The Thurston, Pierce, Lewis, and Mason Counties IT Experts


We work hard behind the scenes so annoying technology issues don't slow your business down.

Our mission is to help businesses like yours increase productivity and get more out of the technology you invest in.
We specialize in solutions that safeguard and protect your data and keep operations running smoothly.

Managed IT Services

Intelligent remote monitoring, proactive maintenance, and behind-the-scenes remote support.

read more

 

Network Security

Protect your business from threats like malware, viruses, phishing attacks, hackers and other threads.

read more

Backup & Disaster Recovery

Ensure peace-of-mind in any situation with the most complete data backup solution available.

read more

Cloud Hosting Solutions

Reduce infrastructure costs, collaborate, and get more done with our unique cloud solutions.

read more

A Well-Structured Continuity Plan Can Save Your Business

understanding business continuity

When the sky is falling on your business, can you make it through the storm?

For the average business owner, business continuity is looked upon as a secondary system that is put in place to protect the investments the business has made. Since the platform doesn’t have much to do with a business’ day-to-day operations, often times some aspects of a business’ continuity strategy is overlooked; a major mistake that the business owner will realize when it is suddenly too late.

Understanding the elements of a comprehensive business continuity strategy is advantageous for any business owner or executive that is tasked to ensure the business’ operations are sustained. To design a solution that is right for your organization, you will first have to pinpoint the elements that make up a successful continuity strategy, and thoroughly implement them.

Why Enact a Business Continuity Plan?
The fact is that your company’s health is a human issue. A healthy business that supports numerous workers not only provides a good or service to consumers, it provides food, shelter, transportation, education, and more for the people employed there and their families. This is true for every business, which is why it is crucial to have some assurances in place when tragedy strikes. When data is lost or when systems that these people and their families depend on fail, there needs to be a strategy to get operations up and running again fast. Whether you have two employees or two thousand, operational sustainability is crucial to every single one of their livelihoods.

What are the Elements of a Business Continuity Strategy?
A working and thorough continuity strategy is not just a set of protocols that are enacted when something terrible happens. It is a continually changing, fluid strategy that will allow you to sustain operations through any number of issues that have the potential to hinder your organization's progress. Each element of a continuity strategy is the direct result of another element, while being the cause for another.

Element I - Initiation
In the initiation phase of a business continuity strategy the concerned party needs to determine what exactly the objective of the continuity plan is, the general scope of the coverage under that plan, and who in your organization is going to carry out the protocol’s outlined in the plan.

Element II - Analysis
In the analysis phase, you will conduct a business impact analysis (BIA) and a threat and risk analysis (TRA), and as the plan begins to come together the analysis of any impact scenarios that have been carried out allows an organization to adjust the other variables to best protect against the major threats.

The BIA will essentially separate the critical organizational functions from those that aren’t critical to the sustainability of operations. Once those have been determined each critical function will be assigned a recovery point objective (RPO) and a recovery time objective (RTO). The recovery point objective of a function is the acceptable amount of data loss that the organization can allow, while the recovery time objective is the acceptable amount of time it will take to restore the data needed to sustain operations. Under the BIA, an organization will also want to identify a maximum tolerable period of disruption (MTPOD). This is the maximum amount of time that an organization has to restore core systems before the stakeholders of the endeavor begin to consider their investments to be in serious jeopardy.

The TRA will pinpoint potential threats that face a business. Some of today’s major threats include:

  • Cyber attacks
  • Sabotage or user error
  • Power cut
  • Hardware failure
  • Sickness
  • Natural disasters
  • Fire
  • On or off-site utility outage

Each of these (and often many more) have to be considered in order to properly determine the recovery objectives for each threat. This way, you have a complete understanding exactly where your organization stands when it is beset with some sort of adversity.

Element III - Continuity Plan Design
Once the groundwork is finished, the plan can start to be designed. The first element an organization should consider is who will be responsible for the implementation of the continuity plan if it needs to be launched. At this point a team should be assembled and assigned very specific roles that all carry essential tasks. You will want to identify who is in charge of what and be sure that all members of the continuity team know how to contact other members of the team to enhance the prospects of successfully launching the program proficiently and quickly.

During this part of the plan, decision makers will also want to develop some strategies, such as:

  • A backup and recovery strategy
  • Continuity execution strategy
  • Escalation, notification, and activation strategies
  • Administration strategy

By pinpointing the solutions that will be needed, the continuity team can begin to plan which solutions they would seek out as a part of the continuity strategy.

