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What Is Managed IT Services

Managed IT services allow businesses to delegate their IT operations to an expert third-party organization that specializes in handling these responsibilities. These third-party organizations, known as Managed Service Providers (MSPs), are responsible for the entirety or portions of a business’ IT systems, as agreed upon in a Service Level Agreement (SLA). IT equipment is typically procured by the client, and depending on the SLA, Managed Service Providers may provide round-the-clock monitoring, issue resolution and reporting, and more.

According to the SLA, managed service providers charge a flat fee for delivery of their services over a set period of time. The SLA defines exactly what services will be furnished and the degree they will be offered, as well as metrics for measuring the success of these services.

Cloud computing has allowed managed IT services to expand beyond the regions and borders that would constrain the average break/fix IT through the adoption of Software as a Service (SaaS) technologies, as well as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service(PaaS) also. These capabilities allow managed IT services to scale at a rate dramatically larger and faster than in-house IT operation or break/fix providers.

Key Terms & Definitions

Agent—a small program used by MSPs to remotely gather information about the status of machines and devices. Once installed, it allows MSPs to manage systems, update programs, and resolve issues.

Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR)—a combination of data backup and disaster-recovery solutions that works cohesively to ensure an organization’s critical business functions will continue to operate despite serious incidents or disasters that might otherwise have interrupted them, or will be recovered to an operational state within a reasonably short period.

Break/Fix—an older style for delivering IT services and repairs to organizations in a fee-for-service framework. Essentially, a client contacts a break/fix technician to request upgrades, maintenance, or to resolve issues, and the technician bills the customer upon completion of the work.

Fully Managed IT Services—Managed IT services that are coupled with a Network Operations Center to proactively monitor systems, resolve issues and perform work with a level of expertise and efficiency unparalleled to other solutions.

Help Desk—a managed IT service offering that provides information and technical support to end users. Some MSPs white label their Help Desk services for the client SMB.

Information Technology (IT)—an enterprise solution for storing, transmitting, creating, and using data through computing devices, networks and telecommunications.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)—an MSP offering to SMBs; virtualized hardware over a cloud computing environment such as server space, network connections, IP addresses, load balancers, and other computer infrastructure with which clients can build their own platforms.

Internet of Things—the emergent network of tangible objects and products that contain software, sensors, and connectivity to the Internet and/or private networks and can exchange information based on standards set forth by the International Telecommunication Union’s Global Standards Initiative.

In House—the process where an organization hires its own IT service providers and pays their salary, benefits, and further training, as well as the infrastructure they oversee. This is typically an extremely costly endeavor, and often businesses that try to procure in-house IT lack the capabilities to fully service their system as well as an inability to grow.

IT Channel—an industry-exclusive marketplace where VARs, MSPs, and OEMs provide platforms, products and services to end users by partnering with hardware and software vendors.

Labor Arbitrage—the phenomenon of decreasing end costs by utilizing the abundant labor forces, education, and training of untapped global workforces.

Managed IT Services—IT tasks and processes that are fulfilled by a third-party organization.

Managed Services Provider (MSP)—An IT professional (or IT organization) that offers managed IT services.

Mobile Device Management (MDM)—a security platform used to monitor, manage, and secure employees’ mobile devices (laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc.) that are deployed across multiple mobile service providers and across multiple mobile operating systems being used in an organization.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)—a virtualized platform within a cloud environment that allows end users to develop and manage Internet applications that would otherwise require a complex infrastructure to launch apps.

Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM)—a platform utilizing a collection of services and tools that can monitor, manage and deploy solutions to servers and endpoint devices utilizing agent software installed on endpoint systems.

Service-level agreement (SLA)—Essentially, a contract between a vendor and a client that specifies what the vendor will furnish, the timeframe in which it will be furnished, and the criteria for measuring vendor success.

Small and Medium-Sized Business (SMB)—On average, a business or organization that has 100 or fewer employees is considered small; 100-999 employees is medium sized. IT channel partners often seeks SMB organizations as clients.

Software as a Service (SaaS)—sometimes referred to as “software on demand,” SaaS is a licensing and distribution model that utilizes a subscription basis for access to software that is centrally hosted by its provider and accessed by end users via a client.

Value-Added Reseller (VAR)—an organization that adds services or features to a product, then resells it as a new product or solution.

At the outset of enterprise computing, information technology services and management was on a break/fix basis, meaning that computer systems were only managed by an expert when they did not work, necessitating a technician to fix it. This technician may also have been the person who built and/or installed the computer system, due to the proliferation of small IT shops that specialized in this small-scale client services at the time.

However, as time progressed computer manufacturing grew to large scale, leaving the small IT dealer to focus less on manufacturing and more on break/fix. This system was time consuming, labor intensive, costly and reactive. It did not allow the technician room to grow their business or take on new clients without massive investments in labor and infrastructure.

