hardware and software? A technology business review with a trusted IT services partner may uncover significant cost-saving opportunities that can add up over time. Whether that means a Microsoft discount on your workstations or deeper discounts on software licenses, a holistic review offers insight into opportunities to enhance your technology cost structures. 

Let ShipShape IT Be Your Partner in a Technology Business Review 

At ShipShape IT, our team of knowledgeable professionals works cross-functionally to ensure you have the necessary insight to meet your business needs both now and in the future. We appreciate when companies bring us alongside during a technology business review because it gives us the opportunity to dive deep into your tech stack and processes and make recommendations based on our broad industry knowledge. Contact us today at 703-312-9040 to schedule your complimentary initial consultation with our team.

Portal: The Foundation of White Glove Service

IT Consulting Services: Keep Your Business Running and Up-to-Date

The current business world has seen technological advancements and new evolving marketing trends. These advancements are eventually pioneering the crucial need for IT services to keep businesses running spotlessly and to cope with the changes.

However, a reliable and reputable IT consulting service is necessary for efficient business operations and maximum productivity. Therefore, every business with the aim of expansion will undeniably need these values in IT consultation service providers for their business setting to keep running and up-to-date.

Types of IT Consultation Services

Depending on your business’s demands, nature, and overall vision, many different IT consulting DC services will suit your specific needs. Below is a list of these categories to assist you in deciding which kinds of IT consultation services your business might be most interested in.

1. Analytics

The previous few years have seen an explosion in data, including financial, operational, and other types. The ability of management consulting firms to transform raw data into insightful knowledge and give their clients a competitive advantage is what makes them valuable.

Companies can generate powerful business insights, automate operations, and enhance productivity with the aid of the information the data and analytics consultant harnesses.

2. Cloud Migration

Adopting cloud migration consulting services can effectively boost the productivity of your business and enhance its functionality. Your company might be anticipating cloud migration to move data and applications from a proximate on-premise data center to a cloud application.

Or they might be thinking about switching from one cloud service provider or platform to another as part of future cloud migration. Cloud migration is essential to ensure your business effectively hosts data in the most efficient IT environment.

However, to prevent corporate downtime and unnecessary burden on internal resources, it is crucial to carry out cloud migration effectively. Hiring trustworthy MSPs for these proceedings can help you achieve its maximum benefits.

3. Digital Transformation

The radical advancement of technology and a transformation in how businesses operate are mandates for your business to harness digital transformation strategies to keep up with the competition.

With the aid of technology, digital transformation consulting services evaluate the organization’s digital tools that influence its creativity and productivity and integrate it with the new technology. The widespread adoption of digital technology enables your company to realize its full potential.

One of the key advantages of employing digital transformation is the ability to alter an organization through automation and security while responding to changes fast and at lower risk.

4. IT Infrastructure

An adequate IT infrastructure ensures productive operations, efficient workflow, and effective organizational communication. IT operations and management that are successful require a robust IT infrastructure.

But just as you set yourself off from your rivals, so too should your IT infrastructure be a unique system that properly suits the demands of your company. It would help if you never understated the value of your IT infrastructure.

A lagging IT infrastructure can expose your data and hinder your business operations. Therefore, Managed Service Providers’ IT consulting services are necessary for functional data centers, desktop PCs, software applications, and other IT infrastructures.

Benefits of Hiring MSPs for Your IT Services

There are various options for sourcing IT services for your business. While other business owners may consider employing in-house IT technicians, outsourcing IT services from Managed Service Providers may offer more comprehensive services compared to in-house technicians.

Here are the reasons you should consider hiring IT services from MSPs:

1. Lower costs of technology while maximizing economies of scale

Employing experienced IT staff to manage your IT operations may be pricey for your small- or medium-sized business. On the flip side, outsourcing these services reduces expenses and offers consistent monthly charges to pay for the entire service.

Along with cost savings, a managed services strategy can help your company accomplish more with less. They enhance the dependability and performance of your systems, guarantee data backup and disaster recovery, and free up time from tech-related concerns at a constant price.

