If you're the owner or manager of a small business who has central involvement in daily company operations, a term you're likely familiar with -- whether specifically or just conceptually -- is "pain point." A pain point refers to certain challenges or common issues that you or your team fact, and finding effective solutions for pain points is important -- and managed IT services are often a great tool here.

At Onward Technology, we're proud of how our managed IT and tech support services help support Utah businesses of all sizes, including small businesses. From our 24/7 on-demand support to various network setup and security programs, we have you covered completely. What are some of the pain points services like ours help alleviate for small businesses? Here are several to consider.

Sick Days and Paid Time Off

Employees missing time is a common situation within any business, and two of the most common reasons for this are sick days and paid time off (PTO). And while managed IT services certainly can't stop your employees from sometimes missing days, they absolutely can offer protection from vulnerabilities that may arise when certain employees are off work.

For instance, say an employee who handles a lot of your company's network security needs goes on vacation. This can leave your business's data and systems exposed to possible threats if you don't have proper IT coverage. But with our managed services in place, you can rest assured that even when certain employees are away, your business is still being protected against any potential risks.

Backups and Data Recovery

Another major pain point for small businesses is data loss, whether due to system crashes or other issues. Losing important data can mean big trouble for your business, but our managed IT services can help prevent this from happening. We can set up regular backups of your data so that even if something does happen to your system, you'll always have a recent copy to fall back on. And if data loss does occur, our team can help you recover it quickly and efficiently.

Day-to-Day Tasks

Pain points don't always have to be major disasters; sometimes, they can be more mundane, day-to-day tasks that take up valuable time and resources. For example, if your employees are spending a lot of time each day dealing with IT issues, that's time they're not spending on revenue-generating tasks.

Our managed IT services can help here as well by taking care of many of the common IT tasks that your employees would otherwise have to deal with. This includes things like patch management, software updates, and troubleshooting. By taking care of these tasks for you, we free up your employees' time so they can focus on more important things.

IT Department Turnover

As many small business owners can tell you, it's hard to find consistent, reliable IT help. This is often due to high turnover rates in the IT industry, which can leave small businesses in a bind if they don't have managed services in place.

With our managed IT services, you don't have to worry about this because we provide a team of experienced IT professionals who are there to help whenever you need it. And because we're a managed service provider, we have the scalability to grow with you as your business expands. There's no need to hamstring yourself with a small, in-house IT team when you can take advantage of our managed services.

24/7 Needs

Simply put, no matter how dedicated you are as a business owner or manager, no one wants to be spending every waking hour dealing with IT issues. But when you don't have managed services in place, that's often what it takes to keep things running smoothly.

With our managed IT services, you can rest assured that someone is always there to help when you need it, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Whether you're dealing with a system crash in the middle of the night or an employee issue first thing in the morning, we're here to help.

Automated Responses

Depending on your business type, you may find that you're dealing with the same IT issues over and over again. And while it's important to have someone available to help when these issues arise, it can be even more important to have a system in place that can automatically detect and resolve these issues before they cause major problems.

Our managed IT services include automated responses to common IT issues, so you can rest assured that your business is always running smoothly. And if an issue does arise that can't be resolved automatically, our team is available 24/7 to help resolve it quickly and efficiently.

Fewer Surprises

Finally, for some businesses, pain points are of the unknown variety: Surprise issues that tend to pop up at the worst possible times. For example, you may find that you need to unexpectedly upgrade your software or replace hardware that's failed.

With our managed IT services, you can avoid these surprises by having a team in place that's always keeping an eye on things and proactively addressing potential issues before they cause problems. This way, you can focus on running your business, safe in the knowledge that your IT needs are being taken care of.

In conclusion, managed IT services can be a valuable asset for any small business owner or manager who wants to avoid pain points. By taking care of common IT tasks, providing 24/7 support, and proactively addressing potential issues, our team can help you keep your business running smoothly. Contact us at Onward Technology to learn about all of our tech support services to businesses around Utah!

There are a number of considerations to make if you're the owner or operator of an emerging business in any sector, and one of these across numerous industries is managed IT and tech support. Provided by what are known as MSPs, or managed service providers, this sort of support is absolutely vital as you look to protect business data and make systems as efficient as possible to facilitate growth in your company.

