IT Services in Springfield MO: What Is a Business Continuity Plan and Why Do You Need It?

Businesses today cannot afford to neglect their cybersecurity efforts. There are real and changing threats to business data which have the capability of crippling or even terminating business operations. Data breaches are costly, and businesses must put all the measures they can in place to prevent cyber attacks and other forms of data compromise. IT services providers in Springfield, MO can also help businesses upgrade their security systems, but what happens after you get hacked despite your best efforts? How does your business deal with business disasters that could or could not have been prevented?

What Is the Need?

Businesses must always be prepared for all eventualities. Data breaches and business disasters happen even to the most secured businesses. Some of the causes include hacking, human error and negligence, software or hardware failures, and natural disasters. The best way for a business to prepare for such an event is by developing a plan to handle the disaster. When businesses are unprepared, and the worst happens, it can take them a long time to recover and find their feet again. In the meantime, they are unable to maintain their normal operations, which may affect their ability to retain existing business from their current clients. This reactive approach can also be very expensive and stressful.

What Is the Solution?

Preparation is the key to mitigating any business disaster. Businesses must proactively develop a business continuity plan to be used should disasters strike. This is simply a plan that documents how a business plans to recover and resume operations after a data breach. It can be developed with the help of outsourced IT services in Springfield, MO, but it need not be overly complicated and neither is it reserved for large businesses only. All businesses should be able to develop a step by step roadmap of the actions they would take to restore data, continue functioning, and manage relations. The plan must be practical, current, and tested.

Do you need assistance with developing, updating, or testing out your business continuity plan? Get in touch with JMARK Business Solutions, Inc. We offer a wide range of IT services in Springfield, MO to help businesses increase productivity, profitability, and innovation. We have many years’ experience in helping businesses with their security management, as well as business continuity and disaster recovery. Reach out to us to learn more.

IT Services in Springfield, MO: The Importance of Software as a Service (SaaS) to SMBs

Software as a Service (SaaS) is exactly what small businesses need to obtain important software at an affordable price. The challenge is no longer in acquiring the right software. Rather, it is obtaining and utilizing software without wasting money. If you do not understand SaaS or are intimidated by the prospect of implementing it, our IT services team in Springfield, MO can help.

The Basics of SaaS

SaaS might seem like a complex acronym used by those who have degrees in tech fields, yet, it is nothing to fear. SaaS is a software management strategy based on the cloud. It makes the procurement of software that much more affordable. SaaS is especially helpful for small and medium-sized businesses that lack the capital necessary to spend on software. Prior to SaaS, businesses bought separate licenses for each employee.

Businesses that leverage SaaS for the procurement of software enjoy regularly updated software that the provider maintains, manages and hosts. The result is a considerable decrease in the operational cost as customers pay for software access. As soon as the agreement is in place, the entirety of the software is available by way of the web. If you feel intimidated by any aspect of this process, don’t fret! Our IT services team in Springfield, MO can help you make the most of SaaS.

Why Every SMB Should Consider the Merits of SaaS

Individual software licenses are costly. When a business needs to purchase several individual software licenses, the cost escalates that much more. However, licensing expenses are merely one portion of the overall software cost. In order to determine that the software is properly maintained, an infrastructure must be put in place for monitoring, hosting, etc. The SaaS model handles these responsibilities, saving customers that much more money.

SaaS is also revered for the fact that it enhances flexibility. It will be difficult to remain within your budget if your business expands faster than expected. Opt for SaaS and your tech will keep pace with your company’s growth. Furthermore, SaaS can be scaled in accordance with business needs. The icing on the cake is SaaS platforms allow for remote working as they are available on the web. Employees will always use the latest version of software as SaaS applications are accessed online. Providers regularly maintain the software on the cloud, so staff can focus on completing work rather than dealing with software concerns.

At JMARK Business Solutions, Inc., our IT services team in Springfield, MO is here to help with your SaaS needs. We also provide outsourced IT management, server management, network management, digital security, data backup management, cloud computing, and more. Contact us!

IT Services in Springfield, MO: Three Things You Should Know About Patch Management

When it comes to computer systems and software, you can’t afford to be stagnant. Programmers and software engineers work tirelessly to produce new releases and updates so that you can always have the latest and best versions. A company that provides IT services in Springfield, MO can assist your business to determine what the most suitable programs are for you. They can also manage your cyber security and help you with patch management.

What Exactly is Patch Management?

