Why business continuity plans fail

By EDITOR | Published: OCTOBER 28, 2020

Even the best managed IT services provider (MSP) can overlook certain business continuity plan (BCP) details. This is why businesses should always be on the lookout for the following pitfalls of BCP to ensure that the plan works as it should.

Over-optimistic testing

The initial testing attempt is usually the most important, because it’s when MSPs can pinpoint potential pain points in the recovery plan. However, they usually test the system in full, instead of in phases. This can cause MSPs to overlook specific points, with too many factors overwhelming them all at the same time.

Insufficient remote user licenses

MSPs give remote user licenses to businesses so that employees can access a remote desktop software when they need to, like when a disaster strikes. However, a provider may only have a limited number of licenses. In some cases, more employees will need access to the remote desktop software than a provider’s license can allow.

Lost digital IDs

When a disaster strikes, employees will usually need their digital IDs so they can log in to the MSP’s remote system while the office system is being restored. However, digital IDs are not automatically saved when a desktop is backed up. So when an employee uses their “ready and restored” desktop, they are unable to access the system with their previous digital ID.

Absence of a communications strategy

MSPs often use email to notify and communicate with business owners and their employees when a disaster happens. However, this form of communication may not always be reliable in certain cases, such as during spam intrusions.

Instead, you can use emergency communication applications such as AlertMedia or Everbridge. These programs automate necessary actions such as sending out mass notifications, sharing information, and mobilizing teams to prevent operational disruptions, so your MSP can easily notify you in case of any disaster.

Backups that require labored validation

After a system has been restored, IT technicians and business owners need to check whether the restoration is thorough and complete. This becomes an arduous task when the log reports are not easy to compare. This usually happens when MSPs utilize backup applications that don’t come with their own log modules and have to be acquired separately.

These are just some reasons why business continuity plans fail. While you should trust that your MSPs will secure your systems, it is important for business owners to be involved with any process that pertains to your IT infrastructure. Just because you believe something works doesn’t necessarily mean that it actually does. If you have questions regarding your business continuity plan, get in touch with our experts today.This entry was posted in BusinessGeneral Articles C

Are your Windows 10 updates taking too long? Here’s what you need to do

Windows 10 users are well aware that installing updates can take a long time. We hear users complaining about it all the time. Why are Windows 10 updates so slow, and what can users do to speed things up? Here’s our take.

Windows 10 updates take a while to complete because Microsoft is constantly adding larger files and features to the operating system. The biggest updates, released in the spring and fall of every year, take upwards of four hours to install if there are no unexpected glitches. The process takes even longer if you have a fragmented or nearly full hard drive.

In addition to the large files and numerous features included in Windows 10 updates, internet speed can significantly affect installation times. This is especially true if your office network is overburdened by multiple people downloading the update at the same time.

However, if you still experience slow speed even when there aren’t simultaneous downloads, then it’s likely that there is a problem that is preventing the installation from running smoothly.

When you experience slow updates, try the following:

1. Free up storage space and defragment your hard drive

Windows 10 updates often take up a lot of hard drive space, so you need to make room for them to speed up the installation. This means deleting old files and uninstalling software you no longer need.

You’ll also want to defragment your hard drive, a process that organizes how data is stored on your hard drive so it can create, open, and save files faster. Defragmenting a drive is as easy as pressing the Windows button and typing Defragment and Optimize Drives. From there, just select the hard drive, click Analyze, and if the drive is more than 10% fragmented, press Optimize.

2. Run Windows Update Troubleshooter

If faulty software components are causing installation problems, Windows Update Troubleshooter may be able to fix the issue and decrease download and install times. Simply press the Windows button and type Troubleshoot Settings. That will open a new window with an option for Windows Update.

3. Disable startup software

Before your update begins, you should also disable third-party applications that might cause disruptions. To do this, press and hold Ctrl + Shift + Escape to access the Task Manager. In the window that opens, click the tab labeled Startup. This will show you all the apps that have permission to open themselves when you log in to Windows 10. Right-click any apps that aren’t important and select Disable (don’t disable Microsoft tasks) to speed up the update installation process.