2. Efficient service delivery by a team of experts

Your small- or medium-sized firm may lack the funding to recruit knowledgeable IT staff who can perform the required updates or watch for and respond to online threats. Fortunately, managed IT services give you access to IT experts with years of expertise.

Hiring from MSPs means you will get access to a staff of trained IT professionals with a thorough understanding of technology. The staff have exceptional skills in managing all IT operations to keep your company operating smoothly and up-to-date. Due to the MSPs’ quick response to any issues, your company may also minimize or cease disruptions.

3. High-end infrastructure

Cloud infrastructure configuration necessitates the integration of code for its functionality. The codes are usually not readily available, and it may take your in-house developers a significant period to create the scripts from scratch and set up all of an organization’s apps.

MSPs have ready libraries of these codes, though. With a few modifications, they can meet every client’s needs effectively. This implies that MSPs can install solutions considerably more quickly, saving a firm significant time and money.

4. Implement new technology quickly

Implementing a new technology may take a significant time, especially if you anticipate hiring in-house employees for your small- or medium-sized business. You may not have sufficient resources, or your staff may need extended time to grasp the new technology.

On the flip side, having access to a team with a varied skill set may be possible by hiring the MSPs. It will be simpler for you to implement any new solution with a skilled team from MSPs’ services.

Conclusion

IT services are crucial for your business productivity and coping with the current market trends. Your business needs reliable and reputable IT consulting solutions for successful operations. Remember to hire reputable firms with a notable customer experience background. Contact us today for effective IT solutions.

Portal: The Foundation of White Glove Service

How to Keep Your Data Safer In A Digital World

Securing yourself and your business against data breaches and hacks has never been more critical. According to a security report by IBM, the average data breach costs have increased by 13% from 2020 to 2022. They are projected to cost $10.5 trillion by 2025. What makes this troubling for business owners and executives is the likelihood of these breaches resulting from the errors made by their employees, with the effects affecting the everyday netizen.

These massive losses have led organizations to invest heavily in cybersecurity companies and training programs to decrease the ongoing hacking trend. As you go from traditional offices to remote and hybrid work models, you must take extra care not to be the weak link in your organization’s fight against hackers. Here are seven tips to keep your data safer.

1. Work and Business Devices Must Be Personal

Many remote workers and business owners are not stingy with their work PCs and mobile devices. Every now and again, they allow their pals and relatives access to their device to run an errand, complete a task online, browse through social media or shop online. These acts increase the risks of third-party devices remotely accessing your work device.

How? Because you cannot control how other people use your devices, what folders they enter and what programs they might have installed without your knowledge. Private documents might leak, and the downloaded files may have malware. To reduce the chances of this occurring, keep your business device secure and confidential. Instead, have a separate device for when a family or friend asks.

2. Install and Update Your Antivirus

It is almost unthinkable to have a device without an antivirus, but it isn’t impossible to find one. Antivirus is the second line of defense for internet users who may have unknowingly downloaded malware or files containing viruses. Antivirus security software tracks and prevents malware and viruses from stealing your data or negatively affecting how your device works.

PCs come with Microsoft Defender pre-installed on them and offer some form of protection. However, they are no match for third-party solutions because they are poor malware detectors and cannot effectively remove infected files. Whether you opt for a free or premium version, check for regular updates and do not forget to renew your subscriptions for continuous and optimal protection.

3. Follow Best Practices in Sending and Interacting With Emails

Three of every four cyberattacks begin with an email; that’s how often the email route is utilized and how potent it has been. That is why we advise our clients to be wary of their email interactions, especially those who have no clue who the sender is, or emails with sketchy links and attachments. Using multiple email addresses makes it easy for you to tell a phishing scam from an email that is from a legit source. Set aside an email for apps and platforms you don’t trust, another for your business and official dealings and a third for personal purposes. When you receive an email claiming to be a colleague or proposing a business deal, treat it as a scam attempt and delete the email without clicking the attachment.

Use an email encryption service if you send private and sensitive business info like credit card information, your social security number and tokens via email. Encrypting your email makes it useless and unreadable to anyone not listed as the recipient. It is lightweight and affordable, making it easy to maintain.