As computing devices increased yearly, the divide between
break/fix technicans and the amount of computers they could reasonably service under the break/fix model grew wider and wider. Managed IT services emerged in the early years of the millennium to meet this need, shifting far from the break/fix model.

Managed IT services heralded a proactive approach to IT, attempting to conduct maintenance, upgrades, system monitoring and issue resolution on a routine basis, with the goal of preventing problems before they started. Automation, increased Internet capabilities and cloud computing allowed for monitoring and issue resolution to be provided remotely, enabling more efficient processes and a consolidation of resources.

Efficiency, consolidated resources and client satisfaction, coupled with fixed rates, the ability to offer greater service offerings and take on a larger clientele led to managed IT services becoming the industry-standard approach to managing computer systems large and small for SMBs.

The Managed IT Services Model

MSPs utilize a broad range of IT expertise to resolve issues efficiently. Unlike break/fix providers, MSPs can employ the latest processes and software to proactively monitor endpoints, keeping systems up-to-date and preventing issues before they arise. Managed IT services are also available 24x7x365, allowing end users to take nights and weekends off while the MSPs do the heavy lifting on tasks and processes done after hours.

MSP services are typically offered at a flat recurring rate in tiered levels, offering a greater level of automation and a higher degree of management at higher levels based on the specified service level agreement. End users only pay for the services they require, and can increase or decrease their tier based on business needs and demand.

As with other necessary business functions like utilities, the end user pays for services provided offsite, such as remote monitoring and management, help desk solutions, backup and disaster recovery, and more. Managed IT services thus become essential operating expenses to maintain core functionality, rather than additional expenses applied during exceptional issue resolutions with break/fix models. MSPs enable their end users to run their businesses more smoothly and more efficiently than they would otherwise. Additionally, they offer SaaS-based solutions at a price that can’t be achieved with in-house options.

However, managed IT services do not necessarily make the enterprise IT professional obsolete; for the end user, an IT professional can act as an endpoint liaison that manages the relationship, provides feedback and analyzes the reports provided by the MSP. Because the majority of routine work is being completed by the MSP, the IT professional is capable of greater efficiency and has the flexibility to tackle larger, more complex projects they would otherwise not have the time or capacity to take on.

Benefits of Managed IT Services

Through outsourcing managed IT services, SMBs are able to reap the benefits of receiving IT support at a significantly reduced cost in comparison to creating a comparable team in-house. Additionally, MSPs can also offer a wealth of experience from actively managing multiple client accounts that in-house teams would not collectively have.

Additionally, by using an MSP organizations are able to forecast their monthly, quarterly, and yearly expenditure on IT, and are freed from having to focus on this area of operational readiness. This allows SMBs to focus on growing their business without worrying about day-to-day IT issues or requirements.

Another benefit to managed IT services is a greater opportunity for security expertise and successfully enacted security policies. MSPs work with standards such as PCI compliance day in, day out, and should be able to steer your organization within the parameters and regulations it needs to adhere to. For some organizations, especially in finance, healthcare, educations, and other industries, this type of regulatory compliance is mandatory for the IT portion of their business, and requires the expertise and experience that a managed service provider can offer. MSPs can mitigate risk in this way while assuring that the experts in charge of your IT operations are always up to date on the latest information, technologies and processes that will keep your infrastructure working efficiently and successfully into the future.


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Website design is more than just the way colors, fonts and elements are arranged on a page; it impacts how visitors perceive your brand and your business. A powerful online presence builds trust with your audience and gives you the opportunity to distinguish your site from everyone else’s. 

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Your Wix website is mobile optimized to look great on the go. Customize it further with the intuitive mobile editor and make your site look and perform exactly how you want.

Discover the Tools You Can Use to Design a Website

Whether it’s your first time creating a site or you’re an experienced web designer, you’ll find the features and solutions you need to build your website with true creative freedom. Wix’s intuitive technology makes it possible for everyone to create a powerful web presence. 


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Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) uses the power of artificial intelligence to design a one-of-a-kind website just for you. Answer a few questions and get a fully customizable site you’ll love, complete with images, text and the business solutions you want. With hundreds of design themes to choose from, you can easily change the look of your site whenever you want. 

Start from scratch or choose a designer-made template. With Wix’s intuitive drag and drop editor, you can design and customize your site exactly the way you want. Advanced web design features like animation, hover boxes, scroll effects and video backgrounds bring your site to life.

With Corvid by Wix, you can build advanced web applications using serverless computing and hassle-free coding with our open development platform. Make your site more engaging by adding custom interactions to your page elements. Set up databases and build dynamic pages and repeating layouts that showcase your content. 

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Once you design your Wix site, it’s hosted for free as soon as you click publish. You can get up to 20GB of cloud storage and unlimited bandwidth for your site. More storage means more space for the images, videos and music files that bring your beautifully designed website to life.

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Create and share captivating social media posts, make impressive promotional videos and send eye-catching email marketing campaigns designed to bring customers to your site. All of these professional features are available with your Wix website.

