Archive for the ‘IT Outsourcing’ Category

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4 Reasons to Outsource Your IT Support

In Business Buy Guide,IT Outsourcing on December 6, 2010 by businessbuyguide Tagged: ,

While some organizations may hesitate at the thought of outsourcing IT support, many have already embraced this practice – and for good reason. If you’re still on the fence about outsourcing your company’s IT support, here are some of the reasons why you should seriously consider it.

1. You don’t have to pay for a full time employee.

Do you currently have a full time IT guy? How much are you paying him? My guess is more than 40K per year, and then some. You’re also probably providing him employee benefits such as health insurance, dental insurance, or even a 401k plan!

For small to medium sized businesses, having a full time IT team or even just one person can be costly. These guys possess highly specialized skills so they don’t come cheap. But is there a way to cut down on those expenses? Absolutely. Simply hire an outside IT management firm, and they’ll handle all your computer related needs for a fraction of what you’d pay a full time employee. You don’t have to offer benefits, either. You reap the benefits instead.

2. You can concentrate on the business side of things.

Running your own business means that you’re constantly juggling multiple roles. Aside from being the boss, you’re most likely the head of human resources and the lead salesman as well. Don’t try to be the IT guy, too. This job requires specific know-how and can be extremely time consuming. If you’re trying to fix computer problems yourself, you won’t have time to build your business. Outsource so you can focus on customer relations and marketing efforts, or in other words, the things that make you money.

3. You gain access to a wider knowledge base.

Having an in-house IT guy gives you a fairly limited knowledge base. After all, how much can one person know, as opposed to a group of people? An outsourced team that is well researched and capable of specializing in various aspects of IT management will offer you a broader range of computer expertise.

4. You can stay on top of the latest technology.

You know how technology is – it’s constantly evolving. You can’t always keep up with all the changes, but an IT company can do that for you. Since they specialize in technology, they’ll always know what’s new, what’s hot, and what’s not. They can also tell you which systems or software are good investments and which ones aren’t. Mitigate your risks by enlisting the help of a reliable IT firm.

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Articles

4 Reasons To Outsource Your IT Support

In IT Outsourcing on December 3, 2010 by businessbuyguide Tagged: ,

While some organizations may hesitate at the thought of outsourcing IT support, many have already embraced this practice – and for good reason. If you’re still on the fence about outsourcing your company’s IT support, here are some of the reasons why you should seriously consider it.

1. You don’t have to pay for a full time employee.

Do you currently have a full time IT guy? How much are you paying him? My guess is more than 40K per year, and then some. You’re also probably providing him employee benefits such as health insurance, dental insurance, or even a 401k plan!

For small to medium sized businesses, having a full time IT team or even just one person can be costly. These guys possess highly specialized skills so they don’t come cheap. But is there a way to cut down on those expenses? Absolutely. Simply hire an outside IT management firm, and they’ll handle all your computer related needs for a fraction of what you’d pay a full time employee. You don’t have to offer benefits, either. You reap the benefits instead.

2. You can concentrate on the business side of things.

Running your own business means that you’re constantly juggling multiple roles. Aside from being the boss, you’re most likely the head of human resources and the lead salesman as well. Don’t try to be the IT guy, too. This job requires specific know-how and can be extremely time consuming. If you’re trying to fix computer problems yourself, you won’t have time to build your business. Outsource so you can focus on customer relations and marketing efforts, or in other words, the things that make you money.

3. You gain access to a wider knowledge base.

Having an in-house IT guy gives you a fairly limited knowledge base. After all, how much can one person know, as opposed to a group of people? An outsourced team that is well researched and capable of specializing in various aspects of IT management will offer you a broader range of computer expertise.

4. You can stay on top of the latest technology.

You know how technology is – it’s constantly evolving. You can’t always keep up with all the changes, but an IT company can do that for you. Since they specialize in technology, they’ll always know what’s new, what’s hot, and what’s not. They can also tell you which systems or software are good investments and which ones aren’t. Mitigate your risks by enlisting the help of a reliable IT firm.