Element IV - Implementation
In the design phase, the team will pinpoint the solutions that are needed to provide the best chance at complying with their continuity goals. In this phase of the project, however, all the planning and designing of the solution is finally implemented. Some of the variables that need to be set in motion at this stage of the project include:

  • Emergency response procedures
  • Detailed recovery procedures
  • Continuity activation procedures
  • Purchase of recovery resources
  • Ensure recovery team’s responsibilities

Now that everything is in place and the whole team understands their responsibilities, it is crucial that an organization does not become complacent. While there may have been a thorough design and thorough understanding of the plan, to execute a plan requires the final step in the business continuity strategy.

Element V - Testing and Maintenance
An organization that doesn’t frequently test the limits of its continuity plan may run into problems with their continuity plan when it’s needed. A comprehensive business continuity plan requires careful and conscientious consideration of every element in order to work properly. By testing and maintaining the continuity plan periodically, an organization can ensure that when the worst happens, that they are ready to react quickly.

To protect the people that depend on your business, a thorough and well designed continuity plan is a must. If you are having issues with the design of your continuity plan and would like help putting together the solutions and practices you will need to ensure you are protected for the worst, call PC Technologies’s knowledgeable consultants at 360-491-2227. We can help your organization protect itself from whatever the future holds.




Who Are We?

It's Nice To Know Who You're Working With, We Get That

PC Technologies understands that making a decision means putting your trust in us. We encourage you to find out more about our company and read testimonials from our many satisfied customers!

About PC Technologies

We are not your typical business, We are your business partners

We live by the idea that your business needs come first, so much so that our CEO W. Jeff Seeman has written a letter for you to read showing just how dedicated our team is to not only solving problems but your success!

Read More
Our Difference
 
It's a Secret

Shhh, don't tell anyone we told you!

WARNING: We are about to let you in on a secret about how most computer companies really make their money! We will cover the three main types of IT companies and what you can expect out of them.

Discover What It Is!
 

Refer A Friend To PC Technologies!

Do you know someone who you think my benefit from our services? Let us know and we will get in touch with them!

Read More
Refer a Friend
 

What Our Clients Say

  • I highly recommend PC Technologies for any of your IT and/or computer needs
    Practice Manager at Robert GR Lang, MD Inc

    Jeff has provided computer components and IT services to our medical practice since 2007. He has seen us through a system conversion, office move, and EMR implementation, providing the peripherals and support needed to make a smooth transition each time. He and his staff are prompt, professional, and price conscious. I highly recommend PC Technologies for any of your IT and/or computer needs

  • Gets it fixed fast
    CPA

    Jeff and his staff installed a major computer upgrade for my office. There was no down time for my staff, the system works great and whenever there's glitch, Jeff, or one of his staff, gets it fixed fast.

  • No more having to take the computer into the store
    Director at Washington Gemological Laboratory

    I have relied on Jeff and his crew for not only minor 'bugs' that occur but also for swapping out the entire data from an older laptop into the one I currently use. They have always been able to do the job and quickly. Most of the time they are able to resolve the issue over the phone, while controlling my computer from their office. Love it!! Makes my life so much easier. No more having to take the computer into the store.

  • Jeff is the IT consultant for our company.
    Citizen Action Network at Freedom Foundation

    He goes the extra mile to ensure that all of our computer infrastructure is running smoothly. When we do encounter problems Jeff is quick to respond. He has become integral to our team--so much so, we should call him a staff member rather than a consultant.

  • PC Tech is a great place to get all of your IT needs.
    Branch Manager / Loan Officer at Weststar Pacific Mortgage

    Jeff is always available and works with you on the best possible solutions to ones needs. I would recommend PC Tech to anyone that is running a business and does not want to deal with IT.

  • Jeff is able to bridge the gap between IT professional and customer relationships very well.
    Board Member at Seattle Search Network

    I've recommended him to clients that are in need of IT services many times. Jeff is highly skilled in IT and understands the changing trends and its impact to the small business owner. I'd highly recommend Jeff to others seeking for an IT professional.

Latest Blogs

How the Right Technology Can Help SMBs Reopen Safely

The COVID-19 Situation

Assorted state regulations have imposed lockdowns across the country that have caused various issues for businesses. As you would imagine, many of them are not good, and when compared to a few recent trends, they only seem worse. For instance, in the first quarter of this year, the CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Confidence Index demonstrated a generally positive outlook, and mere weeks later, it plunged from 64 to 48. The National Small Business Association saw similar drops in confidence, witnessing a benchmark far below the levels seen during the Great Recession.

