The biggest cybersecurity concerns for 2019

Cybersecurity is an ongoing concern for individuals and businesses alike. But when it comes to protecting your business, there are some unique considerations. From protecting massive amounts of data and equipment to training employees to cope with attacks, the following are some the biggest cybersecurity concerns that will impact you in 2019.

Spear phishing

Phishing is a type of social engineering where someone posing as a legitimate person or institution attempts to manipulate you out of your sensitive data. The more information that an attacker has about you, the better their chance of success. Spear phishing is the more recent and disturbing trend where hackers spend time observing you online, often breaking into your email to design a targeted phishing attack. They take information they have learned, such as who you trust and communicate with most often, and take advantage of that.

Businesses of all sizes have been targeted by spear phishing. According to the 2018 State of the Phish Report, 83% of respondents experienced a phishing attack in 2018 and credential compromise has soared 280% since 2016. When it comes to social engineering in general, and spear phishing specifically, knowledge is power. In addition to beefing up your cybersecurity, it is crucial to educate employees and institute policies in order to stay ahead of the attack. We recommend the following:

  • No financial transactions should be processed or instructed via email. If someone does send such an email, follow up with a phone call before initiating the transaction.
  • No employee personal information (such as bank information, social security number, W2, salary, etc) should ever be sent or requested via email. If someone does request this information in an email it should not be supplied to them in the same manner.
  • Turn off contact “friendly names” and photos so that you just see the email address it is coming from. For more information about why this is effective read this piece by The Internet Patrol.
  • Configure your email to make the most of the security settings available to you. For example, is it possible to indicate which emails are internal vs external? Talk to your MSP or tech support provider for assistance.

Cryptojacking

Cryptojacking is the unauthorized use of someone’s computer and resources to mine cryptocurrency. Hackers send phishing campaigns with infected links. Clicking the link infects the computer with Javascript code that auto-executes.

Cryptomining code then works in the background, while you continue to use your computer. A business network with many computers can be a tempting target for crypto miners. While it can be difficult to detect crypto mining, if you suddenly notice experience slowed network, overheating equipment, and very high electric bills, you may have a compromised network.

The best solution is prevention, and the best prevention is a dedicated IT team who can monitor your network and ensure that everything is running as it should be. If you can’t afford to hire on-site professionals consider partnering with a managed service provider.

Shadow IT apps

Shadow IT is a growing threat to cybersecurity and compliance. Shadow IT refers to any unauthorized use of software, hardware, or cloud service by employees. According to a survey by Logicalis CIO, over 98% of cloud services in use at businesses are shadow IT. Mostly chosen for productivity (Trello, Asana) or communication (WhatsApp, Skype), the issue is not necessarily the apps themselves but in their unmanaged use in the workplace.

Typically, shadow IT boils down to employees not feeling that they have all the tools that they need. Therefore, in order to address this issue, management needs to ensure that employees have access to approved tools that will address their needs. Additionally, many small businesses may not have policies in place regarding downloading software/apps. Now is a good time to implement such a policy, and to educate users on the importance of following such policies, with regards to maintaining security.

Your guide to working remotely without risking a security breach

In the age of the flexible workforce with more employees working remotely, are you concerned that they might pose a security risk? If the answer is yes, the following seven recommendations should help you develop a solid strategy when it comes maintaining security for remote employees.

Don’t trust WiFi

Mobile technology is a necessity of working remotely. Whether you’re working on your laptop from a local coffee shop or checking your email from your phone, think twice before connecting to the internet via unsecured public WiFi. Many mobile devices are set up to connect automatically to wifi when a connection comes within range, so we recommend turning off this particular feature. Only connect to WiFi connections that you know are secure.

Keep your devices close

Did you know that one laptop is stolen every 53 seconds? In addition to being an expensive loss for you or your company, if there is any sensitive data on the device you could be looking at steep fines related to compliance regulations.

Make sure you always keep your devices with you and lock them when not in use. Never leave laptops and other devices unattended in vehicles, or, if you must, keep them out of sight.

