remote working

All the Places the Cloud Can Take You

Remember just a few years ago when the only place you could really get your work done was in your office?  That all changed when cloud computing gained popularity.  Now, thanks to advances in security, telecommunications, and mobile devices, the cloud brings your office anywhere- allowing you to work anytime, anyplace.  You’re no longer tethered to a desk and stuck in the four walls of your office.  So where are you going to go?  Here are a few suggestions as to where you can travel to work thanks to the cloud.

The first place we’d imagine you might work outside your office is at your client’s location.  With cloud computing, you can reach a new level of customer service and collaboration.  The best part about this is that with this technology, you won’t need to be on your client’s WiFi or their network in order to have access to your private files and data.  Modern cloud computing allows you to have separate and unique access to your critical files and data, so your sensitive information is never vulnerable.

You could take your business on the road to the beach.  Imagine crisp ocean air and warming rays of sun while you complete tasks for your clients and business.  On the beach, you can kick back a bit and enjoy the great outdoors while handling a few of your business necessities. Also, thanks to advances in cloud computing, you no longer need a computer or laptop to access your files.  You can have access to everything on all of your connected mobile devices, whether they be your smartphone or your tablet… you know, things that won’t get sand in them.

Finally, forget about merely going to Korean barbecue down the street from your office when, with cloud services, you can collaborate in real time from around the world.  Why not take a trip to South Korea and enjoy the culture, environment, and great food while getting your work done at the same time?  With remote working opportunities offered by the cloud, the only difference from being in the office with your colleagues is the time.  When you use the cloud and services like VoIP, you can work virtually from anywhere in the world… or virtually work from anywhere in the world.

What’s keeping you from utilizing cloud services? Did you know that according to Tech Target, by the end of 2016, 41% of all small to medium sized businesses said they planned to expand into cloud services?  That means that your competitors may already have the idea to take a newer, more relaxing approach to getting their work done.   In addition, Gartner says that by 2020, just about every business in America will have converted to using the cloud. Don’t get left behind.

There’s no need to let your competitors get ahead while you toil away in your office.  Expand your horizons, and work from the place that works for you.

If you would like to learn more about the cloud and how we can offer remote working opportunities, simply give us a call.

Business partner

Is your IT services provider a true business partner?

You should be able to call your IT services provider any time your technology isn’t working the way it should. But do you call your provider when your technology isn’t working the way it could?

If you’re curious exactly what the above statement means, you’re in a good place.

What does the average IT partner offer your business? Solutions and support. Your business needs are met with functional technology and support so you don’t suffer much downtime. While that might meet your SLA, you should expect more from your technology and your technology provider. We’re going to tell you about a few more things you can expect from an IT services provider who is also a true business partner.

A business partner views your success as their success. Simply maintaining operations isn’t enough for a partner. Because your success is their success, your partner should help you set goals for accomplishing great things. Technology has the power to propel your business past your competitors. Is your IT partner creating innovative tech solutions for your business goals? How often do you sit down with your tech guy and strategize new ways to use your IT to streamline processes and create opportunities for growth? If your IT services provider is your business partner, you can expect exceptional technology to support your business needs AND goals.

As an extension of your team, your IT provider should always have your best interests in mind. You run the day-to-day operations of your office, so you might not hear about the latest cyber threat until after you’ve opened that phishing email and your network is down. If your IT company is a partner, they are on top of potential threats. Your partner should be actively training and informing your team about potential risks and preventing lost or stolen information, so your reputation never suffers.

If you’re a growing business, your needs are changing and evolving. What works for your IT today might not work tomorrow. Are your tech resources scalable? Does it break the bank when you have to make infrastructure adjustments to meet short-term demands? Your IT partner should be available to discuss and adjust your technology to ensure you have the resources to flourish as a business. When you hit the busy season, you need scalable solutions available on demand to successfully handle the influx. Your IT services provider, acting as a business partner, should facilitate those resources.

