IT Guys joins referal program at SMI

July 2, 2015

Sound Mind Investing (SMI) is a great company with helpful investing tips. We value our relationship with them. Check them out today:

ITGuys Computer Repair Tampa

I am happy to report we have started a referal program with Sound Mind Investing!!!  They provide a monthly newsletter and tons of financial related information on their website for customers from all levels of knowledge.  Their principles are biblical based and extremely helpful in managing your family finances.  Thank you to SMI for their outstanding leadership and website.  Please visit them today:  Sound Mind Investing

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Best Value When Buying Computers

June 18, 2015

Due to the fast pace of technology, computers lose value quickly after purchase. Because of this we often receive the question, “What grade of computer should I buy? (Low cost, Mid grade, or Higher end). Great question! While the higher end computer may be appealing, think of it in terms of buying a new car. You will pay top dollar and lose dollars as you drive it off the lot. Think along the same lines with a low cost computer from one of the big box stores. While they won’t drop in value as much due to the lower cost, the quality you receive along with the degraded performance simply isn’t worth it. In other words, you get what you pay for.

Our recommendation: Buy a Mid Grade Computer. While the value will drop at the same rate, it will hold it’s usefulness longer by providing you with a solid computer for several years.

With all the different computer specifications it can be confusing. Please let our staff help you. With over 20 years in the industry, we can help you find the right computer for your needs.

Brad Howerter – The I.T. Guys –

Realistic verus Un-realistic Computer Expectations

April 23, 2015

“I purchased a new computer the other day and was so excited to get it into the office. The many things I look forward to it doing for me, it’s going to be great. The I.T. Guy came out and set everything up. However, when I came in this morning I was disappointed. The coffee had not yet been made, the lights were not on, the plants were not watered, the copies were not finished, the mail was not opened, the bills were not paid, and none of the calls were returned. The I.T. Guy said this computer would do everything needed in my office. This computer isn’t doing any of these things, how disappointing!” – Small Business Owner

The above example is funny as most of us know better. While we all have expectations of what computers will do for our office, we do have to come to terms with the difference between realistic and un-realistic expectations.

A couple of years ago I agreed to take on a number of projects for an educational organization. Like every project before I held a meeting with the man in charge to go over their expectations, and shared the requirements necessary to complete the projects within his proposed timeline of 6 months. Based on the timeline given, I shared with the man two options: 1. Increase resources (manpower & funds) to meet the deadline, or 2. Change the deadline. Of all the men I have ever met with, this was the only one who danced around the options and said we need to get it done by the deadline with the resources we have. Did he not hear what I said? At this point most consultants would have walked, which I know now I should have. However, since I wanted to serve I decided to give it my best shot. Well you can imagine the ending of the story, despite many long days and nights of my associate and I working on these projects, we were not able to complete them within the unrealistic timeline. The amount of work we completed was amazing! I still cannot believe how much we accomplished in such a short time. We did start having chest pains and anxiety attacks though which was a key indicator we were taking on too much. However, the man I met with became upset as people began to complain everything was not yet completed as he promised them. He failed to take responsibility for his lack of listening and improper planning. Instead he blamed us for everything and informed the board it was all my fault, not taking any responsibility for his actions. My heart hurts as I did all I could do to meet these unrealistic expectations, however, it was not enough.

I share the above story for two reasons:

1. Life is too short to waste on attempting to meet unrealistic expectations.
2. Good people (especially true leaders) do not place others in positions like this.

What is the definition of unrealistic? Expecting all of these projects to be completed within 6 months: Data center move, Design/Implement New IP Addressing Scheme, Design/Implement New Network with new Router & Switches across all buildings, Migrate all devices from old network to new network, Setup new primary server & work with vendor to setup Mobile Device Management, Setup 5 network closets in new building and support multiple vendors in various technology related setup & design issues, Resolve new building technology design issues, Setup & configure 50+ AP’s in the new building, Setup radius server to provide security for AP’s, Create an image & deploy to 750+ laptops and rollout to Students, Enroll in Apple’s various programs & setup on MDM server, enroll 450+ students in Apple ID for education by hand, Rollout 450+ iPads to students, Deploy various apps for each grade level & troubleshoot various install issues, etc.

I spoke to one of our vendors about this situation who shared a perfect example of unrealistic expectations. “Taking on all these projects with a limited staff is like hiring a plumber to plumb several buildings all by himself. You wouldn’t hire one plumber to do all this work, you would hire a team and obtain the appropriate resources necessary to complete the projects to meet your timeline. The problem here is management does not truly understand what I.T. has to go through in order to set everything up.”

This experience almost killed me, however, thank God I’m still alive. It was a difficult lesson, one which will carry painful memories for a period of time. The good news is it showed me how not to treat our employees, vendors, etc. Now I will focus on what is important, maintain a life of proper balance, and continue to perform my best for all of our clients! Thank you for trusting us with your technology.

Brad Howerter
The I.T. Guys – http://www.theitguysinc.com

You want to do what?

March 26, 2015

Sometimes when financial problems hit companies and/or organizations the leaders are left with little choice but to make cuts. These cuts are tough for the employees, contractors, and the leaders who make them. Unfortunately they are necessary to right the sinking ship. It’s extremely difficult when you invest so many hours into a project, then come up shocked upon receiving news the budget has been cut. However, like in all challenges in life we pick up the pieces and move on. There will always be other companies and organizations who need our help. We are grateful to have provided service during the time we did, and honored to have served the client well.