A patch is basically a piece of code that is added to a program or system to correct issues that were discovered after the public release of the program. Microsoft, for example, releases new patches monthly on the second Tuesday, referred to as Patch Tuesday. Patch management incorporates all the systems in place to stay on top of the latest releases of patches for all the programs that you use. It requires planning, timeliness, and prioritization.

Benefits of Patch Management

Patch management is non-negotiable. If you want your computer programs to operate at their maximum, you want the manufacturers’ latest updates. These bug fixes often improve the functionality of the programs. They can prevent crashes and improve your overall experience. When you get IT services in Springfield, MO, these experts can look into a number of ways to improve your productivity.

Patches are especially important when it comes to security updates. Hackers are always working to break through security barriers to get hold of confidential information. If they discover any loophole, they can exploit it quickly and cause a lot of harm. Data breaches make the headlines quite often. By effectively managing your patches, you can improve the security of your business. Many cyberattacks are successful when people fail to update their systems and make use of patches that have already been released.

Where Can You Find Assistance?

To safeguard your business from hacking and other cyber threats, you must invest in IT expertise. If you do not already have an IT department or you need some additional services, you can outsource some of the work to specialists.

Patch management is simple when handled by experienced IT professionals. At JMARK Business Solutions, Inc., we understand the common IT challenges that businesses face and offer a range of solutions. You can find out more about our IT services in Springfield, MO by contacting us today.

Understanding Disaster Recovery with IT Services Experts in Springfield, MO

Nowadays, disasters of the digital variety are more of a threat to your business than natural disasters. It is certainly true that a tornado, hurricane, or flood can damage your business. However, there is a good reason why network issues, power loss, and memory errors are feared by business owners and managers across the world. These digital disasters have the potential to interrupt the flow of work, ruin client relations, and negatively impact profitability. Below, our IT services experts in Springfield, MO take a look at the most common types of disasters that pose a threat to your business outside of the conventional natural disasters like floods and storms.

Mechanical Failure

Mechanical failure occurs when an external event leads to a hardware problem. As an example, a temperature issue like a server room that is overheated can cause mechanical failure. HVAC problems like an air conditioner that leaks or even a web outage resulting from a compromised internet cable qualify as mechanical failures. Though quite serious, mechanical failures are not nearly as problematic as the complete wreckage caused by violent natural disasters.

Hardware Failure

It seems as though the modern-day hardware is nearly infallible. The truth is every device has the potential to falter. Anything from a memory error to a network outage or a loss of power can cause hardware failure. Each of these events can spur a significant data loss. Data loss tends to be especially bad in instances when critical devices are involved. Maintaining regular backups is an essential component of disaster recovery yet it is not always enough.

Human Error

Human error is a major liability every business must deal with. Humans make mistakes regardless of how careful they are. In some cases, a very minor error can spur a major consequence. Examples of human error range from over-worked IT personnel to system changes without the use of backups and general user accidents like deleting something important.

The challenge lies in preventing human error. This is easier said than done. Your group needs a reactive disaster recovery plan. Furthermore, your team should continually work to bolster your recovery processes. The more knowledge, skills and training your staff has, the less vulnerable they will be to making a massive mistake. Our IT services team in Springfield, MO can help educate your staff about common digital pitfalls and how to reduce the chances of making a costly error.

At JMARK Business Solutions, we are here for your tech challenges. Our IT services team in Springfield, MO can help with everything from network management and support to server management, digital security, data backup, mobile device management, and more. Contact us to learn more.

IT Services in Springfield MO: Why There is a Shortage of IT Healthcare Staffing

It is no secret that IT workers are in demand. In particular, the skills and intellect of these tech aficionados are needed by healthcare organizations. Below, IT services experts in Springfield, MO delve into the three challenges of the more pressing healthcare IT staffing challenges:

Experienced IT Workers are Few and Far Between

There is no trouble finding recent college graduates who studied IT. The challenge is finding experienced IT professionals. The lack of experienced IT gurus is slowing the growth rate of organizations in healthcare and beyond.

Even if an organization pinpoints a couple experienced and qualified candidates for an open IT position, there is no guarantee the candidate will accept the offer. The healthcare industry does not exactly represent the cutting edge of IT. This is a part of the reason why hospitals and other healthcare providers are finding it quite difficult to fill their IT management positions.

The solution to this healthcare challenge is to outsource the work to an IT services provider in Springfield, MO. There is no sense wasting time reviewing resumes, interviewing candidate after candidate, discussing who to offer the job to and hoping he or she accepts. Even if the selected candidate accepts, there is no guarantee he or she will stay for the long haul. Outsource your IT work to the tech gurus, and your organization won’t have any of these problems. Even if you do not want to outsource all of your IT work, it will certainly help to have a team of IT professionals at your disposal.