Technology has the power to create opportunities for your business when you choose the right provider. At Cognoscape, we’re dedicated to a true partnership with our clients. When you succeed, we succeed. Contact us today to get started on achieving your business goals.


The Obstacles You Could Face without an MSP

Take a moment to imagine your favorite football team in the most intense game and play of the season. For us, that might be the Dallas Cowboys. The crowd is going wild as they line up the offense, and the rival Washington Redskins look massive and ready to stop you.

The fans that were cheering at the top of their lungs suddenly gasp in shock because the Cowboys have sent only three players onto the field. As the ball snaps, you can imagine what happens…and it’s not pretty. You face similar obstacles when you go out into the business world without a managed service provider.

In fact, the potential for trouble at critical moments is greater without an MSP, just like playing championship football with a fraction of your starting squad. Think about your biggest opportunity: Your business spent months working on a client’s project and now you’re ready for the final presentation — you know this is going to change not only your business but theirs, so there is a lot on the line. Suddenly, and without warning, your computing systems crash. Not just one but all of them. You are literally 2 yards from scoring the game-winning touchdown, and the ball comes loose and hits the ground.

Without an MSP there to run the play alongside you and cover your route, you don’t get to complete that project — and both your client and your business suffer a loss. Months of hard work and productivity are lost in a single instant.

But an MSP working with you the entire time can restore your network and your work quickly and without flinching, and neither your business nor your client have to suffer the impact of one weak moment. Fumble recovered.

Think about all the other risks of operating without an MSP on your team: hacking intrusions, viruses, memory crashes, network failures…the list of daily threats and vulnerabilities goes on. If you’re out there working alone to tackle these problems, you’ll needlessly lose precious time, productivity and maybe even income and reputation.

There are just too many IT challenges that your company shouldn’t have to address without key players who not only trained and experienced in preventing and removing threats but also qualified to prepare and customize your IT playbook.

And when you realize that every day in your business is as important as that big play in the big game, why would you send your team out on the field to be clobbered by the competition when an MSP can have your back at every step?

Cognoscape can be those teammates you need to move forward, gain position and win. We want to be there to remove the obstacles that you could encounter without an MSP, and clear your company’s path to the goal.

Managed Services: The Future of IT

As the economy and technology evolves, so do the businesses that drive them.  It should not come as a shock to anyone that the next step in IT is actually not having someone on staff, but rather having managed services take care of it for a company.
It almost goes without saying that it would be extremely difficult for a business to hire their first internal IT tech.  Once you’ve finished coming up with exactly what you think they would need to do to help your company, you would then have to go through the arduous hiring process.  Once they have been hired, you would have to pay that one person a significant amount of money, worry about their health insurance, and somehow track their work progress, which most startups either don’t know how to do, or just don’t have the time to.  With IT becoming so critical to businesses today, it wouldn’t make sense for each startup to go through that process. If every business took on an IT person for themselves, the supply in the market would decrease at such a rate that the cost to hire would skyrocket.
Managed services provide a company with a full team of trained technicians and staff that know exactly what they’re doing… and at a fraction of the cost of what a full time employee would be.  Instead of just getting one mind with a few years experience, you’re getting an skilled group of individuals who have experience with not only businesses like yours, but all of the potential problems that could come along and haunt your business as well.
A lot of times, managed services will start by creating a roadmap for their business client, outlining each of the areas which would need to be covered and used by them to aid in your success.  Think about that, hiring just one expensive staffer is a crapshoot as to whether or not they would know what they’re doing… and it would take an extreme amount of time for most business owners to learn what they need and monitor this new staffer on their own.
From there, managed services work with and maintain all the crucial IT pieces that bring a business the success that they need.   They are just as accessible as calling up the one staffer that you might have hired who sits in your office all day waiting for a potential issue to arise.
With the wealth of knowledge and experience they bring coupled with significant Money, time and stress saved, it seems like a natural progression that managed services would be the future of IT.
And for exactly why we said, as we look to the future of IT, it would make sense that more and more companies would stray away from having their own staff handle IT,  the future truly is managed services.
Security consultant watching downtown area.