The Importance of Web Design

When visitors reach your website, it’s only the beginning. Determining how they will interact with it is just as important as making your site look beautiful. A functional website gives visitors a positive perception of your brand and impacts how your site will rank in terms of SEO (search engine optimization). Designing your website with user experience in mind has a noticeable impact on how you rank in search engines like Google.

Website Design Essentials That Impact SEO:

Readable Text 

Choose font families, colors and sizes that are pleasing to the eye and easy to read. For example, light backgrounds call for dark colored lettering and vice versa. If the text on your pages is easy to read, it will translate to a better user experience which helps your site rank higher. 

Easy Navigation

In terms of user experience, your website’s design and navigation should be intuitive. Straightforward navigation makes it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for and for search engines to crawl your pages. This can have a noticeable impact on your site’s ability to rank well. 

Appealing Color Scheme 

Select a color scheme that evokes the type of emotion you want your visitors to feel when they come to your site. For example, blue evokes a feeling of trustworthiness and professionalism. Reds are tied to excitement, youth and joy. When your site looks beautiful, it attracts more visitors who stay on your site longer, leading to improved SEO.

Above the Fold Content

When it comes to web design, the portion of the page visible

to a user before they start scrolling is considered abov
e the fold. Keep the essentials in sight to gives your audience the information they need before they start scrolling. This way, they know exactly what to do on your site. Making your menu, logo and CTA immediately obvious to visitors leads to a better navigation experience, more engagement and improved SEO.  

Wix templates were created by professional designers to ensure that the SEO essentials are all in place, putting you one step closer to ranking higher in search engines.

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Get Inspired by These Beautiful Websites Designed with Wix

Browse through these impressive examples and get inspired by the unique ways you can unleash your creativity.

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IT Consulting Firms IT Consulting Services




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As one of the leading information technology consulting firms, Dataprise delivers tailored IT consultancy services and business IT support to organizations of any size. With Dataprise as your partner, we can help lead your organization forward with highly effective IT strategies and implement innovative solutions with our IT consultancy services.

IT Consulting Services Free Up Valuable Time for Your Business

Like many of our customers, information technology is probably not your core business. Trying to solve all your IT challenges internally can become costly and distracting while other aspects of your business could suffer. Leveraging knowledgeable IT consulting firms like Dataprise helps your business remain secure and efficient without taking up valuable work time. As one of the top IT consulting firms, Dataprise empowers your business to start winning at IT.

IT Assessments

Our information technology assessments help you gain a better understanding of your IT environment to support your key business goals and objectives. LEARN MORE >

IT Strategy and Planning

Our dedicated team of technical experts work with you to develop an IT strategy to ensure your technology decisions meet your business needs. LEARN MORE >

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and Disaster Recovery

We help you devise a business continuity plan to keep your critical systems and processes safe while providing you with peace of mind. LEARN MORE >

Governance, Risk,
and Compliance

We work with you to assess, plan, implement, and manage IT frameworks for a successful alignment of infrastructure and organizational strategy. LEARN MORE >

Leverage Our Custom-Tailored IT Consultancy Services

Our information technology consulting firm delivers custom IT consultancy services covering a variety of business technology strategies. Unlike many other IT consulting firms, our team provides strategic guidance on a variety of topics, including cloud strategy, IT budget planning, risk management, disaster recovery planning, business continuity planning, IT assessment, stratetgic planning, and communications and carrier services. Please contact us if you have interest in any IT consulting services or other topics not listed here.

Want to learn more about how our IT consulting services can help you meet your business goals?


All IT consulting services are delivered by the experts on our Professional Services team. Learn more about how our methodology and benefits of working with the Dataprise Professional Services Organization.


If you’re looking for more information on our IT consulting services, explore our frequently asked questions.

Dataprise offers assessment, analysis, and planning services at the strategic layer of an organization. Our strategic IT services can help your IT program support your business objectives. Dataprise’s IT experts and virtual CIOs (vCIO) deliver these services to help augment a skill or experience gap within our client’s organizations.

Dataprise utilizes industry standard frameworks (e.g., ITIL, PMBOK, COBIT, TOGAF) and best practices to deliver these service that are appropriate for the need and scalable based on client requirements.

Unlike some other IT consulting companies, Dataprise IT experts and vCIOs work with your business to identify key issues and future endeavors, which are then assessed and analyzed to help you achieve your business goals. We present strategy and planning (e.g., a strategic technology roadmap), which examines technologies, both current legacy and newer options, and assesses the best options for your organization. We then implement the roadmap based on business priority that clearly defines where investments should be made as well as the best path forward.

Dataprise delivers Strategic Consulting services through either discrete point solution engagements or in an ongoing capacity to provide consistent and deeper integration between IT infrastructure and the business. Commonly, these services evolve from single projects to an ongoing service after the benefits from the initial engagement are seen. All vCIO and Strategic Consulting engagements are delivered through our Professional Services team.