At Onward Technology, we're proud to offer a variety of IT services to clients large and small, including emerging businesses looking for assistance in this area. From simple IT procurement to cybersecurity, 24/7 support and more, we have you covered in every realm you might need help with. What are some of the top ways emerging companies should be leveraging services like ours? Here's a basic primer.

Optimizing Networks and Systems

As you're building out your business, you might not have a huge in-house IT staff yet - or any at all. In this case, working with an MSP to optimize and manage your network can save you a lot of headaches down the line. We can help ensure that your systems are running smoothly and efficiently from the start, which will set you up for success as you continue to expand.

For instance, let's say you're setting up a new office. We can come in and get everything set up for you, from the cabling to the WiFi network and more. Then, we'll monitor and manage it all remotely so that you don't have to worry about a thing. This will give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on other aspects of running your business.

Ensuring Cybersecurity

Cyber attacks are becoming more and more common, and they can be devastating for businesses of all sizes. If you're not prepared, you could end up losing critical data or even facing legal repercussions if sensitive information is leaked. This is why it's so important to have robust cybersecurity measures in place, and an MSP can help you do just that.

At Onward Technology, we offer a range of services designed to keep your data safe, including firewall installation and configuration, intrusion detection and prevention, and more. We'll work with you to assess your risks and put together a customized plan to address them. This way, you can sleep soundly knowing that your data is well-protected.

Ensuring Proper Compliance

Another major consideration for businesses in many industries is compliance. Depending on the type of business you're in, there may be certain regulations you need to adhere to - and if you don't, you could face serious penalties. This is yet another area where working with an MSP can be extremely helpful.

At Onward Technology, we have a team of compliance experts who are well-versed in a variety of regulations, including HIPAA, PCI, GDPR and more. We can help you ensure that you're meeting all the necessary requirements and take care of all the paperwork involved. This way, you can avoid any potential problems down the line.

Strengthening Existing IT Teams

Some mistakenly assume that managed IT is a fully-outsourced experience. And while it's true that elements of this process may often be handled by remote teams, that's not always the case. In fact, in many instances, working with an MSP can actually help to strengthen your existing IT team.

For example, say you have a limited IT staff but are looking to expand. In this case, we can provide supplemental support to help take some of the pressure off your team. We can also offer training and development opportunities to help them grow their skills and knowledge. This way, you can build a strong in-house IT team that will be able to handle anything that comes your way.

Offloading Day-to-Day Tasks

Relatedly, one of the main benefits of working with an MSP is that it can free up your IT team to focus on more strategic initiatives. Rather than being bogged down by day-to-day tasks, they can focus on projects that will help move your business forward.

For instance, say you're looking to implement a new CRM system. Your IT team can work with our team of experts to plan and carry out the project, while we handle the day-to-day management of your network. This way, you can be confident that the project will be carried out successfully and your team will be able to focus on other important initiatives.

Reducing Costs

Finally, one of the single largest benefits of working with an MSP is that it can help you save money. When you outsource your IT management, you no longer need to worry about the costs associated with hiring and training in-house staff. Additionally, by entrusting us with the management of your network, you can avoid the costly mistakes that often come with managing complex systems.

At Onward Technology, we pride ourselves on being a cost-effective solution for businesses of all sizes. We offer a variety of pricing models to choose from, so you can find one that fits your budget. And because we're constantly keeping up with the latest technology, you can be confident you're getting the best possible value for your money.

For more on how managed IT and IT support services can play a big role in your emerging company's operations, or to learn about any of our programs in these areas, speak to the team at Onward Technology today.

When it comes to the realm of protecting your devices and network from threats, the broad term that most people are generally familiar with is "cybersecurity." However, this major area has several sub-categories or related themes that are often incorporated into or around it, and one of these that's become much more well-known in the IT world in recent years is called "cyber resiliency."

At Onward Technology, we're happy to assist a huge range of business clients with all their network security and related IT needs, with 24/7 real-time monitoring we apply to numerous different clients and needs. What's meant when discussing cyber resiliency, and what are some simple ways to achieve this approach in your business network? Here's a basic rundown.

What is Cyber Resiliency?

