Three Benefits of a Virtual CIO

The only way to ensure growth and longevity is to protect one of your business’ most valuable assets: information. You need a strategic plan to manage information and ensure it consistently aligns with your goals. This is easier said than done for many small businesses that have an IT team of only one or two people.

To remain competitive, you have to prioritize strategic IT initiatives—they can’t be a bottom-of-the-bucket task that gets your team’s leftover attention. You need a chief information officer (CIO) who can provide expert risk management advice and devise a strategy to leverage the latest technology and help you gain a competitive edge in your industry.

For small businesses who can’t afford the hefty salary of an experienced CIO, a virtual CIO (vCIO) is a cost-effective way to fill the expertise gaps within your organization. Here’s a look at three major benefits.


  1. Strategic Planning

The number one job of a vCIO is to identify operational gaps within your organization and develop a plan to fix them. This includes:

  • Information security
  • Compliance
  • Data management
  • Audit and legal preparation

These tasks are too important to expect your IT team to complete in between installing new hardware and performing software upgrades—they’re high-priority job functions that require a great deal of attention to detail. A vCIO will have the experience necessary to ensure you adhere to all government and industry regulations and avoid unnecessary fines that impact your bottom line.


  1. Disaster Recovery Planning

A vCIO will help you plan for every worst-case scenario—even those you haven’t even thought of. For example:

  • Power outages
  • Computer room flooding
  • Natural disasters
  • Data breaches
  • Total system failures

The list of possibilities is more extensive than you may be prepared for. A vCIO will help you develop a strategy that makes sense for your organization and ensure you can recover and from virtually any event.


  1. Business Intelligence

You know business intelligence and data are the driving force behind growth, but do you have someone who can help you translate that information into action items for your IT team? A vCIO can contextualize intelligence data to help you:

  • Ensure managers have an outline of action items that need immediate attention
  • Provide insight into technical gaps in your infrastructure
  • Make operational recommendations
  • Develop and implement data-driven policies and procedures

A vCIO will help you cut costs and avoid missed opportunities by choosing data visualization and analytics tools that make sense for your business.


You have a lawyer on retainer and a contract with an accountant—that’s the level of importance you should place on strategic IT. If you don’t have the budget for another full-time executive, ask your managed service provider about vCIO services designed to help you make smart technology decisions that keep you in the game.

Tech Company Offsets Amtrak Commuter Crisis with Remote Solutions

GEM Technologies is Helping Companies and Employees Stay Productive Despite Unreliable Transportation In and Out of the City 


Manhattan, Aug. 3, 2017—Summer construction on Amtrak is making it difficult for commuters traveling through Penn Station to get to work. The transportation hub, which was already under fire for chronic delays and cancellations, is exceeding commuter patience. GEM Technologies, an NYC-based managed IT service provider (MSP), says commuters can avoid the hassle and regain productivity time with work-from-home solutions.

Station regulars are referring to the crisis as the Penn Station “Summer of Hell,” as tensions rise and commuters whose jobs don’t offer remote working are struggling to get to work every day. Even in this extreme situation, employers are reluctant to implement flexible, work-from-home arrangements, citing security concerns as the main reason.

According to Howard Mansbach, of GEM Technologies, “Both employees and managers are losing out in this commuting nightmare. We understand the value of having employees in the office but when people are fighting to get on trains, employers need to put safety first and make adjustments.”

GEM Technologies specializes in technology services for businesses in various industries—like their Desktop as a Service solution powered by Citrix virtualization technologies that enables employees to access their work files anytime, from any device. They want companies to know they have options:

  • Installing a VPN
  • Skype meetings to keep everyone connected and up-to-speed
  • Cloud applications that allow employees to collaborate on projects from any device

Establishing work-from-home parameters, even outside of the Amtrak crisis, is a smart move for companies. The extent to which they’re used is up to executives, but planning ahead for these types of situations is just good for business.

“You never know what’s going to happen, especially in a city like New York,” said Mansbach, “Today the problem is Amtrak construction but winter is coming—you don’t want to put your business in a situation where all productivity halts because extreme weather makes it impossible for employees to get to the office.”

