What is IT Due Diligence and Why Does it Matter?

due diligence

IT due diligence is the process designed to find a clear and comprehensive picture of the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of a company’s IT infrastructure as well as the risk associated with any future mergers or acquisitions.

There are four steps to the IT due diligence process:

  1. Assessment of the company’s standards, inventory, and systems
  2. Assessment of all databases and applications in use
  3. Assessment of current IT support services and vendor operations
  4. Analysis of the IT company’s structure and how it enhances their core business activities.

Importance of IT Due Diligence?

The system of “Due Diligence” really hit the mainstream when the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 was passed. And since this Act was passed the phrase “due diligence” has become somewhat synonymous with the orderly investigation of many different facets of business, one of such is the sub section of “IT Due Diligence”. This Act essentially passed on the responsibility to disclose all information about the materials being sold onto dealers and brokers who would then release that information to potential investors. If they did not pass on this information, they could be criminally prosecuted. But those who passed the act knew that it would be unfair to prosecute the brokers disclosing this information if they could not gather a piece of the required data. Thus, the Act included a section labeled “Due Diligence” to cover this possibility.

 

Instead of discovering the failures of a company after a big contracted merger, many companies choose to avoid the frustration and have a professional IT due diligence assessment done beforehand.

 

With the various different ways to conduct an IT Due Diligence evaluation, this guide is generally regarded as the most trustworthy method consisting of modern practices. Many professionals follow this guide, and after you’ve had a professional take a look at your company we usually also recommend you take IT due diligence a step further and have a comprehensive security analysis performed.

Instead of only getting a look at how the company operates and their level of material investment, doing the security analysis will give you insight into any potential security threats. Doing this security assessment lets you see all the sensitive date that may need to be protected, where the data is currently being held, and what level of protection the company is currently employing to cover that data.

Having a professional to handle the IT due diligence assessment of a company is generally simple, as specialists build their experience to fully explore and analyze the IT portion of businesses over many years.

IT due diligence for Mergers and Acquisitions

IT Due diligence is an imperative activity companies must engage in that is a sub section of conducting a due diligence assessment, which could take up to several months to complete if the company is on the global scale. The team assigned to IT due diligence is sent to discover how much the company they are assessing is worth in tangibles and intangibles along with the risk associated with that company.

Conducting a mergers and acquisitions IT due diligence assessment requires considerable skill and expertise from the professionals assigned to the assessment.

Find out more about what were capable of at ERGOS here.

 

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2016 IT Outsourcing Trends – How they scale up businesses

serversWith an increase in standardized services and streamlined practices in the vast world of IT outsourcing, we’ve seen some trends rise to the top in 2016. These trends are the product of intense competition to be the most secure, the most cost efficient, and the most effective at producing results.

The first product of this competition is…

Full service has become standard

IT outsourcing vendors are quickly moving towards further centralization in the way they deliver IT to clients. This centralization causes IT services to being outsourced at a lower overall price and a raise the productivity level of agency workers. Centralization causes this because companies using IT outsourcing are beginning to rely less on multiple vendors and are instead looking to a single IT service company to solve all their IT issues.

This increasingly common trend is seen in leaders like IBM or HP. They’ve moved from a fractured system of IT service to a more centralized, single service contact point.

This shift allows services to be deployed more quickly across the board. When employees on both sides of the IT exchange expect a predictable and standardized operation, efficiency is increased.

And this trend is the natural progression of companies adapting to the demands of the industry to become more scalable. Without this centralization, scaling up would be heavily hindered.

Further Evolution of Hybrid Cloud

Using the hybrid cloud model has become recently hugely popular because of the unique benefits it offers companies. Using a mix of private and public clouds gives instant access to business processes with amplified security due to the private cloud options.

But companies are still juggling the balance of how to allocate their public and private server investments. This balance will be shifted by the increased importance of big data analysis requirements, system flexibility, data security, and IT governance.

Most cloud specialists say that in two years from now, half of all IT spending is going to be funneled into the cloud. This is compounded by the fact that the cloud provider industry is set to grow to $139 billion in two years. So now large and small cloud providers alike are signing more hybrid deals, like IBM’s recently signed contract.

Even the Vice President of Oracle states that hybrid cloud is their priority focus and that all their products are in the cloud right now.

Machine automated IT outsourcing

Reaching a plateau on cost-savings through employees, many IT outsourcing companies are looking to machines to automate as much labor as possible. Some buyers are likely going to be looking over their contracts again this year after the work they are paying for has been moved from humans to machine automation.

