What is the difference between AI and BI?

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What is the difference between AI and BI?

AI (Artificial Intelligence) can be overwhelming.  Even the programmers who created these computer models do not know how they work.

BI (Business Intelligence) is critical for business decision-makers but many think AI can function like BI which it really can’t.

In simple terms, the difference between AI and BI is as follows:

AI (Artificial Intelligence):  AI is like having a smart assistant that can learn from data and make decisions on its own.  It can analyze large amounts of data to find patterns, predict outcomes, or even understand human language.  AI can automate tasks, suggest solutions, and adapt to new situations without being explicitly programmed.

BI (Business Intelligence):  BI is looking at a report or dashboard that tells you what’s happening in your business.  It helps you understand past performance, monitor key metrics, and identify trends using data visualization and analytics.  BI doesn’t make decisions for you but provides insights that humans can use to make informed decisions.

BI is good at displaying the patterns in data, and AI is good at helping to explain the patterns.

What-is-the-difference-between-AI-and-BI-Middle-imageAI is best used as an assistant and to discover patterns in data that are hidden. To benefit from having AI, you’ll need to first prepare your data for AI (here’s a helpful checklist). First think about what you are looking for which is a good starting point before diving into more complex data inquiries.

For example: What ZIP code do most of our clients reside in?  How old is the average client?  BI can give you these answers – but getting AI to function like BI is a major step to finding out more details in the data which BI can’t.  As an illustration, “Generate a list of clients who purchased more than 5 times and then haven’t purchased in one year and looking at their purchases tell me 5 reasons they stopped purchasing.” This is an example of an AI query that BI can’t answer.

AI is about smart algorithms that can learn and act autonomously, while BI is about using data to understand and improve business operations with human interpretation and decision-making.

We have been testing, programming, and working with AI and BI for years. If you’d like to have a conversation to discuss what you need, give us a call. We are happy to help.

Digital Transformation for Nonprofits

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Digital Transformation for Nonprofits

In today’s digital landscape, nonprofits are realizing the vital role of technology in achieving their goals. This blog explores how managed IT services for nonprofits are driving digital transformation. From optimizing operations to enhancing security, discover how nonprofit IT services can help leverage specialized IT support to maximize their impact and create lasting change.

Digital transformation offers numerous benefits for nonprofits but also comes with its share of challenges. By adopting best practices, nonprofits can navigate the digital transformation journey effectively. Here’s a comprehensive overview:

 

Benefits of Digital Transformation for Nonprofits

  1. Enhanced Donor Engagement: Digital tools enable personalized interactions, fostering stronger connections with donors and supporters, leading to increased engagement and long-term commitment.
  2. Improved Fundraising Efforts: Online donation platforms and targeted fundraising campaigns help nonprofits reach a broader donor base and drive more efficient fundraising efforts.
  3. Streamlined Operations: Automation and digital tools simplify administrative tasks, freeing up resources to focus on core mission activities and improving overall efficiency.
  4. Increased Outreach and Advocacy: Social media and digital marketing channels empower nonprofits to amplify their messages, reach new audiences, and drive advocacy efforts effectively.
  5. Data-Driven Decision Making: Access to real-time data and analytics enables nonprofits to make informed decisions, optimize strategies, and accurately measure their programs’ impact.
  6. Global Collaboration: Digital platforms facilitate collaboration with partners, experts, and donors worldwide, creating opportunities for knowledge sharing and collective action.

Benefits-Challenges-and-Best-Practices-for-Digital-Transformation-for-Nonprofits-Middle-imageChallenges of Digital Transformation for Nonprofits

  1. Resource Limitations: Limited budgets and technical expertise may hinder nonprofits from implementing robust digital solutions.
  2. Data Security and Privacy Concerns: Handling sensitive data requires strict adherence to cybersecurity measures and compliance with data privacy regulations.
  3. Organizational Change: Overcoming resistance to change and fostering a digital-first culture may pose challenges.
  4. Digital Inclusion Barriers: Bridging the digital divide in underserved communities is essential to ensure inclusivity in digital initiatives.

 

Best Practices for Digital Transformation for Nonprofits

  1. Strategic Planning: Develop a clear and well-defined digital transformation strategy aligned with the nonprofit’s mission and objectives.
  2. Engage Stakeholders: Involve staff, volunteers, donors, and beneficiaries throughout the digital transformation process to ensure collective buy-in and support.
  3. Digital Literacy Training: Provide training and upskilling opportunities for staff to enhance digital literacy and effectively utilize new tools.
  4. Focus on User Experience: Prioritize user-friendly interfaces and experiences to encourage seamless adoption of digital solutions.
  5. Data Security Measures: Implement robust data security measures, such as encryption and access controls, to protect sensitive information.
  6. Measure Impact: Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the impact of digital initiatives and make data-driven improvements.
  7. Collaborate with Tech Partners: Partner with technology experts or other nonprofits to share knowledge, resources, and best practices.

Final Words

Digital transformation is an indispensable path for nonprofit organizations seeking to thrive in the digital era. By doing so, nonprofits can effectively leverage technology to measure impact, collaborate globally, and bridge digital inclusion barriers for underserved communities.

Protected Harbor is one of the top-rated digital solutions and IT services partners for nonprofits in the US. Their expertise and commitment to social impact make them an ideal ally for nonprofits embracing digital transformation. By collaborating with trusted partners like Protected Harbor, you can confidently navigate the complexities of digital transformation, empowering your organization to create lasting change and drive positive social impact.