Have a different question or want to learn more about our IT consulting offerings?

Contact us to speak to one of our certified, strategic IT experts.

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IT Consulting: 5 Ways a vCIO Can Boost Your Business’ Success

There is a concept in IT management that delivers efficient and proactive IT strategy which has led many companies to consider outsourcing technology needs to a greater degree: the virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO). Learn more about how our vCIOs can help your business succeed in our blog article.

Dataprise offers expert, affordable IT consulting services to help you achieve your short- and long-term IT objectives. While many IT consulting firms offer IT consultancy services, our team delivers the most comprehensive managed IT services to organizations of all sizes, offering enterprise solutions and small business IT services support. With over two decades of experience helping thousands of customers, and as one of the top IT consulting firms in the nation, we are ready to tackle your IT strategy or special projects with a custom solution your business needs designed specifically to achieve your business objectives.

Win at IT with Our IT Consulting Firm

Does your business need more support than our industry-leading IT consulting services? Our Support365® managed IT services consist of four distinct parts designed to work together seamlessly as one integrated solution. Whether you need a help desk outsourcing solution or remote network monitoring, our expert IT consulting firm is here to assist. Let Dataprise help your business grow through our industry-leading IT consultancy services.

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IT should enable your business to grow, not slow it down. As one of the top managed IT support services providers, Dataprise helps you gain and maintain an unfair competitive advantage by managing the technology essential to the success of your business. Our Managed IT services are tailored to meet your needs, from managing your employee endpoints to fully managing your complex IT infrastructure. Let Dataprise provide you with industry-leading IT management services.

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    IT Management & Support

    Whether you are a small business or a large enterprise, your network and IT infrastructure serves as the backbone of your entire business operations. Its health and well-being are critical to your business strategy, growth, and success. This is why managed IT services are one of the most important factors in business development. Our managed IT services provide you with end-to-end IT management services and support for all covered technologies (e.g., computers, laptops, tablets, BYOD devices, servers, printers, network devices, cloud technologies), so you can stay on top of your game building a competitive advantage in your marketplace. With every Support365® plan, you receive a team of highly-experienced, certified network consultants, subject matter experts, account management specialists, and 24×7 access to our IT help desk services. Also included with our Support365® managed IT support services is our myHelpDesk mobile app, providing you with on-the-go, direct access to our U.S. based Help and Support Desk to resolve your technical issues quickly and efficiently.

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    Cloud Services

    The cloud is everywhere today, and Dataprise is here to help your business succeed with industry-leading managed IT services. If you’re ready to accelerate your business growth with cloud services, our team of certified professionals can guide you towards success with the right cloud solution that works best for your business. From design, selection, implementation, and support, we do it all. Dataprise Managed Cloud Services include: cloud advisor, cloud builder, cloud provider, and cloud manager. Leverage the power of the cloud with Dataprise serving as your cloud solution provider.

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    Information Security

    Information Security is as critical to your organization as any other business function, and is an essential component of managed IT services. We focus on protecting your business through our Dataprise Cyber Information Security Services to give you peace of mind that your data is always secure. Our solutions include a wide-range of services, including managed anti-virus, anti-spam, and anti-malware, advanced email recovery services, 24x7x365 real-time security monitoring, and end-user security awareness training. Enhance your organization’s security with Dataprise’s managed IT support services.

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    Each organization has unique business needs so it’s important to choose IT consulting firms that can work best with your current infrastructure. Through ongoing strategic IT consulting, we can provide unparalleled expertise focused on taking your organization to the next level. At Dataprise, we collaborate with your organization and provide strategic guidance on a variety of topics, including cloud strategy, IT budget planning, risk management, IT security, business workflow analysis, business continuity planning, compliance testing, IT assessment, and strategic planning.

    Are you getting the most out of IT?

    Figure IT out with our FREE Environment Assessment

    Gain a deeper understanding of your IT environment by understanding your network, overall IT condition, and key strengths and opportunities to gain a competitive advantage.

    Our Support365® managed IT services scale to meet the needs of your growing business. Our end-to-end IT management services include expert-level Strategic Consulting, on-site or remote IT Management services, 24×7 remote Help Desk support, Cloud-based tools and technologies, and Information Security solutions. Let Dataprise help your business grow through our industry-leading managed IT support services. Have questions? Check out our FAQs page to learn more about Support365®

    Predictable Costs for IT Management Services
    A simple, firm-fixed managed IT services pricing agreement, with no term commitment required.

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    Flexibility to Scale Up or Down
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    A Suite of Must-Have Cloud Tools
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    Unlimited 24x7x365 Support
    Receive access to our IT help desk staffed with certified professionals whenever you need it as part of our comprehensive managed IT services. Guaranteed.

    Access to 300+ Certified Technology Pros
    Gain access to a deep bench of certified engineers, subject matter experts, and support staff skilled in nearly every business technology on the market today.