Turn on the “find my device” feature

Most mobile devices come with the “find my device” feature. This feature is just what it sounds like: if your device goes missing you can activate it from another device and it will help you to locate the missing device.

Use strong passwords

Always use strong passwords on your devices, and always use unique passwords for each device you have. Never share your password with anyone or write it down, and don’t use a password that could be easily guessed. When available, use multi-factor authentication. If your password is incorrectly entered or entered from a new location, this will require that you respond to notifications before allowing you to log in.

Use a VPN

If you often find yourself needing to use public WiFi connections, it might be worth looking into a virtual private network (VPN). VPNs encrypt your data, helping to keep your connection and your data secure. A VPN can also allow you to access your home or business network while traveling. For more information, check out, What is a VPN, and why would I need one?.

Consider the source

When it comes to storing or accessing data, consider the source. Be cautious of downloading files from unfamiliar persons, and always use your antivirus software to scan files from familiar sources. Never plug a strange USB drive into your computer. When traveling, be cautious of USB charging stations. These can be used to transmit malware to your device or steal data.

Use secure cloud-based services

While there are many ways to remotely access your work, the safest option is to use secure cloud-based services. When you keep your work on the cloud you can access all of your files as needed with fewer risks. Using cloud services also enables you to access your work from multiple devices, and use cloud-based apps to keep up with your work on the go.

With some employee education, clear expectations, and BYOD policies in place, you can create a safe and secure workplace– even if the workplace is remote.

How your disaster recovery plan can make you more productive

There’s no doubt that a good disaster recovery plan (DRP) can be extremely useful in a crisis. Indeed, it’s one of the things that very often determines whether or not a business will survive a catastrophic event such as a fire, flood, or ransomware attack.

In fact, the difference it can make is huge. One report noted that up to 40% of businesses with no plan in place were unable to recover quickly or fully from a ransomware attack. With a plan in place, just 7% of businesses suffered the same fate.

With both malicious attacks and natural disasters on the rise (2017 was the most expensive year on record in terms of natural disasters), it’s clear that having a robust DRP in place is more important than ever before. But the value of a disaster recovery plan during a catastrophic disaster isn’t the only reason to spend some time creating one. A good DRP can also make your business more productive.

Here are four ways in which a solid Disaster Recovery Plan can help your business, even during non-crisis times.

1. It allows you to retain access to data

Secure, off-site backup of key data is an important part of any solid DRP – but having essential resources backed up in the cloud can be immensely useful in a range of ways. First and foremost it enables your employees to be more flexible. Should a device break, for example, work can still continue on another device, with cloud-based files and software still available. Plus employees are empowered to work as normal even when traveling or working from home.

2. It ensures robust communications

Multiple, robust means of communication should be a part of your DRP, as the ability to communicate will be vital during any disaster that threatens your business. But having several functional, reliable channels of communication can also make your office more productive in general. Sometimes one means of communication is more suited to a particular task than another, and having options allows employees to pick the most appropriate one.

It also helps deal with small disasters. Inclement weather or a network outage can cause chaos. That chaos is significantly reduced if your company still has at least one functioning means of communication.

3. It helps you know your assets

A detailed inventory of key assets should be a part of any DRP. This is extremely useful when it comes to making an insurance claim, or replacing lost or damaged equipment. Consider also, however, that a detailed and up-to-date hardware inventory could have a range of other uses, from ensuring that devices are maintained and kept up-to-date, to repurposing old equipment rather than letting it go to waste.

4. It keeps your prepared

A good DRP isn’t something you can set up and forget. It requires routine testing, maintenance, and regular training of employees. This is an opportunity not only to instill a sense of preparedness, but also to introduce employees to emergency contacts and procedures, and help them learn more about the structure of the company.

Training staff to support the implementation of a disaster recovery plan, for example, may involve familiarizing them with the IT helpdesk options available to them. This will obviously be useful in the event of a disaster but is also pretty handy for helping them resolve more everyday concerns.

