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The ACCENT Learning Hub

The IT Services & Cyber Security Education Center

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

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Tech Girl | IT Management

10 Most Common Technology Problems for Small Businesses [Updated for 2022]

By: Courtney Casey
March 25th, 2022

Information technology is critical to operations for most companies and has the power to catapult growth when utilized effectively. Conversely, powerful business tools can quickly become frustrating and expensive roadblocks to achieving business objectives if things aren’t going well with IT. Through extensive conversations with many executives about their IT situations, some common themes have emerged. These are the top 10 most common IT problems that small and middle-market businesses face.

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Tech Girl

IT Department Staffing: What to Do When Your IT Manager Retires

By: Courtney Casey
December 7th, 2021

You've had an information technology (IT) manager on staff for the last 15 years, and they just told you that they're retiring. They know your business and your systems intimately – they might have even built them! So, how will you fill their shoes? How will you get what you need when they're gone? The good news: Retiring employees generally give you ample notice. This gives you the opportunity to fully assess the situation and plan for a smooth transition. When employees leave voluntarily, and you part ways amicably, transferring the knowledge to a new person or company should be much easier.

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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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Tech Girl | Business Continuity

How to Keep Your Data Safe & Business Running During California's Fire Season: 5 Questions to Ask

By: Courtney Casey
May 17th, 2021

It’s that time of year in California. Dry brush and Santa Ana winds put thousands of lives, homes, and businesses at risk. The devastating fires in recent years remind us that wildfires can start any time and they make quick work of any area, destroying everything in their path. I certainly hope you’re never affected. But if it happens, are you prepared? You’ve worked hard to build your business. Let’s protect it. Now’s the time to check your disaster recovery and business continuity plans.

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Technology Planning | Tech Girl

Windows 7 End-of-Life Has Come and Gone: The Risks of Using an Unsupported Operating System

By: Courtney Casey
May 6th, 2021

January 14, 2020 marked the end of support for one of the most popular operating systems for businesses – Windows 7. It was released in 2009 and has served us well, but the end is here and it’s time to make your transition.

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Cyber Security | Tech Girl

5 Simple Cyber Security Tips Every Business Can Implement to Be More Secure Today

By: Courtney Casey
October 9th, 2020

As a business owner or executive, you’re probably investing in some high-tech IT security measures to keep your company’s data safe and out of the wrong hands. What about the simple, low-tech cyber security steps? Unfortunately, sometimes people overlook the simple things they can do to mitigate the risk of someone getting hold of something that they shouldn’t.

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Tech Girl

How to Pick a New Business Phone System

By: Courtney Casey
August 11th, 2020

When you sent your employees home to work because of COVID-19, you probably found out just how flexible or inflexible your phone system could be. The experience either helped you to keep communications going or caused frustration for employees and customers alike. Having a reliable, stable phone system can provide a competitive advantage and can be critical to your business’ operations. Because modern phone systems can be integrated into so many other technology tools that your people are using, phones aren’t just what you use to talk to somebody. If fact, they can actually enable the kind of communications that help people work together.

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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 Cost Management | 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 | Technology Planning | 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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Cyber Security | Tech Girl

Should Business Owners Phish Their Employees?

By: Courtney Casey
October 16th, 2019

We’re living in a time where cybercrime and ransomware attacks are announced like the next big box office hit. They’re making an impact worldwide, and it’s causing many businesses to suffer downtime, loss of business, and increased costs to recover from attacks. One of the most common types of scams affecting businesses is referred to as phishing. Phishing attacks are generally emails that entice users to perform an action, like clicking a link to an infected webpage, opening a malicious attachment, or even wiring money.

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