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IT Management Maturity for SMBs – Where Do You Place?

it-maturity

There is no shortage of IT maturity models, which are guidelines on how to create and optimize a progressive IT infrastructure.

These models were devised years ago when big consulting firms and integrators such as IBM and Electronic Data Systems Corp. (EDS), now owned by HP Enterprise, analyzed the operations of large enterprises. They would then craft a detailed plan to simplify IT and make it more efficient and productive.

Microsoft even jumped in a decade ago with its Infrastructure Optimization (IO) framework, a maturity model largely focused on making Microsoft shops more modern.

None of these approaches fit the bill for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). And it is SMBs that need this kind of help the most. That’s why Kaseya developed an IT Management Maturity Model specifically for companies ranging from less than 50 to up to 3,000 employees.
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9 Top Security Predictions from Gartner– Plus Advice!

3030security

As a leading analyst firm, Gartner comes out with a steady stream of predictions. One of the latest rounds concerns security. The predictions are designed to help IT pros take security seriously. After all, cybercriminals are more organized and dangerous every day.

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The Pundits’ Take on MSP 2.0

msp-2.0

 

MSP 2.0 is not exactly a new term, but it is really catching on to describe the current managed service provider market.

The Kaseya Take on MSP 2.0

As a vendor largely focused on MSPs, Kaseya has a deep commitment to help MSPs successfully navigate in an MSP 2.0 world.  Kaseya offers a comprehensive collection of solutions, from RMM to PSA, identity and access to cloud monitoring, and more, that are all MSP 2.0 ready.

In our analysis, MSP 2.0 is in part a manifestation of market growth. MSPs have matured from part-time operators and small 1-5 person technician-dominated companies five short years ago to larger process-centric organizations with strong technical capabilities combined with professional sales, support, marketing, finance, and management teams. Because of the larger clients, super-MSPs that could handle the scale evolved. These MSPs are 100% focused on growth and expansion and employ professional sales, marketing, and technical delivery organizations to acquire new accounts and often displace smaller less mature MSPs.

On the other side, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), the prime targets for MSPs, are increasingly demanding and requiring the same technologies and processes that have been pioneered and used for years by enterprises.

This means SMBs are now Continue Reading…

The Risks and Rewards of a Hybrid Cloud

hybrid-cloud

Remember when the cloud was the new big thing? Then private clouds where all the rage. Now we are inundated with talk of hybrid clouds which combine private and public clouds into one unified system.

Before we talk about why hybrid clouds sound so great, we should touch on why private clouds are so compelling.  With the help of server virtualization, you take your own infrastructure and make it cloud-like – basically turn it into a utility. But you control the whole thing and, because it is local, you have full control of its performance.

The problem is that as demand grows you have to scale up the private cloud by adding more resources – even if you only need those resources every now and again. At the same time, there are services you want in the easy-access public cloud (because users can get to the cloud from anywhere) but you still  want these applications and data linked to your on-premises applications.
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Policy-driven Security Helps You Stay Ahead of the Bad Guys

policy-based-securityKaspersky Labs just published a new eBook, Cybercriminals: Unmasking the Villain, which provides insight into cybercriminals’ evolving strategies and tactics. There are three points in particular that I want to highlight:

  • “31% of all cyberattacks are directed at businesses with less than 250 employees”
  • “42% of confidential data loss is caused by employees” often due to well-meaning employees “opening unauthorized email attachments, forwarding sensitive information or storing data insecurely”
  • “Hacking a small business to get into a larger business is now standard operating procedure for cybercriminals.”

These evolving cybercriminal practices underscore the reality that proper, up-to-date security practices are more vital than ever to the health and well-being of every company, no matter its size.  The risks are too high, and the incidence of exposure and breaches is only increasing.
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Repair a Dead Machine Remotely – Without Driving Onsite

no-remote-driving

IT techs – whether working at MSPs or in internal IT Ops groups – have long faced a miserable task:  physically visiting PCs and other devices that are dead by hard drive failure. In these cases, you must pack up your kit, head out to the site and see what can be done.  Depending on where you work, this can be called a truck roll, man-in-the-van work, or just plain wasted time that you would rather spend doing other work.

Each of these visits can take hours, and often technicians find themselves going back and forth from the site location and the main office to gets parts or new bits of software to solve the problem.

What if you could sit at your console in a comfortable chair with a cup of coffee, and repair that hard drive right then and there – in minutes?  What if this wasn’t just an edge use case, but you could essentially eliminate going on site to fix laptops, kiosks and PCs that are no longer responsive?  What if you could say goodbye to what MSPs sarcastically refer as “windshield time”?

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Why MSPs Should Rule the IT World

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MSPs are clearly on the move. Seeing the value of outsourcing, SMBs and larger shops alike are moving in droves towards managed services. At the same time though, too many organizations do the things the old way, having understaffed IT teams struggling to keep things running – and not availing themselves of state-of-the-art managed services.

There are two problems IT needs to overcome, both of which are solved by managed services. First, it’s hard for small overstressed teams to secure the network, ensure performance, and fix all the problems that constantly arise. The bigger issue is this struggling IT team has virtually no time to think strategically. That leaves them both vulnerable and at a huge competitive disadvantage in their industry.
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Hidden HIPAA Traps

hospital

How You Can Become a Healthcare MSP Master

Many industries have compliance rules, but few are as strict as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

While HIPAA is a set of U.S. regulations, many countries have similar rules.

When it comes to these complex rules, healthcare companies can’t always go it alone. It helps to have a trusted partner who is expert in all things HIPAA, such as an MSP with a vertical health care focus.

The good news for MSPs is that your HIPAA expertise lets you sell services at a premium – compliance is just that important.

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How Changing SMB Client Requirements Are Reshaping the MSP Market

A lot of the time, we can get caught up in discussions about ‘hot’ markets for MSPs – and the list is growing, from security to cloud to mobile to firewall management.

But it’s important to level set occasionally.  The reason these markets are hot is because the technology requirements of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that MSPs serve is undergoing a sea change.

SMBs Now Have Enterprise Needs

Technological requirements that were once the needs of only large enterprises are now are becoming mainstream requirements for SMBs.

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The Patch Management Crisis and How to Solve It

patch-software

Most end users, and even some IT pros, feel pretty safe if they have up-to-date anti-virus/antimalware, firewalls turned on, and complex passwords in place. This overlooks one of the biggest threats to your PC and network – poor or non-existent patching.

The vast majority of successful exploits are against unpatched machines, some 85% according to US-CERT, part of the US Department of Homeland Security.

Why is This So Bad?

While viruses can be a nuisance (and often worse) to unprotected machines, the kind of attacks aimed at unpatched machines can be far worse. These are targeted at doing real damage – stealing data, escalation of privilege, releasing bots, gaining deep entry into the network, and worse.
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