IT processes like big data analytics with cloud computing are going to be automatically handled solely by computers more and more. And now that the public is becoming more aware of this change, clients will be asking about automation options before employing new vendors.

As traditional human jobs become performed more commonly by machines, new job requirements and skills will be defined. This will also change the level of flexibility between contracts with vendors and buyers.

Want to hear more? See some of the ways we outsource IT here.

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Why Managed IT Services Have Become Prevalent in 2016

MSP

The face of the IT world is changing.  Small and medium businesses are now looking to managed service providers for IT solutions more than ever before. As of two years ago, studies found that MSP’s were only adopted by about 30% of organizations. Now, over 66% of organizations say that they have outsourced their IT in the last year.

Initially, this phenomenon of increased adoption began simply due to companies becoming more familiar with what a managed service provider actually is.

But in 2016, more businesses are not only grasping what MSP’s are, but what they’re capable of.

IT looking to MSP’s for the solution

Virtually every business today is looking to keep costs down but struggle with managing internal IT experts who are both affordable and efficient. Business owners often try to cut costs on their internal IT team but this only leads to suffering down time, reporting software glitches, and not having the man power to prevent security breaches.

Thus, they need a team of IT specialists that can work on their behalf and provide quality managed security services to them. MSP’s help businesses in many ways, but here is some feedback we commonly hear from those that have tried outsourcing parts of their internal IT work.

 

MSP’s commonly-

  1. Increase predictability for both workflow and budget

Because MSP’s set a monthly payment contract, budgeting becomes easier and more predictable. Additionally, weekly or monthly meetings create certainty in the work to be delivered by IT teams.

  1. Create efficient resource allocation

Understaffing leads to constant IT issues while on the other hand, having idle IT staff wastes huge company dollars. Managed IT services allocate the best IT talent, as per the company requirements, for much less than the traditional internal team while being able to compliment an already existing team.

  1. Cut the capital expenditure budget

With monthly billing, companies can move their employee budgets from capital expenditure to operational expenditure while paying less overall for IT support.

  1. Scale with the company investment

Not 100% sure what your company needs in IT? Feel like your company may be either over-investing or under-investing? MSP’s scale because they adjust their services as per your business requirements.

  1. Stay updated with modern technology

We’ve seen a vast revolution in technology over the last year. New mission-critical technologies are emerging more often now than ever before, and managed service providers never stop learning.

  1. Scale with any plans to expand

Whether you’re relocating or planning a new brand extension, MSP’s cover all new areas of your business and grow with you.

  1. Work more efficiently along with company experts

Outsourcing IT services allow companies to remove the responsibility of constantly managing an internal IT team. Quality managed service providers have instant access to the most talented specialists and do the staffing for you.

  1. Seamlessly integrate with any acquisitions

Acquiring a new company comes with its own set of challenges, but managed services aren’t one of them. Because MSP’s need minimal management and because of their scalability, they change with your brand.

  1. Benefit customer service through applications

Your customers expect the best from the applications/software they use from your brand. MSP’s allow you to put your best face forward with zero downtime and modern programs.

  1. Relieve distractions so focus can be put on the core mission

By removing the efforts and hours spent on fixing IT problems, managed services allow you to focus on mission-critical objectives. Business owners don’t think they should spend their time on damage control and neither do we.

Key Takeaways

Trying to take on the world is not always the wisest plan for small to medium business and often, it isn’t even feasible. But modern companies don’t have to go at it alone any longer. Outsourced IT is more refined and cost-effective than ever. Find out more about what we do and how we do it here.

 

 

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How Cloud Computing Is Changing the Mobile Business