    Focus Resources on Your Business

    Creating and maintaining internal technology can be a daunting task, requiring a lot of time and money with
    out access to managed IT support services. Spend those resources instead on focusing what your business does best, not worrying about IT.

    Easily Scale with Growth

    As your business grows, your need for managed IT Support services grows with you. Partnering with us means more flexibility and scalability to meet your IT needs.

    Align Technology with Strategic Goals

    No matter what your company goals are, IT can either support them or become a burden. We can help you achieve success by aligning your business objectives with our IT management services.

    Dataprise VP of Solutions and Strategy Answers: “What is the #1 thing people should look for when choosing a Managed Service Provider?


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    What Is Information Technology A Beginners Guide to the World

    tech professional standing in server room

    For many people, information technology (IT) is basically synonymous with the guys and gals you call when you need help with a computer issue. While that view of information technology isn’t totally wrong, it drastically understates the scope of this critical career field.

    If you’re looking to get a better handle on what information technology is and the many facets of this field, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve done the digging for you and spoke with IT industry pros to create this helpful beginner’s guide to the field.

    What is information technology and what does it encompass?

    The most basic information technology definition is that it’s the application of technology to solve business or organizational problems on a broad scale. No matter the role, a member of an IT department works with others to solve technology problems, both big and small.

    There are three primary pillars of responsibility for an IT department:

    1. IT governance: This refers to the combination of policies and processes that ensure IT systems are effectively run and in alignment with the organization’s needs.
    2. IT operations: This is a catchall category for the daily work of an IT department. This includes providing tech support, network maintenance, security testing and device management duties.
    3. Hardware and infrastructure: This focus area refers to all the physical components of IT infrastructure. This pillar of IT includes the setup and maintenance of equipment like routers, servers, phone systems and individual devices like laptops.

    Even though an organization’s IT department handles many different functions and plays a critical role in keeping things running, Andrey Prokopchuk, head of IT at Belitsoft, says the perfect IT department is the one you aren’t even aware of. This means that they are able to automate and create processes for many of their daily tasks, so that the business continues to run smoothly. The ideal IT department is also aligned with the business’s goals and transparent in its processes in a way that the rest of the business can understand and provide input on.

    Why is information technology important?

    Simply put, the work of most organizations would slow to a crawl without functioning IT systems. You’d be hard-pressed to find a business that doesn’t at least partially rely on computers and the networks that connect them. Maintaining a standard level of service, security and connectivity is a huge task, but it’s not the only priority or potential challenge on their plates.

    More and more companies want to implement more intuitive and sophisticated solutions. “IT can provide the edge a company needs to outsmart, outpace and out-deliver competitors,” says Edward Kiledjian, a Chief Information Security Officer and technology blogger. Let’s take a look at the needs that current and future IT specialists will be working on:

    • Data overload: Businesses need to process huge amounts of data. This requires large amounts of processing power, sophisticated software and human analytical skills.
    • Mobile and wireless usages: More employers are offering remote work options that require smartphones, tablets and laptops with wireless hotspots and roaming ability.
    • Cloud services: Most businesses no longer operate their own “server farms” to store massive amounts of data. Many businesses now work with cloud services—third-party hosting platforms that maintain that data.
    • Bandwidth for video hosting: Videoconferencing solutions have become more and more popular, so more network bandwidth is needed to support them sufficiently.

    Based on the volume of these needs, you probably won’t be too surprised to learn that employment of computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.*

    Hardware vs. software

    You know that working with hardware and software is a large part of an IT department’s work, but what counts as hardware? And what’s software? Let’s break down this important distinction.

    Hardware includes all the physical parts of a computer system. This includes hardware installed inside the computer like the motherboard, central processing unit and hard drive. Hardware also describes components that can be connected to the outside of a computer like a keyboard, mouse and printer. Keep in mind though that some tablets and smaller laptops integrate items like a keyboard and a mouse within the device. Basically, hardware is any part, component or device related to computers and their networks that you can physically touch and manipulate.

    Unlike hardware, software is not something you can physically change. Software encompasses all the data, application and programs stored electronically, like an operating system or a video-editing tool.

    So how does this distinction apply to an IT career? Nearly every IT job requires a blend of hardware and software-based know-how. Some IT workers may spend more time working with configuring hardware components, but those components are also governed by software. Additionally, IT professionals are responsible for deploying and setting up software applications for users.

    IT career opportunities

    Now that you know the general responsibilities of an IT department, you may be wondering what the individual roles within are. Here are some of the positions that you’ll find in many IT departments:

    • Computer support specialists work on the front lines troubleshooting any technology issues including software issues, computer crashes and hardware trouble. These specialists may also assist senior-level IT members with larger-scale network issues.
    • Network systems administrators focus on the big picture of the network system, security and performance.
    • Computer systems analysts work behind the scenes to marry IT with smart business solutions. They usually specialize in a particular industry while working for a technology firm or work directly in an industry, like finance or government.
    • Information security analysts are responsible for the security of an organization’s computer networks, conducting tests and developing company-wide best security practices.

