Small Business IT Solutions: In-House or Outsource?

Posted by Lori Salley Ring

Mar 21, 2017 8:30:00 AM

Today, businesses of all types and sizes rely on technology to succeed. Whether it's email, online sales, social media or accounting (the list goes on), the need for reliable, secure and effective technology is crucial to business operations. Most companies are not in the business of technology per se, but it's a recognized means to an end. TECHPol has previously discussed the important IT decisions that new businesses should make. The question then becomes one of implementation. How will those technological needs be met? Is it best to hire IT professionals to work in-house or to contract with outside experts who can function as a business's IT department?  It's not necessarily an either-or proposition, but many small firms find that handling all of their technology needs internally is unwieldy. For business owners who are inclined to leave the IT headaches to someone else, managed services companies provide an option to consider.

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Topics: small business, technology, managed services

IT Assessment Questions for Small Business

Posted by Elizabeth Chisman Moon

Jul 12, 2016 11:33:26 AM

An IT assessment conjures different images for different people.  Some business owners see dollar signs and no real benefit to themselves or their companies.  Others picture a great exercise, but can't quite see how to fit an assessment into an already full schedule.  A few may simply wonder what is an IT assessment?

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Topics: Musings, small business, cybersecurity, managed services

Improve Your Tech Literacy -- 25 Basic Terms to Know

Posted by Lori Salley Ring

Jun 7, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Let's face it, some of us are technologically inclined and fascinated by the latest and greatest gadgets, apps, and social media fads.  Others among us are reluctant adopters, who only use the technology we need to get by in a modern world, keep our jobs, and communicate with a younger generation.  For those who identify with the latter category, it may be particularly painful to seek help when technology fails (which is probably more likely for the technologically adverse). Thank goodness others get paid to understand this stuff, like your friendly managed services provider, but you still need to talk to a computer expert to get issues resolved.  Perhaps you could use a tutorial to make tech communication a little less daunting.  We've defined 25 basic terms for you so you can feel more savvy and less intimidated when asking for IT (information technology) assistance.

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Topics: internet, technology, managed services

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FocusData: TECHPol is a blog on technology and business policy issues affecting small and mid-sized companies.  TECHPol’s primary author, Lori Salley Ring, spent 20-plus years working on Capitol Hill, including as the top staffer on the House Committee on Small Business.  FDS is an IT consulting firm providing managed services, office tech relocation, network security, and IT support for businesses in the Washington, DC and Northern Virginia area.

Technology Policy Small Business

About the Author

Lori Salley Ring

Lori Salley Ring

Lori serves as Policy Advisor and Communications Specialist for Focus Data Solutions.  Lori spent more than 20 years working for the U.S. Congress, including as Chief of Staff to a member of the House leadership and as the Staff Director for the Committee on Small Business.  Lori also ran a Washington-based non-profit organization between stints working for the Federal government. 

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