 

Articles

Emerging Challenges in the IT World

In Business Buy Guide,IT Outsourcing on November 3, 2010 by businessbuyguide Tagged: ,

New developments in information technology have also brought forward new challenges. Here are four examples:

Virtualization Solutions

“Virtualization” has become the buzzword in discussions of future IT solutions. This term refers to the technology wherein several virtual machines can run on a single hardware as if they were independent computers being operated by independent users. Microsoft, Red Hat, and VMware have all developed products that can facilitate the end to end implementation of virtualization solutions.

Many organizations have already begun to implement virtual servers in their data centers, but there has been little structured research conducted to determine whether or not self-hosted virtualization solutions actually deliver what they’re supposed to do. Gartner reports have advised about the negative effects if performance objectives and corporate strategies are not included in the virtualization solution plan.

Cloud Computing

Several cloud computing services are already available worldwide, including Microsoft Cloud, IBM Blue Cloud, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, and Google Apps Cloud. These service providers claim that customers can have access to any IT resource such as memory, storage capacity, application license, and network bandwidth. The cloud computing market is a developed one, with millions of users already availing of these services. Because it has gained global popularity, it will be relatively easier to study the benefits it offers.

Unified Threat Management (UTM) Solutions

This is a new innovation among internet service providers that uses network and host based security products running on cloud computing platforms. UTM solutions are expected to create new levels of service offerings, user expectations, client engagements, and revenue models that have yet to be tapped.

Small and medium enterprises and corporations that want to transfer their IT systems to cloud computing platforms can avail of UTM solutions from the internet service provider connecting them to the cloud computing vendor. Unified threat management is an emerging field that requires plenty of research efforts.

Green Data Centers

Also known as sustainable data centers, the main objective of green data centers is to achieve as much conservation as possible, including the conservation of energy, resources, space, costs, etc. As a result, designers have tried to make the systems as “lean” as possible. However, Gartner reports have warned about the possibility of decreased productivity, performance, disaster recovery capability, and capacity to handle business growth challenges in these green data centers.

Unfortunately, consulting firms are closely affiliated with original equipment manufacturers and suppliers, therefore designs and solutions are usually biased to reach sales targets. The designs, implementation plans, and operation and maintenance issues of sustainable data centers need to be studied further.

Articles

What to Look for When Getting a New Computer

In Business Buy Guide,IT Outsourcing on October 22, 2010 by businessbuyguide Tagged: ,

When it comes to computers, Moore’s law has boosted performance up and pulled costs down. These days, you can get a desktop computer for less than $400 and a laptop for no more than $1,000. With such low prices, there’s really no excuse not to own a computer.

Price and convenience are two factors that you should consider when choosing a computer. Desktops are more affordable, while laptops are more portable. Netbooks, which are smaller and more lightweight than laptops, provide the most convenience.

As for specifications, you have to look at the computer’s operating system, memory, processor, hard drive, network, and monitor.

Operating System

Two of the most popular operating systems today are Windows and Apple. Both are user-friendly and widely available. Windows is more well-known because it is less expensive and can be easily purchased at several stores. For general use, Windows is recommended.

You can take your pick from three Windows operating systems: XP, Vista, and 7. Windows XP is a good one but it is near the end of its life cycle. I would suggest that you skip XP and Vista and just go for the latest which is Windows 7. Microsoft has done a great job with this operating system.

Memory

I’ll let you in on a little secret about Windows Vista and Windows 7 – these operating systems will use more memory if it is available, thereby resulting in better system performance. Computer memory does not cost much these days, so I would highly recommend that you get the most memory that you can afford – this component will have the biggest impact on your computer’s system performance. Don’t mind the different memory types unless you’re a technology enthusiast who wants the best and the latest.

Processor

Before, the processor’s speed was an important deciding factor in buying computers, but this is no longer the case. With entry level computers starting at 2.0 GHz and multi-processor multi-core systems being common, a processor is not the most essential component anymore. Still, there is one thing that you need to take into consideration when selecting a processor.

Ask yourself how often you will buy one. If it will be three more years before you upgrade your processor, then get the best one you can afford. It shouldn’t set you back more than $200. If you upgrade more often like I do – I replace mine every two years – then you can get a cheaper one.