You've heard of cybersecurity, and you've also likely heard of disaster recovery (if you haven't heard this latter term, it speaks to having a solid plan in place to quickly get your business operational again after a serious event such as data loss, malware attack, etc.). Cyber resiliency is somewhere in the middle of these two concepts, and can be defined as a proactive and holistic approach to cybersecurity that also incorporates disaster recovery concepts.

In other words, cyber resiliency is about taking multiple efforts to ensure all company data is private, protected, backed-up -- and maybe most importantly, recoverable in case of any type of incident.

Why is Cyber Resiliency Important?

The concept of cyber resiliency has become much more prominent in business networking conversations for a few reasons. First, as noted, attacks on all types and sizes of businesses are becoming more common (and often more sophisticated), so there's a heightened need to have stronger protection in place. Second, "cyber incidents" can come in many forms and cause different levels of damage, so it's important to have a plan that can address any type of issue that might come up.

Consider the data breaches at Yahoo and Equifax: In both cases, massive amounts of customer data were stolen by hackers. But while the Yahoo breach was eventually blamed on a state-sponsored actor, the Equifax incident was caused by a much more common type of cyber attack. So while the effects were similar (loss of customer trust, millions spent on recovery efforts, etc.), the root cause was different -- and each required a different type of response.

In other words, a "one size fits all" approach to cybersecurity and disaster recovery simply isn't enough anymore. You need a multi-faceted, proactive plan that can address any type of incident -- and this is where cyber resiliency comes in.

Our next several sections will go over how to achieve cyber resiliency within your business, plus how our team will help.

Seek Professional Support

Simply put, it's hard for most organizations to achieve cyber resiliency on their own. Cybersecurity is a huge and complex topic, with new threats emerging all the time. And while you might have in-house IT staff, they likely don't have the bandwidth or expertise to keep up with everything that's going on in this realm.

This is where professional support comes in. A trusted Managed Services Provider (MSP) like Onward Technology can serve as your "virtual IT department," keeping an eye on your network around the clock and responding quickly to any incidents that might come up.

And when it comes to disaster recovery, an MSP can provide invaluable assistance in developing and testing a comprehensive plan -- so you know exactly what needs to be done in case of an incident, and can have confidence that your plan will work as intended. In other words, partnering with a reputable MSP is one of the best ways to achieve cyber resiliency for your business.

Onward Technology is proud to offer comprehensive cybersecurity and IT support services to businesses of all sizes. We'll work with you to assess your specific needs and put together a custom plan that will help you achieve your goals -- including cyber resiliency.

Analyze Risks and Business Goals

As you're working with our team to develop a cyber resiliency plan, one of the first steps we'll take is to analyze the risks your business faces and what your specific goals are.

This will help us understand what types of incidents are most likely to occur, how much damage they could cause, and which systems and data are most critical to your operations. We'll also consider any compliance requirements you might have (e.g. HIPAA, PCI, etc.), as these will need to be taken into account in your disaster recovery plan.

From there, we'll work with you to develop a comprehensive strategy that will help you meet your goals and protect your business from the types of incidents that are most likely to occur.

Create a Baseline Expectation

As part of our risk analysis process, we'll also help you create a "baseline expectation" for your business -- in other words, what's the minimum level of service you need to maintain in order to keep your operations running?

This is important because it will serve as the starting point for your disaster recovery plan. For example, if you're a retail business, you might need to be able to process transactions and fulfill orders within a certain time frame in order to keep your customers happy.

On the other hand, if you're a healthcare provider, you might need to have systems in place that allow you to access patient records quickly and efficiently -- even in the case of a major outage.

Once we have a clear understanding of your baseline expectation, we'll work with you to develop a plan that will help you meet (or exceed) it -- no matter what type of incident might occur.

For more on how to achieve cyber resiliency for your business, or to learn about any of our managed IT or IT support services, speak to the team at Onward Technology today.

There are a number of facilities that have several common needs in the IT support and related fields, and schools and other educational services are definitely among these. Having a reliable network is vital for schools and other educational programs to maintain numerous student devices and solutions, and working with quality IT professionals is typically the way to go here.

At Onward Technology, we're proud to provide the very best IT support and related services to educational facilities throughout Utah, allowing them to maintain a strong and reliable network that can support all of their needs. We understand the importance of having a quality network in place, and we're committed to helping our clients achieve this goal. Why is it so important for such facilities to have this kind of support? Here are several reasons.

