IT Starts with Strategy

Learn how technology can maximize your business with a comprehensive IT strategy and support plan.

Blog Feature

Business Strategy | Life at Innovative

By: Stephanie Hurd
September 3rd, 2020

Your business isn’t just like anyone else’s. So, why would you work with vendors who claim to help everyone? You’re not everyone. You have specific things you’re trying to accomplish. You might be expanding into a different market, researching new products and services, or preparing to downsize as you approach retirement. Your service providers must align with where you’re trying to go. They must help you get closer to that goal. Otherwise, what are you paying them for? Innovative is a managed service provider. We handle everything in your business that plugs into a network jack (or has a wireless connection) – that’s your servers, computers, phones, printers, and copiers. By that description, it sounds like most any business could be a great Innovative customer. But here’s the not-so-secret secret, anyone with some basic tech skills can install and troubleshoot computers, servers, phones, printers, and copiers (i.e., technology). Innovative’s value comes from helping businesses communicate better and generate more useful information (i.e., money-making information) with their technology. Long story short, it doesn’t make sense for you to hire us if technology can’t make a positive impact on your business and profitability.

Blog Feature

Devices | Purchasing

By: Stephanie Hurd
August 25th, 2020

Shopping for a laptop back in March was the virtual equivalent of battling other shoppers for the last Cabbage Patch Kid doll on Black Friday in the 80s.   Laptop inventory was low to nonexistent, and if you did find one, you couldn’t be too picky about specs. You only had one choice for which you likely paid more than you anticipated. 

Blog Feature

Microsoft

By: Tyler Snyder
August 4th, 2020

Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) is Microsoft’s suite of cloud services. Depending on the license tier you choose, it can include the Microsoft Office suite of products, hosted email, cloud based active directory, mobile device management, and many other great cloud services to keep your business secure. As a managed service provider and Microsoft Partner, we are huge fans of Microsoft 365 at Innovative, and we love sharing our favorite features with our customers. Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how users can recover deleted data from Microsoft 365, or how they can undo changes that another user may have made to their documents. Want Exclusive Content Like This? Sign up for our monthly email. In this video, I answer those questions by showing you how to use the two Recycle Bins in Microsoft 365, and how to access previous versions of your Microsoft Office documents. I also touch on some of the limitations of Microsoft 365 data retention and recovery features, and why we recommend third-party SaaS backup solutions to protect your cloud data from a thing called ransomcloud, or rasomware in the cloud.

Blog Feature

Cybersecurity | Threat Prevention

By: Stephanie Hurd
July 31st, 2020

Cloud applications are not immune to cyberattacks. As companies move away from storing data locally, attackers are shifting focus to cloud solutions right along with them.

Blog Feature

Technology Strategy | Business Strategy | Outsourced IT Support

By: Stephanie Hurd
July 24th, 2020

If your business has more than 20 employees and is in Frederick or Hagerstown, Maryland, Kris Miner has likely knocked on your door (or gave you a call, sent you an email, or all of the above…). Kris leaves no stone unturned in his search for new Innovative customers. You may have brushed him off the last time he asked how you’re handing technology systems or if you’re happy with the support from your current IT company. Because let’s face it, we all think of the Wolf of Wall Street (and not in that Leonardo DiCaprio is dreamy kind of way) when we think about sales guys. 

Blog Feature

Business Strategy | Outsourced IT Support

By: Stephanie Hurd
June 22nd, 2020

The five areas to consider when choosing a managed service provider (MSP) are: Customer service. Product and service offerings. Organization and culture. Security practices. Account management. When your business outgrows the DIY approach to IT, you may consider outsourcing IT functions to a managed service provider (MSP). Or, maybe you've been working with an IT vendor who is no longer meeting your needs and you're ready to make a change. Once you've decided that managed IT services are the right option for managing your IT, how do you choose the best MSP partner? In this article, we'll walk through the five areas to consider when evaluating a potential managed service partner for your business. As a managed service provider, Innovative gets a lot of questions from businesses choosing an MSP. While we certainly follow MSP best practices, we're not the perfect fit for every business. For the remainder of this article, we'll remove ourselves from the equation and present an unbiased outline of how to evaluate a managed service provider.

Blog Feature

Technology Strategy | Business Strategy

By: Justin Strahin
June 4th, 2020

Technology is one of the most vital forces in the business world. From your email and phone system to your payroll processing and invoicing, your business runs on many IT systems. Learning to accept new technology into your business is a must to keep your systems up to date and stay competitive. But just like anything else, we often fear the change of technology or the "unknown."  Just hearing the word "change" is enough to make anyone cringe. Learning new habits can be daunting or exhausting. Why add anything else to our already busy lives? If something is working, why change it?

Blog Feature

Business Strategy | Cybersecurity | Threat Prevention

By: Tyler Snyder
May 28th, 2020

As a business owner, you have a lot on your mind as we all progress through the COVID-19 situation.  Your workforce is probably broken up in ways you have never experienced before, and the way everyone is connecting to your resources may be less than ideal from a security perspective. This situation makes a comprehensive security awareness program more important than ever. A security awareness program promotes ownership of all employees over the safety of an organization's data and information systems. It also gives them skills to prevent and minimize data breaches and security incidents at the individual level. A comprehensive security awareness program includes three elements: Testing – Find out where your most significant security gaps lie. Training – Teach end-users how to identify and respond to suspicious emails. Reporting – Track improvements over time and identify areas for focus for the next round of testing and training. We are all doing what we have to do to survive this global pandemic, and security is taking a back seat for now.  The problem is that now, more than ever, security needs to be a primary focus.  Cyber-attacks are rising because criminals know that some of the typical defenses that businesses have in place are down or moved at the moment. In fact, FBI has reported a 400% increase in cyber-attacks during the pandemic. 

Blog Feature

Technology Strategy | Cybersecurity | Devices

By: Christopher Kline
April 28th, 2020

As a business owner, you embrace new technologies that: Help your business grow. Keep your employees happy and motivated. Complete work better, faster, and cheaper. All facets of our personal and business lives are becoming more digital. More tools and technologies are available than ever before, many of which help achieve the business goals above. They automate processes, provide data to inform better decisions, and support employees doing their best work. We get instant answers from our personal assistants, automate our home or business temperature, and order products by simply asking for them out loud. All this technology keeps personal data about us, our habits, and our businesses. that information secure is paramount.

Blog Feature

Outsourced IT Support

By: Stephanie Hurd
April 7th, 2020

Your business will need IT help at some point. You’ll likely find yourself researching different IT support companies to find the best provider to support your devices and network.