 

Healthcare Empowerment with AI Integration with Your Technology

Integration of AI with Your Technology: Empowering Healthcare

AI technology holds immense potential to revolutionize business, enhance healthcare systems, and pave the way for a promising future. Healthcare especially can benefit from AI, including practical implementation strategies and how they can assist healthcare organizations in achieving their goals.

 

1. AI Technology in Healthcare

Integrating AI technology in healthcare has led to remarkable advancements. AI-powered systems and algorithms can analyse vast amounts of medical data with incredible speed and accuracy, aiding diagnosis, treatment planning, and predicting patient outcomes.

AI algorithms can detect patterns and anomalies in medical imaging, leading to earlier and more accurate detection of diseases. Moreover, AI chatbots and virtual assistants can provide patients with essential medical guidance and support, improving accessibility and reducing healthcare costs.

 

2. AI Implementation Strategy

A well-planned AI implementation strategy is essential to integrate AI into your technology infrastructure. Here are some crucial steps to take into account::

  • Identify Goals: Define the goals you want to achieve through AI implementation. Some typical goals are improving customer experience, optimizing operations, or enhancing decision-making. Having clear goals is essential as they serve as a guiding framework for developing and implementing an effective AI strategy.
  • Data Collection and Preparation: AI systems rely on quality data for accurate insights. Ensure you have robust data collection processes, and clean and pre-process the data to eliminate errors and inconsistencies.
  • Collaboration and Expertise: Engage domain experts, data scientists, and AI specialists to collaborate on implementing AI solutions. Their expertise will be crucial in understanding the intricacies of your business and leveraging AI effectively.
  • Start Small, Scale Gradually: Begin with pilot projects to test AI technologies and assess their impact. This approach allows you to learn, adjust, and gradually scale up AI integration across your organization.
  • Regular Evaluation and Adaptation: Continuously evaluate the performance and impact of AI systems. Monitor critical metrics, gather user feedback, and adapt your AI strategy to maximize its benefits.

Integration-of-AI-with-Your-Technology-Empowering-Healthcare-Middle-image3. How Artificial Intelligence Helps Businesses

Artificial Intelligence offers numerous benefits to businesses across various sectors. Let’s explore some key advantages:

  • Improved Efficiency: AI automates repetitive tasks, freeing human resources to focus on more strategic and creative endeavours. This leads to increased productivity and streamlined operations.
  • Enhanced Decision-Making: AI algorithms can analyse vast amounts of data, identify patterns, and generate valuable insights. Businesses may now make data-driven decisions more quickly and accurately.
  • Personalized Customer Experiences: AI-powered tools can analyse customer behaviour, preferences, and purchasing patterns to deliver personalized recommendations and tailored experiences, fostering customer loyalty and satisfaction.
  • Risk Mitigation: AI algorithms can identify potential risks, anomalies, and fraudulent activities, enabling businesses to address them and proactivity minimize losses.
  • Competitive Advantage: Businesses can gain a competitive edge by embracing AI technology. AI-powered solutions enable companies to adapt quickly to changing market dynamics and stay ahead of the competition.

 

Final Words

The integration of AI with technology holds immense potential for businesses across all sectors of Healthcare. From revolutionizing healthcare to reshaping our future, AI’s capabilities are far-reaching. By formulating a well-defined implementation strategy, embracing new AI technologies, and harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, healthcare businesses can unlock new opportunities, improve operational efficiency, and deliver enhanced experiences to their customers. We recommend embracing AI today and opening its endless possibilities for a successful future.

Protected Harbor, as a leading Managed Services Provider, has been using AI within its’ own operations as well as its’ clients. With ongoing advancements in AI and the promise of new technologies in 2023, businesses can leverage AI to drive innovation, optimize operations, and stay ahead of the competition.

Weather it is through improved Workflow, Operations or Application integration, Protected Harbor can assist you in integrating AI with your technology stack. Protected Harbor will guide you through formulating an effective AI implementation strategy and harnessing the power of artificial intelligence.

Take advantage of the endless possibilities that AI offers. Contact Protected Harbor now.

Describe how cloud computing will impact business in 2023.

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How Cloud Computing is Shaping the Future of Business in 2023

Cloud computing has transformed businesses’ operations by providing scalable, flexible, and cost-effective data management and processing solutions. As we enter 2023, new trends in cloud computing are emerging, promising to reshape the business landscape. Understanding these trends is crucial for organizations aiming to stay ahead in the digital world.

 

A Brief Evolution of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has evolved remarkably since its inception, from a relatively unknown concept to a fundamental pillar of modern technology infrastructure. Understanding the historical development and key milestones in cloud computing provides valuable insights into its current and future potential.

Cloud computing emerged in the early 2000s, with companies recognizing the need for scalable and on-demand computing resources. The early pioneers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Salesforce, introduced Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS), respectively, laying the groundwork for the cloud revolution.

As technology progressed, virtualization became a vital component of cloud computing. It allowed for the efficient utilization of physical hardware by running multiple virtual machines on a single server, enabling better resource allocation and cost savings.

Another significant development in cloud computing was the rise of containers, spearheaded by Docker. Containers revolutionized application deployment, making it more efficient, portable, and scalable. Container orchestration tools like Kubernetes emerged to manage complex containerized environments.

Moreover, the concept of serverless computing gained traction. Serverless platforms, like AWS Lambda and Azure Functions, allowed developers to focus on writing code without the burden of managing servers. This paradigm shift increased agility and reduced operational complexities.

As cloud computing matured, hybrid cloud solutions emerged, combining the benefits of public and private clouds. This approach allowed organizations to leverage the scalability and cost-effectiveness of public clouds while retaining control over sensitive data and applications in private clouds.

