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The ACCENT Learning Hub

The IT Support Learning Hub

The most educational business technology blog for Southern California executives, featuring insider tips, articles, and videos on how to get the best IT results.

Courtney Casey

In an industry dominated by men, Courtney Casey, Director of Marketing for Accent Computer Solutions, Inc., is making her mark on the world of information technology. Courtney has been immersed in the IT field most of her life and has been molded into the tech savvy expert she is today. She began working for Accent while earning her Bachelor's degree from California State University, Long Beach. Known in the Inland Empire as the "Tech Girl," Courtney is a regular columnist for the region's newspaper of record, The Press-Enterprise. Her columns address topical news trends, new technology products, and offer advice on how to embrace technology or avoid common IT pitfalls.

Blog Feature

Cyber Security

5 Reasons to Use the NIST Cyber Security Framework

By: Courtney Casey
January 14th, 2020

If you manufacture one little part for a piece of military equipment for the US government, very soon - if not already -  you’re going to be required to verify that you’re compliant with the NIST Cyber Security Framework. It might not be surprising to learn that the government is tightening up cyber security throughout their supply chain, but organizations that aren’t part of a government supply chain are also adopting the framework. The reasons may be a little different for each organization but the outcome is similar - they become better managers of cyber risk.

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Cyber Security

NIST Guidelines Make Passwords Easier to Remember but Hard to Crack

By: Courtney Casey
January 6th, 2020

The lock on your front door isn’t going to keep intruders out unless you make a habit of using it. The same is true for the digital locks on your data and IT systems. Strong passwords continue to provide a solid defense against hackers, but password management guidelines within the NIST Cyber Security Framework have changed.

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Learn how to develop an IT strategy book chapter

Do IT Right: It's Not About The Computers

Optimize your business's IT function, understand proper - and cost effective - IT staffing, and learn from the mistakes others have made.

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Business Planning | Better IT Results | Tech Tips & Trends

Top 10 Tips to Select the Best IT Support Company

By: Courtney Casey
December 18th, 2019

You’re gearing up to pick the best outsourced IT company for your business, excited about the potential benefits!  But you aren’t 100% sure how to pick the best managed IT services provider. Or maybe you’ve narrowed it down, but now you’re stuck in a dead tie. Accent Computer Solutions, Inc. has been helping companies develop their best IT strategy for over 30 years. A topic that frequently comes up is, “How can I compare IT support companies? What criteria should I evaluate?”   Since we talk about it often, we’ve compiled a list to help narrow down your search for the right IT support!

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Cyber Security | Tech Girl

Your IT Support Provider's Role in Regulatory Compliance

By: Courtney Casey
December 16th, 2019

These days, more and more companies are being required to comply with regulations for security, even if they're not in a regulated industry. Specifications for NIST compliance, to name one, are flowing down the supply chain and in order to continue to do business with your customers, you may be required to prove compliance with their security standards.

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IT Support FAQs | Business Planning | Better IT Results

Warning: 3 Signs That Outsourcing IT Support is a MUST

By: Courtney Casey
December 9th, 2019

Just like when you out grow your favorite pair of shoes as a child, you’ll reach a point in your company’s lifecycle where IT outsourcing becomes a must. Sometimes the tell-tale signs are hard to identify but for companies with 30-500 employees, the warning signs are evident.

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IT Costs | Tech Girl

Can IT Support Contract Costs Be Reduced?

By: Courtney Casey
December 4th, 2019

Every business wants to reduce its costs. Over the years, I’ve talked to hundreds of Southern California business executives and many of them are concerned about what they’re paying for IT Support Agreements. The conversation goes in one of two directions: either their provider is doing a good job, so they feel like it must be easy, or they aren’t doing a good job and the executive feels like they’re paying a lot for little gain. If you’re happy with your current IT services vendor but it seems like your costs are going up, it’s natural to evaluate where your money is going, and to look for ways to bring expenses down. Is there a way to reduce IT support contract, or IT services agreement, costs? Here are a few things to dig into to answer that question.

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IT Support FAQs | Business Planning | Better IT Results | IT Untangled

IT Untangled: A Small Business's Guide to Outsourced IT Support

By: Courtney Casey
December 2nd, 2019

You’ve probably heard the term “managed services.” You might have wondered what it meant and if it had anything to do with your small business. You’ve also probably heard the term outsourcing. Those words are often used interchangeably. In a nutshell, outsourcing or managed services, means that a third-party acts as your IT department. Or in some cases, supplements your current in-house IT department. Do you have an IT department? Is your in-house IT team limited on time, resources, or ability?  It might be time to check out what outsourcing can do for you.

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IT Support FAQs | Business Planning | Better IT Results

How to Switch IT Support Companies As Smoothly As Possible

By: Courtney Casey
November 25th, 2019

Let’s just be honest, switching vendors for almost any reason can be a distraction and a time snatcher. But sometimes it’s the right move for your company long term. Changing IT vendors doesn’t have to be that hard if it’s planned out in advance. Perhaps your contract is up, or you’re not getting what you need from your current arrangement. Either way, moving to a new IT provider should be about adding value to your company. But value can be lost in transition if your processes, needs, and expectations are not planned and communicated beforehand. The transition might be the hardest part of your new IT services contract, but it doesn’t have to be.

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IT Support FAQs

Benefits and Advantages of IT Outsourcing: Why Would A Business Outsource Their IT Support?

By: Courtney Casey
November 20th, 2019

When someone starts exploring the idea of IT department outsourcing, they generally want to figure out why they would outsource your IT support, what IT services can be outsourced, and the advantages of outsourcing IT technical support.

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IT Support FAQs | Technology Planning | Better IT Results | Tech Girl

Types of Outsourced IT Support Services: Which Model is Best for Your Business?

By: Courtney Casey
November 18th, 2019

Whether your company has 15 employees or 50,000, it is imperative that your technology consistently works how it’s supposed to. You need a clear vision of where technology is going in your business, and you need to get rid of roadblocks that are holding the company back from achieving its goals.

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