Securing the Learning Infrastructure

Digital learning tools have become a massive part of the education landscape in recent years, and it's only going to become more prevalent in the years to come. As such, it's more important than ever for educational facilities to have a secure network in place that can protect these tools and the data they contain.

With the help of Onward Technology, you can be confident that your network is secure and able to withstand any potential threats. We'll work with you to identify any vulnerabilities in your system and implement the necessary solutions to mitigate them.

For example, we can help you implement a comprehensive security plan that includes firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems, and more. We'll also work with you to create policies and procedures that will help keep your network secure, such as proper password management and access control measures.

Protecting Student Privacy

Privacy is of vital importance for everyone, and students are definitely no exception. In recent years, there have been a number of high-profile cases of student data being breached, and this is something that educational institutions need to be aware of.

With the help of Onward Technology, you can be confident that your network is secure and able to protect the privacy of your students. We'll work with you to implement the necessary security measures, such as firewalls and intrusion detection/prevention systems. We'll also help you create policies and procedures that will ensure the privacy of your students, such as proper password management and access control measures.

Saving on Operating Costs

With the support of a quality IT company like Onward Technology, you can save a significant amount of money on your operating costs. We'll work with you to find ways to improve your efficiency and reduce your overall IT spend.

For example, we can help you consolidate your data center and server infrastructure, which can save you a considerable amount of money on power and cooling costs. We can also help you implement virtualization and cloud technologies, which can further reduce your operating costs.

Improving Staff Productivity

Another important benefit of working with Onward Technology is that we can help you improve the productivity of your staff. We'll work with you to find ways to streamline your processes and procedures, which can save your staff a considerable amount of time.

For example, we can help you automate your desktop and application deployment, which can reduce the amount of time your staff spends on manual tasks. We can also help you implement remote access solutions, which can allow your staff to work from anywhere at any time.

Regular Maintenance Available

For any and all of your IT support needs, Onward Technology offers regular maintenance services that can keep your network up and running smoothly. Our team of experienced professionals will proactively monitor your system for any potential issues and address them in a timely manner.

In addition, we offer 24/7 support for all of our clients, so you can be confident that someone will always be available to help you if you have any problems.

Keeping the Network Educational

It's natural for some students to use digital resources for purposes that don't quite fit the educational mission of schools. While there's nothing wrong with students using the internet for personal reasons, it's important to make sure that they're not spending too much time on non-educational websites.

Onward Technology can help you monitor your network usage and ensure that your students are spending their time on educational websites. We can also help you implement content filtering solutions that can block non-educational websites.

Physical Infrastructure Support

For many educational facilities, the simple size and breadth of physical infrastructure can be daunting. Maintaining and repairing this infrastructure can be a full-time job, and it's often one that's best left to the professionals.

Onward Technology offers physical infrastructure support services that can take care of all of your repair and maintenance needs. Our team of experienced professionals will work with you to keep your infrastructure in top condition, and we'll be there to help you if anything ever goes wrong.

Cloud Management

Finally, Onward Technology offers cloud management services that can help you take advantage of the many benefits of cloud computing. We'll work with you to deploy and manage your applications in the cloud, and we'll help you ensure that your data is always safe and secure.

We understand that each educational institution has its own unique needs, and we'll work with you to develop a custom cloud solution that meets your specific requirements.

Onward Technology is dedicated to providing quality IT support and services to educational institutions. We understand the importance of having a reliable network, and we'll work with you to ensure that your system is always up and running smoothly. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with any needs your Utah educational facility may have.

Within the realm of cybersecurity, the broad category of malware is one that businesses need to be aware of. One of the most significant threats within this area, especially over the last few years, is what's known as ransomware.

At Onward Technology, we're here to provide high-quality cybersecurity and related IT support services to numerous business clients, and ransomware is just one of many threat types we help protect you against. What is ransomware, how does it work, and what are some of the steps we'll help you take to ensure it doesn't become a risk for your company? Here's a basic primer.

Basics on Ransomware

For those new to this realm, ransomware refers to a type of malware that either encrypts or erases critical data on a system and then demands payment from the user in order to restore access. Ransomware attacks can target both individuals and organizations, but businesses are increasingly being targeted by this type of attack.