In recent years, edge computing has gained prominence. With the proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and the need for real-time data processing, edge computing brings computational power closer to the data source, reducing latency and enabling faster decision-making.

 

Cloud Computing Trends in 2023

Understanding the following 2023 cloud computing trends is crucial for organizations seeking to optimize their operations and stay ahead of the competition. Here are the key trends to watch in 2023:

  1. Hybrid Cloud Solutions: Combining the best public and private clouds, hybrid cloud solutions are gaining popularity. Organizations are leveraging the scalability and cost-effectiveness of public clouds while retaining control over sensitive data and applications in private clouds. Hybrid cloud environments enable seamless data integration, flexibility, and enhanced security.
  2. Edge Computing: With the proliferation of IoT devices and the need for real-time data processing, edge computing is becoming increasingly important. By moving computational power closer to the data source, edge computing reduces latency, enhances performance, and enables faster decision-making—edge computing benefits autonomous vehicles, smart cities, and industrial IoT applications.
  3. Serverless Computing: Serverless computing, also known as Function-as-a-Service (FaaS), allows developers to focus solely on writing code without the need to manage servers or infrastructure. In 2023, serverless computing is expected to gain more traction as organizations embrace its benefits, such as reduced operational complexities, improved scalability, and cost-efficiency.
  4. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in the Cloud: The integration of AI and ML capabilities with cloud computing is a trend that will continue to grow in 2023. Cloud providers offer AI and ML services, enabling businesses to leverage these technologies without extensive infrastructure or expertise. Cloud-based AI and ML allow robust data analysis, predictive insights, and industrial automation.
  5. Blockchain Technology and Cloud Integration: Blockchain, known for its secure and transparent nature, is integrated with cloud computing to enhance data integrity and trust. In 2023, we expect more applications combining blockchain and cloud technologies, enabling secure and decentralized storage, smart contracts, and auditable transactions.

How-Cloud-Computing-is-Shaping-the-Future-of-Business-in-2023-middle-imageIndustry-specific Transformations

Cloud computing has a transformative impact on various industries, revolutionizing how they operate, deliver services, and meet customer demands. Let’s explore how cloud computing is driving industry-specific transformations in critical sectors:

  1. Healthcare: Cloud computing enables healthcare providers to securely store and share patient data, improving accessibility and collaboration among medical professionals. It facilitates telemedicine services, enabling remote consultations and patient monitoring. Cloud-based data analytics and machine learning algorithms enhance disease diagnosis, treatment planning, and personalized healthcare delivery.
  2. Finance: Cloud computing empowers financial institutions to streamline operations, improve risk management, and enhance customer experiences. Cloud-based financial management systems facilitate real-time transaction processing, secure data storage, and seamless integration with banking platforms. Cloud analytics enables advanced fraud detection, risk assessment, and compliance monitoring.
  3. Retail: Cloud computing enables retailers to enhance customer experiences, streamline inventory management, and optimize supply chain operations. Cloud-based e-commerce platforms provide scalable and secure online storefronts. Cloud analytics and machine learning drive personalized marketing, customer segmentation, and demand forecasting. Cloud-based inventory management systems enable real-time tracking and efficient stock replenishment.
  4. Manufacturing: Cloud computing revolutionizes manufacturing processes, enabling real-time monitoring, predictive maintenance, and supply chain optimization. Cloud-based Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platforms collect and analyze machine data, enabling predictive maintenance and reducing downtime. Cloud-enabled collaboration among manufacturers, suppliers, and customers improves production planning and coordination.

These industry-specific transformations demonstrate the power of cloud computing in driving innovation, efficiency, and competitiveness across sectors. By leveraging cloud technologies, businesses can unlock new opportunities, enhance customer experiences, and stay ahead of industry disruptions.

 

Future Outlook and Predictions

The future of cloud computing holds great potential for further advancements and innovations. The market is projected to experience continued growth as businesses across industries recognize the benefits of cloud technologies.

Edge computing will expand to meet the demand for real-time data processing and reduced latency. Hybrid and multi-cloud environments will gain popularity, enabling organizations to optimize performance, scalability, and cost-efficiency.

AI-driven cloud services will become more prevalent, making advanced AI capabilities accessible to businesses of all sizes. Security and privacy will remain top priorities, with cloud providers investing in advanced encryption, access controls, and compliance measures.

Sustainability will also gain prominence, with cloud providers focusing on green and energy-efficient infrastructure. Embracing these trends and leveraging the benefits of cloud computing will position businesses for success in the digital era and beyond.

 

Get the Right Cloud Partner for Your Business

The advancements and trends discussed above highlight the transformative potential of cloud computing, from scalability and cost efficiency to enhanced collaboration and data security. Having a partner who totally understands the technology can help your business immeasurably.

Protected Harbor is a leading cloud migration services provider known for its robust infrastructure, advanced security protocols, and exceptional customer support. With Protected Harbor, businesses can harness the full power of cloud computing while ensuring data protection and seamless operations.

Take the next step towards optimizing your business operations by partnering with Protected Harbor. Contact us today to learn how we can help you leverage the benefits of cloud computing and drive your business forward.

How to Turn IT From a Cost Center to a Money Saver

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Turning IT From a Cost Center to a Money Saver

IT is usually a CEO’s least favorite word. The thought of anything tech related, regardless of what stage of business you’re in, typically causes some mild panic. Whether it’s confusion, uncertainty, security fears, and so on, the main reason for the alarm tends to surround the topic of money. Cyber security has become a significant necessity for businesses in today’s world, where cybercriminals are on the rise. Money, however, shouldn’t have to be your reason for not taking the next steps to a safer, secure environment.