Why You Need a Security Consultant

There is a growing concern within the IT security industry. According to Forbes, IT Security Industry To Expand Tenfold, “This $60 billion industry researches, develops, and sells firewalls, anti-malware, authentication, encryption, and 80 other categories of products. With each advance in the threat level represented by hackers, cyber criminals, and cyber spies there has been a new batch of vendors which come on the scene to counter threats that bypass previous technologies and spending has increased.” The article goes into further depth about how little attention and investment has gone towards an organization’s security. Security budgets are projected to double in order to make up for the underdevelopment of security measures. This new wave of precautions will shape the way IT security is measured and mapped out. Don’t let your company be exploited – instead, take advantage of the fastest growing industry by investing in an IT security consultant.

Security Consultant Moves You Forward

Make the right move forward with a security consultant. Your IT security consultant will be able to determine the most effective way to protect your company’s networks, software, data, and information systems against potential threats. They will take the much needed precautions in interviewing staff and heads of each department to determine their specific security and authentication protocols. They can prepare cost estimates and identify integrated issues for your project managers, and will also plan, research, and design robust security architectures for any IT project.

Cognoscape Puts You First with Our Security Consultants

The more responsibility you give your IT security consultants, the better they can respond to security-related incidents and provide a successful and thorough event analysis. This is the time to make the right strategic investments in IT security consultants. If you are looking for a better way to protect your company’s technology, contact us today!

Using an IT Managed Services Provider to Assist Your IT Department

In this digital era, it is critical that a business of any size hire IT experts to take care of all their technology needs. When it’s late at night and you’re suddenly dealing with files that won’t open, or there are errors showing up on a black screen, a company needs that IT support in place to keep running efficiently. Otherwise, it is wasted time and money trying to find someone at the last minute to fix the critical problems.

It is always helpful to have an in-house IT team in place, but that situation can be improved upon. Many companies are now supplementing their already existing IT staff with an IT managed service provider (MSP). While initially there can be fear on the part of the in-house team that they are being replaced, the idea is more about forming a partnership to make the business run even better and show more profits. Here are a few of the benefits of using IT managed services to assist your IT department:


Less Risk

Small and medium businesses usually only have the money to hire a small internal IT staff. When the company can supplement with an outside IT Managed Services Provider, it eliminates the dependencies on those individuals. For example, if their in-house IT guy gets sick, the bosses don’t have to panic when a problem arises. Additionally, capabilities and knowledge that are domain-specific can be handled by the MSP who may have more of a handle on them. IT managed services providers deal with compliance and informations security, as well as offer 24/7 monitoring and maintenance of your system, reducing downtime. Your IT staff won’t waste precious time solving every security issue that pops up and your staff won’t have their day interrupted.


An IT Managed Services Provider Helps With Healthy Scheduling 

With an IT managed services provider on board, your current IT team will be able to work a regular, 5-day work week and not get burnt out with calls at night and on the weekends. This is because the MSP will be doing that monitoring during non-business hours and take care of them while the office is closed. This makes for a more productive and happy IT team that can focus on other important aspects of the business.


Save Money

Save money by adding more IT support? Yes, it will happen. If your consider the true economics of IT expenses, (vendor, in-house, hidden costs) they are generally much higher than anticipated. When you transfer tasks to IT managed services with best automation, processes and practices, your in-house IT resources can be unburdened and focus on more important activities that help your company grow and increase profits.


Best of Both Worlds

Whether your company is growing or not, your in-house IT employees have worked closely with your business and have a very good idea of how it runs. You have established personal relationships with them, and they have a firm understanding of your customer base and how you market. That type of relationship cannot be duplicated. It offsets the fact that the MSP team will provide standard IT knowledge, without the personal touch. This lets the company direct their existing IT staff in more useful and necessary directions.


