Keyboard with IT support written on the enter or return key.

Remote IT Support Saves the Day

While information technology consulting and services are crucial, present-day technology advancements have shifted the need for on-site IT professionals. This means remote IT support is more prevalent than ever. And just as phones, TVs, and even kitchen appliances have progressed into bright and polished pieces of technology many of us could not live without, remote IT services have also evolved.

Most functions and daily processes of a modern business already happen in the cloud. This means that most day-to-day IT support matters likely fall under the scope of software, process, network, or even security issues. All of these can be solved through remote IT services! 

So, what are the benefits of remote IT services that can help support and grow your business?

 

6 Benefits of Remote IT Support

Technology is rapidly shifting to keep up with the present-day business landscape. Hybrid and remote work is at an all-time high. This change means that employees work from various locations with massive dependability on laptops and mobile devices to ensure they stay connected. This creates a need for remote IT services supports more than ever before. 

Continue reading as we explore the top 6 benefits of remote IT support.

 

1. 24-Hour Availability & Convenience

Since most companies work from 9 am to 5 pm, so does their in-house IT department! However, having a remote IT support team means businesses receive immediate assistance at any hour of the day. There is no need to wait until the following business day when you have remote IT support. 

 

 2. Remote Maintenance and System Monitoring

Most businesses tend only to fix something once it’s broken. This isn’t necessarily a bad practice; however, it typically causes a pause in production and a headache for you. Remote system monitoring takes a more proactive approach to detect potential issues and resolve them before they arise. 

 

3. CyberSecurity

Hackers and cybercriminals go for the low-hanging fruit, and companies without cybersecurity measures in place make easy targets. Working with a remote IT team ensures your business is safe from data thieves even when you’re asleep. 

 

4. More Time to Focus on Your Business

With remote IT support, your business can thrive and grow without potential technology setbacks along the way. Just think of how much more productive your employees will be once they are alleviated of technical issues. 

 

 5. Off-Site Backup

Off-site backup is a crucial method for data recovery regardless of what takes place in your office. Having a remote backup source is essential because, as we’ve previously mentioned, data breaches and cyber-attacks are frequent in today’s climate. Having a safe place to store all of your client's data is a good idea. 

 

6. Access to New IT Products and Services

Staying up to date is crucial for productivity and efficiency. A remote IT support provider keeps your business up to date with changes and makes recommendations on updates and new software to help streamline your business.

 

Final Thoughts

Are you ready to implement remote IT services in your business? Call us today to see how we can improve your workflow and better serve your technology needs.

Schedule Your Free Consultation


How Can an MSP Help Make Your Business More Profitable & Propel You Forward

As technology continues to evolve at lightning speed, so does the constant concern about security. No matter the size of your business, it’s important to have the proper measures in place to protect your company. One way to do this is to use a managed service provider (MSP). An MSP will partner with your company to ensure your technology infrastructure is running efficiently while supporting business goals. Your MSP will remotely monitor your network 24/7. This helps ensure that your company’s data is protected and your software is running smoothly; it also means that any potential problems are addressed and fixed before they affect your customers. 

Some of the services that an MSP provides include: 

So how can an MSP help your business grow and become more profitable in 2023? Read on to find out! 

 

How an MSP can Increase Your Company’s Profitability

As a business owner, you’re constantly thinking of ways to increase profitability. One thing you may not have considered is how technology can improve your company’s daily operations. One of the highest costs of implementing and maintaining these new technologies is labor. For small- and medium-sized businesses, often hiring in-house, IT staff can be too expensive. By outsourcing your IT, you can increase your business productivity and, in turn, profitability. 

Working with an MSP also increases profitability by helping your company to be more efficient. Implementing time-saving automation and organizational strategies, an MSP can ensure your systems and staff are organized and help improve efficiencies. According to CompTIA’s annual Trends in Managed Services study, more than 75% of companies surveyed noted that MSPs and cloud computing had a positive impact on their revenue. Additionally, 70% of companies noted that MSPs and cloud computing improved their customer relationships. 

 

 

How an MSP can Grow Your Business

Outsourcing your IT can also help your business grow by allowing your company to focus on your core business mission and offerings. An MSP allows you to outsource IT problems so that you can focus on driving more profit for your company. Additionally, an MSP means that technical issues won’t affect interactions with your customers. Technical difficulties can often mean unplanned downtime, slow internet connectivity, or loss of data. An MSP will give you the peace of mind that technical issues won’t interfere with customer relationships. 

Additionally, working with an MSP allows you to increase your customer offerings. As we noted in the CompTIA research, increased offerings can improve customer relations, which can, in turn, help your company to grow! 

