At the beginning of 2022, Swizznet rolled out a new offering called SwizzStack (you see what we did there?) and we wanted to give you more of a deep dive into the what and why behind it. Let’s start with why:
The short answer is our customers asked for it. There is a massive gap for small and medium sized businesses when it comes to realistic access to enterprise level technology, comprehensive IT solutions and, most importantly, cybersecurity. Historically, this level of service has been cost prohibitive, but as business and technology evolve, it is no longer a want, but a need. So, we put the pieces in place to be able to deliver it.
Rapidly increasing pace of adoption is driving innovation
Let’s unpack this a little more. The speed of technology acceleration is giving everyone a bit of whiplash these days. To drive this home, let’s have some fun looking at the pace of adoption around some major innovative technology milestones. The airplane took 68 years to reach mass adoption*, the automobile took 62 years and the television a mere 22 years. By contrast mobile phones reached this threshold in 12 years, the internet in 7 years, Facebook in 3 years and Pokémon Go in…wait for it…19 days. While Pokémon Go isn’t something most companies are utilizing to drive business forward, this exercise illustrates well the frenetic pace in which we are moving and validates the pressure many organizations are under to shore up their tech stack and modernize the way they are doing business.
Accelerated adoption, growth and need for remote access
The momentum and trajectory of tech was already on a steep incline before March of 2020 when IT teams and firms around the world pulled multiple rabbits out of their hat to keep everyone running with relatively minor disruption through the pandemic lockdowns. Our clients were no exception, that spring saw us helping people dust off a few Windows 7 machines (wow!). The pandemic forced everyone to adopt and implement innovation that likely would have taken years, if not decades, to become mainstream. Our world shifted from high-touch, high-analog to digital overnight as the luxury of time was not available. So, welcome to remote business, work from anywhere, and 24x7 access to everything.
There are remarkable advantages that came with this shift, as well as significant growing pains and large gaps to fill. The need and desire for more flexibility across business and work means moving to the cloud. The days of plugging a server into your tech closet, throwing backups on a tape, and locking your doors at the end of the day knowing you’ll be safe, are over. It’s no longer as simple as deciding on a business model and searching for the technology that makes said model more efficient and effective. Now, the technology itself is dictating how things run, most notably around security and risk management.
Cybersecurity for small and medium sized companies
Cybersecurity and cyber insurance and all the fail safes that come with the best practices surrounding it used to be something only large enterprises did. And that made sense, they had thousands of employees, moved millions of dollars daily, and did business on a global scale. These organizations were hyper-visible, logical targets for cyber criminals. Obviously, it would behoove them to invest in risk management and redundant security measures; but that isn’t necessary for the small and medium sized companies, right? Well, there was a time we said that about websites too.
I think you see where we’re going with this, so let’s skip a few beats. We’re all playing in the same pool – the cloud. We are past the point where smaller organizations can (or should) feel safe enough behind the idea that “we aren’t big enough to be a target.” Everyone is a target. And everyone requires the same tools to keep their organizations safe.
It’s simple, but not easy. An article from Epson summarized the top IT challenges for small and medium sized businesses and those challenges align exactly with, not only what we’re talking about here, but the repeated questions and requests we’ve gotten from clients over the years: how difficult it is to stay ahead of cybersecurity, keep pace with new technology, justify costs, and find the right IT talent.
Additionally, with more companies moving to a hosted model, the increased adoption of SaaS applications and necessary integrations, there is now a greater need for customized IT solutions. Clients are telling us they need a holistic approach to IT and technology that allows them to focus on running and scaling their business, learning and developing in their field of expertise while still having peace of mind.
The evolution of a new type of technology company
Swizznet was founded out of the desire to fill an organic, much needed gap in IT services; our continued evolution and growth follows that same principle. In 2007 our founders' multi-office CPA firm took matters into their own hands because technologists hadn’t built anything that met our workflow needs yet. In short order, we began offering our service to other accounting firms and continued to expand based on the voice of our customer. Time travel just a bit to 2020 and what we were hearing was a need for a comprehensive IT solution covering everything from endpoint devices to redundant security practices. The addition of RightSize Solutions (2020) and True North Networks (2022) brought decades of expertise in hybrid workflows and cybersecurity to our organization. The merging of our teams means an even deeper bench of skill and experience. Now that we have accumulated all the talent and tools, we’re finally able to say yes to those customers that asked us years ago to do more for them. We collaborated with key contributors in our industry to develop SwizzStack, a holistic IT solution rooted in cybersecurity, the kind of security previously only attainable by larger organizations due to many factors, not the least of which are cost and staffing.
What the heck is Swizzstack and why is Swizzstack right for you?
SwizzStack is an IT solution designed to make you really productive with remote work using innovative, world-class technology all wrapped up with enterprise-grade security. Rather than boxing this up as a one size fits all solution, SwizzStack scales to each organization’s operational needs. By bringing our deep industry expertise and an understanding of the workflows and app integrations, we can adapt to each company’s unique needs and provide customized support to help you achieve your business goals and security priorities. This solution is focused on 4 key advantages:
|Expanding and increasing protection around employees, data and the organization|
|Provide employees with the ability to work when, how and where they need to|
|A proactive approach to threat detection and risk mitigation; stopping breaches before you are even aware of them|
|A multi-pronged approach to mitigating the risks around business continuity in the event of any unforeseen disaster|
|Workplace flexibility while increasing performance, efficiency and productivity|
|Asynchronous, multilayered workflow around project management|
|Seamless file sharing and shared contributions among team members and departments|
|Secure access and data protection|
|Offload day-to-day technology management and IT operations|
|Access to a fully staffed IT team working in seamless partnership with you and your employees around the unique needs of your business|
|Acquire a trusted partner for consultation as the technology needs of the business evolve|
|Gain the increased ability to focus on the demands and growth of the organization|
|Feel connected and supported anytime you have a question or issue|
|Contact with someone LIVE via phone who has the industry and technology knowledge necessary to help|
|Use email or chat if those methods of communication work better for you|
|Reach out 24/7/365 — we are here and ready when you need us|
What this means for you and your business
With the SwizzStack offering, we essentially become an extension of your team, developing a custom IT solution encompassing IT management and support that addresses each organization’s unique needs and evolving as those needs change.
The foundation of this solution will always be based on cybersecurity, because as Wes Stillman, Visory CTO, has said many times, “Cybersecurity is not a product, you don’t buy it; it’s a combination of understanding what your business’ cyber risks are and understanding what you are willing to do to protect your business, your employees and your clients' information.” Your capacity and tolerance for risk is exactly what we will build your program around and what will dictate how we: enable the cloud, protect your data, and manage your office technology.
This solution solves critical challenges small and medium sized businesses face when it comes to IT. More than that, it allows you to focus on doing what you do best, growing your business in the way that makes sense for you rather than spinning cycles around vetting software or hiring an IT team that fits your culture and has the experience and knowledge you need.
We know this is an investment, but we would also ask you – can you get where you want to go without taking this step? Can you attract the right talent, can you scale operationally, can you avoid a catastrophic ransomware attack? It is no secret that a cybersecurity event is a when, not if scenario. How confident do you feel in that arena? You may not think you aren’t big enough to be a target, but that theory has been debunked several times over (you can see for yourself here and here). The better question is, can you afford not to take this step?
*we are defining mass adoption as 50 million users or more