With 2019 serving as a great year for many, businesses have truly been thrown for a loop across the board. 72 percent of business owners are predicting that COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on the way their businesses will operate in the future, and many businesses simply won’t be able to outlast the pandemic. Adding to these concerns, many businesses fear that the uncertainty and inherent issues with restarting operations on a regional basis could create issues pertaining to competition and other crucial market factors—in addition to the potential health risks associated with reopening too soon.

The hard truth of the matter is this: moving forward, businesses will need to redefine the status quo to survive (especially as the tide of the pandemic ebbs and surges). With the future still uncertain regarding how COVID-19 will play out moving forward, businesses need to adapt and move forward to any extent possible.

What Businesses Will Need to Do

There are a lot of factors that organizations of all kinds will need to consider as more people return to (some approximation of) business as usual.

Communication

People all over the world are really concerned about their job security, in addition to all the other concerns that COVID-19 has brought up. Maintaining an open stream of communication with your employees in addition to what your operations require will prove to be crucial. Face-to-face contact is also likely to be seen as a largely unnecessary risk, so other forms of communication are more likely to take over for some time. This all means that your business will need the tools to make this possible.

Workplace Safety

While we have already touched upon the concerns that your employees may have working face-to-face, many businesses will likely re-examine their approach entirely. Using more of their digital tools and the improved opportunities that they offer will only make it safer for your employees to do their jobs effectively. If these tools don’t fit your business’ operations, other means can work great for you—such as staggering your employees’ shifts to ensure social distancing.

Look to the Future

Of course, with the future so uncertain right now, you need to prepare as best you can for any eventuality. The technology that is available today enables your employees to work remotely while still collaborating with their fellow team members. Ensuring that you have the capability to scale to meet your needs by using the cloud will be more than helpful, it will be crucial.

Businesses have always needed to shift and adjust to meet the changing times—the current situation we are all facing is just another example of that, dialed up to eleven. Technology has always been developed to address these complications.

PC Technologies can help you to do so with the key IT solutions and services to support your operations. For assistance, give us a call at 360-491-2227.

Learn More

Tip of the Week: How to Effectively Task Out Responsibilities

Creating the Ideal Task

Many productivity gurus (and assorted other authorities on the subject) have lent their expertise and created a rubric to help do just this:

Step + Detail + Deadline + Context = Task

This rubric Is particularly useful for creating single tasks, as well as individual steps in a larger process. Let’s go into these four components piece-by-piece.

Step

With each task, there is going to be some inherent action necessary, so you need to address what that action needs to be. Does someone need to research something, write something, or simply check into something? Tell them what needs to be done for their goal to be accomplished.

Detail

You also need to provide additional information concerning each task for context and clarity. This would include things like:

  • The person or department who is responsible for completing this task
  • The purpose of the task that they should strive to accomplish
  • Why this task is important to the overall goal
  • Where any resources can be found to assist with the task and general guidance to help complete it

Deadline

Once you’ve outlined what the task is, you need to identify when the task should be completed by. This helps ensure that projects are completed in a timely fashion, with certain milestones achieved within a certain timeframe.

Context

Finally, you need to include other pertinent details about a task, including how much time may be spent on it, which project it is for, and what priority level it should have. This gives the person responsible for the task more information as they organize their schedule.

Let’s assume that you want to throw a surprise pizza party for your team, and so you wanted to give one trusted employee (we’ll assume he’s named Bob) the responsibility of ensuring the food was ordered ahead of time. The task you assign to Bob might look like this:

“Order Food for Staff Surprise Party on Friday

Assigned to BOB – Priority 3
*If unable to complete, please inform HR*

Wednesday:

  • 3:15 – Get credit card from HR and call Pizzeria Porfirio. Place order for three large pizzas with peppers and onion and 75 of their house special chicken wings to be delivered Friday at 4:45.

Friday:

  • 1:00 – Call Pizzeria Porfirio to confirm delivery”

That’s all there is to tasking out a process for your team to follow. There are also software solutions available to make this even easier for you and your team, so long as you keep these practices in mind and completely task out the things you assign to others. The clearer the process is, the more likely it is to be successful.

For more handy tips to boost your business’ productivity, make sure you subscribe to our blog!