4. Use Unique and Strong Password Combinations

A strong password combination is your first defense against hackers trying to access your accounts remotely. Surprisingly, users have made it a walk in the park for fraudsters to do so. The most common password combinations are 123456, 123456789, qwerty, password and 12345. In each of these cases, it takes an instant to crack your password. This is why you must vary the characters; your password should be a mixture of lower and upper case alphabets, numbers and symbols.

It is in your best interest to use a different password of 16 characters minimum for each account. Using a random password generator reduces the stress of creating a password with these requirements for every new account. As the number of accounts you own increases, it becomes increasingly difficult to remember the different passwords. Make your job easier by using a password manager. This way, you’ll only need to remember the password to the password manager.

5. Install and Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

If you, like many others, use public WiFi often, install and use a VPN when connected to the network. VPN disrupts the information flowing from your device to another server, making it impossible for the internet service provider to track your usage. This is critical when you share WiFi with a potential hacker who may interrupt your device’s communication with the server to access your information remotely. Using strong and unique passwords for every account you own will make you safer, but connecting to public WiFI without a VPN makes you an easy target for hackers.

Contact Shipshape IT for Your Cybersecurity Needs Today

Lost business opportunities account for the largest share of data breaches and hacks worldwide, with the possibility and cost rising yearly. Waiting for a breach to happen before taking adequate steps can put you out of business and cause your customers to trust you less. Our team at Shipshape IT is experienced at creating custom solutions for your business needs and reducing the hacking footprints of your network. Call us today at 703-312-9040 or send us a message to book an appointment.

Portal: The Foundation of White Glove Service

The Future of IT Support

Businesses have adopted technology to keep up with the rate at which the nature of work is changing. IT support services are essential for a business’s growth, from securing the company’s confidential data to implementing network infrastructure that improves the workplace’s productivity. With the increasing trend in digital transformation, jumping on the tech wagon without proper consultation can negatively impact your business. 

Two in three companies report that they need to update outdated infrastructure as one of the most sought-after business priorities. Besides updating IT infrastructure, new possibilities for automating processes with artificial intelligence drive demand for outsourcing technical skills. IT support will focus on solving problems before you notice them, so you can anticipate upcoming changes. 

What Is IT Support? 

IT support refers to assisting businesses regarding technology-related innovations. This assistance includes recommending hardware and software, setup, installation, configuration, and troubleshooting of your business’s IT infrastructure. Technology has become an integral part of any organization aiming to streamline its processes and enhance its growth. 

Managed IT services provide comprehensive support that goes further than troubleshooting technology-related issues. Such services include: 

  • Optimizing your business’s network infrastructure to improve its performance 
  • Implementing protocols to secure your network against cyberattacks 
  • Backing up your data for effective disaster recovery and continuity 
  • Live monitoring of all your systems and applications 

These services help businesses with the necessary support to shift and adopt digital transformation. Before considering what to expect from IT support, let’s look at what enterprises gain from outsourcing IT services. 

Benefits of IT Support 

For any business, shifting to digital requires migrating your traditional processes to online or cloud platforms. Whether you want to acquire new hardware like data servers, work with hybrid infrastructure, or move all your services to the cloud, implementing technology in your workflow can be a hassle. IT support specialists enable you to embark on this journey conveniently, backed by experience in the industry that guarantees the technical aspects of your business are handled effectively. 

Enhanced Productivity 

Leaving the technical jargon to experts while focusing on your business’s sales, customer experience, and improving your products or services allows you to satisfy your target audience better. IT support professionals can help you prevent technical issues that can impede your workflow. When such problems occur, managed IT services providers resolve them quickly without affecting your team’s productivity. 

Cost-Effectiveness 

Imagine buying technical equipment incompatible with your business’s processes. You would have to get new compatible equipment or shift your operations to align with what you have. Managed IT services providers offer consultation to acquire hardware and software that works best for you. 

Round-the-clock Support 

With 24/7 monitoring, issues are detected and tackled immediately as they occur. Managed IT services providers can automate solutions for recurrent errors to avoid any glitches in your network. IT support also offers mobile access to enable your team to resolve issues from anywhere, improving response time. 

