Consulting

16 10, 2018

5 Signs You Need to Hire an IT Consultant

By |2019-06-18T09:48:53+00:00October 16th, 2018|Categories: Consulting, IT Consulting|Comments Off on 5 Signs You Need to Hire an IT Consultant

Growing businesses need their IT infrastructure to grow with them, but as time goes on and your business progresses, it’s hard to determine when it’s time to upgrade. Luckily, there are signs that can indicate you need to upgrade the system your business runs on.

In everyday work, these signs can come up without you realizing it. These struggles may seem inconsequential or like just part of the workday. However, if they happen regularly, or in some cases more than once, you need to think about having someone in to assess your IT infrastructure and prescribe a solution.  (more…)

16 10, 2018

The Value of an IT Consultant Over an IT Guy

By |2019-06-18T09:49:58+00:00October 16th, 2018|Categories: Consulting, IT Consulting|Comments Off on The Value of an IT Consultant Over an IT Guy

Have you experienced multiple IT issues in the last year? Is the presence of an IT person at your business a common sight? If so, then, you may want to consider a wider-reaching approach to solving your IT woes. Consider hiring an IT consultant instead of just bringing in the IT ‘guy.’ Here’s why.  (more…)

19 02, 2018

5 Benefits of vCIO Services

By |2019-06-18T09:53:47+00:00February 19th, 2018|Categories: Consulting|Comments Off on 5 Benefits of vCIO Services

In large corporations the Chief Information Officer (CIO) manages the IT infrastructure and ensures that technology aligns with and facilitates broader business objectives. Unfortunately, most small to mid-sized organizations cannot afford to finance this full-time, executive position. Luckily, there are ways to effectively leverage technology while controlling costs. Virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO) services offer the same level of executive experience and support, without crippling costs. The following are 5 benefits vCIO services can offer your small to mid-sized business at an affordable price. (more…)

15 01, 2018

What is Net Neutrality and How Does it Affect Your Business?

By |2019-06-18T09:55:22+00:00January 15th, 2018|Categories: Consulting|Comments Off on What is Net Neutrality and How Does it Affect Your Business?

The Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality regulations were put in place in 2015 during the Obama administration when Democrats controlled the F.C.C. These rules were dismantled just last month by a vote from the now Republican controlled F.C.C. led by the commission’s new chairman, Ajit Pai. (more…)

15 01, 2018

Face ID: Is it Secure?

By |2019-06-18T10:00:18+00:00January 15th, 2018|Categories: Consulting|Comments Off on Face ID: Is it Secure?

“Your face is your password.” You’ve probably seen Apple’s recent promotions of the iPhone X and its Face ID capabilities. With Face ID, your iPhone X will recognize your face and open at a glance, whether you are in total darkness or have grown a beard. Apple is not the only tech company embracing facial recognition systems. However, with increased mobility in business, the new iPhone X raises the question: is Face ID secure? (more…)

18 08, 2017

VCIO SERVICES: HOW EXECUTIVE-LEVEL IT SUPPORT CAN CHANGE YOUR IT INFRASTRUCTURE

By |2019-06-18T10:29:43+00:00August 18th, 2017|Categories: Consulting, Testimonials|Comments Off on VCIO SERVICES: HOW EXECUTIVE-LEVEL IT SUPPORT CAN CHANGE YOUR IT INFRASTRUCTURE

Undoubtedly, every business, no matter the size, could benefit from the services of a CIO. An organization’s IT infrastructure can be an unruly beast that requires executive management and oversight. Chief Information Officers work in tandem with an organization’s management team to formulate short-term and long-term technology goals and to ensure that those goals are executed at every level of business. CIO’s maintain the efficiency, organization and proactivity of a business’s IT infrastructure. However, while every business can benefit from a CIO’s services, not every business can afford to employ a new high-level executive. (more…)

14 06, 2017

10 CRUCIAL TECH TOOLS FOR STARTING A SMALL BUSINESS

By |2019-06-18T10:36:33+00:00June 14th, 2017|Categories: Consulting|Comments Off on 10 CRUCIAL TECH TOOLS FOR STARTING A SMALL BUSINESS

Technology is the great equalizer. Businesses of every size are investing in advanced technology to maximize efficiency and growth. However, small businesses have access to many of the same tech tools as larger businesses, leveling the playing field. When starting a small business, leveraging technology is vital to success. Technological solutions can increase productivity and help small operations contend with bigger competitors. But how exactly do you leverage that technology? Which tools are necessary and which are superfluous? The following is a guide to ten crucial tech tools for starting your small business.