When you find the right IT company, whether through your staff or a hired managed service provider like Protected Harbor, fears of how much you will spend will soon dissipate. Today, we will go over how you can turn your IT from a cost center to a money saver with a strategic approach.

Our Steps for Finding a Reputable IT Company:

In Sync with Your Business Goals: Your future IT partner should be aligned with your organization’s business goals to ensure that your technology investments support the overall mission of your organization. This can be easily figured out by having a thorough interview with your IT partner and discussing what you actually need versus what your company can do without.

Focusing on Value: Your IT partner should focus on delivering value to your organization rather than just providing technology solutions. This means understanding the needs of your business by figuring out what is currently lacking in your team’s IT processes. As a result, they will find ways to improve your processes, increase efficiency, and reduce costs.

How-to-Turn-IT-From-a-Cost-Center-to-a-Money-Saver middleFlexibility: There are many ways to solve IT issues, and we know that. However, your IT team should be deploying solutions that can solve multiple problems. For example, when upgrading to a new system, your IT partner may recommend or automatically add multi-factor authentication to your new system, increasing security. They should automatically find ways to solve future potential problems even if they don’t exist yet.

Implement Cost-Saving Technologies: Your IT partner can and should implement cost-saving technologies such as cloud computing, virtualization, and automation. This will reduce hardware and software costs, improve productivity, and reduce the need for manual labor either from your staff or your IT team.

Optimize IT Operations: IT can optimize its operations by using best practices such as ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) to streamline processes, reduce downtime, and improve efficiency.

Use Data Analytics: IT can use data analytics to gain insights into the organization’s operations and find ways to optimize processes, reduce costs, and improve performance. This way, your partner will only ever recommend to you what you need versus what you don’t.

Adopt a Continuous Improvement Approach: Your IT partner should adopt a continuous improvement approach to ensure they always look for ways to optimize your operations.

 

These are just a few steps that companies like yours should review and think about before panicking over the idea of cost in technology. These steps should help you when it comes to evaluating your next IT partner. IT is a necessity in today’s world and truly is a strategic asset for your company; it can only help drive your future success. The next time you’re afraid of your IT becoming a cost center, remember these steps above, and you will surely see how hiring the right IT partner will become your money saver.

8 IT Updates For Every Business Owner

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8 IT Updates Every Business Owner Should Make Now

In today’s digital age, staying on top of the latest technology trends and IT updates is essential for business owners. Keeping up with the latest technology can help you to stay ahead in your industry, save time and money, plus improve the overall efficiency of your business.

IT leaders always need help introducing new technologies into their company’s workflow. Naturally, they’re focused on the future, trying to predict how the market will change and how this will impact their business.

Spending on IT worldwide is expected to reach $5.32 trillion in 2022. Asia is predicted to impact the worldwide IT market, contributing 31% significantly. ~Statista

Technological advances have been made at a breathtaking pace in the past few decades, with new trends emerging seemingly every day. To make it easier, we have put together a list of 8 IT updates every business owner should make now to ensure their business is up-to-date and running at peak performance.

 

Technological Change Drives Competitive Advantage

The effect of technological change can be seen in many ways, including:

Changing Customer Needs and Expectations – This means that customers expect products to be tailored to their individual needs, which is a challenge for businesses as they need to be able to meet each customer’s demands while still maintaining high levels of quality.

Improved Productivity – The ability to produce more with less effort can increase profits and lower costs.

New Business Models – New technologies can open up new markets or enable existing businesses to expand into new markets. This might include selling products or services in an entirely new way of using technology to streamline previously manual processes.

Reduced Costs and Risk – The use of technology can reduce the need for expensive physical assets and enable businesses to operate more effectively in areas where they may have previously been limited by geography or climate (e.g., working from home).

Increased Flexibility – Technology enables businesses to be more flexible in their operations, providing greater freedom over-allocating resources and responding to customer needs.

 

8-IT-Updates-Every-business-Owner-Should-Make-Now middleIT Updates for Tech Leaders

In addition to keeping up with the latest technology, IT leaders should also be aware of some top business trends and how they can apply them within their companies. Here are the 8 most important trends that all IT leaders should be aware of.

Increase Emphasis on Transparent Data Governance

Protecting your company’s data in today’s age is essential, where data is everything. While there are many ways you can go about doing this, one of the most effective ways is by making sure that your employees understand how they should transparently handle confidential information.

You can do this by ensuring that all your policies are clear and easy to understand. You can also ensure that these policies are well-enforced so that employees can be confident about their usage and lack thereof.

Adopt Web3 Technologies

The next generation of cloud applications will be built on Web3 technology and offer various benefits to IT departments, including improved security and reduced expenses. These new apps will also be easier to use than traditional applications, so they’ll help your employees work more efficiently.

Accelerate Cloud Adoption

Cloud computing offers businesses huge advantages over traditional data centers, such as reduced cost and complexity, more flexibility and scalability, and a more remarkable ability to innovate. And yet many companies still need to be more confident about moving their workloads into the cloud. To help speed up cloud adoption, inform your colleagues about how cloud computing can benefit them personally and professionally. Also, be sure to communicate what risks may arise from migrating workloads to the cloud, so they can make informed decisions about when it’s appropriate for them or their departments to move their applications into the public cloud.

Upgrade Your Network Router

You probably know that your router is the device that connects your computers to the Internet. But did you know that routers are becoming more than just a way to share an Internet connection? Many routers now offer enhanced security features, including mini-computers that can perform remote backup and virus protection tasks.