 

Work with an MSP in 2023!

If you’re ready to take the next step in growing your business and increasing your company’s profitability in the year ahead, we’re here to support you! As an MSP, our team of IT experts is here to allow you to offload your IT taste and free up your time and expertise to focus on other parts of your business. We look forward to helping you increase your company’s profitability and growth in the coming year! 

 

Schedule An Appointment


Business man with a laptop in his hands, looking up at the year 2023 written above him in a bold font against a blue background.

The 10 Best Software Programs To Keep Your Business Safe, Productive, And Headache-Free In 2023

 

As we move into 2023, it's more important than ever to make sure your business is running as smoothly as possible. This means investing in the right software programs! This blog post will discuss the 10 best business software programs for a productive, safe, and headache-free year. Whether you're looking for a program to help you stay organized or one that will keep your data safe, we have you covered. 

 

Why Are Software Tools Necessary For Your Small Business

Running a small business can be challenging. Still, it's essential to ensure you have the right tools in place to succeed. You might be a one-man band or a close-knit group of specialists; either way, as a small business owner, time is your biggest asset. Software programs are available to ensure you don't waste time on repetitive tasks or administrative work.

 

For Project Management

Project management software is vital for any business, as it helps you keep track of your tasks and deadlines. Many different project management software programs are available, but a few of the most popular choices for small businesses are Asana, Trello, and Monday. 

 

  • Asana is a great project management software program for businesses with a high volume of projects going on at once. It allows you to create and manage multiple projects simultaneously. Asana is also cost-effective, offering a free plan for small businesses. Additionally, Asana is easy to use and has many features that can help you stay organized. For example, you can create lists, tasks, deadlines, and add notes to your tasks. 
  • Trello is another popular project management software program. It allows you to create boards with cards representing different tasks, which can be especially helpful for businesses that need a more visual way to track their projects. Trello offers plans from $0-$5/month, which is ideal for small businesses on a budget. Trello is also easy to use and has many features to help you stay organized, including adding due dates, labels, imagery, and comments to your cards. If you're looking for a good project management software program with a visual twist, Trello is a good choice. 
  • Monday is a robust platform, excellent for teams managing tasks & workflows. Monday offers a large variety of integrations to seamlessly connect the tools you already use in your business to have all your team's work in one place. The Build Your Own feature allows you to customize workflows unique to your business's existing processes and procedures. For an even more customized experience, four additional software variations are available. The Sales CRM for sales & customer-facing teams provides tools for contact management, managing sales pipelines, and lead management. Monday Dev for product & development teams is for roadmap planning, bug tracking, website planning, and project management. 

Monday Marketer, designed for marketing & creative teams, includes a content calendar, campaign tracking, and tools for managing marketing projects. For PMO teams & project managers, there's Monday Projects, which includes advanced project management tools, portfolio management, and a critical path feature. 

 

For Email Management

Many different software programs are available for email campaigns and contact management. Two of the most popular options are MailChimp and Constant Contact. MailChimp is a great choice for businesses just beginning their email marketing journey, as it's free for up to 2,000 subscribers. Constant Contact is a good choice for businesses needing more features than MailChimp offers, such as creating polls and surveys. 

  • MailChimp is a popular email marketing software that allows you to handle all your email campaigns in one place and is free for up to 2,000 subscribers - making it a great choice for small businesses. MailChimp also offers a variety of templates and allows you to create custom designs for your emails and landing pages. The a/b split test feature allows two variations of the same campaign to be sent to an audience to compare marketing angles.
  • Constant Contact, like Mailchimp, is a popular email marketing software that allows you to create and send newsletters, promo emails, and various types of email campaigns. While more expensive than MailChimp, Constant Contact offers more features, such as the ability to create polls and surveys. It's also an excellent tool for organizing and uploading contacts, with a variety of CRM features. 

 

For Accounting

Managing and tracking finances can be daunting for small business owners. However, there are software programs available to help make this process easier. Two of the most popular finance software programs are QuickBooks and Xero. Both are designed for small businesses and help you keep track of your income and expenses.

Looking for something more robust?
Read more about our favorite accounting software in this blog post
.

 

For Human Resources

Running an effective team requires effective team management. Any small company should equip itself with Human Resources management programs to give employees a great experience with onboarding or off-boarding. A few top options for small businesses in 2023 are BambooHR and Gusto.