Contact us with any questions you have about adding IT managed services to your company and one of our knowledgeable team members will give you all the information you need.

Special thanks to TriDigital for our custom IT marketing

managed services

The Top 4 Ways You Can Benefit From Managed Services

Choosing to switch to a Managed service provider, or MSP, may seem like a scary move to businesses. Having an IT professional in house seems like the most comfortable option. They are there all the time, so you can see them!

Here at Cognoscape, our Dallas managed services solutions go well beyond the scope of IT management. They play a significant role in maximizing your productivity, minimizing your costs allowing you to redistribute resources and grow your company.


Financial Implications of Managed Services Providers

First, let’s take a look at numbers. Each individual employee you hire in house must be paid a salary and be trained. On top of that, they are given benefits and need their time out of the office for vacations, holidays and unexpected illness. Each person has a limited amount of knowledge they can bring to the table. When you make the move to a managed service provider you will have an entire team of IT professionals with expertise and a variety of IT backgrounds.


Maintaining Control Over Your Company Technology With Managed Services

Many business owners would prefer to have complete control over their IT so that they know exactly what they are needing, using and spending. Luckily, managed service providers allow business owners to keep control over their IT by allowing them to pick and choose exactly what they want their MSP to handle for them.


Stay Focused on Your Business Operations With Managed Services – Not the IT

If your business is smaller in size you may not have developed an in house team of IT professionals. As a small business owner, you and your employees likely wear many hats. Balancing IT needs while keeping up with daily tasks is burdensome, which is why using a managed service provider is ideal for small businesses. For a fraction of what it would cost to hire IT professionals you will have peace of mind and be able to focus on what you do best!


Reduce Downtime With Managed Services

Most business owners would agree that while technology is necessary, it is constantly breaking! These unexpected delays and expenses are a headache to deal with and soak up time and money. Not only do these unforeseen problems cost money and time, but they can overwhelm staff. IT hardware and applications can be complicated and fickle. By passing on that burden to a managed service provider you will be able to get back to business as usual without the stress!

It not very often that businesses are able to proactively maintain their IT systems because they are tasked with their own daily responsibilities. Often, IT is not made a priority until sometimes happens and systems are down. Managed service providers are able to consistently update and maintain their systems, which prevents major problems and down time.

Contact Cognoscape today for a Dallas managed services solution that is sure to help you improve your company.

How Managed IT Services Can Help You Succeed

As a business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate. You daily grind probably requires a lot of intense decision-making and planning for the future of your company.

It’s important to take advantage of easy ways to improve your business and make your workday go more smoothly. Here are 4 ways managed IT services can do that:


Managed IT Services Help You Regain Focus

It’s pretty difficult to focus on your actual job duties when technology issues are constantly distracting you. When you hire a managed services provider, you take the burden of IT problems off of your shoulders and let a team of trained professionals handle those problems for you.


Managed IT Services Help You Stay Secure

Managed IT services providers can take care of your security issues so you don’t have to. For example, they’ll make sure your firewall is up to date and work to keep hackers from infiltrating your system.


Managed IT Services Help You Remain Compliant

PCI compliance in your industry is not an option – it’s an absolute necessity. If you are not compliant, you could be fined up to hundreds of thousands of dollars! That’s a lot of money to lose, especially when it is completely preventable. And that’s not all – you could lose the trust of your customers if you put their information at risk by not adhering to PCI compliance standards – hackers can steal debit card and credit card information. With a managed services provider, you can rest assured that you will adhere to all of the PCI compliance standards set for your industry.


Managed IT Services Help You Promote Growth

When you use technology strategically and have experts on your side helping you innovate, it’s easy to grow; that’s what you’ll gain with a managed services provider.


Here at Cognoscape, we are the managed services provider you need to reach success. We take the time to get to know you, analyze your company needs, and create a unique technology solution based on those specific needs. Contact us today for a free consultation!