The Push to do as Much as Possible with as Little as Possible

The healthcare IT staffing shortage is forcing organizations to determine how to do more with less. There is significant pressure to identify innovative ways to reduce costs and make the delivery of healthcare as efficient as possible. In order to do more with less, it will be necessary to communicate in the most efficient manner possible.

Everything from shortening meetings to preparing for the day with 15 minutes “quiet time” morning planning sessions and delegating work appropriately will help you make the most of your limited time and resources. Take some time to reflect on your progress at the end of the workday and workweek to determine if you are making meaningful progress toward your goals.

The Baby Boomer Exodus

Some of the most experienced IT workers are in their 50s and 60s. These baby boomers are entering their golden years. The question is how to replace them and whether the replacements have the skills and knowledge necessary to successfully replace these departing baby boomers. The pain of losing an employee extends beyond productivity loss.

Knowledge, skills, and other intangibles are also lost. Make sure your experienced employees share their knowledge with new hires and less experienced members of the team. This open sharing of information will make the transition to the post-baby boomer era that much easier.

For your tech assistance, look for an IT services provider in Springfield, MO. At JMARK Business Solutions, we provide server/network management and support, data analytics, cloud computing, telecommunications, outsourced help desk assistance and many more. Contact us now for more information.

A Comparison of In-house vs. Outsourced IT Services in Springfield MO

As a small business, one of the most important decisions that you need to make is regarding how to manage your IT services in Springfield, MO. You can choose to have an IT specialist on staff or outsource all your IT needs to an external IT company. Whether you go one way or the other really depends on your IT needs and business preferences. It’s important to consider the merits of each approach—in-house or outsourced—particularly in the following key areas:

Cost of Services

Comparing the costs against the work required is probably the most important step. For a small business, it can end up being quite costly to have a full time IT professional as part of your team. Depending on the size of your team and your IT requirements, they may or may not have a lot of work to do. Regardless of the workload, you have to consider the cost of a monthly salary, plus benefits and paid time off.

Outsourcing your IT needs can make a lot of financial sense for a growing business. With this model, you pay a fixed monthly price for the services agreed upon in the service contract. With only a small IT system, this cost is bound to be considerably less than that of having a full-time staff member. You can focus more of your spending on business growth.

Availability

How much service availability does your business really need? Answering this question can give you a practical indication of the best route to take. In-house IT staff members usually work a regular daytime schedule, probably have weekends and paid time off. This means that your IT systems must go unmanned when your staff is unavailable unless you have a contingency plan in place.

One of the benefits of outsourcing your IT needs is that they can provide 24-hour service and proactive remote monitoring even when your offices are closed. Because the provider of IT services in Springfield, MO operates as a team, they are more likely to be more available. Compare this with an in-house IT professional who has to attend to everyone’s needs.

You can also consider combining outsourced and in-house IT services so that you are always covered when your IT team is unavailable. Having your own in-house IT department has the advantage that they are part of your team and understand the day to day operations of your business. This allows for an easier working relationship.

Expertise and Specialization

Outsourcing allows you to have experts working in and with your business. They are able to offer a diverse range of specialized skills from their experience in the industry. With in-house IT professionals, dependent on their past experience, they may not have the same exposure.

If you are looking for a specialist to provide your business IT services in Springfield, MO, consider JMARK Business Solutions, Inc. We can work closely with you and your team to deliver innovative IT solutions for your business. Contact us now to find out more.

I.T. Services in Springfield MO: Why Texts are a Legitimate Threat to HIPAA Compliance

Texts have become quite the popular means of communication. It is now common for optometrists and even some general practitioners to send text messages regarding appointments. Though text messages are certainly an efficient technology, they also have the potential to violate HIPAA rules. Here’s an explanation from I.T. services experts in Springfield, MO about how texts pose a threat to remaining compliant with HIPAA:

How Texts are a Threat to HIPAA Compliance

Regular text messages are not encrypted. This lack of protection makes data that much vulnerable to evildoers’ attempts to access the system. There is no control over what happens after you send a text message. You do not know if another party intercepts it or if it is received by the intended recipient. Furthermore, documentation must be made in each patient’s unique medical record. This is awfully difficult to accomplish with text messages.