 

  • BambooHR is cloud-based software, which means you can access it from anywhere, and it offers many features that can help you manage your employees, such as the ability to create employee files, track time off, and generate reports. Additionally, BambooHR has a mobile app that allows you to access your account on the go.
  • Gusto is a human resources software program designed specifically for small businesses. It helps you keep track of employee information, including contact information and job titles, and also allows you to create employee files and track time off. Additionally, Gusto offers helpful features such as the ability to print checks and generate reports.

 

For Communications

Whether in-office or working remotely, communication is key to ensuring that your team stays looped in and connected. That's where Slack comes in.  

  • Slack is a messaging app that allows you to communicate with coworkers, clients, and other businesses using project-based channels and direct messages. Additionally, Slack offers many helpful features, such as file sharing, creating polls, and collaborative conversations. 

 

Final Thoughts

There are many software programs available to small business owners to help manage projects, finances, HR, and email marketing. While all of these programs have unique features, they all share one common goal: to make managing a small business easier. So if you're feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work it takes to run your business, consider using one or more of these software programs. They can help lighten your load and allow you to focus on what's important: running your business. The INI team can help you and your small business.

Call Us Today!


A woman is sitting at a laptop computer, with an image of a lock on the screen indicating limited security access.

Zero-Trust Model - Is it Right For Your Business?

 

The Zero-Trust Security model shifts our thoughts about security. No, this isn’t some new product or service we’re trying to pitch. Instead, think of it this way: rather than identifying something you’d like to protect and building a wall around it to keep hackers on the outside, all users must constantly prove themselves trustworthy - whether inside or outside the network. In the world of constantly expanding remote work and cybersecurity, a shift to zero-trust security can be a game changer. Why zero trust? Well, it’s in the name: zero trust means “trust no one, verify everyone.” This cybersecurity concept arose because most data breaches often happen from the inside - such as when a hacker steals someone’s credentials, allowing them to move around virtually unchecked. According to recent research by IBM, the average data breach cost amounted to $4.24 million. And according to a recent study by Cybersecurity Insiders, 73% of organizations are in various stages of zero trust security adoption.  

But before you can decide whether or not zero-trust security is the right move for your company, let’s dive deeper into how it works and some benefits of this shift in cybersecurity. 

 

How Does Zero-Trust Security Work?

 

 

Zero-Trust security operates on two guiding principles: continuous validation and least-privileged access. 

  • Continuous Validation: Your cybersecurity uses a continuous process of authorization rather than a single validation. This means the user must prove their trustworthiness before moving through the network. One way to think about this is that there is a house, and each user has a unique set of keys to get in. Each user may have a key to get them into the front door, but each room inside the house requires another set of keys, and once you enter a room, the closet or dresser also requires a different key for each. In this example, the keys all represent other points of validation needed for each user to move throughout the network. 
  • Least-Privileged Access: Access is restricted based on each user’s identity and context. For example, one user might only be able to access the applications required to perform their job rather than access everything within the network. 

 

Benefits of Zero-Trust Security

If you’re a company with remote workers, cloud-based services, or possibly both, the zero-trust security model is an ideal consideration for your business. There are several reasons for this. Remote works use a variety of wi-fi networks and devices - all of which have access to sensitive company information. The zero-trust model can help solve the issue of how to protect your company’s data by closing those security gaps. Other benefits include: 

Specific Identity and Access Management

Identity and Access Management (IAM) is one of the first steps to a zero-trust model. IAM creates secure connections between people, devices, apps, and data by using a single identity solution that gives you flexibility and control. When used with multifactor authentication (MFA), every identity is verified before being granted access; Each employee’s access can be controlled in relation to their position in the company. 

Simple Integration

A well-designed zero-trust security solution is easily integrated with an organization's identity management system. Users will benefit from a seamless and transparent authentication and access system. Since IT and security teams can easily define access policies that follow users across their devices, this will significantly reduce malware and ransomware attacks. 

Easy Scalability

Since zero-trust security systems are cloud-native, it’s easy to scale across your entire workforce regardless of end-user location or choice of devices. This means you can rest assured that your company’s data is safe without disrupting your everyday workflows. 

 

Interested in Zero-Trust Security for Your Business?

A successful zero-trust security approach aims to easily integrate, consolidate, and simplify many legacy cybersecurity technologies. This means no more IT headaches and late nights worrying about data breaches! You and your employees can rest assured that your company’s data is safe no matter where and on their working devices. Employees will have access to the resources they need to do their jobs. 

 

Zero-trust systems can also help create automated threat responses and help track security threats. We know how important it is to keep your company running smoothly and securely. Implementing a zero-trust security system is worth considering as more employees move to remote or hybrid work environments. If you think this cybersecurity solution is right for your business or have questions about zero-trust security, our team can help! Our IT team is here to help alleviate your cybersecurity pain points. Just contact us to get started!