There are two common types of ransomware: locker ransomware and crypto ransomware. Locker ransomware essentially "locks" users out of their systems until a ransom is paid, while crypto ransomware uses encryption to make data inaccessible until a ransom is paid. There are also different types of methods used to distribute ransomware, including phishing emails (which trick users into clicking on malicious links or attachments), drive-by downloads (which automatically download malware when users visit certain websites), and even USB devices that have been infected with malware.

How Ransomware Infects Devices

In the majority of cases, ransomware is spread through what are known as user-initiated actions. These refer to the types of activities where users inadvertently download or install malware on their devices. This can happen in a number of ways, but some of the most common include:

In some cases, ransomware can also be spread through "system-initiated" actions. This generally happens when devices are connected to a network that has already been infected with malware. Once the malware is on a network, it can quickly spread to other connected devices.

Why Is Ransomware So Dangerous?

There are a few key reasons why ransomware is such a dangerous threat, especially for businesses. First of all, ransomware can be very difficult (and sometimes even impossible) to remove once it's infected a system. Second, paying the ransom doesn't guarantee that you'll get your data back – in fact, there's no guarantee that the attacker will even provide you with the decryption key after receiving payment.

And finally, ransomware can have a significant financial impact on businesses, as not only do companies have to pay the ransom but they also face the cost of downtime and lost productivity. For many businesses, the costs associated with a ransomware attack can be devastating.

Expanding Ransomware Capabilities

Unfortunately, ransomware variants have begun to spring up that are even more dangerous than those that have come before. In particular, there are now ransomware variants that not only encrypt data but also threaten to publicly release it unless a ransom is paid. This type of attack is known as "ransomware as a service" or RaaS.

With RaaS attacks, businesses face the risk of not only losing access to their data but also having that data leaked publicly. This can be extremely damaging to a business, both in terms of the financial impact and the reputational damage.

Preventing Ransomware Attacks

The best way to protect your business against ransomware is to prevent attacks from happening in the first place. There are several themes that should likely be considered here (themes our team will be happy to assist you with):

For more on what ransomware is and how to steer clear of it within your business's operations, or to learn about any of our cybersecurity or other managed IT services, speak to our team at Onward Technology today.

There are several important elements when it comes to your business's tech and device setup and efficiency, and one of these is the age of specific components involved. Older technology will naturally have more issues than newer tech, and there may come a point where old hardware or software that's still being used in major ways will be costing your business money in real time.

At Onward Technology, we're here to stop this from happening to you. Our quality IT procurement services allow our clients to get fantastic deals on both hardware and software for all their needs, meaning you can upgrade from your older equipment at affordable costs that allow you to stay efficient. What are some of the risks of sticking with older hardware or software in your setup? Here are several.

Security Concerns

Perhaps the single largest risk you're opening yourself up to by continuing to use old hardware or software is security concerns. If a device or program hasn't been updated in several years, the security protocol surrounding it will be incredibly out of date. This leaves you vulnerable to all sorts of attacks, both external and internal, that could cost your business dearly.

For instance, an employee could unknowingly download malware onto an old computer, which could then spread throughout your network and encrypt all your data until a ransom is paid. This sort of thing happens more often than you might think, and it's almost always to businesses with outdated technology.

Lost Productivity

Another major issue you'll run into is lost productivity. Older hardware will take longer to perform the same tasks as newer hardware, and this can quickly add up when multiplied across your entire team. This difference might only be a few seconds per task, but over the course of a day or a week, it can really add up.

And if you're still using old versions of software, you're likely not taking advantage of all the new features and capabilities that have been added in recent years. This can again lead to lost productivity as your team tries to make do with outdated tools.

Increased Maintenance Costs

Older hardware and software will also generally require more maintenance than newer tech. This is because they're more prone to breaking down and because there are often fewer people who know how to properly maintain and repair them. As a result, you'll likely see your IT maintenance costs go up if you're still using older tech.

All of these factors can really add up, and they can have a serious impact on your business's bottom line. That's why it's so important to keep your technology up to date. And with Onward Technology's IT procurement services, you can do just that without breaking the bank.