Looking Into the Future of IT Support 

IT support evolves with technology. As elements like machine learning, artificial learning, and virtual reality become more commonplace in businesses, you can expect managed IT services providers to innovate accordingly and deliver better support. Although we cannot be certain of knowing which IT technology or programming language will be the next big thing in the technology sector, we can infer that due to the adoption of data science and machine learning, more features will be built around recommendation and automation. 

Accelerated Adoption of Automation 

While more businesses will adopt automation to reduce manual, repetitive tasks, the same will go for IT support. Increased automation will enable teams to resolve common issues quickly and implement systems that help businesses troubleshoot some network errors personally. This feature will improve customers’ experience when interacting with companies and reduce the technical workload. 

Increased Cybersecurity Awareness

Cybercriminals are finding better ways to hack and steal businesses’ and customers’ confidential data. From malware to DDoS attacks, the list is nearly endless. Focusing on educating members of your team regarding solid cybersecurity awareness—including detecting suspicious phishing emails, password protection, and office policies—will increase your chances of guarding your information against cybercriminals. With Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) systems, IT support becomes more proactive in securing your data. 

IT Support Across Multiple Channels

Customers access businesses through several platforms. From searching for your product on social media to interacting with sales representatives via phone calls or email, there is more than one way for customers to engage with your business. This omnichannel interaction is more convenient for the customer and your business as it enables you to reach more of your target audience across several platforms. 

IT support will provide more options for businesses to receive high-quality support, including face-to-face virtual calls and on-site chats to improve real-time issue resolution. Moving forward, the main point of innovation will be prevention rather than troubleshooting to reduce operations downtime and customer churn. 

Enhance Your Business’s IT Infrastructure With Shipshape IT

From automating repeatable tasks to scaling according to your business’s needs, managed IT services can support you so you can focus on growing your business. Shipshape IT provides white-glove IT services that make your job easier, including reviewing your network infrastructure to guarantee security. Our IT experts can provide you with detailed reports on shortcomings and recommendations to boost your systems. Fill out our contact form today, or call us at 703-312-9040 to learn how we can help you increase the efficiency of your business’s operations.

Portal: The Foundation of White Glove Service

How to Deploy Managed IT Services in a Mixed Mac and Windows Environment

There is no doubt that versatility is beneficial to your IT infrastructure. However, bringing two tech giants — Apple and Windows — together in your work environments can be challenging. Both have their pros and cons. The trick is to make the best use of the advantages while efficiently managing their disadvantages with zero or minimal fallout back. 

In a hybrid Mac and Windows environment, managed IT services can be different. For example, you must implement third-party apps to accommodate the macOS, which does not have a central management feature. While a managed IT services provider can assist you in scaling the challenges of such an environment and implementationing it into your IT infrastructure in a manner that works for you, answering these questions is a good start: 

  • What type of access do I need ion my network infrastructure that won’t inhibit workflow? 
  • For both Mac and Windows, how many devices do I want to deploy? 
  • What tools do I use in my business? And are they compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems? 

An expert managed it services in Washington dc will guide you through these questions and others to derive the best IT solutions to help your business align with what you desire. 

Challenges of a Mac and Windows Hybrid Environment 

Having an IT environment that incorporates Mac and Windows can be beneficial in terms of efficiency. However, there are specific challenges you need to watch out for so that such an environment does not turn out to negatively impact your processes due to incompatibility and an unstructured workflow. The challenges you may face from merging Mac and Windows in your enterprise IT infrastructure include the following: 

  • Macs are meant to be used personally and not managed centrally: While you can manage enterprise Windows devices with PowerShell scripts, you would have to manually configure each Mac device to connect to your office’s network and share files. 
  • Not all tools are compatible with both operating systems: If you have a favorite tool for your workflow processes in a Windows environment, there can be issues integrating with a Mac OS. A managed IT services provider can recommend another software that provides the same features and is compatible with both operating systems or only assign the Mac OS to personnel who use it. 
  • Dealing with separate management systems: Although Mac devices are not meant to be centralized, you can use mobile device management (MDM) software to keep track of your devices. On the other hand, Windows uses Group Policy to manage and automate controls in a Windows environment. 