Routers also have built-in firewalls, so if you haven’t updated yours in a while, this may be a good time to do so — especially if you want better protection for your network against hackers.

Update Your Software Licenses

Make sure your software is fully licensed by running the free trial version of our software through our website. This ensures that all the features and tools work for you and your team. If it doesn’t, contact us, and we’ll help you get everything up and running smoothly. You can also check out our list of top 10 small business apps here!

Update Your Network Security

Security updates should be implemented as soon as they become available, so we recommend setting up automatic updates in Windows Update or macOS Software Update preferences. These updates usually fix security vulnerabilities or bugs in the system. Suppose you have other software installed on your computers, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader or Microsoft Office programs. In that case, they may also have built-in automatic update settings, ensuring that your devices are always protected against known threats.

Adapt AI

The future of AI is here, and it’s time to get ready. Adapt AI is a platform that helps companies build, train and deploy their custom AI-powered solutions. These solutions can be anything from an intelligent chatbot to an innovative mobile app. It’s an excellent tool for any company looking to take advantage of the latest advancements in artificial intelligence.

Give More Attention to FinOps

Financial operations have always been vital for any business. But as technology advances, financial operations are becoming more complex than ever before — which means they need more attention. FinOps is a new term that refers to the “financial operations” part of your business strategy, including payment processing and calculating taxes owed when customers purchase online. If you want your business to grow, devote more time and money toward this area of your organization — primarily if you sell products or services online.

 

Final Words

With technology advancing rapidly, it’s essential to consider whether your company utilizes the best technology available and how you can stay ahead of the competition. This list of IT updates is by no means exhaustive, but it should serve as a good starting point for business owners that want to keep up with the latest IT trends. Updating your business’s IT equipment will not only positively impact productivity and efficiency, but it could also help you achieve increased revenue and growth.

Protected Harbor is the perfect partner for business owners or CTOs who need professional guidance during times of technology change. Our experienced team of professionals can help you make sense of the overwhelming amount of information available, and our services are tailored to each customer’s needs.

With a free IT Audit, we can assess your current system and identify areas where improvements can be made. Let us help you get the most out of your investments and confidently make technology changes. Contact us today!

5 Tech Trends Every Small Business Should Know

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5 Tech Trends Every Small Business Should Know

As a small business owner, you know that staying ahead of the competition is essential to success. This means staying ahead of the latest technology trends in today’s digital world. But with the sheer number of new technologies on the market, it can take time to know what’s worth investing in and what’s not.

Today, we will be walking you through five of the latest tech trends that every small business should be aware of. From automation to cybersecurity, these trends can help you stay competitive and ensure your business runs as efficiently as possible.

 

Introduction to Tech Trends

Even though many small business tech trends could change the way small businesses operate, 80% of American small businesses need to make the most of the digital resources they have at their disposal.

Small business owners are frequently reluctant to implement any new technology for various reasons, such as perceived financial obstacles, a lack of knowledge, or the conviction that online resources like social networking or live chat are unimportant to their sector.

These presumptions, however, are utterly false. Due to COVID-19, various new technologies have emerged, changing small businesses’ operations and customer expectations. The only way many firms were able to keep up with the pandemic’s fast-paced environment was to adopt new technology.

Given how accustomed people have become to these changes, some things may never go back to the way they were before the pandemic.

Here are some of these small company technology trends to watch out for in 2023.

 

 

Automation

Automation is one of the hottest topics in technology today, and it’s becoming increasingly important for small businesses. Automation allows businesses to automate repetitive tasks, freeing their employees to focus on more critical assignments. Automation can also reduce costs and increase efficiency.

Various automation tools are available for small businesses, from customer service bots to automated invoicing. Small businesses should evaluate the automation tools available to determine which will best suit their needs.

For example, customer service bots can help small businesses answer customer questions quickly and accurately, reducing the need for customer service staff. Automated invoicing can help small enterprises to streamline their billing processes, saving them time and money.

 

Big Data

Big data is another important trend for small businesses. Big data is the collection of large amounts of data from various sources, such as customer records, web traffic, and social media. This data can give small businesses valuable insights into their customers’ behaviors and preferences, allowing them to make better decisions and improve their operations.

Small businesses should also consider investing in a data analytics platform to help them make sense of their data. Data analytics platforms can help small businesses analyze their data and identify trends and patterns.

 

Sustainability5-Trends-Every-Small-Business-Should-Know-middle

Sustainability is becoming increasingly crucial for businesses of all sizes, and small businesses are no exception. Sustainability is a term used to describe the ability of a business to be profitable while reducing its environmental footprint. This can be achieved by using renewable energy, energy-efficient equipment, and sustainable practices.

Small businesses should evaluate their current operations to determine where they can improve. For example, small businesses can switch to renewable energy sources like solar or wind power. They can also invest in energy-efficient equipment and adopt sustainable practices, such as using recycled materials and minimizing waste.

 

Super-apps

According to Gartner, the year 2023 will mark the beginning of the mainstream creation and use of what it refers to as super-apps. These apps will make it possible to combine and unify several app services into a single, user-friendly interface. These apps can help small businesses by streamlining processes for both staff and vendors.

A growing number of third-party software integrations are also being used. Today, a business might utilize Google Drive to hold firm data, Monday.com to plan projects, Salesforce to manage clients, Outlook to deliver crucial documents, and Slack to connect teams. Unification helps to reduce and alleviate the threat posed by data silos, which is crucial.

Small businesses can also use super-apps to engage with customers and promote their products and services. They can also use super-apps to collect valuable customer data, such as their preferences and behaviors. This data can help small businesses create more effective marketing campaigns and improve their operations.

