Industry News

Why Have a Technology Strategy?

April 22nd, 2019 by Julie Lough

Why have a technology strategyFollowing a solid technology strategy can make the difference between experiencing minimal downtime when a problem arises or being knocked out of commission indefinitely. A well-thought-out plan provides a direct path to your goals.

Needless to say, this is more involved than shopping at Best Buy for your business hardware. You need a plan that is flexible and resilient, allowing you to meet long-term technology goals while addressing short-term issues.

Even a simple plan creates clarity because you:

  • Map out how long it will take to implement it
  • Understand all the costs you will need to cover
  • Identify what technology you need to reach your goals
  • Clearly see how any changes will impact your business

What Does a Technology Strategy Look Like?

Your IT plan doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be as simple as a bulleted list outlining the goals your company wants to achieve and what future IT implementations it might need.

Read the rest of this entry »


How Technology Can Increase Your Competitive Advantage

April 8th, 2019 by Julie Lough

Technology fuels competitive advantages

Businesses spend millions on marketing each year in an attempt to look different from the competition. While marketing will always remain essential, technology offers endless opportunities to create differentiators that put real space between you and your competitors.

How Technology Affects Competitive Advantage

Many companies believe they must make massive changes and large investments to reap the advantages of changing technology. This isn’t true, although organizations that adopt software solutions not suited to their company struggle to adapt and actually create a disadvantage.

Before diving into any big technology purchases, we recommend working with a strategic managed IT provider (like Micro Visions!) to gain an edge without creating problems. Here are a few ideas:

Read the rest of this entry »


It’s time to bring your technology into the 21st century

March 29th, 2019 by Julie Lough

Microsoft to end support of Windows 7

Grand Rapids, Mich. – If your computer is beige and your network server is old enough to drink, it’s time to take a look at what 21st-century technology has to offer. Micro Visions Inc., a local leading IT managed services provider (MSP) started in 1989 – the same year the World Wide Web was invented – knows how to make business technology as efficient, secure and productive as current technology allows.

Helping Grand Rapids businesses run their companies more effectively with state-of-the-art technology for the past 30 years, Micro Visions offers advice and service excellence enhanced by research, lab testing, certifications and regular training to stay abreast of ever-evolving technology trends, tools and practices.

Read the rest of this entry »


The End is Nigh: You have Until January To Upgrade Windows 7

February 28th, 2019 by Julie Lough
Windows 7 end of life

May 2017. Over 200,000 Windows XP worldwide users fall victim to one of the most notorious widespread ransomware attacks: WannaCry. The users were an easy target because three years prior, Microsoft ended support for Windows XP, meaning that it no longer received maintenance and security patching. While WannaCry wasn’t the only exploit that targeted the now-exposed Windows XP vulnerabilities, it was certainly the most widespread and devastating.

Fast-forward to today. Microsoft Windows 7 is rapidly approaching its end of support on Jan. 14, 2020. In 2016, Microsoft Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela warned about the risks of using Windows 7 due to the software’s age and increasing compatibility concerns with everything from printers to line-of-business applications. In 2017, Microsoft issued warnings that Windows 7 is dangerously insecure.

Read the rest of this entry »

Why Wishing Your Technology Into Progress Won’t Achieve Your Goals

January 30th, 2019 by Julie Lough

align the right technologyIt’s month two of 2019 and no surprise, we’ve been inundated with information about the importance of goal-setting and strategic planning. Depending on how the previous year went, the new year can leave us excited or, in many cases, overwhelmed.

We’ve all heard the quote, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” When it comes to planning change initiatives for your business, whether it’s a big move, creating a new role, or implementing new software, it’s important to sit down and plan out the details, creating a goal rather than just a wish. However, while the thoughtful preparation seems detailed and inclusive, we often see one major missing puzzle piece in many business’ strategic goal setting.

Read the rest of this entry »


Beyond Beige: Bringing Your Technology into the 21st Century

January 22nd, 2019 by Julie Lough

Upgrade TechnologyIt’s Friday night. Your spouse is at Blockbuster picking out the newest VHS release. Your kids are at home alone dancing on the couch to MC Hammer. You’re stuck at the office behind your beige computer trying to finish the week’s work so you can start enjoying your weekend.

Does any of this sound familiar? Like, last-week familiar? No, you’re not back in 1992, and you probably aren’t watching VHS tapes or listening to “Too Legit to Quit” anymore. But if your PC is still beige or nearly old enough to drink, it’s definitely time to bring your technology into the 21st century.

Most business owners consider technology upgrades to be too disruptive of business operations and too costly and, thus, they ignore or put them off. They’re further afraid that any new upgrades will hurt employee productivity while they learn new software and hardware solutions.

Nothing could be further from the truth than those worries. Upgrades can be costly, disruptive and cause inefficiencies. However, with the right IT partner, they don’t have to be.

Read the rest of this entry »


Overcoming Your Hesitation to Moving to the Cloud

November 18th, 2018 by Julie Lough

If you haven’t moved your business to the cloud – partly or completely – you aren’t alone. Business owners in many industries have been reluctant to make the move. But that’s starting to change. Rapidly.

More and more, business owners are realizing the productivity and security improvements they can achieve using cloud and hybrid cloud solutions over relying on their solely on-premises technology infrastructure.

What is “Moving to the Cloud?”

We hear and read the phrase “moving to the cloud,” but what does it actually mean?

Some people seem to believe it’s when you store your data in the cloud – that is, taking advantage of the scalable, predictable expense of having their data redundantly stored in geographically dispersed data centers protecting it from natural or manmade disasters. Indeed, that is one way of “moving to the cloud.” But that’s not all.

Read the rest of this entry »


Claim Your Victory: 5 Defensive Strategies to Prevent Cyberattacks

October 3rd, 2018 by Julie Lough

Prevent Cyberattacks

Listen here for a radio interview about this article on WGVU public media.

Is it defense or offense that wins the game? While debate continues around whether defense or offense is key to victory, there is certainly no doubt about the importance of a solid defensive strategy. Similar to a game of football, creating a defensive strategy for your team is crucial to winning against the opponent, a.k.a. the data hackers.

Experienced hackers and sophisticated phishing schemes have affected all organizations, regardless of size. Consider this alarming statistic – 64% of companies have experienced web-based attacks and 43% of cyberattacks target small businesses. Small businesses are easy targets due to their minimal security and moderate amount of data, and because the chances of attack are high, setting up a strong defense is critical to avoiding big issues in the future.

Read the rest of this entry »


Need to Declutter? Recycle Old Tech

September 6th, 2018 by Jennifer Lough

Let us suppose, just for a moment, that you’ve just treated yourself to a haul of new gadgets. You probably have a stack of old ones to dispose of. What to do?

 

 

Read the rest of this entry »


Going Smishing

August 26th, 2018 by Jennifer Lough

Fun, but very important, fact: your smartphone is not immune to the various hazards that attack computers. You’ve heard of phishing, which typically works through email. Smishing  is similar, but it relies on text messages to reel in victims. Like phishing, a smishing message looks like it comes from someone you trust, like a bank, or a family member. The goal is to get personal information from you, such as your social security number, passwords, and other things the attackers can use. Often, they will then try to steal your identity or your money, but sometimes there will also be malware in the message that gives them access to your phone.

There are a few reasons smishing can be more dangerous to you than phishing. Read the rest of this entry »