    Keep in mind that some of these roles will change depending on the size and scope of the company. In smaller companies, most of your daily work may revolve around relatively mundane things like troubleshooting printers, but on the other hand, you may be required to be more of a jack-of-all-trades with broader knowledge. With large firms, IT employees have a more diverse array of potential focus areas—some may work upward into management and strategic planning roles, while others may pursue specialized areas like cybersecurity.

    What characteristics are employers looking for in IT candidates?

    Candidates who are best suited for IT work are those who have strong communication skills. From helping executives develop sophisticated technological solutions to troubleshooting a network issue, those in information technology need to have a level of empathy that allows them to see exactly what a client or co-worker is dealing with and calmly help them achieve their goal or solve a problem.

    This may mean breaking down a large problem or an end goal into multiple steps so that the stakeholder can see exactly what it will take to accomplish it. Taking time to define and explain what’s needed can help an IT department better manage stakeholders’ expectations
    and maximize the department’s hours in the best way possible, according to Keri Peterson, IT business analyst and project manager at University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Many businesses want to use technology as a means to an end, and a competent IT department can help them get there.

    A positive attitude and passion for technology can help an IT employee succeed and advance. Jack Bedell-Pearce, managing director of 4D Data Centres, says that the combination of these traits will foster greater responsibilities. Plus, this passion for technology will make staying up to date on the latest technology and advancements—another must for the IT professional—much easier and enjoyable.

    Are you a fit for an IT career?

    Now that you’ve got a better handle on the basics of what information technology is and the important nature of the field, you might be wondering whether a tech career is the right fit for you. Our article, “8 Signs You’re Wired to Major in Technology,” lays out some of the telltale indicators you’d do well in a Technology-related degree program.

    *Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [information accessed November 5, 2018] Information represents national, averaged data for the occupations listed and include workers at all levels of education and experience. Employment conditions in your area may vary.


    Top 15 Common Computer Problems That Get Under Your Skin

    Read Time: 7 minutes

    If you’ve ever worked with a computer before — and who hasn’t? — then you already know a relationship with them is tumultuous. When everything is in working order, the experience is great. But when there are technical difficulties, things can get frustrating and sometimes even overbearing. Even something that seems simple, like a freeze or hang-up, can indicate serious problems, which means fixing them can be trying. It makes sense, then, that an entire industry has arisen behind troubleshooting and technical support. But believe it or not, third-party help is often not necessary. A lot of the common computer problems you might run into can be fixed easily, by you.

    Blue Screen | Missing DLL Files | Slow Applications | Malware | Connectivity Issues | Hard Drive Failure | Frozen Screen | Noises | Overheating | Install Issues | Sudden Shut Off or Restart | Peripherals | RAM Unitilzation | Crashes | No Images

    Here are the top 15 most common computer problems that can really get under your skin! TLDR? Watch this video on the top 10 common computer problems if you’re running short on time!

    Top 10 Common Computer Problems That Get Under Your Skin

    Top 15 Common Computer Problems That Get Under Your Skin [Part 1]
    Watch this video on YouTube

    1. The Blue Screen of Death

    The “Blue Screen of Death” is a Microsoft Windows-related STOP error. Usually, it indicates a serious problem, most likely hardware- or driver-related.

    It’s often accompanied by an error code that you can reference to find out what happened. In fact, many places offer a list of these error codes for you to look up.

    2. Missing DLL Files

    Another standard system issue — again, with Windows-based operating systems — is a DLL error. This means a DLL file is either missing or corrupt. Files ending with “.DLL” are dynamic link library files.

    They hold many codes, procedures, and instructions for programs. They exist to tell the OS how to deal with certain apps. Several programs can also open them at once, improving memory conversion.

    These are necessary system files, and when they’re missing or corrupt, bad things happen. This is unfortunate, and common because there are so many of them.

    3. Applications Running Slowly

    When applications slow down or hang, it could be due to any number of causes. But the most common relates to processing power and memory.

    Computer memory — or random access memory — is used to store data temporarily while programs are running. The recommended amount for Windows users is 2GB or more, but a higher number is ideal. In fact, the more memory you have, the more programs you can run concurrently.

    RAM doesn’t necessarily speed up a computer, but it can make applications and programs run better. So, yes, it’s commonly associated with performance and speed.

    4. Malware

    Malware is a type of software that can damage or disable computers and related systems. It has to be installed on a computer before it can cause problems. However, this can happen much more quickly than you think.

    For example, just downloading a file from a website could result in malware on your computer. Once opened, it can damage files, and it can even slow down your computer by using up valuable resources.

    5. Internet or Network Connectivity Issues

    Internet or network connectivity issues can stem from many problems. First, there could be something wrong with your ISP, or internet service provider. Then, there are DNS servers you must connect to, which can also encounter issues. Finally, there’s your local hardware, which includes your router, computer and network software.