It is quite surprising to learn HIPAA laws do not have language pertaining to the transmission of sensitive information through text message. Nor does the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) have rules for such data. It is the duty of the healthcare provider to guarantee the security of the information contained in the text message. This party is also responsible to ensure it is the patient who actually receives the text message. Such an onus is a bit concerning, considering the number of medical providers who are making the transition to communicate via text message rather than phone call.

Why SMS Text Messages are Risky

Short message service (SMS) texts have the potential to be intercepted en route to the recipient. This is precisely why it is not prudent to use SMS messages for communication in a healthcare environment. Data transmitted through text might not be stored properly. It might even be mistakenly deleted. Documentation is essential when anything involving medical records occurs.

Surveys show the majority of medical professionals do not believe medical information should be transmitted through text message. Only 40% of those surveyed indicate sending medical data through text is acceptable if it is encrypted. However, texting is extremely convenient.

HIPAA Policies of Note

HIPAA’s privacy policy states medical providers are only permitted to release information to authorized individuals. While you can get a good idea who you are talking to with a phone call, there is no way to tell if the person who receives the text message is the patient. The HIPAA security policy states providers are required to protect patient data and provide a plan of action if there is a breach. Fortunately, an I.T. services provider in Springfield, MO can review your systems and help reduce the odds of a HIPAA violation.

Patient approval is necessary to transmit any medical-related data by text message. Texts should be made as secure as possible with the use of encryption, security risk analysis, intentional limitations to the sharing of data and a regular updating of the waivers and release forms. Such forms will ensure your staff knows exactly how each patient would like to be communicated with.

An I.T. services provider in Springfield, MO can solve your tech and compliance woes. At JMARK Business Solutions, we provide everything, from outsourced help desk support to mobile device management, cloud computing, data backup management and many more. Contact us now for more information.

I.T. Services Springfield MO: 5 Questions Finance Executives Should Ask Cloud Providers

Those who work in finance often wonder if the benefits of the cloud are worth the supposed trade-off with security. The cloud is stereotyped as insecure. In reality, the cloud is quite safe and becoming safer by the day. Finance executives and managers should key in on some important questions as outlined below by I.T. services experts in Springfield, MO:

1. How Will Our Data be Distinguished from That of Other Clients?

The cloud functions with shared resources for the utmost efficiency. You deserve to know how your data is separated from that of other clients. Your cloud provider will explain how you will benefit from shared resources along with the security provided by separation from other client data.

2. What Compliance Certifications Do You Meet or Surpass?

Compliance certifications guarantee protocols are in place to secure the privacy of those whose data is placed on networks, be it in the cloud or off the cloud. Compliance programs differ by industry. Examples include HIPAA and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). Finance executives should request proof of such certifications to verify vendors adhere to compliance requirements.

3. What Sort of Security Measures Do You Have in Place?

Security breaches are becoming more common with each passing day. Bring up this subject with your prospective cloud provider. Find out the types of security measures they have in place to prevent data theft, improper access, data loss, etc. Inquire as to how an activity is tracked with log files. Furthermore, you should find out if you have access to such log files. Inquire about data segmentation, encryption, and additional security measures.

4. How Does Your Group’s Data Encryption Function?

Find out how each candidate’s encryption works. Determine what types of procedures and policies are in place. Data is transmitted between the cloud service and stakeholders over the web, so it has to be well-encrypted. If the data is not adequately protected, it makes your organization susceptible to data breaches as well as compliance violations. Such violations are costly and can carry penalties aside from fines. If you have any questions or concerns about encryption, an I.T. services provider in Springfield, MO can help.

5. What Kind of Disaster Recovery Plan is in Place?

Security breaches can occur to clients who use the cloud as well as those who do not. Finance companies handle especially sensitive information. If the cloud provider does not have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan in place, the redundancies and backups necessary to keep operations going will not be available at this critical time of need. The best cloud providers have disaster recovery plans in place from day one. Furthermore, cloud provider representatives should be able to explain the nuances of their disaster recovery plan.

If you need assistance with the cloud or any other tech challenges, an I.T. services provider in Springfield, MO can help. At JMARK Business Solutions, we provide outsourced help desk assistance, digital security management and support, backup management, I.T. management and many more. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.

I.T. Services in Springfield MO: The Pros and Cons of Public and Private Cloud Computing

I.T. services providers in Springfield, MO have seen that cloud computing provides the flexibility for bringing new software applications and upgraded features quickly in this fast-paced era of digital business. Since technology has become such a massive part of running a business, it is important to be able to identify the best ways to distribute services and strategies that each type of cloud computing can provide. Both public and private cloud computing have a multitude of pros and cons that can affect your businesses in big ways. Businesses should consider the pros and cons of both cloud computing strategies to understand which would work best for them.