Many businesses are mobile. This can include everyone from travelling salesman to food trucks and everything in between. Cloud computing is changing how these businesses operate because of providing them with more data at their fingertips.
The managers or owners of a mobile business usually work within the day to day operations. At the end of the day, they sit inside of their home on the computer to enter such things as:
– Labor
– Sales
– Expenses
This is done to manage the budget, pay employees, and keep track of revenue. It involves a lot of data entry because it is being pulled from invoices and forms that are kept in the mobile office, food truck, or other “mobile” location.
Cloud computing is designed to eliminate all of this.
1. An app can be used for employees to clock in and out.
2. Invoices can be paid on the spot.
3. Sales data can be generated from a mobile phone or tablet.
4. Forms can be accessed from a mobile device.
5. Budgets can be maintained from a mobile device.
With all of these tasks suddenly automated and accessible with a mobile device, the time that a manager spends inside of a home office is dramatically reduced. This is because the mobile device that one owns is suddenly made to be more useful. It borrows the technology that is inside and combines it with the power of the cloud.
Cloud computing is changing the mobile business to make it run more efficiently. Many managers and owners make decisions on the fly because they don’t have data in front of them that allows them to make great decisions. That means that some decisions are wrong and they have to live with them, no matter how costly they may be.
This is no longer necessary because apps can be developed that allow managers and owners to manipulate the data from their mobile device. They can run reports and see where they stand in a real-time method. There is no worry as to whether it includes all of the labor or all of the revenue because it has all been entered as it happens.
More businesses are turning to cloud computing because it allows them to be more efficient. It’s important for an owner not to look at the cost of a cloud service. Instead, it’s important to look at the savings of a cloud service. The savings and general enhanced productivity will make up for the expense ten-fold – and that’s why the switch is being made.
If you own a mobile business, you owe it to yourself to look at the cloud and see how it can help you. You work hard throughout the day and it would make it easier if you didn’t have to spend every evening on the computer entering data that could have been collected automatically all throughout the day. Technology is at an all-time high and you can put it to work for your mobile business.

The Perks of Cloud Computing

The cloud has revolutionized the way that data is stored. Instead of relying on a hard drive that is within a location, you can rely on the cloud where data is stored somewhere offsite and can be accessed online. This provides you with more mobility – and cloud computing has a lot of perks.
One of the main perks is that you can always access the data that you have stored in the cloud. This means that you can access photos, spreadsheets, and other items from your computer at home or at work as well as with your smartphone, tablet, or any other mobile device that you may have.
Since you can access the data that is within the cloud from any device, you no longer need a portable storage device. You won’t have to waste money on portable zip drives or USB thumb drives. These can be lost or stolen and they have a finite lifespan. The last thing you want is to put a lot of private data on a portable drive and then lose it.
Another perk to cloud computing is that you can maintain digital files. What this means is that you don’t have to print things out, bring them into the field, fill them out by hand, and then go back into the office to convert them back into digital with data entry.
Through the use of cloud computing, sophisticated apps can be created. If you have inspectors, they don’t have to use a printed survey and fill it out by hand. They can have an app on their mobile device that looks just like the printed survey. It can be filled out on the device and then submitted electronically into the cloud.
The person in the office responsible for reviewing the survey can be notified of it being upload and this allows them to download it, review it, and then forward or save it appropriately. There’s no paper files and no data entry required, which reduces errors and improves overall productivity.
Cloud computing can also be advantageous because of the low costs involved. Faxing and mailing documents to the home office can be an expensive undertaking. The better solution is to use the cloud where everything can be done offsite electronically. The information is received and there is nothing involved beyond finding an internet connection. With Wi-Fi becoming more commonplace, this is a simple task.
Your goal should always be to run the most productive operation possible. Technology is improving rapidly and by exploring the new options, it can ensure that you are able to tap into the new industry standards. Portable storage drives and shipping forms back to the home office are becoming obsolete because of the new technology that is available. To keep up with the modern technology, you need to introduce the cloud into your office – and cloud computing can save you time and money.
The more that your cloud can do, the better it can be for you and all of your employees.

How IT Services Should Be Handled by an Outside Company

There are a lot of IT services available to your company. From hosted servers to phone solutions to web solutions, you can have your choice of services that will enhance your company and bring you more business. Ultimately, you have to decide whether you are going to handle the services internally or if you are going to hire an outside company. While it may seem more cost-effective at first to handle the services internally, it should be handled by an outside company in order to save your money and allow you to utilize your time more effectively.

Companies of all sizes will talk about IT issues within the office and how it can slow them down. Most of these companies complaining about their IT services are those that have chosen to handle them internally. You can avoid this easily by finding a quality company that understands how to provide quality services with no disruptions in service.

Disruptions in service are perhaps one of the biggest reasons why you should focus on hiring an outside company. You can receive the guarantee that you will not have a disruption in service – or a 99 percent chance of no disruptions. This means you never have to worry about your website or email going down. Any kind of downtime can cost you a significant amount of money. And when you minimize the risk of downtime, it’s not something to worry about.