Deploying Managed IT Services in Your Mixed Mac and Windows Environment 

The approach to implementing managed IT services in your mixed Mac and Windows environment is different than usual. An experienced IT support provider has the necessary skill and expertise to help scale any challenges that you may encounter. 

1. Manage Your Mac Devices With Mobile Device Management Tools 

Mobile device management enhances the performance and security of mobile devices in your infrastructure while serving as an extra layer of protection for your enterprise network. These applications enable you to manage devices across several operating systems, including Mac, Android, and Windows. While they have several features, the ones that are beneficial to you in managing your devices include: 

  • Tracking the location and status of registered devices; 
  • Implementing and automating updates; 
  • Monitoring device activities; 
  • Pinpointing and troubleshooting issues. 

Getting a mobile device management application that supports Mac and Windows will help you make processes more manageable, especially during audits. Mobile device management tools are mainly used to ensure that all devices in the systems are tracked and taken into account. 

2. Use Group Policy for Managing Windows 

Group Policy is a Windows feature that controls the working infrastructure of user accounts and computer accounts. It includes administration rights to set configurations for multiple users and computers in your active directory. Like the Apple mobile device management tools for your Mac devices, Group Policy effectively manages and monitors your Windows devices. 

Starting with security, Group Policy enables your network administrator to enforce password requirements for users that interact with your IT infrastructure. Password policies include best industry practices, such as using a password length of at least eight characters and mixing case letters with characters. Hence, you can increase the protection of your infrastructure against from malicious attacks trying to get into your system by guessing simple passwords. 

Besides creating and implementing a solid password structure across all your Windows devices, Group Policy lets you install security patches for all users on your network and automate updates for their devices. From securely adding new users to your IT infrastructure to monitoring and promptly troubleshooting issues on your devices, managed IT service providers help you make your network environment more secure and efficient. 

3. Implement Compatibility on Both Platforms 

If Whether you are using two different operating systems in your IT infrastructure, there will be consistent interaction between your devices, including sharing files and setting up demos. Implementing software compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems is beneficial for you to avoid not experiencinge any hiccups in your workflow. 

Use Shipshape’s Managed IT Services to Grow Your Business 

Shipshape IT is dedicated to providing in-depth IT support that helps you integrate the latest technology solutions into your infrastructure seamlessly. Our end-to-end managed IT services include monitoring your IT infrastructure and promptly responding to any issues that arise. We provide robust services that enable you to promote your business with technology that increases the productivity and efficiency of your processes. Contact us by calling 703-312-9040 to learn more about how you can upgrade your business’s performance with IT solutions.

Portal: The Foundation of White Glove Service

8 Tips to Follow When Looking for Managed IT Service Providers

Choosing a managed service provider in Washington DC to help with your technology is essential. Finding the right MSP for your company means asking smart questions and looking for critical clues that the partner is the best fit for your business. Here are 8 tips for choosing the right MSP.

1. Find an MSP that Understands Your Business

Different industries, regions, and companies have unique technology needs. You deserve an MSP partner that understands what’s needed to excel in your business … and be willing to learn. Your MSP should be a strategic partner, providing you with insights into the trends, issues, and opportunities to allow your company to make a difference. IT is not about one-size-fits-all solutions. You should expect a customized IT strategy that fits your needs and goals.

2. Choose an MSP that Offers Around-the-Clock Services

Today, business is a never-ending pursuit of success. That means your company may have staff located around the country and across the globe. It would be best if you had an IT solution from an MSP that is constantly accessible, providing support and monitoring for cyber threats at every turn. Your MSP should provide end-user support that offers what you need when you need it. For example, at Shipshape IT, we offer a 15-minute response policy to service requests.

3. Select an MSP that’s Flexible and Accommodating

Technology changes happen at lightning speed today. You need an MSP that can adapt and respond to these changes with the same agility. Your MSP needs to be adaptable to different operating systems, devices and software applications. It needs to accommodate your needs while recognizing where changes would benefit your business.

