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The Dirty Truth: Why Your Hourly IT Provider Won't Solve Your Recurring IT Issues

Cards Technology

Running a small business means juggling multiple priorities, and the right technology can streamline processes and support growth. With so much at stake, you need more than just computer technicians that "monitor" your equipment and repair it when it breaks. You need a stable and efficient IT infrastructure to help propel your business forward.

A break/fix, hourly or adhoc provider refers to a provider that offers "as needed" services. When you need help, you call a support person. This may have worked for you in the past, but do you wonder why the same IT issues keep cropping up? Maybe you have a limited budget and think you can’t afford a managed services route. Or, you are hesitant to switch due to a disruption in service. These are minor concerns when you consider the motivation of a time and materials billing provider. There really is no incentive for them to permanently fix everything; otherwise they would be fixing themselves out of a job.

If your goal is to proactively invest in IT solutions, rather than reactively address downtime, here's the dirty truth on why you’re still having recurring problems:

  • Your urgent IT problems are an hourly provider’s most profitable venture. When systems malfunction and downtime effects productivity, you have no choice but to agree to whatever fees and extra expenses are being charged.
  • There is no incentive to implement stable solutions. Frequent repairs are business opportunities for the break/fix or hourly provider, who only gets paid when there is a problem to be addressed.
  • Little motivation exists to work quickly. When you are paid for the amount of time you spend working, slower results equates to more billing.
  • A job done "too well" is a threat. Setting up a network flawlessly or recommending monitoring software could potentially threaten the long-term job security of a break/fix provider.

A proactive managed services provider is more aligned with your goals. You both want an efficiently run IT infrastructure and will both benefit from succeeding in that goal. Having to fix recurring problems is not only time consuming but also cost prohibitive for both you and your provider. The mutual advantage of a true partnership keeps your IT systems running smoothly so you can run your business.

Maybe it's time for an assessment. Read about the Cards Technology 5-step proven process here, email us directly or call us at 410-208-3933.

 

4 Real Life Signs You're Assuming Your IT Management is Satisfactory

Cards Technology

When it comes to your company's technology, what does satisfactory mean to you? Maybe you're not constantly fighting downtime, but when it happens, it takes a toll on productivity. What about predictable IT expenditures – do you come close but have some months that just blow the budget out of the water?

Many small companies take the break-fix route of IT services, however, there are risks of not knowing when something will go wrong or what it will cost to fix it.

How do you recognize when "satisfactory IT management" isn't benefiting your business anymore? Look for these 4 real life signs:

  1. Inconsistent response times – Your network is down and you're not sure why, so you call your current IT provider for help. They prefer to come on-site to diagnose the problem. Sometimes that takes a few hours and other times a few days. There is no consistency of service and every minute of downtime is costing your company money.
  2. Unpredictable costs – Hourly, ad hoc or as needed services may seem like the more affordable solution, but the costs are open ended. This makes it practically impossible to stick to an IT budget and downright scary when the invoice arrives. Hourly billing also gives no incentive for a break-fix provider to find a permanent solution to an underlying problem.
  3. Lack of software automation – Software is constantly changing. Updates, bug fixes and newer versions require time and expertise to navigate. Without standardized templates and scheduled installations, a large chunk of your budget could be spent on repetitive activities that could have been automated.
  4. Reactive environment – Have you ever heard the phrase, prevention is better than treatment? That same advise applies to your IT environment. It's certainly important to fix what isn't working, but without proactive maintenance, you could incur the same issues over and over again.

Recently, we were asked to assess the IT of a local construction company where the CFO manages their technology. When problems occurred, the CFO contacted their break fix provider. They were experiencing inconsistent response times that caused downtime and delays, and billing by the hour to fix their problems was costly. Software updates were also considered additional billable items and therefore there was no predictable budgeting.

The construction company moved over to our Cards Complete Managed IT Services package, where proactive monitoring was implemented and software templates were created for automation. With downtime practically eliminated, the CFO now focuses on managing the business finances instead of worrying about IT problems. The entire company saw a huge productivity increase.

Is your IT solution keeping up with your growing business? Maybe it's time for an assessment. Read about our 5-step proven process here, email us directly or call us at (410) 208-3933.