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Malware on a computer

What Do Viruses and Other Malware Do?

The internet is remarkable, from streamlining our businesses to allowing us to co-work internationally to being the home to some really cute cat videos, but it’s not a place you want to find yourself unprotected. While the internet is full of convenience and opportunity, we’re not the only ones taking advantage of it. According to one report, 560,000 new types of malware are detected every day. The same report says that four companies fall victim to malware for each minute of the day. The most prominent malware threat comes from a Trojan, meaning it’s disguised as something legitimate, but it fooled you.

This is why educating yourself and your team to identify common malware pitfalls is so important. And why cyber security needs to be a top priority for your company. Even big corporations fall victim to cybercriminals, so you must take this seriously.  

 

What is Malware, and What Does It Do?

Malware is a severe threat. It’s software that sneaks into your computer and destroys everything on it. The term malware is short for “malicious software.”

You might think that malware only threatens your computer, but that’s not true. It can also hit your smartphone or tablet. Any device that connects to the internet risks being infected with malware.

Cybercriminals will often use malware to extract data from your computer. Then, they like to use it as ransom to get people to pay them to get the information back. It’s why having a managed security system is so important.

 

What Are Viruses and What Do They Do?

A computer virus is simply a type of malware that attaches to another program and replicates it after it’s used on a computer, tablet, or mobile device. 

Often, computer viruses are spread through email. They typically come in an attachment, and the virus loads onto your computer when you click on the attachment. You won’t even know you did it at first.

As with other malware, viruses can destroy your data and can also slow down your computer. For many people, that might be the first sign something is wrong.

This is a severe threat, especially for businesses that have employees are may not be as computer savvy when it comes to these threats. It’s just too easy for one employee to spread it to another. 

 

What Are the Negative Impacts of Both?

Malware and other computer viruses steal your data, hold it for ransom, slow your computer down, and spread quickly between employee computers. But other harmful things can happen when you are a victim of malware attacks. 

 

Expect Them to Steal Your Information

When you fall victim to malware, your personal and business information is now in the hands of cybercriminals. Sometimes, they won’t hold it for ransom; they’ll sell it to someone else. 

They now have your computer browser history, all your passwords, and your client’s information. 

 

It Will Not Be Business As Usual

Don’t expect your employees to be able to go about their jobs as usual. They’re going to run into many detours trying to use their computer, usually in the way of pop-ups. And some cyber criminals like to have a little fun by setting up, so they are constantly redirected to your competition’s site. 

 

What You Need to Do to Protect Your Business

You might not feel like your business can afford the extra expense of hiring IT services, but the truth is, you can’t afford not to. Managing your business’ infrastructure is a full-time job. Let our experts at Intuitive Network do it for you. Our experts are reliable and proactive. You can expect to feel peace of mind knowing they have your back.

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Image of a computer search screen with the words “2023 Tech Trends” written on the screen.

How to Make Tech Work For You as We Enter 2023

As we head into these final months of 2022, it’s time for us to take a holistic look at the year ahead. We’re more than two years out from the beginning of the pandemic, and it’s clear that remote and hybrid work models are here to stay. A recent Pew Research Center Survey noted that nearly 60% of workers in the U.S. who can work remotely would continue to do so by choice. This new work model can come with many benefits - not the least of which is an improved work/life balance for your employees. This shift also necessitates new collaboration tools and technologies that make your company’s day-to-day operations smoother and more effective. Ultimately, these new technologies should make your business life easier.  

 

Top 5 Tips to Make Tech Work For You

When it comes to new technologies, it can often feel like the possibilities are endless! Luckily you don’t need a computer science degree to work through all these choices. We’ve created the following list of the top 5 ways to make technology work for you. This list aims to help improve your business workflow, and our team is here to ensure you won’t have any IT headaches as you head into 2023!

 

1. Remote CyberSecurity

Cybersecurity has always been an integral part of your company’s security efforts, but as remote work trends increase in popularity, it’s essential to invest in cybersecurity for your employees’ home networks. This can often seem challenging since it requires setting up Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) or similar security measures to ensure security for employees working from home. Since this trend is here to stay, discussing ways to increase your company’s remote cybersecurity is important.