Conclusion

A disaster recovery plan might be crucial to your business during a crisis… but it can also make a significant difference when everything is working as normal. Just one more reason to be prepared.

Contact your managed IT services provider today for help creating and implementing a disaster recovery plan to keep your business safe.

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Local and Cloud-Based Backups

Utilizing the power of technology is essential for any business trying to gain the lion’s share of their market. While using technology can be beneficial, there are a variety of dangers lurking around in cyber-space.

Nearly 50 percent of all cyber-attacks target small businesses. Rather than losing all of your data due to a network crash or ransomware attack, you need to think about how to back up your data.

Working with IT support professionals is one of the best ways to find out more about your backup options. For the most part, most businesses use a mix of local and cloud-based backups to keep their data safe and accessible.

The following are some of the things you need to know about cloud-based and local backups.

The Lowdown on a Local Storage Backup

While most business owners have heard the term local backup thrown around, many of them really don’t know what this type of backup entails. In essence, a local backup requires you to manually hook an external hard drive or other external devices to your computers to backup the data. Before cloud-based backups were invented, local backups were widely used by businesses all over the country.

Most businesses choose to lock up the external hard drives and USB flash drives used for this purpose in a safe. Not only does this keep them safe from prying eyes, but it can also reduce the chance of internal employee theft as well.

The Advantages of Local Storage

The biggest advantage of local storage is the control it provides a business owner. Instead of worrying about whether or not a third-party is adequately backing up and protecting your data, you can do this job on your own.

Some business owners prefer local storage due to the increased security it provides. Once a flash drive or external hard drive is removed from your network, cyber-criminals won’t be able to access it.

The Disadvantages of Local Storage

While there are a number of benefits that come with local backups, there are a number of problems as well. One of the biggest problems businesses face with this type of backup is finding the space needed to house all of the information they need to store.

Most business owners fail to realize just how expensive external storage can be. If your business has to house large volumes of data, you will have to spend a lot of money to facilitate this storage.

The Cloud Storage Revolution

One of the most recent developments in the data storage industry is cloud-based backups. The cloud allows you to store all of your data without having to break the bank. Being able to store all of your data off-site comes with a number of advantages. However, you will have to spend some time finding the right cloud storage provider to work with.

The Pros of Using a Cloud Backup

If you are like most business owners, you have a pretty full schedule. Trying to add the responsibility of manually backing up data to your plate can lead to mistakes being made. This is why using a cloud-based backup is so beneficial. With this type of backup in place, the data on your network will automatically be backed up.

Another benefit that comes with a cloud-based backup is the fact that it makes information accessible. Any device connected to your network can access the data on the cloud with the click of a button.

The Cons of Cloud Backups

The only real disadvantage that comes with using a cloud backup is data security. If the cloud backup supplier you have chosen does not have proper security measures in place, it can lead to big problems. This is why you have to take your time to research each of the providers on the market before making a decision.

Conclusion

In order to gain the benefits of local storage and cloud backups while minimizing the downside, more and more companies are using a combination of both. This gives you the security you need with the accessibility you want. If you need help determining what data backup solution is right for you, contact us now.

Office 365 pro tips to make your life easier

When Microsoft Office 365 debuted in 2011, businesspeople around the world had high hopes for it. They weren’t disappointed. Its software and cloud-based subscription services provide companies with a vast array of features, all of which are accessible via a handy online portal.

Among many others, there are tools for managing contacts, calendars and tasks, for writing and editing documents, and for voice and video conferencing. All of these components are periodically updated, too. Not to mention, Office 365 saves your documents in the cloud.

If there’s any problem with Office 365, it’s that the program is so extensive you might feel like you’re not realizing its full potential.

These tips will help ensure that your Office 365 time is as productive as can be.

1. Choose the most useful package

If you haven’t yet signed up for an Office 365 subscription plan, research your options and compare them carefully. Then select one with the features and apps you need. That way, you won’t overpay, and you’ll have enough hosting space, enough file storage and so on.

