The Advantages of an IT Partner on Retail Operations

The Advantages of an IT Partner on Retail Operations

The retail landscape is more challenging than ever, with increasing pressure to generate revenue and control costs, while balancing the growing reliance on technology by both retailers and their customers. IT support has become indispensable for retailers—from POS to digital displays to guest WiFi, technology is integrated into every facet of retail operations. But beyond the technical aspect, the decision to find an IT partner to manage their IT responsibilities frees retailers to place a greater focus on other areas. Here are just a few of the ways that managed IT can advance business for retailers:

Free up internal resources for other projects

Looking to open additional stores? Searching for new locations? With tech concerns off the table, you’re free to devote time to expansion efforts. And, with an IT partner in place, you can work with them on new store set-up, to ensure that all your hardware and software is secure and PCI compliant.

Better protection of digital assets

Cybersecurity has become one of retail’s biggest concerns, and it’s more important than ever to protect customer information and business data. This is one area that’s definitely better handled by professionals, who can develop customized solutions to protect against viruses, ensure that all security patches are up-to-date, and even monitor the Dark Web for identity theft. With all these safeguards in place, your odds of cybercrime are reduced, and in the event there is a malicious attack, you’ve got technology professionals who have already have backup solutions in place to keep your business files safe and retrievable.

Improved productivity

When your network is down, your POS is running slowly, or you’re experiencing any other unexpected tech problem, your retail store is losing money, And any one of these issues can lead to company downtime, resulting in productivity and financial losses that can quickly spiral out of control. Another benefit of outsourcing your IT responsibilities is that, especially with remote monitoring software in place, most issues are caught before you even realize it, and when there is a software glitch, you have a help desk already on-call, ensuring that downtime is minimized.

Better control over operating costs

With an IT partner, you’re not constantly upgrading systems or paying for unexpected technology repairs. You’ll have a fixed cost associated with IT, so there’s no guesswork as to that budget line item. Plus, you’ll have IT professionals who understand what systems, hardware and software are best for your future change and growth, so you can plan and budget accordingly.

There are many compelling reasons to outsource IT, but for retailers it’s important to find a company who understands the unique challenges of IT in a retail environment. Look for an IT partner who understands your customers and the technologies used to serve them, and who has support staff with experience in the retail sector. Ultimately you want an IT partner that can not only support your existing store, but also support your future strategies for growth and expansion, with new technologies that can deliver a competitive edge.

For information about SYMBITS, and its specialized IT solutions for retailers, visit symbits.com or call

866-422-0511.

Risky Behavior: How does your state rank in “cyber hygiene”?

 

From password sharing to failing to back up data to not checking URLs before clicking through, there are risky behaviors that leave consumers more vulnerable to identity theft. And some states are worse that others, when it comes to cybersecurity, according to a new report by the Ponemon Institute that ranks each state based on “cyber hygiene.”

 

The report, “The Cyber Hygiene Index: Measuring the Riskiest States,” is based on a survey of 4,290 consumers across all 50 states. The Cyber Hygiene Index (CHI) attempts to measure consumers’ ability to protect themselves from various criminal attacks, especially in the online environment. The index provides a score ranging from +37 points (highest possible CHI) to -39 points (lowest possible CHI).

 

Turns out Florida comes out dead last, with a score of -6.29.  Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico Illinois round out the bottom five. New Hampshire ends up with a best score of 4.29, and together with Massachusetts, Utah, Rhode Island and Minnesota make up the top five.  But regardless of where they live, it turns out most people are just terrible at cybersecurity. Only backing up data had a positive response rate: 51% say that they back up their data. No other activity was claimed by even one-third of those responding and some, like “have a different password for each account” were chosen by as few as 9% of respondents nationwide. In fact, for individuals in the bottom half of respondents with the most risky behavior, nearly half (49 percent) shared passwords regularly, and only 7 percent update their operating system software on a monthly basis (for security patches and other updates).

 

Why does cyber hygiene matter? Because identify theft is a leading cause of financial fraud, and poor computer behavior and hygiene are leading sources of stolen identities. To help retailers identify compromised credentials, that can be used to exploit employees and customers, SYMBITS has added ID Agent’s Dark Web ID to its suite of monitoring services. Dark Web ID combines human and sophisticated Dark Web intelligence with search capabilities to identify, analyze and proactively monitor for compromised or stolen employee and customer data. By focusing on real threats, Dark Web automates security, fraud and incident response for retailers Dark Web ID can be added to SYMBITs around the clock monitoring services, designed to proactively prevent issues, complemented by 24//7/365 Help Desk, staffed by techs specialized in retail support. For more information about SYMBITS suite of automated monitoring offerings, plus its full spectrum of services for new store set-up and optimizing & managing existing stores, contact Geovani Aday, Chief Technology Officer305.704.3553 or gaday@symbits.com.

What’s the True Cost of IT Downtime?

For small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), when your IT goes down, it’s never good news. We don’t need to tell you that. But, how bad is it? As it turns out, downtime can be downright catastrophic. According to a 2016 survey by Gartner, a technology research and advisory firm, small businesses with 50 million or less in annual revenue put the price tag of an hour-long outage at $8,600. And if there’s data loss in addition to just downtime? Then the costs really add up. Gartner reports that a whopping 43% of SMBs shut their doors right after a major data loss. And 51% go out of business for good within two years.