 

2. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

This next trend continues our first tip. As the workplace moves to more flexible and hybrid work models, SaaS and cloud-based platforms are on track to eclipse on-premise IT approaches. A recent Gartner report predicts that cloud offerings will grow to $655 billion in revenue by 2023, up $111 billion from 2022. While these SaaS and cloud infrastructures are necessary to meet the demands of current work trends, there is also the added benefit of significant savings. According to a recent Microsoft IT Pros report, companies are seeing an average annual savings of around 30%. Moving to the cloud provides convenient scalability with seemingly endless data storage that can easily surface on-premise capacity limits. 

 

3. Device Flexibility

A flexible work model means more companies and employees seek flexibility in their work devices. Many are opting for the ability to work on lighter-weight handheld mobile devices. Since your company has already followed tip #2 and invested in SaaS and cloud-based infrastructure, you’ll have no problem keeping up with this demand! This software can make it easy for employees to work from anywhere, on any device. 

 

4. Adaptive AI

AI is quickly becoming an integral part of our daily work and personal lives. Predictive coding, data analytics, and smarter algorithms are becoming more effective and efficient than ever. Adaptive AI systems can dynamically use real-time feedback and shift learning while adjusting goals. Traditional AI functions on static learning capabilities with slower development times. Essentially it’s unable to learn from interacting with its data. This new adaptive AI can learn from new data and experiences and adjust accordingly. 

 

5. Superapps

You’ve heard of apps, but have you heard of a superapp? Simply put, a superapp combines the features of an app platform into one ecosystem. According to Gartner, half of the world’s population is expected to be a daily user of multiple superapps by 2027. This trend will affect workflow, collaboration, and messaging platforms, due to the ability of superapps to consolidate and replace multiple apps. 

 

Need Help Implementing with IT?

Whether you’re a small, midsize, or enterprise business, our team is here to support your IT needs. Our progressive IT services are customized to ensure we can alleviate your unique pain points while also helping you grow your company into the future. 

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Social media icons

Social Media Terms of Service

Social media terms of service, also known as terms and conditions, are typically extremely lengthy contracts in the tiny fonts that we tend to skip over as quickly as possible. However, those sneaky paragraphs we often skim past to get to the end of the page hold valuable information. Needless to say, privacy policy contracts are lengthy, and although everyone should read them, rarely does anybody. 

 

With an abundance of social media platforms and their corresponding apps, it’s quite difficult to get through all of the terms of service in one session. We get it; we don’t want to read long and confusing legal documents either. That is why we’re here to shed some light on social media terms of service. 

Understand What You Are Signing

 

So, what is hidden in those extensive paragraphs? 

When agreeing to a social media platform's terms and conditions, you are confirming the terms of their license. Mind you; this license is legally binding and quite serious in that it protects whatever you are signing up for. Contracts generally require an offer and consent. This means that the user must signal their compliance by clicking acceptance of the terms or providing a digital signature. Other social media platforms imply consent by the use of the platform, with the terms of service, or terms and conditions, provided in a link often found near the bottom of a platform's homepage.

 

One of the important terms to look out for is the intent for which a license is permitted. This may be specified as “for the sole purpose of promoting the website,” or a purpose may not be specified at all. It is worth knowing whether the purpose of a given license includes commercial use of copyright-protected work.

Understanding Your Privacy Rights

 

Although terms of service contracts may be a bit confusing and hard to digest, it is essential to know that any changes to the social media platform's terms of service must be easy to understand for its users. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has enforced actions against Google and Facebook for "unfair and deceptive" practices in how these giant companies provided their users notice on how their personal data are handled on a daily basis. This means you can relax knowing that the FTC has your back. 

 

However, don’t get too excited just yet. Courts have yet to assign any value to privacy rights. However, recent legislative changes are quickly shifting the conduct of social media platforms. While Europe's General Data Protection Regulation does not directly impact privacy protection for people in the United States, it has inspired the state of California to take some action. The requirements that mirror some of Europe's changes include – clear notice and consent requirements for the use of personal data, along with restrictions on how the personal data of social media platform users are handled.

 

So, what's the deal with TikTok?

 

TikTok has been in the news recently for its fine print within its terms of service that nobody reads. 

 

Here is a snippet from their privacy policy for your reference:

 

Device Information

We collect certain information about the device you use to access the Platform, such as your IP address, user agent, mobile carrier, time zone settings, identifiers for advertising purposes, model of your device, the device system, network type, device IDs, your screen resolution and operating system, app and file names and types, keystroke patterns or rhythms, battery state, audio settings, and connected audio devices. Where you log in from multiple devices, we will be able to use your profile information to identify your activity across devices. We may also associate you with information collected from devices other than those you use to log in to the Platform.

 

In short, the concern with TikTok is legitimate, and it would be a good idea to look through their privacy policy fully during your downtime. Better yet, give us a call and ask us about true mobile security for your devices. 