Also, you won’t have components that you won’t use, which could overcomplicate your Office 365 experience.

2. Work offline

Maybe the internet isn’t working in your office today. Perhaps you’re stuck in a remote cabin where the internet connection is slow. Should you just twiddle your thumbs? Well, with Office 365, you can still make good use of your time.

After you sign up for this service, Microsoft will supply you with desktop versions of popular apps like PowerPoint and Excel. You can also save your SharePoint and OneDrive documents on your hard drive. That way, you can access them when you’re offline, and all of the changes you make will automatically be saved on the cloud as soon as your internet connection is restored.

3. Make Skype calls and create OneDrive surveys

Office 365 subscribers get to use Skype free of charge for a certain amount of time. Skype is ideal for calls and voice conferences. It’s simple to use and dependable, and it offers a crisp, clear sound. What’s not to love?

In addition, with OneDrive, you can quickly and easily distribute surveys that you compose with Excel, collect responses and analyze trends. It’s a powerful tool for gauging customers’ opinions and making informed decisions.

4. Write with partners

With Office 365, you can write documents in real time with other people via one of three web apps: Excel, Word and PowerPoint.

It’s a great way to brainstorm, share knowledge and ideas for revisions, and divide the workload evenly. With this capability, putting together website articles, white papers and other documents becomes much faster and more fun proposition.

Finally, if you’d like to integrate Office 365 into all of your business processes — or if you’d just like the best, most secure IT infrastructure possible — you should enlist the help of an excellent IT management team. They can answer all of your questions and hook you up with the most beneficial tools. With such guidance, you and your small business will sail into a bright and super efficient future.

7 great tech gifts for the 2018 holiday season

It is never too soon to plan your holiday shopping. Your list is likely full of folk who would appreciate the thoughtfulness of some gadget or useful piece of tech. All the better if that tech gift can contribute to making them more productive or making their downtime more fun.

Consider these suggestions to make it a happy season for your friends, family, and colleagues. Fun and practicality can go hand in hand under the tree this year.

Amazon Kindle Fire 8

When it comes to tablets, the Kindle Fire 8 offers great functionality at a low price. Use it as an e-reader, watch movies, play games, handle email and even run your business. The Fire 8 includes hands-free Alexa capability, an 8-inch screen, and 16 GB of storage. It works seamlessly with your Amazon account, and with Amazon Prime, you can access thousands of movies, TV shows, albums, and books at no extra charge.

JBL Endurance SPRINT headphones

Looking for a something for someone who’s a really big audiophile? It’s hard to do better than the JBL Endurance SPRINT. Boasting 8 hours of wireless playback and a speed charge battery, the JBL Endurance Sprint is built to endure comfort and stability no matter how you work out—even in water. It includes touch controls for both your music and phone and its MagHook design allow for convenient storage options.

Star Wars Millennium Falcon Micro-USB Charging Cable

Have a Star Wars fan in your life? Of course you do.

As a nice, inexpensive gift or stocking stuffer, this USB charger is an absolute delight. The blue line on the wire lights up while charging, as do Falcon’s thrusters. While unsuitable for flying through asteroid fields, it is absolutely perfect for charging your favorite devices.

OMNI 20 USB-C Charger

While laptops can go nearly everywhere, there is no guarantee that there will always be power available. With that in mind, the OMNI 20 USB-C Charger can fully charge laptops, tablets, smartphones, and even gaming devices. What’s more, its multi-port design allows for charging multiple devices. Add to that a functionality as a USB hub for quick, secure file transfers, this device means fewer wires to carry.

Star Trek TNG Bluetooth ComBadge

This gift idea is pretty nerdy, we admit, but for that special someone who is really into Star Trek, you cannot go wrong with a Bluetooth-enabled Star Trek: The Next Generation ComBadge. This is a fully authorized and officially-licensed replica of the Star Trek prop which can connect to your phone or other devices via Bluetooth. It plays the instantly-recognizable chirp at a touch and can be used to answer and end calls, start and stop audio, and access hands-free voice services such as Siri and Cortana.  It’s high-quality micro-speakers mean clear communication with friends, family, and away teams.