Pros of using Public Cloud Computing

A massive benefit, especially for small and medium-sized businesses using public clouds is the pay-as-you-go scalability. Resources used are offered and can be in high demand, so any fluctuation of the activity level is easily handled. Which bring out the benefit of public clouds being cost-effective. The resources are pooled in large quantities; it means that users benefit from the large-scale operation savings. Also, companies may only pay for the resources that they actually use.

Cons of using Public Cloud Computing

I.T. services providers in Springfield, MO also see that public cloud computing comes with a number of cons as well. Public cloud involves sharing resources between a number of users, which in turn creates vulnerabilities and can make certain I.T. security issues more prevalent. Also, public clouds are less reliable and the network performance appears to be much weaker as compared to private clouds. Lastly, public clouds lack the customization of services and resources, something that your company desires or find a necessity, especially if it is a larger company.

Pros of using Private Cloud Computing

Private Cloud computing provides many of the same benefits as the public cloud and some more. Of course, since it is “private”, the security level is much higher since it is dedicated to only one client, which makes it ideal for bigger businesses. Private clouds allow businesses to tailor their server to their preferences and customs. Though scalability options are lost, cloud bursting gives flexibility in times in which demand is high.

Cons of using Private Cloud Computing

As a trade-off for being more secure, it is more difficult to gain access to date in a private cloud, especially from remote locations or from mobile users. Private clouds are also much more expensive than public clouds, especially because of the high level of security and the ability to customize. Initially, the start-up costs are expensive because of the equipment purchases. Also, the expenses may continue to be high because of the upgrades and maintenance of all the equipment.

Choosing whether to use public or private cloud computing may depend on the size of your business. Overall, cloud technology makes it easier for an I.T. services provider in Springfield, MO to provide their support and help. Whichever you choose, you may no doubt see a massive increase in productivity and efficiency. If you would like to learn more about cloud computing or any other services, contact us at JMARK Business Solutions.

I.T. Services in Springfield MO: How the Hybrid Cloud Can Help Your Business

I.T. services experts in Springfield, MO can give you the edge over the competition as they know that technology is a massive part of running a company. Over the past few years, the use of hybrid cloud has increased due to its numerous benefits. Cloud technology has been seen to improve efficiency, promote innovation, architectural flexibility, and an overall more secure system.

What is a Hybrid Cloud?

By definition, a hybrid cloud is a conjoined cloud service that uses both public and private clouds to perform certain functions for the same organization. Allowing workloads to go between public and private clouds gives businesses more flexibility and give more options to deploy their data.

Benefits of Hybrid Cloud

  • Cost efficiency – Evidence shows that hybrid clouds can save businesses a lot of money. They cut costs and taking advantage of the different economic scale that hybrid cloud centers provide. These hybrid cloud data centers are a much cheaper option as they offer a lower cost for hardware, facility upkeep, power, and infrastructure staffing. Also, you can reinvest the cash generated from the business directly into more profit growth, instead of investing the cash into a soon-to-be-outdated capital equipment.
  • Space for innovation – In a hybrid cloud environment, barriers to new ideas and innovation are drastically reduced. Concepts can be tested without massive capital expenditure and then quickly prototyped and have its success measured. Without a cloud environment, cost expenditure and infrastructure take a bigger hit due to the need to maintain and install resources.
  • Improved security – For I.T. services in Springfield, MO, personal information and customer transactions need mandatory protection. By combining cloud resources, you can address and solve many security concerns. With hybrid cloud services, businesses are able to put their private customer data on a dedicated server. The scalability of the cloud allows them to go on with standard business procedures and complete transactions online with much ease.
  • Increased customer engagement – Due to the cloud’s ability to prototype and market product with rapid ease, businesses can reach customer satisfaction quicker and with more understanding of what the market wants. For example, retailers are able to market their products with certain promotions that are shown to attract customers. Virtual medical assistance can be used to help patients any time. Insurance companies become risk managers by warning clients to take preventive actions to actively avoid insurance claims.

The hybrid cloud has some undeniably good benefits. It has been seen to be able to be more cost-efficient, provide more customer satisfaction and engagement, allows innovation within the company, and is secure for customers and businesses. Rapidly, more businesses are looking to use the hybrid cloud, so if you are interested in I.T. services in Springfield, MO and how you can benefit from the hybrid cloud, contact JMARK Business Solutions.