If you have any questions about our services or how we can help you upgrade your tech, don't hesitate to contact us today. We'll be happy to answer any of your questions and point you in the right direction!

If you're a business that's on an upward trajectory, you're naturally looking for ways to become more and more efficient within your processes while growing at scale. There are a number of approaches you may take here, and one that's proven enormously successful for many such companies is the outsourcing of important IT and tech support services to quality professionals.

At Onward Technology, we're proud to offer a huge range of such services, from IT procurement and security services to 24/7 on-demand support for all your Utah business needs. What are some of the major benefits growing companies throughout the state have found from working with quality tech support companies like ours? Here's a rundown.

Cost Efficiency

Some may be worried about the costs of outsourcing IT themes to a third party, but in reality, such services from a quality provider will actually save you money in the long run. How? Well, for one thing, you'll no longer need to keep an in-house team of IT professionals on staff full-time. This can be a very expensive proposition, especially if you need to maintain a high level of expertise within your team.

By outsourcing your IT services to Utah business specialists like Onward Technology, you can avoid these high costs while still enjoying access to the same quality of service - or even better. We're able to do this because we keep our overhead low and only staff IT professionals who are absolutely top-notch in their field.

Better Expertise

Related to the first point, another major benefit of outsourcing your IT services is that you'll have access to a much wider pool of expertise than you would if you only had an in-house team. When you work with Onward Technology, you're tapping into a team of professionals with years of experience and a wealth of knowledge at their disposal.

This way, no matter what sort of IT challenge you're facing, you can be confident that we have the skills and experience necessary to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

Better IT Security

Cybersecurity is a huge concern for businesses of all sizes, but it's especially important for those that are growing rapidly. As your company expands, you'll have more and more data to protect, and more potential entry points for hackers to exploit.

When you outsource your IT security needs to a quality provider like Onward Technology, you can rest assured knowing that your data is in good hands. We have the latest and greatest security tools and technologies at our disposal, and our team of experts knows how to use them to keep your data safe.


As we noted above, growing companies are looking for ways to become more efficient and scale their operations. Outsourcing your IT services is a great way to accomplish both of these goals.

With Onward Technology, you can easily scale up or down as needed, without having to worry about the cost or complexity of maintaining an in-house IT team. We're here to support you as you grow, and we're always ready to adjust our services to meet your changing needs.

Lower Downtime Risks

Many of our clients simply can't afford to have their IT systems go down, even for a short period of time. That's why we offer around-the-clock support, 365 days a year. No matter what time of day or night it is, if you have an issue with your IT systems, we'll be there to help you resolve it quickly and efficiently.

This way, you can avoid the costly downtime that can occur when problems with your IT systems are left unaddressed.

Proactive, Not Reactive

For many businesses, IT support is a reactive process. They only reach out to their IT provider when something has already gone wrong and they need help fixing it.

At Onward Technology, we take a proactive approach to IT support. We monitor your systems 24/7, so we can identify and resolve potential problems before they cause any disruptions to your business. This way, you can avoid the headaches and expenses that come with unplanned downtime.

Keeping Your Focus Where it Needs to Be

As a business owner, manager or executive, your time is extremely valuable. You need to be able to focus on the tasks that are most important to growing your business, not waste time trying to fix IT problems yourself or dealing with IT issues that could have been avoided altogether.

Outsourcing your IT services to Onward Technology will free up your time so you can focus on the things that matter most to your business. We'll handle all of your IT needs, big and small, so you can focus on running and growing your company.

Improved Customer Satisfaction

In today's world, customers expect businesses to have reliable IT systems in place. If your systems are constantly going down or causing other problems, it will reflect poorly on your company and damage your reputation.

When you outsource your IT services to Onward Technology, you can rest assured knowing that your customers will always be taken care of. We'll make sure your systems are up and running smoothly, so your customers can always count on you to deliver the services they need.

Less In-House Training Required

Finally, when you outsource your IT services, you won't need to spend as much time training your in-house staff on how to use and maintain your systems.

Our team of experts will be there to handle all of your IT needs, so you can focus on running your business. We'll provide comprehensive training to your staff as needed, so they can always be confident in their ability to use your systems effectively.

Outsourcing your IT services is a great way to improve your business efficiency, scale your operations and keep your customers satisfied. Contact Onward Technology today to learn more about how we can help you grow your business through Utah's best IT support and managed IT services.