4. Look for an MSP that Offers Extensive Services

Your business needs an MSP that can offer a range of services that cover all the core components of your technology needs. Among the standard services your MSP should provide are:
  • Server and Infrastructure Support. These services ensure that systems are maintained and that your businesses infrastructure is protected and managed, whether on-premises or in the cloud
  • End-User Support. Your team needs access to services and support at all times. Choose an MSP that can provide knowledgeable service to solve software and hardware services that keep them connected and operating effectively. A coordinated help desk service that tracks triages and manages problems is essential
  • Redundant Data Backup. Ensuring that your company has unlimited backups of data, apps and operating systems is critical. Backups, in cloud servers located in multiple regions, give you access to information and apps whenever needed, especially if natural disasters events or cyber-attacks disrupt business operations 
  • Hosting Services. Your MSP should make available hosting services for your servers, applications, and websites. By shifting hosting responsibilities to your MSP, you can be confident that these essential programs and tools are available and accessible to staff, customers, and visitors
  • Cybersecurity. Keeping systems and data protected is paramount. You need a partner that will ensure that everything involved with your technology – data, devices, messages and files – are protected and secure. This protection requires a comprehensive strategy and diligent monitoring of threats and defensive measures to secure all components

5. Opt for an MSP that Offers Advanced Services

In addition to the standard services, your MSP should provide, consider what other services would benefit your business. At Shipshape MSP, for example, we offer other services to help companies understand, plan for, and leverage technology. These services include:
  • Strategic IT Consulting. Your MSP should offer strategic consulting services to solve your most pressing IT needs. A robust IT strategy helps you position your business to face immediate and future needs with technologies designed to improve operations and drive revenue
  • Business Continuity. Is your business prepared for the potential damage from a cyberattack or natural disaster? Having a practical, comprehensive business continuity plan ensures that your business is back up and running quickly after a significant disruption, with minimal loss and damage to your data or your reputation

6. Pick an MSP that has Strong Third-Party Relationships

You’ll gain considerable advantages from an MSP that has preferred and favorable relationships with major vendors. Your MSP wants to leverage its network to benefit its clients. It would be best if you looking for an MSP with suppliers with excellent reputations, great products, and preferred pricing deals. 

7. Find an MSP that Completes Comprehensive Assessments

The best way to begin a relationship with a new MSP is to conduct a comprehensive IT assessment. Having a trusted partner evaluate your existing technology, provide a report, and discuss recommendations lets you understand your strengths and weaknesses. At Shipshape IT, our Support Requirements Assessment assesses your IT infrastructure to support your current and future business goals and objectives. The assessment helps identify risk areas and provides recommended remedies. It also results in a proposal for the customized, scalable IT services plan that will optimize your technology. The Shipshape assessment examines all components of your IT system, including:
  • Email security and continuity
  • Firewall and VPN security
  • Disaster recovery and business continuity readiness
  • Internet redundancy
  • Data storage and recovery plans
  • Antivirus and malware security

8. Partner with a Proactive MSP

Your MSP should go beyond break-fix approaches to technology. In the long run, you need a partner that can take a proactive approach to your technology, anticipating needs and identifying solutions that prevent problems.  Shipshape IT offers comprehensive MSP services to companies of all sizes and industry types, including law firms, nonprofit organizations, healthcare providers and federal contractors. Shipshape IT provides technology support and consulting in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. To learn more about how Shipshape IT can support your business, contact us today.
Portal: The Foundation of White Glove Service

How to Cut Down Your Company’s Costs with Outsourced IT Support

As a business owner, you understand that it takes a lot of wheels turning in order for your business to function properly. Managers are not just responsible for their customer’s satisfaction, but also for making sure their business operations run smoothly at all times. For many businesses, information technology is one of the most important aspects of their work. In light of the increasing importance of information technology, the question becomes whether or not to consider outsourcing IT services. If business owners are searching for consistency in regards to the cost of IT solutions, working with an outsourced IT support team can be the best decision you make. After all, the value of outsourced IT was expected to surpass $4 billion by the end of last year. From boosting your data security to boosting operational efficiency, there are many benefits to outsourcing your technology support and infrastructure. 