Learn More

Cybersecurity Takes Effort at 3 Levels

Protecting Home Base

Physical security is one of those elements of business that you either love or hate. The people who love it tend to be deliberate, patient people. The people who don’t tend to want access right now and without hindrances. First, it is a balancing act. Secondly, it’s ants vs. elephants. You need to protect your investments, your staff, your data, and your physical technology. 

There are all types of things that you can do to increase your level of physical security. 

  • Get an access control system - This option is probably the most prudent physical security investment you can make. There are all types of solutions: key fob, ID card, smartphone, even biometric. The idea is simply to get a read on when people come and go, what they need access to, and to protect company assets with the use of technology.
  • Get some security swag - When people feel like they’re being watched they don’t tend to be as foolish as when they know they aren’t. Getting some digital security cameras can provide you with eyes (and ears) all over your business, and they serve as a pretty good deterrent, too.
  • Security! - If you don’t mind spending some money, one of the very best ways to promote security at your place of business is to, in fact, hire some. Albeit, expensive, if you have personnel on duty, not many physical security problems will come your business’ way.

Protecting your place of business is extremely important and, on some level, has to be a priority. Problems of physical security don’t just extend to peddlers and madmen; they can more often result in more subdued problems such as cybercrime. To that end...

The Battle Against Cybercrime

Cybersecurity can be a problem from inside your office, but more often it comes from outside your network, even if (as we’ll talk about later) it’s often triggered by someone on your side. In order to sufficiently protect your Internet-facing systems, you’ll need a plan that includes the following routine actions:

  • Software patching - In order to keep the software your business relies on from being a direct avenue to your data, you will need to ensure that each piece of software is routinely patched and updated regularly. 
  • Spam blocking - Your organization gets literally hundreds or thousands of messages per day coming in from senders you didn’t request anything from. In order to separate the legitimate mail from all the other rubbish, you will need to have a spam blocker in place.
  • Firewalls - You will want to make sure that firewalls are set up on all applicable spots on your network. A well-updated enterprise firewall will catch most malicious software that is thrown at it. 
  • Multi-Factor Authentication - Where you can, you should be using two-factor authentication. It may take a few moments longer to get into your account (more if you left your smartphone in the car), but it will be worth it when you don’t see a data breach. 
  • Use of security tools for work outside of the office - Today’s business is a remote business. Making your team utilize secure connections--whether it be through a password-protected remote access software or with the use of a virtual private network--is a great strategy to keep business data safe. Mobile management is also extremely important as many people are now working on their mobile devices. 
  • Get tested - Once you think you’ve created the comprehensive cybersecurity strategy, get it tested. You need to be sure that it is effective at stopping today’s most powerful threats. Call PC Technologies today and our team can help you set up a test of your organization’s cybersecurity.

Now that you have all the tools in place, you have everything updated and you have eyes (actual or virtual) on your access points, you then come to the most difficult part of creating a three-level security plan that will protect your business’ digital and physical assets: training the assets themselves. 

Keep Beating the Dead Horse

It’s true that you need to have a plan to train your employees on solid security practices. The problem becomes when you have taken all the steps that you were supposed to, invested heavily in the training and testing of each employee only to have someone make a mistake and cause major problems for your organization. 

Most of the threats your business faces come into your network from cybercriminals and scammers of all types through your communications platforms. Each day, literally billions of phishing emails are sent, and you can only imagine how many scam calls someone may get per year. The point is that these problems are coming at your business from all directions and it would be a shame if someone on your team was the reason that your business is dealing with a major data leak or other digital disaster. So, if you aren’t actively training your staff about phishing and other cyberthreats, you have to start today. Some points of emphasis include:

  • Password Hygiene
  • Data Security Practices
  • Secure Processes
  • Access Control Standards
  • Social Media Use
  • Conformity to Policies

Don’t let your business get hacked. The IT security experts at PC Technologies can help implement the cybersecurity policy (and the tools) needed to ward off cyberattacks and keep your business’ data secure. Call us today at 360-491-2227.

Learn More

Know someone who would benefit from PC Technologies? Let us know!

Latest Blog Entry

Many small businesses in the United States—most, actually—are in a catch-22 of sorts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While reopening too soon could contribute to a resurgence in infection rates, there is also a very real risk associated with reopening too late. To help avoid e...

Latest News

PC Technologies launches new website!

PC Technologies is proud to announce the launch of our new website at www.pctechnologies.net. The goal of the new website is to make it easier for our existing clients to submit and manage support requests, and provide more information about our services for prospective clients.

Read more ...

Account Login