4. Optimize your network

Sometimes, a faster connection is all you need. Consider upgrading to a fiber optic connection or purchasing more bandwidth from your internet service provider. It’s also a good idea to use bandwidth management tools to make sure sufficient network resources are reserved for things like Windows 10 updates, rather than bandwidth hogs like Microsoft Teams or YouTube.

5. Schedule updates for low-traffic periods

Massive updates with long installation times are unavoidable sometimes. So instead of installing them during the day, schedule them for after hours when your computers and office network aren’t in use. Go to Settings > Update & Security and specify when you prefer updates to be installed.

If you need help with any of the tips above, we’re always here to help. Call us today to meet with our Windows specialists!

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Let’s have a “Real Talk”. The Coronavirus (Covid-19) has impacted us in ways we never thought imaginable. Our communities, our economy, our ability to travel and how we’re able to work. Coronavirus has introduced mass work from home, whereas before we maybe had a handful of employees working a handful of days remotely. Do you think your company is able to maintain and withstand an ongoing Work from Home model and still maintain your company’s confidentiality, integrity and security of your data? Business managers are currently utilizing a makeshift, short-term approach for working remotely that lacks safety and security. Employees have decreased their productivity with a lack of resources to work, Managers and Directors lack insights into their employees’ day to day work-related activities. Teams are hesitant to move forward with current solutions due to increased security concerns. Planning for the future requires a forward-thinking plan!

Woman Writing on Her Notebook

Do you have a Continuity Plan in place already, maybe something for a Disaster Recovery or a full outage? Do you recall the last time your company reviewed and updated this plan? Does it still hold up to today’s Working Day? If not, it may be time to sit down and redesign your Disaster Recovery for our modern-day issues such as remote work, data redundancy, and data recovery.

What would happen if you had a set of employees who work with critical company systems and they were unable to perform their daily functions due to not being able to work at the office, or even remotely since they can’t reach your companies Server Drives? Do you have a plan in place to continue your company’s day to day tasks that can be accomplished from anywhere?

At this point in time, we’re all asking ourselves the same questions; Do we wait for the virus to settle and things to “return to normal” or do we act now? Let me ask you this, can things return to what was formerly “normal” or do you think it’s time to expand what you company, and your employees are capable of?
The thing is, there is not a quick fix that can cover all types of companies with a simple new work model. It’s a lot more complicated than that, since each company has so many variables such as how many employees they have, do they have field operations, satellite offices, security protocols. One thing we know for sure is during this time the last thing we want to do is make compliance more difficult, or your employees’ jobs even harder to accomplish during this trying time.

With that all being said a good solution is remote access for your employees if you haven’t done such already. It’s one thing to send your employees home with a work issued laptop where they can perform most of their daily tasks but you also risk them not having access to files, programs, shared drives, etc. from their home network. We here at CloudColorado have rolled out a few different models of Work from Home for our clients, the two biggest being Cloud Desktops (Virtual Hosted Desktops), as well as Remote Desktop Connection (RDP software) so that our users can have the same experience from home as they do at the office.
Let’s delve into Cloud Desktops: the benefit of these is that your user can use ANY device (yes, this includes their home computers, tablets, and even smart phones) to access their virtual cloud desktop. This means that they can access any/all applications, data, shares, and printers from any computer anywhere they are. They inherit the same security and permissions that they would have in the office domain. It’s great for companies who find themselves that need to scale depending on projects or seasons but it also gives your employees a fantastic opportunity to have consistency when at the office or at home without having to worry about software updates or missing critical data. By rolling out Virtual Cloud Desktops you no longer need to worry about full hard drives, upgrades, updates, maintenance. That is all handled for you on the back end and we here at Cloud Colorado would be more than happy to set up a quick demonstration or even spin up a Cloud Desktop of your own to try out!