Less Money Spent on Training Employees

Plenty of business owners choose to invest in their employees by offering various training options for them. Training is a key part of preparing employees to do their job at their fullest potential. The only issue is that if a business has many employees, costs for training can quickly skyrocket. If you find yourself unable to provide enough training for employees, hiring an external IT support dc team can help reduce those costs tremendously. The major benefit here is that an outsourced IT team is already fully equipped with professionals who can handle any task thrown their way. Managers end up spending less in the long run because they already have a team who has the knowledge, expertise and experience to carry out these tasks, therefore less training is needed for full-time employees. 

No Need for Hiring More Employees for an In-House Team

Hiring a full in-house IT team can end up costing employers significantly more money because of all the extra costs that come with full-time employment such as benefits, health insurance, training, paid leave and more. Plus, there’s always the potential of having a high-value tech resource leave the company and take their knowledge with them! When you work with an external technology company to provide infrastructure and support for your business, you will have stronger continuity of knowledge to support your business as there’s a team behind decisions instead of relying on internal individuals. Making the decision to outsource your IT team is a great way to save money and precious resources that are used by hiring a brand new team to your already existing employee roster. 

Work With the Most Qualified Technical Professionals

  Having an efficient team is incredibly vital for any business to function. Many businesses can have a hard time maintaining a full technical team that can effectively maintain and carry out all required daily tasks. Payroll expenses are lofty, and business owners can find themselves in a tight spot because of this. If you find yourself struggling to keep your organization afloat, it’s important that you hire the best, most qualified person for the job. Hiring an external IT team can ensure that they are well-equipped with all the skills necessary so you can simply let them do their job. 

Easy Access to the Software Needed to Operate Your Business 

Purchasing all of the equipment and software your team needs can be very costly. There are so many different options for software to help carry out your tasks, and many of them are expensive. If a business owner wants to keep costs down, hiring an IT team externally can help with that because you will already have access to the software they already use. Your IT services partner can help with negotiating contracts with new software vendors as well as offering your organization access to discount pricing due to the greater buying power of an IT provider.

Avoid Wasting Your Time on Projects

Because outsourced IT teams are trained to offer the optimal service for their clients, it means that they won’t have to spend their time doing things outside of their expected role. The work will always be high quality and they’ll be able to focus all of their energy on the tasks needed. This is extremely helpful because by taking that pressure off of your current employees, they can focus on what they need to do rather than solving issues they aren’t equipped or knowledgeable enough to handle. It’s truly the best thing a business owner can offer their employees; transparency in what their daily tasks are.  Because of the uptick in outsourced IT services (it continued to rise up to 13 percent in 2020), many businesses are expected to utilize this service in their work. Ultimately, deciding to outsource your IT services will help you reduce expenses and improve the overall efficiency of your work. 

Get the Help You Need With Shipshape IT Services

Here at Shipshape, we offer comprehensive services for IT in Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland. Shipshape IT can provide your organization with everything it needs to grow and thrive, starting with a needs analysis and finding the perfect business and technical solutions. Our founding premise is that an IT company should be able to align its values and interests with every one of its clients. What this looks like for us is consistent and predictable billing, rapid responses to all of your technical problems and offering uncomplicated solutions to solve those problems. We pride ourselves on the excellent service we provide.  We must fundamentally alter the way we think about IT services due to dramatic changes in technology, shifting business practices, and a volatile economic environment. Adapting the traditional IT service model, Shipshape IT addresses these new realities. We offer expert workers and incredible technology that offers a high-quality level of services to medium and small businesses at costs that no one else in the industry is offering. Together, we combine processes, people, ideas, technology and experience in a way that transforms how IT services are delivered for small to mid-size organizations.
Portal: The Foundation of White Glove Service

When Is it Time to Hire a Managed IT Services Provider?

Managed service providers (MSPs) help businesses of all sizes solve pressing technology needs. Hiring an MSP lets your business focus on core needs with the confidence that your technology is optimized and secured.