 

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important for businesses of all sizes. Cybersecurity involves protecting your business from cyber threats like malware, data breaches, and identity theft. Small businesses should protect their data and systems by investing in an antivirus program and firewall, using a secure password manager, and implementing security protocols like MFA.

Small businesses should also consider investing in an enterprise-grade cybersecurity solution. Enterprise-grade solutions are designed to protect enterprises from advanced cyber threats, such as malware and data breaches. They can also help small businesses detect and respond quickly to cyber threats, reducing the damage caused.

 

Conclusion

Staying ahead of the latest technology trends is essential for any small business. New technologies can help small businesses remain competitive, increase efficiency, reduce costs, and gain valuable customer insights. From super-apps to Artificial Intelligence (AI), small businesses should be aware of the various new technologies.

At Protected Harbor, we recognize the significance of keeping up with the latest technology and trends. Our team of experts will craft a tailored IT strategy to help you stay on top of the competition and ensure your business runs at its best. We are committed to helping small to medium-sized businesses succeed by providing them with the tools they need to stay ahead of the curve.

Contact us today to learn more about how Protected Harbor can help you leverage technology and trends to stay ahead.

Top trends in cybersecurity that will affect businesses in 2023

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Top Cybersecurity Trends Impacting Businesses in 2023

As technology advances and the digital landscape continues to evolve, businesses must stay ahead of the curve regarding cybersecurity trends. Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important as the risk of data breaches, malicious software, and other cyber-attacks is on the rise. To protect their data and networks, businesses must understand the latest cybersecurity trends and how they will impact their operations in 2023 and beyond.

This article will discuss the top cybersecurity small business trends should be aware of and how they can best prepare themselves for the future.

 

Overview of Cybersecurity Trends

Cybersecurity trends are constantly changing, and businesses need to stay up-to-date on the latest trends to protect their data and networks. With the emergence of cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), automation, mobility, the Internet of Things (IoT), and other technologies, the cybersecurity landscape has become increasingly complex and ever-evolving.

The most important thing businesses can do is to stay informed and educated on the latest cybersecurity trends. This will help them to identify potential threats and vulnerabilities and to be better prepared to respond to them. By staying up-to-date on the latest cybersecurity trends, businesses can also ensure that their systems and data are secure.

The cybersecurity landscape is evolving rapidly, with various trends shaping the industry. One significant trend is the growing focus on cybersecurity for small businesses. Recognizing their vulnerabilities, efforts are being made to provide tailored cybersecurity consulting solutions and educational resources to help small businesses safeguard their digital assets. Another trend is the increased emphasis on network security, driven by the rise of remote work and cloud services.

Organizations invest in robust measures like firewalls, secure VPNs, and intrusion detection systems to protect their networks from cyber threats. Speaking of threats, the evolving nature of cyber threats is a prominent trend. Ransomware attacks, phishing scams, and supply chain vulnerabilities pose significant risks. To mitigate these threats, organizations must stay vigilant and implement comprehensive security measures such as user awareness training and multi-factor authentication.

Additionally, server monitoring plays a crucial role in identifying potential security incidents, and services like server monitoring in Rockland County offer specialized expertise. By staying abreast of cybersecurity trends, organizations can stay one step ahead of cyber threats, protect their systems and data, and ensure a secure digital environment.

 

Cybersecurity Trends Impacting Businesses in 2023

In 2023, businesses should be aware of the following cybersecurity trends that will have a significant impact on their operations:

 

Top Cybersecurity Trends That Will Impact Businesses in 2023 MiddleCloud Computing Security Trends

Cloud computing is becoming increasingly popular among businesses, offering many advantages such as cost savings, scalability, and flexibility. However, as with any technology, there are also risks associated with cloud computing. As businesses move to the cloud, they need to understand the security risks and take steps to protect their data and networks.

For example, businesses should use strong authentication and authorization measures, encrypt data in transit and at rest, and use a multi-layered security approach to protect their data and networks. They should also ensure that their cloud providers have robust security measures, including data privacy and encryption protocols.

 

Artificial Intelligence Security Trends

Artificial intelligence (AI) can help automate processes, improve customer service, and increase efficiency. However, AI is not without its risks.  According to IBM, the average savings for businesses that utilize AI and automation to detect and mitigate data breaches is $3 million.

Unfortunately, hackers and criminals are also becoming more adept at using AI due to its increased availability. Among the millions of computers and networks connected to the internet, AI algorithms are employed to find systems with weak security or likely to contain important data. Additionally, it can be used to generate a large number of individualized phishing emails that are intended to deceive recipients into disclosing critical information. As a result, these emails are getting better at avoiding automatic email defense systems that block this kind of mail.

 

Mobility Security Trends

The mobile attack surface has significantly increased as mobile devices have more access to corporate networks and sensitive data.

Last year, 93% of mobile malware attacks against enterprises started in a device network. The following are the most typical forms of malicious network traffic coming from mobile devices:

  • Phishing emails intended to steal passwords (52%)
  • Malware on a device’s command and control traffic (25%).
  • Accessing URLs or webpages that are affected (23%)

Internet of Things (IoT) Security Trends

According to Gartner, there will be three times as many IoT devices as people on the planet by the end of 2023. Every 18 seconds on average, a connected person will engage with an IoT device by 2025, and each of these interactions will need to be securely protected.

The IoT sector has been steadily expanding over the past 10 years, and this trend will continue into the upcoming year, raising the security risk for businesses. New laws, including the EU Cyber Resilience Act, which will impose strict cybersecurity measures for goods traded in the region, will help mitigate some IoT risks. Still, they will only take effect in at least 2025.