Hard Drive

Choosing a hard drive is easy. You can get a 1TB drive for a really low price. If you plan on storing plenty of files such as music and videos on your computer, opt for at least 300GB. The bigger the size and the number of your files, the bigger the hard drive size you need.

Network

When wireless networking emerged some years ago, computer use increased as a result. With a wireless connection, all you have to do is configure your computer – no more cables needed. Desktop computers these days usually come with a built-in LAN (local area network), but you can get an upgrade to the latest wireless standard, 802.11n, for around $50. I’d recommend the upgrade if you have a desktop; it’ll make things a lot more convenient for you. Nearly all laptops and netbooks already come with wireless LAN.

Monitor

It’s easier and more enjoyable to work with a bigger monitor. You can get a 24-inch screen for a reasonable price, and wide screen monitors start at 30 inches. If you have a desktop computer, consider upgrading to a larger monitor – you can get one for around $200. If you want to splurge, dual monitors are very nice to work with.

Articles

The History of Data Centers

In Business Buy Guide,IT Outsourcing on October 20, 2010 by businessbuyguide Tagged: ,

Today’s data centers may have been perfected in the late 1990s during the dot-com bubble, but the history of data centers can be traced back to the first years of the computer age. Early computer systems were huge and required a lot of space – an entire room – as well as a controlled environment. In addition, these machines were difficult to operate and maintain, which was another factor that led to the practice of placing them in dedicated rooms.

These computers were also very expensive, and many were used for military purposes or significant civilian business ventures, so computer security became an option during this time. By keeping the machine in a dedicated room, organizations were able to control access to it.

One more factor that led to the trend of separate computer rooms was the need to keep the systems cool. Early computers used up a lot of power and had a tendency to overheat, but the climate in dedicated rooms could be controlled to prevent this problem.

Early computer systems required a large amount of connecting cables that had to be organized, and this resulted in the invention of some of the data center standards we use today, such as racks, cable trays, and elevated floors.

When the 1980s came, the computer industry saw the boom in microcomputers. Computers were installed everywhere, with not much thought given to the specific operating and environmental requirements of these devices. It became difficult to organize information, and lost data became a big problem. Information technology teams were put together to install and maintain these early microcomputers, but they were not the ultimate solution.

Before long, information technology systems became more intricate, thereby requiring a more controlled environment. Client-server networking became a standard in the 1990s, and the servers for these systems moved into the old dedicated computer rooms. The term “data center”, which refers to rooms specifically designed to accommodate computers, first became popular during this time.

Companies began to understand the importance of having an online presence as the dot-com bubble grew. However, creating this presence required speedy and reliable Internet access, as well as the capacity to function 24 hours a day to deploy new systems. Hence, extremely large data facilities were constructed. Called Internet data centers, these facilities were responsible for operating and deploying computer systems, as well as transformed the practices and technologies in the industry.

Not every company could fund the operations of a large Internet data center, though. The equipment requirements, physical space, and highly skilled staff made it incredibly expensive and sometimes even practical. Private data centers thus emerged as a more affordable alternative. Today’s private data centers allow small businesses to have access to the same benefits of an Internet data center, minus the high costs and need for space.

Nowadays, building and running data centers is a well-known industry, and future data center designs will most likely be influenced by the current emphasis on eco-friendly practices.

Articles

What to Look for in Buying a New Computer

In Business Buy Guide,IT Outsourcing on October 13, 2010 by businessbuyguide Tagged: ,

When it comes to computers, Moore’s law has boosted performance up and pulled costs down. These days, you can get a desktop computer for less than $400 and a laptop for no more than $1,000. With such low prices, there’s really no excuse not to own a computer.

Price and convenience are two factors that you should consider when choosing a computer. Desktops are more affordable, while laptops are more portable. Netbooks, which are smaller and more lightweight than laptops, provide the most convenience.

As for specifications, you have to look at the computer’s operating system, memory, processor, hard drive, network, and monitor.