With an MSP as your strategic technology partner, your business can better manage your existing tech stack and plan for the future, with budgets and strategic plans that implement new technologies at the right moment.

When To Hire a Managed Service Provider

Knowing when to hire a managed IT services in Washington DC is an important decision that will hinge on your organization’s readiness, ability to adopt new technologies, and willingness to change. Here is a closer look at the key considerations for when to hire an MSP.

Are You Able to Keep Up with Technology?

IT drives businesses of all sizes today, especially in an increasingly digital and remote world. There are always new users, new applications, and new technologies.

Managed IT service providers can help relieve the pressure on overworked internal IT staff, especially with the technological advances and innovation needed to stay ahead today.

Often, technical needs are handled by the owner/operator when a business is just starting. As the business grows, another staff member, who might not be fully qualified, may take over those responsibilities.

Here are some scenarios that should have you considering whether to hire an MSP.

  • There’s no designated, full-time IT person, and you rely on the most tech-savvy staff person to handle the IT load
  • Your current IT staff is overwhelmed, unable to handle the workload or technology needs
  • You react to IT problems as opposed to being proactive about technical issues
  • You are unaware of the software and hardware used throughout the business, which versions people are on, or how secure they are

With managed services, you can be confident that the most critical IT needs are addressed and that your IT staff will have the bandwidth to take on the most urgent matters.

You also will know about emerging IT issues and be able to plan ahead to protect your technology.

Are You Worried about Cyberattacks?

Cybersecurity is an ever-present concern for companies across the world. Cyberattacks are growing in frequency and severity, costing companies millions of dollars to resolve. What’s more, a cyberattack that compromises sensitive employee or customer data can have a devastating effect on your company’s reputation.

Hackers are sophisticated, using various techniques to access systems and networks. You need protection from phishing attacks, denial-of-service assaults, ransomware, malware, and an ever-changing array of new attack vectors.

With managed IT services in place, you can protect your business at every step. MSPs will assess your defenses and recommend solutions that protect every network to ensure that threats are detected, isolated, contained, and destroyed before significant damage occurs.

In addition, your MSP partner will also protect end users’ software and hardware with automated update tools and SPAM protection to ensure that your staff is using tools that have the most up-to-date defenses.

Shipshape Information Technology offers anti-virus, anti-malware, and anti-SPAM solutions, encrypted workstations, email security tools, data loss prevention, and employee awareness training.

Are You Subject to Compliance Mandates?

Legal and regulatory compliance affects nearly every business today. Mandates at the international, national, state, local, and industry levels are growing. For those businesses that are government contractors, the mandates are even more extensive.

Compliance issues typically revolve around data – keeping it protected and ensuring customers can choose how you use it. Each of these mandates has its unique criteria, meaning your business needs a solution to track and report on multiple regulatory requirements. Failure to comply with these mandates can mean severe financial penalties.

A managed IT services provider will help you manage and keep in compliance with multiple jurisdictions. They will help you with compliance solutions, monitoring services, and reporting.

Do You Need Help-Desk Support?

Today, many companies have staff who work or travel across the nation and the world. They use desktops, laptops, and phones to complete work.

To be successful, companies need to support staff located in time zones across the globe. Help-desk support provided by an MSP can address most issues via remote access. These services can address the needs of workers in the office, at home, or on the road.

Do You Have an IT Strategy?

Businesses need to provide technical solutions to customers, partners, and employees to enhance how business is done. Companies need to incorporate technology into their strategic planning processes to be effective.

MSPs like Shipshape Information Technology have extensive knowledge and expertise about technologies and applications. They provide insights into future technology trends that help companies plan for and use technology to propel business results. Your MSP should offer comprehensive strategic IT services that help you develop the plans and budgets necessary for success.

Are Your Business IT Costs Unwieldy?

When no cohesive IT strategy is in place, businesses often face exorbitant costs, inefficient systems, and frustrated users. With an MSP as your technology partner, your technology will work efficiently, with integrated systems and processes. Your business sees reduced IT costs and improved productivity with a strong IT program.Shipshape Information Technology supports businesses throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. with managed IT services. Learn more about how we can transform your business by contacting us today.