You needn’t be an Amazon-type business that’s wholly online to feel the impact of data loss either. Just imagine that you didn’t have access to client records or sales contacts… the impact on your customers, and ultimately your reputation, has far reaching consequences. Even an hour of IT downtime can take up to three months for a business to recover, according to Nationwide Insurance. Customers are used to operating in a wireless, one-click world, and have little patience for anything less than immediacy. As a result, you’ll likely lose some customers, who may be hard to lure back, even when you’re fully operational again. And any new leads in the pipeline are lost, too. The odds are truly stacked against businesses that fail to plan for IT downtime and data loss. While it’s a cliché, it’s true: the best offense is a good defense, and that applies to your business continuity plan, too. You can avoid outages in the first place, with a managed IT support subscription that monitors your network for problems. With a remote monitoring connectivity agent in place, you’re protected again viruses and spyware, and know that all security patches are up to date, plus the added peace-of-mind of a help desk and IT onsite support if needed—it’s a much more cost-effective solution that trying to get back up and running with the help of a traditional IT support tech, who has an hourly rate that will rack up quickly.  The other critical piece of the puzzle is reliable backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution to ensure that the data is both backed up and retrievable. While you can’t prevent all IT downtime, with these solutions in place, you can certainly prevent a lot of the headaches.

To find out more about business continuity and other technology solutions for SMBs, including a FREE trial of remote monitoring software, call 1-866-422-0511

 

 

 

 

Innovative IT Solutions From SYMBITS Promise Dependability

 

MIAMI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SYMBITS, a best-in-class IT service provider and part of The Revenue Optimization Companies (T-ROC), announces three innovative services designed to ensure rapid and safe growth for business owners when it comes to their digital and IT demands. Unparalleled recent catastrophic events have left businesses at a loss when it comes to backing up critical files or have even led to massive leaks of personal information.

“Savvy business owners realize the importance of securing their assets while having a dependable backup solution and providing reliable Wi-Fi access to staff and consumers”

Tweet this

The three innovative solutions SYMBITS has introduced are pioneering IT services and guarantee reliable safety for business owners when it matters most. The solutions are:

M-Series is a monthly subscription service that completely protects your IT assets by not only monitoring their health but also keeping them secure, compliant and operating efficiently. Instant access to a team of specialized IT experts that monitor, maintain and manage all aspects of your business, means your business receives the reporting and support it needs to thrive. Three tiers of service are available, with monthly subscriptions starting at $14.99. To learn more about M-Series, visit https://www.symbitsm.com/.

Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) is the ultimate cloud-to-cloud backup you can’t afford to live without. With 70% of all lost data being due to deletion by end-users, BDR provides automated and on-demand backup capabilities from Barracuda Essentials powered by SYMBITS. Critical files can be trusted not only on the cloud with the customizable and flexible protection service. Free set-up and installation, a value of $250, is available. To learn more about BDR, visit www.symbits.com/cloudtocloud.

Managed Wi-Fi provides the speed to access at the price that fits your business. Small and medium-size businesses are guaranteed fast and reliable Wi-Fi service at an affordable price point that is designed to meet the needs of a growing business. In partnership with Ruckus, SYMBITS creates a network that easily handles the stress of multiple users streaming various video and other services. Uses can connect confidently, knowing a secure connection is minimizing exposure to malware, hackers and other cyber threats. To learn more about managed Wi-Fi, visit www.symbits.com/managedwifi.

“Savvy business owners realize the importance of securing their assets while having a dependable backup solution and providing reliable Wi-Fi access to staff and consumers,” says Brett Beveridge, founder and CEO of SYMBITS and The Revenue Optimization Companies. “Our work with small and medium-size businesses has given us the foresight to create customized services and programs that enable business owners to not only grow but to feel confident in the safety of their data and files.”

To learn more about SYMBITS, visit www.symbits.com.

About SYMBITS

SYMBITS is a managed IT provider with certified network engineers and leading-edge software applications. SYMBITS services include cloud solutions, proactive IT support, backup/disaster recovery, and business continuity. To learn more about SYMBITS, visit www.symbits.com.

About The Revenue Optimization Companies

The Revenue Optimization Companies (T-ROC) is home to four sales solutions companies that enable clients to fulfill all of their sales performance needs. The Retail Outsource (TRO): an in and out of store sales performance management company; Mobile Insight (MI): real-time field reporting and business intelligence; The Consumer Insight (TCI): full-service customer experience analysis; and SYMBITS: managed IT services. Working in synergy, these four companies form a complete ecosystem for running, managing, and maximizing the productivity of institutional efforts. To learn more about T-ROC and its subsidiaries, visit www.trocglobal.com.

When the Cloud isn’t Enough

In the past few years, there’s been an explosion in cloud solutions available to SMBs. The cloud technology that had previously only been available to enterprise-level companies was now everywhere, and small- and medium-sized businesses seized the opportunity. And the thinking was, once on the cloud, a business was never going to go down. But the reality is that few cloud-based applications have the level of built-in disaster recovery that’s required to keep a business functional when you need it the most. All it takes a drive to fail, a file to get deleted, or a data center to go down to learn the limitations of the cloud.

For those savvy businesses that do realize the need for layered back-up protection, often the decision comes down to price. But it’s often not that simple, and rather than look at the decision solely from technology product perspective, make your choice based on business processes. Because often one product doesn’t protect all your data and all the infrastructure required to run your business.

When we work with SMBs, we ask plenty of questions about what files and applications are business-critical—where you house your data, how you use your applications, what’s the impact of having the data compromised. And we talk to all levels of employees to get the most complete picture of your business and technology use. Then we can develop a customized Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) solution—one that often includes multiple products and services from our trusted technology partners.

Don’t get me wrong. The cloud is great, and it’s been a boon for SMBS that don’t have the budget for enterprise-level backup. But taking a few extra steps to secure your data so that your business can be back on its feet after any sort of disaster? That’s priceless.