Businesses should concentrate on connected device cybersecurity practices by adopting or updating essential information security policies and processes. To further secure those endpoints, manage vulnerabilities, and react to crises, businesses must also update inventories of their IoT-connected devices while monitoring and updating those devices more frequently.

 

Data Security Trends

Data security is becoming increasingly important as businesses collect and store more data than ever. Global harmonization of information and data privacy rules will be pushed in 2023. Global regulatory synchronization and alignment will enhance security, notably in data protection, innovation, and cost.

Global trade and business will be enabled rather than hampered by the harmonization of security regimes, empowering improved information and data privacy for all organizations and governments. Applying data protection practices consistently lowers risk and fosters confidence between parties in supply chains.

 

Conclusion

Developing and fostering a culture of awareness around small business cybersecurity risks is the most crucial action that can be taken at any firm. Employers and employees can no longer consider cybersecurity an issue that the IT department should handle. In reality, everyone’s work description in 2023 should include understanding the dangers and taking simple security measures!

The best way to stay informed and educated on the latest cybersecurity trends is to work with a trusted and experienced cybersecurity provider, such as Protected Harbor. It is one of the top-rated Cybersecurity providers in the U.S. Our system integrates with ISO 27001, NIST, and other frameworks to offer a straightforward, secure, and long-lasting approach to information management. To achieve successful cybersecurity and greater adoption of safe behaviors within your organization, it provides supply chain security, risk management, and compliance assurance, which can be readily adopted, modified, and added to over time.

Get a free Cybersecurity Assessment to identify potential threats and vulnerabilities and better prepare yourself for the future.

Unlock Your Business Potential with Managed IT Services

Unlock-Your-Business-Potential-with-Managed-IT-Services banner

Unlock Your Business Potential with Managed IT Services

Managed IT services can be a game changer for businesses of all sizes. Whether a one-person shop or a large enterprise, these can provide you with the resources, tools, and information technology expertise you need to succeed.

For most businesses, they were unheard of several years back. That’s because these services were offered only by the big companies. Fast forward to today, and managed services are now available to everyone thanks to a slew of cloud-based solutions.

The expected value of the global IT Managed Services market is US$ 244670 million in 2022, and it is anticipated to reach US$ 399170 million by 2028, with a CAGR of 8.5% throughout the analysis period.

These cloud platforms offer potent tools which allow even the smallest businesses to get an edge over their competitors. This has led to almost every business owner/CEO, including Managed IT Services in their budgets.

You can handle your IT problems as a business owner. This is true for some businesses, but most large complex companies will be well served by outsourcing their IT service model to a managed service provider (MSP).

This article goes over why managed services for businesses are essential.

What is Managed IT Service?

Managed IT services are the ultimate in business technology support. Whether it’s security, disaster recovery, or network design, managed service providers eliminate the headache of keeping your business up and running.

Outsourcing, managed services, security services, data management, and cloud computing comprise the larger market for IT services. End-user spending on cloud computing is expected to reach nearly 500 billion dollars in the United States in 2022.

Managed service offering is a proactive solution that provides you with around-the-clock hardware and software support for your computer network. This means you’ll never have to worry about being left in the dark when something goes wrong — because a professional team of experts is all taken care of

These services typically include a variety of services, including:

  • Help desk support and remote monitoring and management.
  • Security monitoring and threat protection.
  • Software and hardware installation, configuration, and deployment.
  • Telecom expense management services.

Managed service provider msp companies provide their clients with 24/7 monitoring, assistance in identifying and resolving issues before they become problems, backup and recovery plans, and focus on improving other services designed to keep your business running smoothly.

Different Types of Managed IT Services

There are many types of managed IT services available, but here are some of the most common:

Managed Networks and Infrastructure – This service includes monitoring and managing remote servers, desktops, and laptops. These services also include application management support and help desk support.

Managed Security –Managed Security refers to outsourcing security operations and management to a third-party service provider. MSSPs offer a range of security services, including threat detection and response, vulnerability assessments, security monitoring, and incident management. They use specialized security software and tools to monitor and manage the client’s security environment, identify potential security threats and vulnerabilities, and respond to security incidents in real-time.

Managed Support Services – Managed support services provide all the technical expertise needed to keep your systems running smoothly without downtime due to technical issues or problems with software applications such as Microsoft Office 365 Exchange Online and Microsoft Azure Active Directory Cloud Services.

Managed Wireless and Mobile Computing – This type of IT service involves the management of wireless networks, mobile devices, and applications. With these services, companies can have more control over the performance of their employees’ mobile devices by ensuring they are secure and up-to-date with the latest operating systems.

Managed Communication Services – Managed communication services are designed to help companies improve productivity by ensuring that all employees can communicate effectively with one another through email and instant messaging. These services also include other forms of communication, such as video conferencing, web conferencing, and more.

Software as a Service (SaaS) –  Software as a service provides clients with access to applications hosted on the cloud, typically through the internet. This means that users do not have to install or maintain any software on their systems. 

Unlock-Your-Business-Potential-with-Managed-IT-Services middleWhat are the Benefits of Using Managed IT Services?

Managed services are a great way to maintain your IT infrastructure’s security, performance, and reliability. This is especially true if you’re a small business or a startup company with no budget for full-time IT staff.

Of the 451 large businesses surveyed by 451 Research, 45% planned to collaborate with a MSP, and 42% prepared to deploy additional security software. The industry is changing as a result. Managing service contracts have replaced the old break-fix model in 59% of IT services.

