How Much of 2016’s $825 Billion in Unpaid Invoices Were Owed to You?

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  • December 4, 2017

How Much of 2016’s $ 825 Billion in Unpaid Invoices Were Owed to You?

The primary reason that businesses are opened is to make money. Whether it’s to sustain a lifestyle, provide funds for a cause, or some other goal, a business needs an incoming cash flow in order to stay open. However, this is a fairly large problem for many small businesses, as their invoices often don’t return in a timely manner.

As a small-to-medium-sized business owner, operator, or even employee, you depend on the business to make money so that you can meet the financial obligations that life presents you. However, most industries have taken to offering payment terms that stretch the time that an invoice must be paid by to 30, 60, or as many as 90 days.

As a result, many businesses–most likely including yours–have encountered difficulties in their operations as they wait for the payments from their clientele to come in.

These difficulties are far more prevalent than one may initially think. It is estimated that a full 5 percent of the national gross domestic product is made up of unpaid invoices, the average small business waiting for about $ 84 thousand in unpaid invoices, 81 percent of which are past due by 30 days. Comparatively, the average small businesses has about 27 days worth of capital available to them in reserve.

In 2016 alone, there was an estimated $ 825 billion in unpaid invoices owed to small businesses.

Clearly, this causes a problem for many small and even medium-sized businesses. With their money tied up in sustaining themselves until their cash flows continue, these businesses aren’t able to improve their operations. What was the last project you started that had to be put on hold because there simply weren’t the available funds to cover it?

As much as we hate to ask you to make an investment when we just said that small businesses aren’t able to access the funds they need to function, Catalyst Technology Group can help you reduce your capital spend by transferring a lot of your financial obligations into predictable, budgeted amounts where your IT is concerned. We’re here to help you utilize software to enable your business to run smoothly with solutions that will help you manage and track where your money is, and isn’t, coming from.

Call us at (317) 705-0333 for more information about line of business applications and programs that can help you keep track of your invoices.

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Tip of the Week: IT Has A Lot Of Jargon… How Much Do You Know?

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  • September 20, 2017

Tip of the Week: IT Has A Lot Of Jargon… How Much Do You Know?

If you spend more than ten minutes with anyone from the technology industry, you may notice that they have a rather colorful vocabulary. It’s not too vulgar or anything, but it is chock-full of buzzwords that you may not fully understand. Here are some of the most frequently used words in the IT industry.

Actionable Analytics
Businesses are capable of harnessing the power of analytics like never before. However, it’s important to remember that only certain data will actually be useful. The data that can be used to improve operations and measure progress is called actionable analytics, and it’s likely some of the most important data you’ll acquire.

Artificial Intelligence
Suspend any knowledge of artificial intelligence that science-fiction movies like The Matrix or Terminator have introduced over the years, and consider instead what intelligent technology can do for your business. You can use it to process lots of data all at once, or make educated decisions using this data. Other types of machinery are capable of speech recognition, learning, planning, and even problem solving.

Blockchain technology is pretty complicated, but the basic idea of it is that each time a file is changed, the changes are recorded, encrypted, and stored in a change log that cannot be edited or changed in any way. Blockchain technology is used in most cryptocurrency transactions, but also has uses in electronic medical records and legal agreements.

Chatbots are commonly considered programs that can build upon conversation, whether it’s through a chat window or spoken over the phone. It’s basically a way to automate certain functions for your business, allowing individuals or groups to get the support they need, even if they don’t speak a specific language. Chatbots can use databases and natural language processing to translate sentences in one language to another.

Cloud-Based Services
Cloud computing has allowed organizations to offer their assets “as a service.” What this means is that services can be delegated to organizations in a scalable, affordable, cloud-based environment that defies the boundaries of traditional hardware and software infrastructures. Furthermore, the company offering the services is generally responsible for any maintenance or security the service requires, while providing the consumer with the ability to control user permissions. Let’s say you purchase virtual server space–you pay a monthly fee, which keeps you from purchasing an entirely new server unit. It’s a considerable cost savings, to say the least.

