Throughout 2020, businesses and organizations faced many difficult challenges because of the “Work from Home” movement, increased cybersecurity threats, and ineffective communication with clients and employees. As a leading Managed Services Provider, we identified the TOP FIVE Business Technology needs of our clients.
The first business technology need is securing and protecting corporate data continues to be the most pressing business need going into 2021. It continues to be challenging for businesses and security experts as they work to stay one step ahead of the criminals and threats. Given the events of 2020, the security threat landscape has broadened extensively. Corporate data sprawls as executives and staff download data to personal systems and home office networks which are less secure than corporate computers and networks. Crime follows the money and now most cybercrime is backed by organized crime and national interests. Cybercriminals are now working together with well-planned agendas.
The topic of corporate data security is often overwhelming, so it is vital for AME to help our clients address these risks and vulnerabilities by developing a strategic plan to reduce the likelihood of a successful security breach. Organizations need a proactive approach that includes tools, policies, and procedures to react quickly when attacked.
The standard Managed IT Services should provide for basic security needs – managed firewall, implementing 2-factor authentication, endpoint detection and response (new and improved anti-virus).
When questioning your business security or planning your IT and Security Budgets, the best place to start with a Security Risk Assessment. Understanding your current vulnerabilities and risk levels allows you to prioritize and best allocate resources to achieve the greatest impact on your security posture.
If your business is under regulatory compliance, you must evaluate Managed Security Services which provide the often-required advanced security needs such as Threat Hunting and Incident and Event Management (SIEM).
As a result of the Work from Home requirements in 2020, many businesses migrated their workforce from corporate offices to everyone’s home. This had many owners and executives looking to the Cloud to help their organization successfully and securely meet this new challenge. Furthermore, these same business owners and executives have less reservation about the increased costs associated with the Cloud. They want to discover ways the Cloud can enable a Modern Workplace for their employees, provide anytime-anywhere access to corporate applications and data, and give their organization a competitive advantage. The AME Group expanded our Cloud Service offerings to meet this growing demand and are educating employees and clients on the value of Cloud Services and the concerns they need to address.
As with security, the best place to start when considering moving services to the cloud is a Cloud Readiness Assessment. This evaluates your current environment, your goals and what makes sense to move to the cloud, and what works best on-premise.
Many businesses are already taking advantage of cloud services using Microsoft 365 (Office apps, Teams, Sharepoint, One Drive, Azure AD, and more). If you haven’t already migrated, this is a great place to start. Companies already using Microsoft 365 Teams and Sharepoint more easily made the migration from office to home environments. We see many companies only utilizing a small percentage of the great workflow within Microsoft 365 and partnered with QuickHelp to offer exceptional training to facilitate a successful transition to remote work.
Managed IT Support + Lifecycle Management
The events of 2020 have increased the demand for reliable IT systems and dependable IT support services provided by “Best in Class” Managed Service Providers (MSP’s). Business owners and executives are committed to expanding the role of IT service and support within their organization and will be expecting more from their IT service partners which will increase the demand for IT as a Service (ITaaS).
AME plans to meet this growing need by extending our Managed IT Services, known as our FLEX Plan, to include the addition of a Managed Lifecycle Program for all their IT equipment, including end-user computers.
Business Continuity and Resiliency
Given the COVID-19 pandemic, business owners and executives have renewed their focus on keeping their organizations operational during disasters. They are willing to allocate monies to ensure their organization can survive an “outage” regardless of when or where it occurs. The pandemic forced most organizations to perform a partial or full test of their Incident Response and Disaster Planning/Preparedness systems. Many found their plans and solutions inadequate and are adjusting their 2021 budget to improve their ability to survive the next “outage” regardless of where or when it occurs. Additionally, businesses need the ability to recover from the ever-present threat of ransomware exploits and cybercriminal attacks easily and quickly. Businesses need the assurance that their critical business data is secure and resilient.
A reliable backup is vital to the resilience of your network. Many forget about their cloud services and erroneously believe the cloud vendor has it covered. It is important to evaluate Advanced Backup Services for Cloud Data like Office 365 and Azure.
Business Productivity and Enhanced End-User Experience
A new generation of employees wants to have a Modern Technology experience at work. This shift in employee mentality is prompting IT to reevaluate the definition of IT service and the practices and workflows they use. The new MSP Service Model must embrace this shift and offer a fantastic customer experience. Much like the automobile industry did 50 years ago when the focus shifted from building and supporting a vehicle that would reliably carry passengers up and down the road to a that of customer experience. Certainly, reliability is still the foundation, but it is now assumed. The winners in the automobile industry today are focused on delivering the best experience to the customer by providing the best technology, comfort, features, and service. The need for IT systems is still as basic as ever and creates the infrastructure for business operations, but the IT service delivery model is shifting to business productivity and end-user experience. This will require technology and IT services to become more user-friendly and simpler to operate (like the way the iPhone changed the PDA market). There is an increased focus on the business value of technology over the “bells and whistles” of the technology itself and how it impacts business productivity.
The AME Group uses Software Development, Data Analytics, and Power BI Reporting to drive business decisions and productivity. We Enhance End-User Experience through carefully evaluated end-user devices, mobile and IoT solutions, and end-user training.