Samsung Portable SSD T3 Hard Drive

Sometimes you want portable storage solutions that don’t rely on the Cloud. For those times, you want a powerful, dependable, and secure portable hard drive. That’s where the Samsung Portable SSD T3 comes in. It is up to four times faster than most other portable hard drives, is compact, light, and sturdy. Storage options range from 250 GB to 2 TB.

Logitech Slim Folio with Keyboard for iPad (5th and 6th generation

Turn your iPad into an iMac with the Logitech Slim Folio. The sturdy front and back protect your iPad from a lot of wear and tear, and the fully functioning Bluetooth keyboard allows you to work anywhere with comfort and ease. It has a long battery life, a place to store an Apple Pencil, and can be set up for comfortable viewing whether it be for business or entertainment. A great gift for the iPad fan.

Good gift giving

The key to good gift giving is to think about what they most want or need. For most in our business, tools for efficiency and productivity are most appreciated. But it’s also about having a bit of fun as well.

6 cloud solutions every SMB should have

Cloud services can save costs and improve productivity for small-to-medium businesses. That’s part of the reason why 69 percent of SMBs currently use some cloud solutions – because they allow you to have state of the art IT systems without a huge IT expenditure.

But cost is not the only reason to migrate. Cloud solutions provide SMBs with the resources to change the way they do business. Whether it’s faster internal communication, better relationships with customers, or launching your own online business, the cloud can be the foundation for real growth.

So how do you make the most of the cloud? The first step is to be aware of the kind of things that are possible with cloud solutions. Here are six of the most popular applications for SMBs:

1. Data storage

Storing data on the cloud has a number of benefits. You can access your data from anywhere, enjoy better protection against data loss, and it can actually be more secure than storing it on your own network. Cloud storage also makes disaster contingency planning easier – there’s far less chance of losing all your records if disaster strikes. Having your data in a single place like Dropbox Business or SpiderOak also makes it easier to sort and to locate critical information when you need it.

2. Communication tools

Managing communications across email and instant messaging platforms can be messy. This is especially true when some people work remotely, don’t have access to internal email and IM, or keep different hours to the rest of the team. Cloud solutions like Slack and Microsoft Teams help people work together in any environment, by blending elements of email, IM, social messaging and file sharing.

3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

CRM makes it easy to manage your relationship with clients by storing contact data, recording the history of your interactions and tracking open support tickets. Cloud-powered CRM tools like Salesforce and Hubspot offer an easy, secure way to access customer records when you’re on the road. CRM data can also be used for sales reporting and for marketing work, such as customer segmentation.

4. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

ERP keeps track of all the moving parts of your business, from supply chain to payroll. It’s especially useful for larger operations with multiple locations, but cloud solutions like SAP and Oracle make an ERP implementation practical for SMBs. If your business intends to use the Internet of Things technology, such as smart warehouse devices, then ERP is the software platform that enables such changes.

5. Unified communications

Computers are great, but somebody still needs to answer the phone when a customer calls. There is a wide range of cloud-based unified communication solutions available for SMBs. You’ll find a number of additional features on each platform: virtual customer service agents, VoIP technology, intelligent call forwarding, and voicemail-to-email services. What kind of service is best suited to your office?

6. Web services

Ready to go digital by launching an app or e-commerce site? This requires an infrastructure to host your software, which can be an expensive barrier. Cloud platforms such as AWS and Microsoft Azure can host and run any applications that you can build.

Making the move to the cloud

Cloud solutions by themselves won’t transform your business, of course. Technology can only ever be a tool to help you realize your strategic vision.

As with any investment, it’s best to know what you want to achieve and then talk to an expert. Find a cloud technology partner who understands your goals, and consult with them about the right cloud solutions for your business.

What is the hybrid cloud and how can you use it?