If spinning up a new cloud environment seems a bit daunting at this time with everything going on, we also recommend providing to your users means to remotely access their work computer from home. We offer solutions which allow users to securely sign into their portal and access the computer sitting at their work desk from the safety and comfort of home. This enables your employee to never be without their daily work, programs, shares, and office printers. They simply access it all from home so the next time they’re in the office they pick up right where they left off the day previously as if they’ve been there the whole time.

The most beneficial part of both of these solutions is SECURITY. You are not risking your company’s data from going missing by issuing a laptop for your user to take home and potentially misplace. Your data remains safe on your servers, whether those be Cloud Servers or Physical Servers at your office. You can also save time and money by having your employees work from their personal systems.

Call CloudColorado today! We’ll help you get started!

You’re choosing to leave your company doors wide open to attacks, ransom, and more unless you update your operating systems. This is not a drill.



Our previous newsletter talked over the basics of the EOL, or End of Life, that Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 are coming to. To recap; come January these operating systems are not supported. What does that mean? That hackers have written code and are prepared to launch it come the day of EOL and there’s nothing Microsoft will do about it. That means that these new strains of viruses, ransomware and keyloggers are one push of a button away from stopping your business dead in its tracks. Microsoft have given us all plenty of warning about this date, and it is fast approaching.

This is one of the best times to consider moving yourself towards the Cloud. Not only will the integration will be easy and cost efficient, but by moving to cloud your Operating System is always kept up to date, but will be on the latest version as well. You’ll never have to worry about upgrading again!

Will it still be safe to use Windows 7?

The constant evolution of computer viruses and other malware means security updates play a pivotal role in protecting a business’s data. Newly identified vulnerabilities will not be patched by Microsoft. Therefore, businesses that choose to continue running Windows 7 beyond this point will be doing so at their own risk. Leaving themselves vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

What’s the best route to change?

Implementing positive change can be expensive and time-consuming. To ensure your business experiences an efficient and cost-effective migration to Windows 10, you must understand your options: replace legacy systems with new devices that run Windows 10 or upgrade existing devices with a full version of the software.

Replacing legacy systems

According to Microsoft: “For most Windows 7 users, moving to a new device with Windows 10 will be the recommended path forward. Today’s PCs are faster, lightweight, yet powerful and more secure, with an average price that’s considerably less than that of the average PC eight years ago.”

Upgrading existing devices

Alternatively, it’s possible to upgrade compatible Windows 7 PCs by installing a version of the Windows 10 software. This may be the most cost-effective option in the short-term. However, it’s worth noting that PCs older than four years often cost more to maintain than a new Windows device.

How to implement your migration project

Avoid a situation where you need service or support that’s no longer available, by carefully planning your business’s migration to Windows 10. Having decided whether to replace or upgrade existing devices, it’s time to devise your implementation strategy.

Common issues to avoid during the migration

Avoid compatibility issues — evaluate the compatibility of Windows 10 with your business’s applications — these might include accounting, HR, CRM, and ERP. Despite being the most compatible version of Windows ever, take the time to coordinate with your application vendors to confirm their compatibility and avoid disruption further down the line. Applications that need upgrading should be tested separately prior to the upgrade to minimize user impact.

Avoid post migration issues — mitigate against potential post migration issues by implementing a strategic plan for each application. Adopting a proactive approach to your Windows 10 migration will help ensure a smooth user experience.

Avoid integration issues — some applications may require integration setup — this might include Outlook and CRM integration on the client PCs, browser add-ins and Office application plugins. To prevent any disruption, setup processes should be tested when upgrading to Windows 10.

Unsupported applications — although some applications may not be supported by Windows 10, this does not rule out an upgrade. For example, a legacy application can be replaced with a new Cloud-based solution.

Taking the time to implement your business’s migration to Windows 10 in a considered and well-planned manner will ensure a smooth transition for users and reduce risk.