    Luckily, Windows has a troubleshooting tool that can help identify network connection issues.

    6. Hard Drive Failure

    A hard drive failure can lead to serious problems. The good news is that hard drives are easily replaceable. The bad news is that the data stored on said hard drive can become corrupt or lost forever.

    This isn’t a big deal if you’re talking about program files that can be easily recovered. But when it comes to personal documents, photos, and important data it’s a huge problem. This is all data you can’t easily duplicate.

    It’s recommended that you keep backups of your most important files. A hard drive can fail at any time, and it can happen with both old and new drives. Worse yet, failure rates differ depending on the type, capacity, and brand of a drive.

    Translation: You never know when a hard drive failure will happen, so preparation is essential.



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    7. Frozen Screen

    During a severe failure — usually related to hardware — a computer can freeze or lock up. But this can also happen due to software problems, too, so never rule it out.

    Most of the time, you can remedy this by opening the Windows task manager and force-closing the problematic application. Other times, the computer will lock up completely, and the only way to fix it is to reboot the machine.

    8. Strange Noises

    Computers are never silent. At any given time, multiple functions take place that can cause noise. Mechanical hard drives and optical disk drives, for instance, make a distinct noise when powering up and when they’re in use. Cooling fans can also make noise as they spin. Graphics cards or GPUS also have a fan that turns as they heat up.

    Many of these components can make strange noises as they fail or begin to age.

    9. Overheating

    As power flows through the parts inside a computer are used, they heat up. It’s natural. This includes the CPU, hard drives, graphics cards, the power supply, external and internal drives and even the motherboard.

    Some of the components can operate fine under a little warmth. When the heat inside a computer grows too high, it can cause serious failures, and it can even damage components. That’s exactly why a processor has its own cooling fan. The same applies to a graphics card or power supply. These components need to stay within a reasonable temperature range.

    You never want components to overheat.

    10. Applications Won’t Install

    There are many reasons why an application might not install on your computer. The most likely of which is that your computer and its software are not compatible with said application.

    There are minimum system requirements to run everything from a simple program to a hardware-intensive game. If your computer does not meet these needs, you can experience a slowdown, and sometimes the app won’t even run.

    Other issues that can pr
    event installation are hardware failures, storage space, and missing files. Missing files can also be system files like .DLLs and .NET framework content.

    11. Computer Suddenly Shuts Off or Restarts

    There’s nothing worse than your computer restarting in the middle of a video game or your work. In addition to having to wait for the computer to boot back up, you might lose any progress you’ve made in the meantime. Sudden reboots or shutdowns can have a number of different hardware or software causes. If you’re running a Windows operating system, an automatic Windows Update could be the culprit. These updates are supposed to warn you before they reboot but if you don’t see the notification, they could catch you unaware.

    If you’re playing a new video game and the computer shuts off, it could be a problem with your power supply — specifically, it might not have enough power to keep the computer running under that load.

    top 15 computer problems, computer problems

    top 15 computer problems, computer problems

    12. Peripherals Stop Working

    It’s hard to use your computer if your peripherals suddenly stop working or aren’t functioning correctly. Even if you know some of the keyboard shortcuts, most modern computers aren’t designed to be used without a mouse. This, again, could be hardware or software problems. The peripherals themselves could fail, preventing them from communicating with the computer. The USB ports can also fail, which interrupts the communication between the keyboard and mouse, and the computer.

    On the software side, if the drivers fail the hardware might be working fine but the computer has no idea what to do with that information.

    13. Not Using All It’s RAM

    You can have 16 gigabytes of RAM on your computer, but if the computer isn’t set up correctly it might only be utilizing a fraction of that processing power. If you’re only using part of your computer’s RAM, your games and programs will run slower — or not at all.

    RAM issues can have a lot of causes. If one or more of the RAM sticks isn’t seated correctly, it won’t function. If the computer is programmed to only use a fraction of the available of the ram, regardless of how many sticks you install.

    14. Crashes Before Loading Operating System

    If your computer starts to boot up before giving you an “Error Loading Operating System” message or just looping back through the restart process, you might start freaking out. Don’t panic. This computer problem can happen because of fresh operating system installation, or a problem caused by power failures, system crashes, or incorrect restarts. You’ll see this error because when your computer boots up, it starts the motherboard up first, then checks the hard drives, and if there isn’t an issue with those, it will boot up the computer. If there are any issues, you’ll get the error message, and have some troubleshooting to do.

    15. Monitor Not Showing Images

    The computer is on — at least, according to the lights on the case — but you’re not seeing any images on the monitor. This is another issue that could have a lot of different causes. The first thing you should check is your video cables that run between the monitor and the computer. If something has come loose, that would prevent your screens from working. Other issues might include graphics card failure, driver issues, or problems with the graphics ports on the computer.