There are a number of buzzwords out there that you may have heard in the cybersecurity world, and one of the most important for many businesses is the firewall. Serving as one of your top forms of defense against various online threats, firewalls have evolved over the years right along with the kinds of risks they're meant to prevent, and remain a highly effective cybersecurity method that businesses should be taking advantage of.

At Onward Technology, we're happy to provide high-quality cybersecurity services to clients throughout Utah, and firewalls are just one of many tools we may help you utilize here. What are firewalls, why are they important, and what types of firewall might you need to know about? Here's a basic primer.

Firewall Basics

From a broad perspective, a firewall is a term that refers to any kind of system that's meant to act as a barrier between two networks. When it comes to cybersecurity, this usually refers to a hardware device or software program that's designed to protect a private network from outside users who might try to gain unauthorized access.

Firewalls can be used to filter incoming traffic and block anything that appears malicious, essentially acting as a barrier between your network and the rest of the internet. In many cases, they'll also be able to monitor outgoing traffic and prevent sensitive data from being leaked outside of the private network.

Why Firewalls are Important

In today's day and age, it's a sad reality that there are many threats and malicious actors lurking online waiting to take advantage of businesses who aren't prepared for them. Whether it's phishing emails, ransomware attacks, or an infiltration through one of your systems that allows hackers access to the entirety of your network, these kinds of breaches can result in huge losses and even put you out of business.

As such, firewalls have become an essential part of cybersecurity for businesses of all sizes. By protecting your network from unwanted traffic and malicious actors, you can help to ensure that your data and systems stay safe and secure.

Types of Firewalls

Now that you understand a bit about what firewalls are and why they're important, it's worth taking a look at some of the most common kinds of firewalls out there:

For more on firewalls and how they work, or to learn about any of our cybersecurity or other managed IT and IT consulting services, speak to the team at Onward Technology today.

There are certain modern technological services that are useful across a huge swath of industries or business types, and a great example here is the realm of Wi-Fi location analytics. Referring to programs that allow you to evaluate everything from foot traffic to other customer insights, Wi-Fi location analytics can be used for numerous businesses in varying different ways.

At Onward Technology, we're happy to offer the best Wi-Fi location analytics services available, helping you understand how your customers are interacting with your various digital products and properties. We track a huge range of metrics, including customer counts, foot traffic, dwell time, repeat customer percentage and more. There are several industries that provide great examples of how beneficial our services can be, and one of the most notable is the restaurant and food industry. How can Wi-Fi location analytics and similar services play a major role in improving restaurant business and efficiency? Here are several basic ways that will help you understand the value of this service in general, even if you're not a restaurant owner or manager.

Understanding What Drives Business

One major area where Wi-Fi location analytics is particularly useful is in understanding what drives business.

For many restaurants, the ideal scenario is to understand what customers are doing on their mobile devices when they're in-store. Are they interacting with your digital apps and properties? How long are they staying? Are there certain items that are of more interest to them than others? Wi-Fi location analytics is a great tool for answering these questions and many others, helping you improve your customer experience and understand how to guide them toward the items they're most interested in.

In addition, many restaurants will launch specific ad campaigns or other marketing initiatives, and Wi-Fi location analytics can help you understand the effectiveness of these campaigns. Are customers coming in as a result of your marketing? What sort of interactions are they having with your digital products? This data is invaluable in understanding how to adjust and improve your marketing strategy going forward.

Refining Your Marketing Campaigns

As we just touched on, one of the major benefits of Wi-Fi location analytics is the ability to understand and refine your marketing campaigns.

For example, let's say you're a restaurant that's running a ad campaign targeting potential customers who live within a certain radius of your location. With Wi-Fi location analytics, you can track how many people are coming in as a result of the campaign, what types of interactions they're having with your digital products, and even how long they're staying. This data is invaluable in understanding whether or not the campaign is effective, and if it's not, how to adjust it going forward.

In addition, Wi-Fi location analytics can help you understand which marketing channels are most effective for your business. Are customers coming in as a result of your online ads? Your social media campaigns? Your email marketing? By understanding which channels are driving the most business, you can focus your efforts on those channels and save time and money in the process.