 

Can TikTok access your camera even if the app is closed?

 

Although this still remains under debate, we are now aware that TikTok has full access to the audio, video, and address book on any given device while the app is open. While it isn’t surprising since TikTok is an audio-visual application, what is rather shocking is the GPS tracking mentioned in their privacy policy. This is especially surprising because TikTok videos don’t inherently display location information for other users to see. In conclusion, TikTok should be treated with caution, just like any other social media platform. Always remember that whatever you record will be seen by others whether you like it or not. 

 

Protect Your Rights and Intellectual Property

 

Social media has become a much-integrated part of both our personal and professional lives. Learning how to stay safe while posting on social media is especially important with the increasing amount of integrated payment systems, apps, phone verification, and touchless technology. Here are some best practices to stay safe while using your favorite social applications.

 

  1. Adjust your privacy settings.
  2. Be cautious of sharing too much personal information.
  3. Verify who you are connecting with.
  4. Use strong passwords (mix these up for each of your social media accounts).
  5. Click links with caution.  
  6. Become familiar with the privacy policies of the social media platforms you use on daily basis.

 

Here at Intuitive Networks, we're not just all about IT services - Contact us today and get real IT support from industry experts.

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Managed service provider fixing a piece of equipment.

What Is An MSP?

Do you feel like you're constantly playing catch-up when it comes to IT support? You're not alone. Business owners are often overwhelmed with the number of options and technologies available today. But what if there was a way to simplify things for you? 

A Managed Service Provider (MSP) is a great option for business owners who want to outsource their IT needs. In this blog post, we'll discuss what a Managed Service Provider (MSP) is and how it can help your business be safe so it can grow effectively. Think of it as an easy button for your tech business needs. 

 

What is a Managed Service Provider (MSP)?

 

A managed service provider (MSP) is a type of IT service provider that delivers network, application, system, and security services on a subscription basis. MSPs are usually multi-service providers, offering a range of services such as 24/7 monitoring, help desk support, data backup, and disaster recovery. They can be used to supplement in-house IT staff or to completely outsource IT functions. MSPs typically use a remote monitoring and management (RMM) platform to deliver their services. 

 

What can an MSP do for you?

 

An MSP can help you with a number of different tasks related to your business's IT infrastructure and support your remote employees. They can manage your entire IT infrastructure or just specific parts of it such as your network, security, data backup, or help desk. Managed service providers can also provide you with access to their IT experts, who can advise you on the best way to use technology to improve your business.

 

They can be a cost-effective way to manage your IT infrastructure, as MSPs can often provide services at a lower cost than if you were to do it yourself -- evidentially freeing up your time so that you can focus on other aspects of your business.

 

What are the common types of Managed Service Providers out there?

 

While MSPs can offer a wide range of IT/security services, they are typically classified into a few main categories:

 

Network MSPs: Network MSPs provide network-related services such as network design, installation, monitoring, and maintenance. 

 

Security MSPs: Security MSPs provide security-related services such as malware protection, intrusion detection and prevention, firewalls, and web filtering. 

 

Data MSPs: Data backup MSPs provide data backup and disaster recovery services. This can include on-site backups, off-site backups, and cloud backups. 

 

Time and Material MSPS: Time and material MSP is for one-off IT projects that may be needed throughout the course of your business ownership. Whether that be setting up computers or dealing with a catastrophe. 

 

Help Desk MSPs: Help Desk MSPs provide help desk support services. This can include 24/7 support, email and chat support, and phone support.

 

Remote Work MSPs: Remote Work MSPs allow for remote support within your business and can help your employees fix software-related issues. 

 

How can Intuitive Networks MSPs help?

 

Here at Intuitive Networks, we offer some state-of-the-art MSP tools to ensure you have the most seamless outsourced experience for your business:

 

Managed IT Services

 

Server and Network Management: We take care of monitoring your systems and keeping them up-to-date, so you can focus on running your business. And in the event of an outage, we're there to help you get back up and running as quickly as possible. So you can rest assured that your business is in good hands.

 

Remote IT Monitoring and Maintenance: With assistance from our experts just a phone call away, we can provide quick resolutions to your computer troubles. We'll keep your drivers and software updated, manage your licenses and integrate them with your current equipment. Plus, we'll keep a watchful eye on your devices to prevent downtime from occurring in the first place.

 

IT Help Desk Support: With our IT help desk support, you can easily get in touch with a technician who can help you sort out the problem. We'll work together to find a solution quickly, and we'll also keep an eye on your infrastructure so we can prevent issues from popping up in the first place. 