Hybrid cloud technology gives you the advantages of using a cloud server and an on-site server. Many companies that want to use the cloud start by paying a third-party provider to access space on a public server. As companies grow, however, they find that they can also benefit from on-site servers that give them more control and security.

If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of hybrid cloud technology, you’ll want to learn about some of the ways that other companies already use it.

Hybrid cloud technology can save your business money

Surveys show that companies plan to spend a lot of money on cloud technology over the next few years. By 2021, the hybrid cloud market’s value should reach $91.74 billion.

Despite the industry’s growth, adopting hybrid cloud technology could help your business save money. If you solely rely on private servers that you keep in your office, then you will spend a lot of money on IT infrastructure. Remember that you will need an infrastructure and server that does more than handle a normal day’s request. You need to prepare for days when you need to meet the needs of more clients than usual.

With hybrid cloud solutions, you can always use a cloud server to scale on busy days. Instead of spending more money than necessary on your personal IT equipment, you can lower your overall costs by choosing essential equipment and accessing your public server when needed.

Your employees become more productive with hybrid cloud solutions

Most companies say that they want to invest in hybrid cloud solutions so they can use more cloud-based apps.

Today’s best cloud apps improve employee productivity by automating certain tasks, improving communication and making it easier to collaborate on projects. By adopting a hybrid cloud, you give employees the opportunity to use apps remotely as well as from their desks.

The hybrid cloud improves data recovery and business continuity

No matter how well you prepare, your business could lose important data after a malware attack. A fire, flood or other disasters could also harm your data recovery and business continuity.

The hybrid cloud improves your data recovery and business continuity processes by letting you keep data stored on a third-party server.

If a fire destroys the enterprise server that you keep on your premises, the data stored on the public server stays protected. Backing up your data to the public cloud means that you can get back to work quickly instead of losing money and clients while you try to rebuild.

In fact, using the hybrid cloud could mean that you suffer zero downtime. Your clients and customers may not even notice the disruption.

You get better security from hybrid cloud solutions

Hybrid cloud solutions give you two places to store your data and business processes. While some people believe that third-party servers put them at risk of malware attacks, your enterprise server is just as likely to get attacked.

By keeping your information in two places, you protect your data from malware and hackers. For example, if your private server gets overtaken by ransomware, you can delete your files to eliminate the threat. After deleting your files, you can access them from the public server you use.

You can stay at the forefront of technology

As your hardware ages, some of its features will become outdated. You may not want to spend money replacing the equipment, but avoiding the problem could cost you more money as productivity suffers.

You know that you need to replace your equipment when the hardware can’t run the software you want and needs frequent repairs. While you safely dispose of your old hardware and replace equipment with new models, you can use your public cloud server to avoid disruptions.

Whether you use a public or private server, you should think about the benefits of hybrid cloud solutions to determine whether the technology can help your business thrive.

5 reasons to consider outsourced IT support

Deciding to outsource can be daunting. Perhaps you’re an SMB owner with limited resources. Maybe you’re aware of the benefits and advantages of contracting out to a specialized provider but don’t know where to start. Running an SMB means having to do several jobs at once. When it comes to your IT maintenance, you can maximize the efficiency of your workforce (and wallet) by looking at outsourced IT support.

When you use specialized IT support, you won’t need to worry about data backups, cybersecurity or infrastructure trends. You won’t have to spend time training staff on bug-fixing protocol.

If you’re on the fence and still deciding if outsourced IT support is for you, here are 5 ways it could boost your business:

You can reduce costs

Outsourcing IT to a specialized provider keeps your budget lower than employing an entire IT staff. The costs saving is especially true when you consider the costs of initial and regular training.

It can also get costly when you need to buy the right equipment for maintaining a well-functioning IT department. Not to mention having to all the bits and pieces required for hardware maintenance and repairs.

Paying a fixed cost with an IT company will save you from surprise expenditures and help you manage your annual operating costs.