Operating System

Two of the most popular operating systems today are Windows and Apple. Both are user-friendly and widely available. Windows is more well-known because it is less expensive and can be easily purchased at several stores. For general use, Windows is recommended.

You can take your pick from three Windows operating systems: XP, Vista, and 7. Windows XP is a good one but it is near the end of its life cycle. I would suggest that you skip XP and Vista and just go for the latest which is Windows 7. Microsoft has done a great job with this operating system.

Memory

I’ll let you in on a little secret about Windows Vista and Windows 7 – these operating systems will use more memory if it is available, thereby resulting in better system performance. Computer memory does not cost much these days, so I would highly recommend that you get the most memory that you can afford – this component will have the biggest impact on your computer’s system performance. Don’t mind the different memory types unless you’re a technology enthusiast who wants the best and the latest.

Processor

Before, the processor’s speed was an important deciding factor in buying computers, but this is no longer the case. With entry level computers starting at 2.0 GHz and multi-processor multi-core systems being common, a processor is not the most essential component anymore. Still, there is one thing that you need to take into consideration when selecting a processor.

Ask yourself how often you will buy one. If it will be three more years before you upgrade your processor, then get the best one you can afford. It shouldn’t set you back more than $200. If you upgrade more often like I do – I replace mine every two years – then you can get a cheaper one.

Hard Drive

Choosing a hard drive is easy. You can get a 1TB drive for a really low price. If you plan on storing plenty of files such as music and videos on your computer, opt for at least 300GB. The bigger the size and the number of your files, the bigger the hard drive size you need.

Network

When wireless networking emerged some years ago, computer use increased as a result. With a wireless connection, all you have to do is configure your computer – no more cables needed. Desktop computers these days usually come with a built-in LAN (local area network), but you can get an upgrade to the latest wireless standard, 802.11n, for around $50. I’d recommend the upgrade if you have a desktop; it’ll make things a lot more convenient for you. Nearly all laptops and netbooks already come with wireless LAN.

Monitor

It’s easier and more enjoyable to work with a bigger monitor. You can get a 24-inch screen for a reasonable price, and wide screen monitors start at 30 inches. If you have a desktop computer, consider upgrading to a larger monitor – you can get one for around $200. If you want to splurge, dual monitors are very nice to work with.

Articles

Choosing the Right IT Provider for Your Business

In Business Buy Guide,IT Outsourcing on October 4, 2010 by businessbuyguide Tagged: ,

Information technology (IT) support and consultancy firms are the people you turn to for IT-related advice and support. Providing implementation, administration, and backend assistance for IT systems, many of these firms operate as managed services, i.e. they transfer daily responsibilities to a third party service provider. This is also known as business process outsourcing, which has gained popularity in recent years.

IT consulting services can be classified under two main categories:

•    Professional service companies. These organizations employ a number of consultants who work on your project for a fixed or hourly fee. More and more of these professionals are coming from developing countries such as India and the Philippines, as hiring them provides a higher cost advantage for the firm and their clients.

•    Recruitment firms. These companies let you work with an IT professional on a short term basis, according to your needs. They also outsource consultants and typically charge by the day or the hour.

Independent consultants, who are a combination of the above two types, provide customized support and services, and they usually work in-house for extended periods.

Things to Consider When Selecting an IT Vendor

•    Look into the pros and cons of the technology platform when deciding on an IT supplier. This means that you will have to do some research, but understanding the system that is the basis for all your transactions is worth the effort.

•    Choose software that is easy to use, and find a vendor that offers this. If you use relatively simpler technology, you do not have to train your staff, thereby saving time and money.

•    While an IT service supplier should give your business access to the latest technologies, they should also make the most of your current infrastructure. This gives you an opportunity to minimize capital and operational costs.

•    Write down everything you expect from your provider in a service agreement, including requirements and performance standards. Make sure that your supplier understands your expectations from the very beginning, and include any penalties that will be incurred if they do not follow your performance standards. Of course, have both parties sign the agreement.

•    It is crucial that you stay in control of your IT systems, even if you outsource work. You should still maintain ownership and overall responsibility for your business.