Network

This may seem obvious, but the first tools that you should implement are high-speed Internet and mobile devices. High-speed Internet access is necessary for any functional business; it opens the door to countless other tech tools. By comparison, dial-up access is painfully slow and limiting. Additionally, assuming you are already fully equipped with desktop computers, consider incorporating mobile devices into your business. Smartphones and laptops are incredible tools for productivity. Work is no longer tied to the office, and communications and transactions can continue wherever there is Internet. When you and your employees are mobile, your business is mobile.

Anti-Virus Software and File Backup Systems

Once you’ve established a network for your business, it’s important that you protect it. One of the first lines of defense in the security of your network is anti-virus software, which guards all your devices against viruses and other malware. An infected computer could lead to security breaches, down networks and stalled productivity. In addition, you need to have file backup system in place to guard against potential disaster. You don’t want to lose your computer’s hard drive and find that you’ve also lost years of valuable files and records.

Accounting Software

A comprehensive understanding of your financial position is key to your business’s success. Accounting software (such as QuickBooks, Microsoft Office Accounting Express or Peachtree) simplifies the accounting process, helps you to keep up-to-date records and allows you to easily share those records with your accountant. Most software also provides you with updates and reminders concerning your finances, enabling you to make savvy business decisions.

Web Hosting

Your business should have a strong online presence. You want to build a website that is aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly to attract potential clients. Web hosting services (such as iPage or Just Host) can help get your website up and running. These services can secure a domain of your choosing, offer various design options, store and upload website data and support app and email functionality. You should also ensure that your website is mobile-friendly, as most potential clients will be accessing your site through mobile devices.

Virtual Switchboard

You should not neglect your business’s telephone presence. With a virtual switchboard, you can create custom-recorded greetings; manage routing to departments and employees; implement call forwarding and call screening and utilize advanced voicemail options. Virtual switchboard software enables you to manage your telephone system through the Internet, and this software is typically more efficient and cost-effective than what your phone provider can offer.

Time Tracking and Management Software

As a small business owner, one of your central goals is to maximize productivity and instigate growth. Time tracking and management software can help you to achieve this. This software monitors and records employee hours. This including work hours, vacation time, sick leave and overtime. The software also has the ability to track individual projects, expenses, invoices and customers. With these tools, you can better manage the productivity of your employees and your business.

Online Project Management Software

Online project management software allows you to better manage the complex and collaborative projects of your business. This software offers your team an online collaboration space and allows managers to organize and allocate tasks and resources. The software streamlines communication, document sharing, scheduling, issue tracking and status updates. This allows you to perform the day-to-day functions of your business with the upmost efficiency.

Cloud-Based Solutions

Cloud-based business solutions (such as Google Account and Microsoft 365) offer your business greater agility and greater access to resources — all while increasing efficiency and reducing operational errors. By employing cloud-based solutions, your business benefits from online organization and online data storage, reducing your need for physical technology and reducing your capital expense.

Email and Email Marketing Tools

While email may not seem to be the most modern of technologies, it continues to be a cost-effective medium for communication and promotion. Your web host can set up an email account for your business. You can also employ email marketing tools (such as MailChimp or Constant Contact) to run email marketing campaigns and take advantage of your email contacts.

Payment Processing Software

Of course, you need to get paid so that you can continue to invest in your IT infrastructure and your business. To that end, payment should be as simple and seamless as possible for the customer. Whether this involves shopping cart software for your website or credit card processing and POS systems for your principal place(s) of business, you want to invest in payment processing software. This software will simplify the payment process, help you track sales and inventory and allow your business to function smoothly.

Implementing and managing this IT infrastructure can be challenging, time-consuming and expensive. Start-ups and small businesses require tech support — in addition to all of these tools — to keep everything up-to-date, secure and running smoothly. AIS specializes in strategic solutions to help companies proactively leverage technology and grow their business. We can offer big company support to smaller businesses at a cost-effective price. Consider engaging a technology partner so that you can focus on what really matters — growing your business.

12 05, 2017

HOW IT CONSULTING CAN HELP SMALL BUSINESSES

By |2019-06-18T10:49:45+00:00May 12th, 2017|Categories: Consulting, Team AIS|Comments Off on HOW IT CONSULTING CAN HELP SMALL BUSINESSES

Small business owners are often only focused on one thing — growing their business. And that’s how it should be. However, in many cases, small business owners don’t have the time or resources to follow tech developments and maintain the best IT practices. This can lead to many IT issues that actually disrupt business, curtail productivity and stymie growth. IT consultation services can help small businesses avoid many of these issues and improve IT support for an affordable price. The following are three of the most common IT issues from which small businesses frequently suffer and which consultants can help solve.

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