IT Starts with Strategy

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

Blog Feature

Technology Strategy | Business Strategy

By: Stephanie Hurd
October 29th, 2019

Your business plan informs your go-to-market strategy. It includes a thorough market analysis and assessment of your competition. It tells you how you’ll market yourself. It identifies the human and financial capital you’ll need to deliver your products and services.

Blog Feature

Technology Strategy | Business Strategy | Purchasing

By: Stephanie Hurd
October 23rd, 2019

The cloud is the hottest tech buzzword. Everyone is anxious to downsize their technology to a computer with an internet connection. Especially when faced with a major server or software upgrade. That’s doable for a lot of businesses these days. But moving to the cloud without thinking about all the implications can have a major negative impact on your business. Some things you’ll need to consider include: What are you moving to the cloud? Do you need to access the cloud when the internet goes down? Is your data in the cloud backed up?  Does your cloud solution meet security and compliance requirements? First, to identify what you’re moving to the cloud. Let’s make sure you understand what the cloud is, and your options for using it.

Blog Feature

Cybersecurity | Threat Prevention

By: Stephanie Hurd
October 6th, 2019

You use password-protected applications for everything from banking and financial management to planning vacations and socializing. In the workplace, sign-in credentials connect you and your employees to business applications and online services like payroll processing, appointment scheduling, invoicing, and every other confidential function of your business.

Blog Feature

Life at Innovative

By: Stephanie Hurd
September 23rd, 2019

Innovative has much more to offer than just our technology and business expertise. We proved that last Thursday when our team put their blood, sweat, and hopefully not too many tears into cleaning 103 historic gravestones for the Sharpsburg Historical Society during United Way of Washington County's Day of Caring.  We learned a lot about cemetery preservation and were assisted and trained on proper stone cleaning techniques by Robert Mosko and his crew from Mosko Cemetery and Monument Services. Here, Robert gives us a demonstration of how to properly clean a gravestone with just water and a scrub brush.

Blog Feature

Technology Strategy | Business Strategy | Outsourced IT Support

By: Stephanie Hurd
September 18th, 2019

You signed a contract with an IT support company and are relieved to have the weight of technology troubles lifted from your shoulders. Not so fast. You may be in for a bumpy ride. We’ve heard all kinds of stories about why businesses are unhappy with their IT support vendor. Sometimes trouble creeps up over time as the service or the perception of service goes downhill. Other times the relationship is rocky from the start. We’re not too proud to admit that we’ve had customers leave us in search of greener pastures. We’ve also acquired new customers leaving other providers with which they became unhappy. Sometimes you need to leave your IT support provider (yes, even if it's us) when you outgrow one another or determine that your priorities and values are no longer aligned (or maybe they never were). Other times you can turn the relationship around with a little communication.

Blog Feature

Technology Strategy | HIPAA | Threat Prevention

By: Stephanie Hurd
August 29th, 2019

We recently used Presbyterian Health Services potential breach of protected health information (ePHI) as a case study in why employee behavior and training are key elements of security and compliance. Not even a month later, and here we go again. Last week, Grays Harbor Community Hospital in Aberdeen, WA issued a formal notice of a potential electronic protected health information (ePHI) breach. Like Presbyterian Health Services, this potential breach was the result of a phishing email. In this case, the attackers initiated a ransomware attack holding the organization’s medical records hostage and demanding a $1 million ransom to release the key to de-encrypt their data. Grays Harbor seemed to have done everything right to prepare for this type of incident. They have an IT department, anti-virus solution, data backups, and even took out a $1 million cyber insurance policy. Even though they seem to have followed the playbook, there are some lessons to be learned from this incident.

Blog Feature

Technology Strategy | Business Strategy | Purchasing | Outsourced IT Support

By: Stephanie Hurd
August 26th, 2019

There are four different ways most businesses acquire IT support. You can: Hire an internal IT person Hire an on-demand IT vendor or freelancer when you need help Pre-purchase blocks of IT support hours Partner with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) Each approach to IT support has its pros and cons, and within each approach are various pricing models.

Blog Feature

Employee Retention | Technology Strategy | Threat Prevention | Disaster Recovery | Devices

By: Stephanie Hurd
August 15th, 2019

I'm currently re-watching The Office (US) for what feels like the 100th time. This time, I realized that some parts have a whole new meaning now that I work for an IT company that provides tech support to businesses like the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company.  In this clip from Season 7, Episode 9, "WHUPF.com," Jim tries to reset the server after a power outage causes it to go down.  He's stuck and The Office can't do any work since he doesn't know the password to sign into the server. This causes Michael to recall all of The Office's former IT guys to determine who originally set up the server. As Michael thinks through the list of IT guys backward from the most current by the nicknames he gave them, "Glasses, Turban, Ear Hair, Fatty 3, Shorts, Fatty 2, Lozenge, and Fatso," Kevin remembers that 'Lozenge' set up the server eight years ago. Michael recalls that whatever the password was made him laugh when he heard it but, "Pam got really offended." Jim ultimately enters Kevin's suggestion of "big boobz," based on Michael's clues. The password is accepted, the server is reset, and Dunder Mifflin lives on to sell paper another day. 

Blog Feature

HIPAA | Business Strategy | Cybersecurity | Threat Prevention

By: Stephanie Hurd
August 12th, 2019

On June 6, 2019, Presbyterian Health Services, a health care system and health care provider in New Mexico, discovered a potential breach of protected health information (ePHI). You might assume that a hacker breached their firewall or snuck into their network undetected. That was not the case. The breach occurred because well-intentioned employees fell victim to a phishing email.

Blog Feature

Technology Strategy | Business Strategy

By: Stephanie Hurd
July 29th, 2019

Think of your business’ domain name as your own, branded corner of the internet. It is the space you own for business-related web and email traffic. In today’s digital economy, most businesses own a custom domain for their website. However, it’s surprising how many aren’t using a custom domain for email and instead use generic email addresses like gmail.com, yahoo.com, aol.com, etc. Even if you have not yet registered a custom domain, the process is relatively simple and inexpensive, and the benefits to your business are significant. Here are the top five reasons every business needs a custom email domain.