 

Email Support:  Without proper management, your inbox can quickly become cluttered with spam and phishing emails. These unwanted messages not only take up valuable time but can also pose a serious security threat to your business. As a trusted IT managed service provider, we thoroughly examine devices and systems connected to your email service. Our email performance monitoring and content filtering helps to proactively identify and block spam and phishing emails before they reach your inbox!

 

Managed Security Services

 

Security As a Service: Our team of expert technicians will work with you to assess your specific needs and design a customized security solution that includes authentication, antivirus and anti-malware, SIEM, and more. By outsourcing your security tasks to us, you can focus on running your business without having to worry about the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape. 

 

Data Backup and Recovery: Data backup and recovery services are necessary for peace of mind when it comes to your company's data. Our professionals will help you back up regularly, so there is no need to worry about losing any important information ever again!

 

Endpoint Protection: We offer an innovative multi-layered security solution that blocks malware while giving you peace of mind knowing endpoints will be safe from phishing attempts or other online threats for good.

 

Computer and Network Security: Antivirus software for your business isn't enough; our approach takes into consideration all of the other important areas. Such as monitoring 24/7 for malicious activity (and training employees on how best to protect themselves) and updating hardware as necessary so it remains protected against future malware attacks.

 

Final Thoughts

 

If you're thinking about using an MSP, it's important to do your research and choose a reputable provider. MSPs vary in terms of the services they offer and the pricing structures they use, so it's important to find one that matches your needs. They can be a great way to offload some of your IT tasks and free up time for other parts of your business. If you're considering using an MSP, reach out to our team of IT experts at Intuitive Networks today so they can guide you on the best match for your business.

 

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A male accountant with glasses sitting at a desk with files, paperwork, and a computer screen in front of him.

How Are CPA Firms Thriving In Today’s Competitive Market

Looking back at the year 2020, when most of the world was shutting down, and accounting firms were gearing up for their busiest time of the year; tax season. During this time, accountants were handling tax write-ups and other tasks for their regular clientele when new clients suddenly started pouring in with fear and panic behind their eyes. Business owners were frantically looking for solutions to their challenges and ultimately wanted to keep their businesses alive and well despite all that was happening in the world. 

An urgent need for practical solutions presented established CPA firms and accounting professionals with a unique challenge. This challenging situation tested professionals in the finance industry and introduced new ways of handling their day-to-day operations. While small CPA firms may not have survived this intense time of growth and change, the majority had to shift and elevate their current business effectiveness.

 

The Ability to Adapt to Current Circumstances

While some CPA firms may have worked remotely before the pandemic, most of them did not and therefore had to make the shift to remote work – the ability to work from home was and still is a notable contributor to many CPA firms' continuous strides to increase profitability moving forward. In addition, accountant's roles have adapted to also become an advisor to their clients through these unprecedented times. 

So why are some CPA firms thriving while others struggle to stay afloat?

 

Keeping Up With Latest Technologies

One of the biggest reasons is the inability to keep up with technological advances. Accountants have an inherent need to update their firm's technology to provide better and more efficient services to their clientele. 

The best thing accounting firms can do, is find a trusted service provider to help guide them in their decision-making process. Top-of-the-line service providers will grant CPAs access to new accounting technology such as Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotic Process Automation at a fraction of the cost. 

Utilizing these technologies to facilitate efficient workflows and automate mundane tasks such as bookkeeping, appointment scheduling, and transaction processing can be extremely cost-effective.

 

Staying Cost-Conscious

Another competent that is helping CPA firms thrive is low operating costs. This goes hand-in-hand with working remotely and staying up to date with current technologies. Utilizing both factors alleviates the pain of costly employee salaries and overhead costs you would otherwise be forced to maintain or let your business crumble. 

The ability to have a hybrid schedule or work from home eliminates a multitude of costs associated with working in an office five days a week. Also, if you are making use of modern technology, there is no need to invest more money into resources promising to drive revenue or complete work faster.

 

Data Privacy and Cybersecurity

Even though cybersecurity and data privacy are essential in all aspects of any business, it is especially prominent for accountants and accounting professionals. A security breach has the ability to steal sensitive information and harm a CPA’s reputation. 

The best way to protect clients' data privacy is by using an integrated IT security system instead of a plethora of unintegrated software products. In addition, thriving CPA firms use secure client portals and are constantly reviewing their security systems to analyze further how to prevent data from ever leaving their firm.