Additionally, when you work with an outside company, they are going to offer you other services that you never even thought about. For example, if you are already getting cloud services from a company, you might as well get disaster recovery as well. This means that if a server crashes or any kind of data is lost, you can have a recovery team come in and find the data that has been lost. 9 times out of 10, disaster recovery can replenish your business as though nothing ever happened.

IT services should be handled by an outside company in all capacities. You should sit down with the company and go over each and every information technology service that you require. As the company gets to know your business, they may even make recommendations as to other services that will allow you to work more productively and enhance your business in different ways.

If none of your employees are focusing on IT, they can focus on other things that will be of benefit to your company. You may be able to allot more time to research and development or you may be able to spend more time fulfilling sales and talking to clients to find out what they are looking for in the marketplace.

IT services can be extremely time-consuming if that is not your business. Office issues don’t have to happen. If you are currently having IT issues, this may be the first sign that you should not be handling it internally.

4 IT Services to Make Your Business Run Better

There are a lot of services that can help your business run more effectively. When it comes to IT services, you need to look at saving time and focusing on your product as opposed to dealing with a variety of IT issues. This means that you need to find a company that is going to provide you with the best network infrastructure as well as a variety of other services to allow you to manage your business more effectively.

Cloud Services

Cloud services have become one of the most popular IT services in recent years. Instead of having a server on premises, your server and all of the data located on it is across the Internet. You and your employees will have a specific log on in order to access all of the data. By taking advantage of cloud services, you are able to access your data whenever and wherever you are. Especially if you or your employees travel a lot, having access to the data on your server is of the utmost importance – and placing on cloud makes the most sense.

Phone Solutions

Whether you are a call center or you simply have a large volume of calls coming in every day, you need to look at the best phone solutions. Many people do not consider phone solutions to be amongst of the IT services that you can take advantage of, but this is because you don’t think about how technology can assist you. You can have your phone systems hosted and you can even have VoIP solutions, which allows you to have voice over the Internet – ensuring that all of your employees are able to take calls right from their computers.

Website Development

If you don’t have the right website, you aren’t getting the kind of traffic that your business deserves. Additionally, if you don’t have certain functions within your website, you are making it harder on yourself. For example, if you don’t accept online orders and you make people either phone you or stop into your store, you are not cashing in on the full extent of your business. All it takes is the right website development in order to step into the world of e-commerce and enhance your sales significantly.

Email Solutions

There is a lot that can be done with email as well. When it comes to these IT services, you can have a company helping you with all of your email solutions. This includes providing an email address to each and every one of your employees and managing it effectively so that people can check their email online, over their phone, and at their desk. This provides more productivity for you and your employees – resulting in more improvements for your business.

The sooner you learn about the IT services that can help you, the more efficiently your business can run. There are plenty of companies out there that offer IT services – though you want to focus on one that has a high level of service and can help you with your growth.

The Pros and Cons of In-House IT Solutions

IT solutions are important in every aspect of your business. Whether you’re running the business solo or you have the help of multiple departments, you have to consider how IT affects you. It’s what keeps you online, allows you to process credit cards, provides you with data storage, and what may even allow you to have a hosted phone solution in your company. Regardless of whether you are a team of 1 or 100, you have to consider who is handling the IT of your business.

There are pros and cons of being able to do it on your own.

The Pros

There are some pros of in-house IT solutions and it’s important to know what they are. If you can do things on your own, then you may want to keep with status quo.

  • You get what you need when you need it. There’s no one to call when something happens because you’re the one taking care of the problem.
  • You don’t have to explain what you need. Particularly with web design, there’s no need to sit down and consult with someone because you’re in charge of the outcome.
  • There’s no pushy sales person. When you deal with some IT companies, they like to push services on you that you don’t need.

The Cons

The cons of in-house IT solutions are numerous, especially if you are running things on your own or with a very small team.

  • You don’t have the manpower to allot to fixing the computer problems. As soon as there is a problem, you or one of your employees have to take time away from another project in order to work on IT – and this may not be time you have available to you.
  • It can become very expensive. Especially if you are trying to host your own website, you have to buy software, hardware, and a lot of cables that you may not be able to afford. An IT company can provide a lot of this for you.
  • It’s hard to budget. While you know how much your internet is from month to month, that may be the only thing that remains consistent. When you have to call an IT company out for help, that’s an expense. If you go over your data or your bandwidth, that may be another expense. If you were to simply hire an IT company, you would be able to budget a flat fee from month to month.
  • You don’t get access to all the services you need. When you go with in-house IT solutions, you are only able to access the services you or your employees know how to do. This means you may be missing out on some great services like hosted phone solutions and web design.