You’ll enjoy 24/7 support and maintenance

Using the services outsourced IT support means there will always be an expert on the other side of an email or phone call who can help. To prevent loss of revenue and productivity, your IT support will recognize bugs before they’ve had the chance to affect your systems.

Instead of fixing a problem when it’s broken, it’s the IT company’s job to fix problems before you even notice them.

You have access to industry experts

In order to keep data secure, your business needs the newest technology and knowledge of industry experts. You (and your staff) will need stay up to date on relevant industry standards, which you may not have the time or resources for.

The security of your data is crucial. Luckily, it’s the outsourced IT support company’s responsibility to be well versed on cutting-edge technology. This allows you to focus on what’s important – running your business.

You can cut out the recruitment process

Recruiting new staff can be time-consuming, frustrating and challenging. Unless you’re an IT expert, it can also be extra tricky if you don’t know the exact specifications of the skills needed in a potential employee.

You run the risk of hiring people that don’t necessarily possess the right technical skill set and specialized knowledge. You might not have even defined the role according to what is really necessary.

Using the services of outsourced IT support can fix that problem for you.

You can let go of the steering wheel

As an SMB owner, management will always rank top on your list of fundamentals. But that doesn’t mean you have to do it all by yourself.

With outsourced IT support, you can rest easy knowing your IT efficiency, data and network security are in qualified, professional hands. With that peace of mind, you can be assured of better cost control, quality security practice and expertise while you run your business.

7 useful tips for IT project management

Effective IT project management can be tough for SMB owners. Especially if you don’t have adequate staff or resources.

Keeping on top of every stage of your project can seem daunting, but making sure that everyone involved has a crystal clear idea of procedures, task handling, and precautions will help your project run smoothly. It will also leave you with a productive understanding of how best to manage your IT projects.

Here are 7 handy IT project management tips you can put into practice for your next project.

#1 Always have the end in mind

As obvious as it may seem, starting with the end in mind is an incredibly effective way to document each step of the project. It will also give you a clear idea of what needs to be completed.

Take the time to plan and define your objectives before you create a detailed step-by-step plan. Budget and schedule should follow and you should have a clear idea of how to take your project from inception to completion.

#2 Establish and implement milestones

As early as possible, establish realistic milestones for your project. It’s a great way to keep your team members motivated. Milestones can also help keep you accountable and avoid  delaying necessary progress.

#3 Get comfortable with risk management

Unwelcome surprises can crop up at any moment. Have a plan for managing potential risks. Keep everyone informed on what to do when reporting risks that might threaten the progress of the project. Make sure you have a contingency plan in place for those moments.

You might not be able to control every risk, but you can be prepared for setbacks and unplanned circumstances.

#4 Make the most of online tools

Utilize as many online tools and platforms as you can. Get your team trained on collaborative management tools where tasks and projects can be assigned, tracked, and monitored in real time.

Back up every single aspect of your project, including tasks, reports, and schedules using  stable cloud solutions. It project management can be easy with online tools and IT services that help you keep on top of your project’s success.

#5 Favor schedules over features

Start placing more importance on your project’s schedule rather than its features. It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the many features of your work and far too easy to leave your schedules on the back burner.

Implementing a solid schedule-driven plan will help you to become a better delegator as well as making sure that your attention is focused on the areas you’ll be able to measure.

#6 Be honest about the shortcomings

Every project you will ever run will leave you with do’s and don’ts for the next big thing. Be completely honest with yourself and your team when it comes to evaluating your project’s success. Be clear about what went wrong, what unexpected setbacks you faced (if any), and what really worked so you can implement  IT project management changes for next time.

#7 Have all of your resources in one place

Don’t waste time sending back and forth emails to track down the latest version of a file or chasing someone up for an update. Studies have found that workers spend too much time searching for information and could be wasting the equivalent of a day’s work every week.

This is especially important in IT project management. Organize your resources in one, easy to find and easy to navigate location, whether it’s digital or physical to cut out the unnecessary and consuming time spent trying to track down documents or information.