 

Disconnect vs. Sign out for Remote and Local PCs

Cards Technology

Mark Shaw VP Sales & Marketing at Cards Technology presents “Disconnect vs. Sign out for Remote and Local PCs” in video #7 of the Tech Advisor Video Series.

Disconnecting can certainly be useful when you need to keep all of your apps running while you jump to another computer or work from home.

Signing out is the best practice to use when you’re done working for the day or need to troubleshoot a buggy program in your remote desktop session.

Take a look at our latest Tech Advisor video to learn the differences between these functions in both Remote and Local environments.

Feel free to circulate this video among your staff.

 

Work Faster With Multitasking Tips

Cards Technology

Mark Shaw VP Sales & Marketing at Cards Technology presents “Work faster with multitasking tips” in video #6 of the Tech Advisor Video Series.

Using shortcut keys like Alt-Tab, Start-Tab, and Ctrl-Tab can definitely save you some time while you’re working in multiple apps.

Feel free to circulate this video among your staff. We hope it has been informative and would like to thank you for viewing.


Using Task Manager on Unresponsive Programs

Cards Technology

Mark Shaw VP Sales & Marketing at Cards Technology presents “Using Task Manager on Unresponsive Programs” in video #5 of the Tech Advisor Video Series.

Have you ever been right in the middle of working in a program like Microsoft Word or Outlook and the program just locks up and stops responding? This video can certainly help.

We hope this information is helpful. Feel free to circulate this video among your staff.

Have a great day!

Automatic Replies and Out-of-Office Messages

Cards Technology

Mark Shaw VP Sales & Marketing at Cards Technology presents “Automatic Replies and Out-of-Office Messages” in video #4 of the Tech Advisor Video Series.

Automatic Replies are a great way to keep your staff and customers informed of when you’re on vacation so you can set some expectations as to when you will be able to respond to messages. It’s a good business practice to notify your customers of another staff member that can be reached while you’re gone so their immediate needs can be taken care of.

We hope this information is helpful. Feel free to circulate this video among your staff.

As always, if you have any questions or comments you are welcome to contact us.

Have a great day!


Worcester Preparatory School’s 31st Annual Gala

Cards Technology

Cards Technology is proud to be a sponsor of the upcoming Worcester Preparatory School’s 31st Annual Gala.

Education surrounding technology is also paramount. Cards Technology has been thankful to work alongside Worcester Prep to help design and develop their technology systems. Worcester Prep has demonstrated the ability to align their goals and philosophies with technology by having state of the art networks, servers, computers, tablets, and security.

We really look forward to many years of supporting their admirable cause of teaching today’s youth how to fully develop their intellectual abilities to become professionals, entrepreneurs, and leaders in today’s society.

Don’t Panic Over Fake Warning Messages

Cards Technology

In this week’s Tech Advisor video, Cards Technology presents “Don’t Panic Over Fake Warning Messages”. These fake warning messages come in all shapes and sizes. This instructional video will teach you where some of these messages come from and what to do in the event you are prompted with one.

Feel free to circulate this video among your staff.

We hope this is informative and we’d like to thank you for watching!

Installing the Microsoft Office Apps using the Office 365 Portal

Cards Technology

In our second clip of Tech Advisor video series, we discuss how to install the Microsoft Office Apps on your computer using the Office 365 portal. Depending on the Office 365 subscription your company has, you are entitled to install the Office Apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook on up to 5 computers. Even your home computers as well!

Check out our video to learn how this can be done. Feel free to circulate this among your staff as well.

We look forward to providing more helpful information throughout the year.

Thank you for your valued business and support. As always, you are welcome to contact your Account Manager our Technical Support Team for more information.


Identifying Fake Google Drive and DropBox Emails

Cards Technology

Hello everyone!

Cards Technology is excited to announce our brand new Tech Advisor video series. We aim to provide helpful tips to assist you with avoiding common technical issues.

In our first video of this series we discuss how to identify fake Google Drive and DropBox emails. This has been a common issue lately that has been plaguing people worldwide. The emails are designed to take you to a hacked webpage that steals your username and password. This video will show you how to identify and avoid these types of messages and to report them to our technical support team for analysis and prevention.

Feel free to circulate this video link among members of your organization.

We look forward to providing more helpful information throughout the year.

Thank you for your valued business and support. As always, you are welcome to contact your Account Manager our Technical Support Team for more information.