 

Final Thoughts

Truth is, there is a lot to keep in mind and figure out in order to have a thriving accounting firm, but you do not have to do it alone. At Intuitive Networks, we are not solely focused on IT services – our business is centered around providing an unforgettable customer experience. Your success is our success, and that’s why we deliver progressive IT services customized to alleviate your unique pain points while growing with you into the future.

Are you interested in a consultation? If so, give us a call today to discuss IT service needs for your business. After all, we want you and your business to thrive!

 

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Accountant suffering from burnout

Accountant Burnout Is On The Rise – How Technology Can Help

Today, we’re diving deep into the cause of accountant burnout, why the struggle exists, and providing some keen tech solutions to help ease the issue at hand. 

The pandemic was hard on everyone, but it seems to have taken a particular toll on the financial industry. A recent study found that accountant burnout is at an all-time high, with nearly half of respondents saying they feel burnt out from their job. Even before the pandemic, accountants were struggling. It wasn't uncommon for them to log 60-70 hour work weeks. Then came the pandemic, change in work style, and the sheer messiness of adapting to a new financial ecosystem.

 

So, what was the initial cause of the burnout cycle?

Well, there are a few factors at play, but most signs point back to 2020. This was a time when many people shifted from in-person work to working from home. Financial worries were at an all-time high (and with recession worries trending, they still are). Many people in the financial space report that they found themselves working longer hours from home while trying to balance childcare and other responsibilities.

Along with the onset of the pandemic, there was also an increase in regulation and paperwork for accountants. With so many businesses struggling to stay afloat, there was and has been a lot of pressure on accountants to make sure everything is in order to avoid any IRS issues for these businesses.

To sum it up: What started in 2020 caused a domino effect, and burnout has now reached an all-time high.

 

Why are accountants struggling presently?

AS we explained above, the professionals in the financial industry are under more pressure than ever before. The demand for accounting services has gone up, accompanied by rapid legislation changes and heightened client expectations.

These factors have placed pressure on firms to not only deliver great results, but also take on more advisory positions. The sheer volume of work can be overwhelming, and the need to be up-to-date on the latest legislation means that many accountants are struggling to keep up with the demands of the job.

Though the demand on the industry is unlikely to lessen anytime soon, technological advances have come a long way in helping firms automating systems, streamline day-to-day tasks, and serve clients more efficiently.

 

How technology can help alleviate accountants’ burnout

Automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks can free up accountants' time so that they can focus on more value-added activities.

For example, cloud-based automation software can be used to generate reports, reconcile accounts, schedule appointments and send invoices. Modern day technology allows accountants to spend less time on mundane tasks and more time on strategic planning and client relations.

In addition, automation technology can help to reduce the error rate by ensuring that data is entered correctly and eliminating the need for manual input. As a result, automation technology can help to improve accuracy and efficiency, making life easier for accountants and reducing the risk of burnout.

 

Here are a few top automation tools for accountants

  • Xero:

Xero Practice Manager is an essential tool for streamlining workflows, timesheets, and invoicing. Xero lets you assign work to staff, track and invoice for time, integrate with other software tools for invoicing and payments, and create customized reports. It is based on the cloud infrastructure, which allows you to access your data from anywhere in the world. It’s best known for its powerful mobile app, robust time and billing system, and ability to allocate various jobs with specific due dates.

  • Taxdome:

TaxDome is an all-in-one practice management platform designed to help accounting firms streamline their workflow and improve efficiency. Accounting firms can manage their client accounts, emails, invoices, and current jobs in one shared space. The platform also includes client-facing tools such as document management, e-signatures, and messages. This allows firms to provide a seamless experience for their clients while reducing the amount of time spent on administrative tasks

  • Karbon:

Karbon is a great tool for accounting firms, as it helps manage deadlines and has a feature that turns emails into tasks. This program is important for financial service providers since most finance-related tasks are completed on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. The platform’s built-in CRM feature helps manage and maintain client relationships through information management and automation. Aside from that, this tool also allows firms to send reminders and continue bringing in client business regularly. While these are some of the stronger points of the software, one of the most notable downsides for users is the lack of seamless outbound email integration.

If you're feeling burnt out from your job as an accountant, don't despair. Automation technology can help take some of the burden off of your shoulders.

 

Wrapping It Up

Overall, accountant burnout is caused by several factors however, there are ways to combat accountant burnout using automation technology. Automation technology can help by taking on repetitive tasks, improving accuracy and efficiency, and freeing up time for accountants to focus on more value-added activities. 

If you're feeling burnt out and ready to take control of your business using tech solutions, Intuitive Networks can help. Use the button below to schedule with one of our MSP experts today and create a customized solution for your business.

 

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