Since businesses are digitizing so much data, it is now being analyzed to transform the way that it’s utilized. This is called datafication, which is the process of turning aspects of everyday life into data that can be used for various purposes. One example is using social media to understand just who your potential employees are. In this sense, social media can, to an extent, replace personality tests. In fact, analyzing data is often a more accurate gauge of character than a personality test.

Decentralized Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency is something that is often used on the dark web to make sketchy sales. On the other side of the coin, however, is the ability to send and receive private, encrypted transactions outside of traditional banking. Cryptocurrency is a virtual asset that doesn’t rely on a physical currency to function, so in a lot of ways, it’s useful. One example of a rather popular cryptocurrency is BitCoin.

When they first entered the computing world, video games made a huge splash. Chances are that your younger workers grew up with video games in at least some capacity. You can use this to your advantage with gamification techniques designed to enhance productivity through making work fun–or, at the very least, offering goals or “experience points” for your team to meet. If they earn enough points, they can level up and earn a reward.

Machine Learning
Machine learning is an aspect of artificial intelligence that allows a computer to collect data from different sources, and transform that data into reliable predictions. Businesses might use this information to make educated decisions about their future. For example, a company could use machine learning to collect data from potential customers and use it to increase the possibility that the target would buy specific products or services.

If you don’t want each and every service that an application or a program has to offer, there’s often the choice to invest in a microservice, which breaks each of these features down into bite-sized pieces. You can then pay for them individually so as not to purchase services that you don’t need, and they can easily be swapped out or changed as needed.

Open Source
Open-source programs are built off of public source code that can be modified to suit the general needs of the organization. It’s often free and available for any organization that wants to use it. Businesses that want to create custom-made applications can often use open-source code to build working applications with a negligible price margin.

For more information about the many, and often confusing, words in the IT technician’s vocabulary, reach out to Catalyst Technology Group at (317) 705-0333.

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Data Backup is Much More Complicated Than It Seems

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  • September 19, 2017

Data Backup is Much More Complicated Than It Seems

You must consider a series of worst-case scenarios if you want to protect your business in the long run. While various factors such as physical security, employee training, and network security can help you mitigate the majority of issues you face, what happens when each of these efforts fails? You know what they say–prepare for the worst and you’ll never be surprised by a data loss event again.

With a quality data backup and disaster recovery solution, you’ll be prepared for whatever life throws at your business. Larger companies generally don’t have as much to worry about, as their budgets are more flexible and can accommodate the spending required to ensure business continuity. Yet, smaller businesses can take advantage of these benefits as well, and it’s all thanks to managed IT services. The same backup and disaster recovery services that large enterprises take advantage of can work for your business, too, and it all starts with a business continuity plan. Here are four major concerns that any SMB should take into consideration for preserving their data infrastructure.

Do you store your business’s data backups in a location where they’re not protected by security solutions? If so, you’ll need to reconsider how you store your data backups. Firewalls are designed to keep threats from traveling to and from your infrastructure, and if the data that you’re storing your data backups in isn’t adequately protected by them, you’re going to have a bad time.

The same can be said for an antivirus solution, which protects your data by eliminating threats to it. All it takes is one threat to corrupt your business’s computing infrastructure. Think about what would happen if your data backups were to be corrupted by some ransom strain of malware. Would you be able to restore a backup like that in good faith that it wouldn’t pose a threat to your organization? Probably not–and you shouldn’t be in this situation in the first place. Implement an enterprise-level antivirus solution so that you don’t have to worry about whether your data backups are any good.

Backup Tests
Let’s say that your business experiences a data loss incident. You try to restore your data as soon as possible, but something goes wrong. The data is corrupted. It’s not as complete as you’d like it to be. Regardless of the reason, your business is down and out because you just assumed that your data backups would work as intended. You should be periodically testing your data backups to ensure that they will work when called upon.

Use Automation
The chances of your business’s data backups not working as intended will be drastically reduced if you remove one of the most unpredictable parts of it–the human element. Tape backups require your employees setting tapes to run backups at the end of every day. A cloud-based BDR, however, will accomplish the same goal automatically and send the backup directly to the cloud. There is no room for error here. Everything is handled seamlessly and without human intervention.

Does your business have a comprehensive business continuity plan? If not, be sure to give us a call at (317) 705-0333. Our trusted technicians can help you build the perfect backup solution for your business.

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