    Top 15 Common Computer Problems That Get Under Your Skin [Part 1]

    Top 15 Common Computer Problems That Get Under Your Skin [Part 1]

    How Do You Fix These Common Computer Problems?

    Just knowing these common computer problems exist is not enough. You must also understand what to do when you encounter one of these setbacks.

    For example, how do you remove malware once it’s on your computer? How do you prevent overheating, and if it happens, how do you cool your computer back down?

    Part two of this guide is available now! In it we’ll explain exactly how you can start fixing computer problems today!

    Read about more tech news topics here!

    This article first published 1/24/17 and was updated 5/20/19 to include 5 additional common computer problems.

    Top 15 Common Computer Problems That Get Under Your Skin [Part 1]

    Top 15 Common Computer Problems That Get Under Your Skin [Part 1]


    Beginner’s Guide to SEO Search Engine Optimization

    Welcome to your SEO learning journey!

    You’ll get the most out of this guide if your desire to learn search engine optimization (SEO) is exceeded only by your willingness to execute and test concepts.

    This guide is designed to describe all major aspects of SEO, from finding the terms and phrases (keywords) that can generate qualified traffic to your website, to making your site friendly to search engines, to building links and marketing the unique value of your site.

    The world of search engine optimization is complex and ever-changing, but you can easily understand the basics, and even a small amount of SEO knowledge can make a big difference. Free SEO education is also widely available on the web, including in guides like this! (Woohoo!)

    Combine this information with some practice and you are well on your way to becoming a savvy SEO.

    The Basics of Search Engine Optimization

    Ever heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? It’s a theory of psychology that prioritizes the most fundamental human needs (like air, water, and physical safety) over more advanced needs (like esteem and social belonging). The theory is that you can’t achieve the needs at the top without ensuring the more fundamental needs are met first. Love doesn’t matter if you don’t have food.

    Our founder, Rand Fishkin, made a similar pyramid to explain the way folks should go about SEO, and we’ve affectionately dubbed it “Mozlow’s hierarchy of SEO needs.”

    Here’s what it looks like:

    As you can see, the foundation of good SEO begins with ensuring crawl accessibility, and moves up from there.

    Using this beginner’s guide, we can follow these seven steps to successful SEO:

    1. Crawl accessibility so engines can read your website
    2. Compelling content that answers the searcher’s query
    3. Keyword optimized to attract searchers & engines
    4. Great user experience including a fast load speed and compelling UX
    5. Share-worthy content that earns links, citations, and amplification
    6. Title, URL, & description to draw high CTR in the rankings
    7. Snippet/schema markup to stand out in SERPs

    We’ll spend time on each of these areas throughout this guide, but we wanted to introduce it here because it offers a look at how we structured the guide as a whole.

    Explore the chapters…

    Chapter 1: SEO 101

    What is it, and why is it important?

    For true beginners. Learn what search engine optimization is, why it matters, and all the need-to-know basics to start yourself off right.

    Chapter 2: How Search Engines Work – Crawling, Indexing, and Ranking

    First, you need to show up.

    If search engines literally can’t find you, none of the rest of your work matters. This chapter shows you how their robots crawl the Internet to find your site and add it to their indexes.

    Chapter 3: Keyword Research

    Understand what your audience wants to find.

    Our approach targets users first because that’s what search engines reward. This chapter covers keyword research and other methods to determine what your audience is seeking.

    Chapter 4: On-Site Optimization

    Use your research to craft your message.

    This is a hefty chapter, covering optimized design, user experience, information architecture, and all the ways you can adjust how you publish content to maximize its visibility and resonance with your audience.

    Chapter 5: Technical SEO

    Basic technical knowledge will help you optimize your site for search engines and establish credibility with developers.

    By implementing responsive design, robot directives, and other technical elements like structured data and meta tags, you can tell Google (a robot itself) what your site is all about. This helps it rank for the right things.

    Chapter 6: Link Building & Establishing Authority

    Turn up the volume.

    Once you’ve got everything in place, it’s time to expand your influence by earning attention and links from other sites and influencers.

    The SEO Glossary

    Understand key terms and phrases.

    Learning SEO can sometimes feel like learning another language, with all the jargon and industry terms you’re expected to know. This chapter-by-chapter glossary will help you get a handle on all the new words.

    How much of this guide do I need to read?

    If you’re serious about improving search traffic and are unfamiliar with SEO, we recommend reading the Beginner’s Guide to SEO front-to-back. We’ve tried to make it as concise and easy to understand as possible, and learning the basics of SEO is a vital first step in achieving your online business goals.

    Go through at the pace that suits you best, and be sure to take note of the dozens of resources we link to throughout the chapters — they’re also worthy of your attention.

    Getting excited yet? You should be! Search engine marketing is a fascinating field and can be lots of fun! If you get confused, don’t give up; we have folks who can help you with instructor-led SEO training seminars.

    We’re excited you’re here! Grab a cup of coffee, and let’s dive into Chapter 1 (SEO 101).


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