About GEM Technologies

Headquartered in the heart of Manhattan, GEM Technologies is a full-service provider of IT solutions to enterprise and SMB organizations in New York City and beyond.  Our broad range of industry expertise, strategic partnerships with leading technology vendors, dedication to delivering personalized service, and highly experienced, certified IT professionals make GEM Technologies uniquely qualified to be your partner for comprehensive, high-value solutions that deliver real business impact. To learn more, visit them online or call 212-582-2800.


3 Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing an MSP Partner

managed IT services NYC

Small to medium-sized businesses in every market are turning to Managed Service Providers (MSPs) for reliable technology services. From professional service organizations like accounting and law firms to hospitality and construction organizations, MSPs provide a broad range of business IT services. They help smaller enterprises regain control of their technology and finances by rolling services like security, data management and system monitoring into a flat-rate, monthly service plan.

The right MSP partner can improve your productivity and profitability—but selecting the best one for your organization can be a challenge, especially with the growing number of IT managed service providers. Here are three tips to keep in mind during your search for the perfect technology experts.

  1. A True MSP Partner Will Ask the Right Questions

Your business is their business, which means they need to get to know you, your business and your goals. They should ask questions like:

  • What specific resources do you need from your provider?
  • Are there certain characteristics and specifications you need to support your workflows?
  • What sort of data storage and migration challenges have you encountered?

The right technology partner will be more concerned with gaining an understanding of where your IT stands and where you want your technology to take you than listing their awards and technical expertise.

  1. A Reliable Technology Services Provider Will Offer 24/7/365 Support

This may seem negotiable, especially for professional service organizations that operate on an 8-to-5 schedule, but it should be a deal breaker regardless of your industry. Disasters and cyber threats have no regard for your schedule.

You need the option to speak to a service technician or business continuity expert at any time to correct an issue. When it comes to IT support, it’s better to have the option and not need it, than to find yourself in the middle of an emergency and have nowhere to turn.

  1. The Right IT Managed Service Provider Will Offer Detailed Asset Tracking

An MSP that values transparency is more likely to foster a partnership that’s a good fit for your business. Look for a provider that offers:

  • Asset inventory management
  • Hardware and software reporting metrics
  • Assistance with asset tracking and compliance reporting
  • Detailed work audits
  • Warranty tracking

These types of reports provide a basis for accountability and a reference point for you to ensure you’re getting the most out of your service contract.

Finding the right MSP partner may not happen overnight, but you’ll be happy you invested the time when your business begins to operate more efficiently and sustainably. Contact us and put our experts to the test.

The Advantages of Managed Services vs. Break-Fix

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Technology is the leading force that helps companies streamline their process, improve productivity and keep a competitive edge. But, what happens when you have hiccups or, even worse, a major outage? Your two main options are the break-fix approach and managed services. Understanding what happens when an issue occurs under each scenario will help you determine what is best for you, your team and your customers.
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The Why Behind Managed Services

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Organizations of all sizes rely on technology to operate efficiently and effectively, and as the reliance on IT grows, so does the need for extra support. But, your time and energy should be focused on growth and innovation, not worrying about whether your IT systems are working like they should. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the day-to-day responsibilities of managing your IT infrastructure, that’s why many businesses are choosing to work with a managed service provider.

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Disaster Recovery Doesn’t Have to be Scary

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According to a Nationwide Insurance survey, more than 75 percent of small businesses don’t have a disaster plan simply because it’s not a top priority. However, since January 2013, Nationwide has processed more than $417 million in catastrophe claims related to small businesses. Obviously, something needs to change so businesses don’t go unprotected.


It’s not so scary if you know what steps to take. If you want to backup your data and services and be able to recover them quickly, here are a few key things you need to know:


  • Where is your data stored and what services are involved?
  • Which data and services absolutely must be online first?
  • How long can you go without critical and noncritical data and services?
  • How much does downtime really cost you?


Once you have answers to all of these questions, you’ll be able to determine how to protect and restore all your data and services and do so in the most efficient, priority-first order.


One big bonus of going through this process is it gives you the opportunity to dust the cobwebs off idle or underutilized resources, such as servers, and put them to better use. Asking these questions and evaluating things from the perspective of backup and disaster recovery will help you consolidate servers, prioritize and organize data and applications, and ultimately streamline your process and procedures.


If you’re still a bit squeamish when it comes to improving your disaster recovery situation, you don’t have to go it alone. Now through October 31, 2016, get a free, no-obligation disaster recovery assessment. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you gain back complete confidence, boost efficiency and ensure business continuity.