Managed IT providers offer several benefits in their service level agreement sla over doing things yourself:

Contractual Terms: A managed service provider often has a contract in place with their clients that outlines the responsibilities of both parties. This helps ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding what they’re expected to do, when they’re expected to do it and how much they’ll be paid for it.

Reliability: An MSP will work hard to avoid any potential issues — from hardware failure to cybersecurity threats — so that you don’t have to worry about them taking down your entire system or causing data loss.

Cost Savings: It can help you save money by reducing spending on technology. Your service provider can take care of all your IT needs, from network management to infrastructure upgrades, so you only pay for what you use. This can save you more of your total cost of ownership.

Reduce IT Spending: These providers offer fixed monthly rates that allow you to budget for your entire year’s expenses upfront and avoid unexpected costs that could hurt your bottom line.

Dependable Service: Instead of wasting time troubleshooting problems yourself or waiting on hold with technical support, let us handle it! Our team will monitor your network 24/7, so you have peace of mind knowing there’s always someone available to help when something goes wrong.

Managed IT Services Provider Inclusion

To qualify for inclusion in the Managed IT support services category, a service provider must offer their clients a range of IT services and support:

  • Provide Constant Monitoring of IT-Related Functions: This includes monitoring of the server, applications, and network, as well as security systems.
  • Provide On-Demand Support: A MSP should have a team of technical experts that can be deployed whenever an issue arises. This could include a help desk, online chat, or phone support.
  • Provide IT Consulting: A good MSP offers advice and guidance on improving your business’s technology infrastructure and processes.

Final Words

The benefits of managed services are clear. By outsourcing their IT management services and maintenance, businesses can free up their internal IT staff to focus on more strategic initiatives and benefit from improved security, compliance, cost savings, and customer service. However, finding the right managed IT services provider for your business is essential. Be sure to look for a provider that has experience working with companies of your size and industry, is reliable and has a good reputation, and offers competitive prices.

If you’re looking for a managed services provider in Rockland County NY or Hudson Valley, Protected Harbor can help. Protected Harbor is one of the top Managed IT Services providers in the US and offered a range of services to meet your business’s IT needs.

With digital and technological techniques that support your company’s objectives, IT specialists at Protected Harbor will assist in transforming your enterprise. Reduce stressful day-to-day IT operations, minimize costly downtime, and improve operational maturity. Gain access to a whole team of IT professionals to help you manage the newest technology and a wealth of knowledge that will accelerate your growth, boost your profitability, and improve your business.

Get a free IT Audit today and unlock your business potential with Protected Harbor.

Flat Rate Pricing Model Explained

Flat Rate Pricing Model Explained

In the business world, there are several methods and pricing strategies that businesses use to sell their products or services. Pricing strategies can be complex and often tailored to suit a company’s needs and target customers. When looking at your options, you may wonder whether flat-rate pricing can benefit your business. The answer is yes! There are many benefits to using flat-rate pricing as your pricing strategy, mainly if you operate in a niche market or have unique services or products.

Welcome to another video in the series Uptime with Richard Luna. This video is for you if you’ve ever wondered if flat rate pricing is the correct model. In this blog, we’ve explained the flat rate pricing model and its pros and cons. Watch the full video to learn more.

 

What is Flat Rate Pricing?

In a flat-rate subscription model, all features and access levels are available to users for a monthly or annual fee. For instance, your monthly or yearly payment is fixed if you purchase a New York Times subscription.

 

Flat rate pricing model explained middleWhat are the Pros and Cons of Flat-rate Pricing?

Like any subscription pricing model, there are advantages and disadvantages. Although flat rate pricing might be a tool for early monetization, your capacity to expand may be limited by its lack of adaptability and scalability.

Pros- The simplicity and predictability of flat rate pricing are its main advantages. A flat-rate pricing strategy is simple to explain, which makes it simple to sell. Flat rate pricing might be a good option if your target consumer values simplicity or needs a simple fix for a simple issue.

Flat rate pricing can also be effective for businesses with a specific product and buyer persona. In this case, a flat rate price structure frees the founders to concentrate on revenue, customer acquisition, and customer retention rather than developing a pricing plan for various personas that don’t yet exist.

Cons- Although the flat rate option is all but gone in the SaaS environment, it may be effective for a small number of businesses. A one-size-fits-all strategy will ensure that none of your users are satisfied. Business owners might choose a rival that offers a beginner plan that is more reasonably priced, while larger companies might need more features or bandwidth than your flat-rate subscription plan can provide.

Any SaaS adopting a flat-rate model is also riskier for larger enterprises. These companies can burden both your server and customer support resources, and thanks to fixed pricing, you won’t get paid any extra for your trouble.

 

Wrapping Up

If you’ve taken the time to read this article, then you’re interested in learning about flat-rate pricing. The good news is that flat-rate pricing is one of the best strategies for growing and recurring revenue for many businesses.

Many businesses don’t adopt the strategy of using a flat rate. These businesses often charge a la carte for each product or service provided. Unfortunately, they often struggle with growing revenue and achieving profitability. Companies often fail to adopt a more effective pricing strategy due to a lack of knowledge. Adopting a flat-rate pricing strategy is an excellent way to ensure your business is profitable and growing.

A company might sell its products or services at a fixed price, offer discounts based on volume, or offer an auction-style price that changes based on the demand for a given product or service. The best pricing model for a company depends on its goals, target customers, and overall business model.

Regardless of which model you choose, you can partner with Protected Harbor, and our experts will create customized flat-rate pricing for your needs. Get a free consultation and IT audit today.