You owe it to yourself to look at IT solutions from a company because it can save you time and money. Don’t write it off as an expense you can’t afford. When you have a flat fee that allows you to access a lot, it may surprise you.

4 IT Solutions You Probably Didn’t Think About

There are all sorts of IT solutions out there. When you call an IT company to come and help you set up your business using the latest technology available, it’s important to listen to what the experts have to say. Especially if you haven’t been well connected in the past, there are some solutions available to you that you probably haven’t thought about.

Mobile App

Do you have a mobile app for the smartphone or tablet? Apps are not just for consumers to connect to your website. While these are helpful to capture 24/7 sales and allow people to find out more about you in a mobile environment, they are not the only apps that you can utilize for the enhancement of your business.

You can also create mobile apps for your employees – and these are ideal for sales staff and those who are out performing inspections and doing other things outside of the office. With the right app, they will be able to fill out forms using their mobile device and save it right into the program you have up and running. This can prevent creating a paper trail and requiring data entry when it’s not necessary.

Hosted Phones

Still paying a receptionist to answer the phones and forward all of the calls to the correct department? You can have a hosted phone as part of your IT solutions where the computer answers the calls, provides a menu of options to the caller and sends the call to the right person or department. This can allow you to take on a greater call volume – and it may provide you with some of the other services you need – such as call logs.

Web Design

You may already know about web design, but when you find the right company to provide you with IT solutions, you can have a better overall web design. This can include an e-commerce page where customers are able to place orders 24/7 without any input from you. Depending upon the way you run your business, there can be tools built-in to the back end of the website where you and your employees can obtain reports.

This can allow you to fulfill orders faster and even get reports as to what products are selling the fastest so you can maintain a more effective inventory.

Spam Filtering

Afraid that your computers are going to get some kind of virus? Or that you are sending out spam without knowing it? Part of the IT solutions you can get from an IT company include spam filtering where they can set up a filter on all incoming and outgoing mail. This ensures that the only emails that your clients or customers receive are ones that you actually sent.

You can get many things when you work with an IT company instead of trying to do everything in-house. From server management to remote access, you get what you need when you need. Contact a company and find out what IT solutions they offer and how it can influence your business for the better.

Outsourced IT: What Is It and Why It Should Be Considered

Outsourced IT may be the answer you have been searching for. If you have been sitting at your desk trying to figure out how you are supposed to have enough hours in the day to concentrate on sales, marketing, accounting, HR, and IT, there is good news. You can hire a company to be your IT department so it’s one less thing on your plate.

What is outsourced IT? When you hire a company to focus on all of your IT issues, you are outsourcing your tasks to them. You pay them a flat fee each month to take on these responsibilities, thus allowing you to work on all of the other things needed for you to run your business efficiently.

You can hire a company to do virtually anything and everything having to do with IT. This includes:

  • Setting up cloud computing
  • Creating a network infrastructure
  • Hosting your domain
  • Designing your website
  • Hosting your phone solutions

You have to ask yourself: Where do you need the help? As soon as you meet with an IT company, they can review your business, provide you with suggestions in terms of where they can help and then quote you with a price. Not sure if you like the price? Compare the costs with a few other IT companies in town. Remember that the cost is likely going to be paid for thanks to the productivity you gain and the work hours that you don’t have to spend working on IT problems.

It’s important to at least consider outsourced IT because you can’t afford to have downtime to your network or your website. Downtime on your network may mean no internet access and no ability to process credit cards. Downtime on your website means losing the inability to collect revenue 24/7. Neither of these is good and both of these can cause you to lose money and customers.

What could you do with an extra 5-10 hours a week? This is the average amount of time that a small business owner spends doing their own IT. You may be spending even more, but on average, these hours could be spent working on new product lines, marketing your current product lines or training new employees to go out in the field and pitch your products.

Regardless of how you spend the time you free up, you are spending them towards building your business. You can be successful as long as you delegate your time and funds wisely. Outsourced IT will allow you the time and money to do the things that weren’t previously possible. Forget about looking at the idea as something you can’t afford. Instead, it’s something you can’t afford NOT to have. It’s all a matter of finding the right IT company to provide you with the services.

The moment you get outsourced IT, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t get it ages ago.