Tracking and Understanding Return Visits

Return business is a huge factor for restaurants everywhere, and Wi-Fi location analytics is a great tool in helping to understand how repeat customers work. With this information, you can focus on creating marketing campaigns and other initiatives that will encourage people to return more often.

In addition, by understanding the way your customers are returning (are they coming back for the same thing each time? Are they coming back at certain times of day or week?), you can alter your products and services to better accommodate what customers are asking for.

Finding What Resonates With Your Target Audience

Target audiences work a bit differently for restaurants than for most other businesses, but they're a vital part of the process nonetheless. Wi-Fi location analytics is especially useful for understanding what resonates with your target audience.

For example, you can use this information to improve and refine your customer experience, making sure that you're catering to the needs of those who are visiting your restaurant most often or spending the most time there. By focusing on what's important to your target audience, you can create a better experience for everyone involved.

In addition, Wi-Fi location analytics can help you understand what types of marketing campaigns are most effective with your target audience. Are they responding well to online ads? Social media posts? Email newsletters? By understanding how your target audience prefers to be reached, you can focus your efforts on the marketing channels that are going to be most effective.

Tracking Dwell Time and Related Metrics

Restaurant owners care not only about how many people enter their establishment, but also about how long those people stay. This metric, known as "dwell time," is a key indicator of customer satisfaction and can be used to improve the overall experience for everyone involved.

In addition to dwell time, there are other related metrics that can be tracked with Wi-Fi location analytics. For example, you can see how often customers are coming back, what times of day they're visiting most often, and even which areas of the restaurant they're spending the most time in.

This information is invaluable in understanding what's working well and what needs to be improved. By tracking these metrics, you can make adjustments to improve the customer experience and encourage more return visits from your target audience.

As you can see, Wi-Fi location analytics can be a huge help to restaurants in many different areas of their business. From marketing campaigns to customer experience to dwell time and beyond, this powerful technology has the potential to give you valuable insights into how your customers interact with your restaurant and what you can do to improve both your on-site management and your advertising programs.

For more on the value of Wi-Fi location analytics for any business, or to learn about any of our managed IT solutions or related services, speak to the team at Onward Technology today.

In a number of fields that involve the outsourcing of outside vendors, including IT and tech support areas, the use of what's known as an SLA, or service-level agreement, is common. An SLA lays out all the expectations of the vendor, including any metrics that will define their performance, plus what will happen if these expectations are not met in the proper ways.

At Onward Technology, we're proud to offer a wide range of managed IT and support services to our clients throughout Utah, with programs provided to schools and numerous other organizations. We regularly utilize SLAs as part of our agreements with clients, ensuring you're protected and have legal documentation of our partnership. What are the elements of an SLA our clients should be aware of, and what are some common metrics often included in them? Here's a basic primer.

Common Elements of an SLA

Typically, there are four sections to a standard SLA:

Important Metrics to Monitor

As we noted above, an SLA will include certain metrics that help track the performance of the provider. Within the world of IT support and managed IT, here are some of the important metrics to consider including:

Simple But Specific

When determining the specific metrics and KPIs (key performance indicators) to include in an SLA, it's important to be as specific as possible -- without creating confusion regarding what you expect. For example, if you state "time-to-repair will always be less than four hours," what is the basis for that measurement? If we're tracking time from when a user calls in and then gets an answer on their support ticket, that's three different metrics: time to open a case, time to resolve a case, and time to first response.

The goal is always to link back specific SLA performance metrics to the areas of value they're creating within the business. Over time, you should be able to link back your SLAs to these specific benefits, making them invaluable for both you and your provider.

Provider Defines the SLA Process

The primary driver of whether your SLA process will be smooth and simple or perhaps more arduous: The vendor you're working with. A quality vendor with a good reputation and a long track record in the industry will allow for a nice, easy process, where you can work together to determine the metrics and KPIs most important to your business.

A provider that has little experience in the IT industry or doesn't have an understanding of what is specific to your organization may not be able to meet that need with ease. If you're experiencing troubles with your current SLA process, it's likely due to issues with the company or entity you're working with -- and you should consider upgrading.

For more on service-level agreements within the IT and tech support world, or to learn about any of our managed IT solutions, speak to the staff at Onward Technology today.

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