We work with all types of companies with various technology budgets from large to small. Our consultants can put together a package which effectively serves your needs while meeting your budget. Contact us today as we will be happy to serve you.

Brad Howerter, I.T. Consultant
The I.T. Guys, Inc.

Moving to the cloud, IT Technicians going away?

February 11, 2015

So for the past few years we have heard over and over about how everyone is going to move to Microsoft and Amazon’s cloud making IT Technicians obsolete. That’s right, the world will no longer need any tech support. This was the craziest thing we had ever heard. However, it got us thinking, could IT Technicians be replaced like the MP3’s replaced CD’s and CD’s replaced cassette tapes? After further review, no way! People are so bombarded with everyday life and their job, they simply don’t have time to keep up with technology. While some things will continue to improve, like devices no longer having hard drives to replace, this doesn’t eliminate the need for a technical advisor.

We believe a shift will begin to occur for IT Technicians from the old hardware support role to more of an IT Business Advisor type role. In addition consumers will continue to need an IT Advisor as well since Security is becoming more and more of a concern.

Yes the next generation will be smarter and perhaps need less support, however, there will continue to be many people who simply do not have the time to setup and maintain their technology. Kind of like the Attorney who makes $250 per hour for his/her firm…saving $125 per hour to setup his/her technology…it doesn’t make good sense!

Due to security concerns and the poor support from the huge cloud providers, we recommend a hybrid cloud in most cases. The reason? Some things in the cloud make good sense and others do not. Your best choice is to contact us for a free review of your situation.


Brad Howerter
The I.T. Guys

So many issues, so little time…

October 8, 2014

Ever notice how issues (technology and everything else) tend to pile up at times? Of course now days everything is an emergency which makes it near impossible to keep up. First of all I think a lot of people in general need to relax. If you aren’t able to print to the library down the hall, simply use the other one until your support team figures out the problem. It’s really simple and doesn’t require much effort other than selecting the other printer. However, some people simply want to create conflict in the work place instead of working well with others. Life is simply too short to let everything bother you. Relax! It will be ok.

As my Mom has always told me, one thing at a time, one day at a time. You cannot possibly fix all the world’s issues in one day. The best thing I ever did was create a top 3 list at the beginning of each day. I look at my task list for the day (sometimes containing upwards of 25 items) and select the top 3 most important items. Then I focus as much as possible on those and the others have to wait. This simple step has created more productivity and kept the right people happy. It’s impossible to please everyone, however, this makes each day more effective with less overwhelm. Do people still call in a panic? Of course, simply take a deep breath and add it to the list. You will get to it in time. I was wasting my life away trying to keep everyone happy and finally woke up to realize my life maybe half over and I’m not enjoying it. Time to smell the roses and really enjoy the coffee. Cheers!

Brad Howerter
The I.T. Guys

Why doesn’t technology work?

July 23, 2014

It’s one of the most frustrating things in life now that technology is a driving force in the world today. We have lots to do and simply need our technology to work. However, it never fails when you are right in the middle of completing something important, your technology does not want to work. Whether it’s your computer, wireless, or router, the frustration is upsetting!

Sometimes it’s caused by a virus, a software update, and other times it’s simply hardware failure. While it doesn’t seem like it sometimes, technology is constantly improving. Will there ever be a day without technology issues though? We highly doubt it. There will always be something affecting your day to day technology use. I’m learning to simply make the best of it. Doesn’t negate the frustration, however, having a good attitude is key.

Have a great day!

The I.T. Guys –

Computer Security, Hackers, Identity Theft – What can be done?

January 29, 2014

I imagine you have heard all the news stories over the past several weeks regarding credit card information stolen from Target and other companies. It’s one thing to leave your credit card on the counter for someone to take. It’s another when hackers take it from inside a secure network at Target Corp. So what can you really do? Not much to be honest. However, there are the usual steps to help:

1. Signup for credit monitoring. Definitely helpful to be notified if anyone starts applying for credit in your name.

2. Pull your reports for free annually. I recommend completing this at one credit bureau every 4 months. (For example: Transunion Apr 1st, Equifax Aug 1st, Experion Dec 1st) Review for anything you don’t recognize and contact the bureau to report anything odd.

3. Change your passwords often. I know it’s a pain, however, it helps. (If someone obtains access to your account unknowingly, resetting your password shuts them out!)

4. Ensure your computer has the latest virus/spyware protection, and latest security updates for windows and all applications such as Java, Adobe, etc. This one is easy, call The I.T. Guys for assistance as they would be glad to help you.  Trust me, I know.  :-)  We enjoy helping people with their computer support in the Tampa Bay area and throughout the state of Florida.  We even help some users in other states as well.

Happy New Year!  Brad Howerter – The I.T. Guys –

Fall already?

November 5, 2013

Where has this year gone? I cannot believe it’s fall already and Christmas is fast approaching. We completed various projects this summer which had us so busy we could barely see straight! The good news is all summer projects were completed with great success and our clients are happy. It is always a great feeling of accomplishment when you complete a project and bring happiness to others with new features and the like. We upgraded several machines, started looking at newer devices for our clients in the tablet space like the Surface and Dell XPS 12 convertible, and installed 2 mid-size WIFI networks. Like I said, it’s been a busy summer. I hate to see it leave as I love the warmer weather and boating, however, my dreams will have to wait while we continue to service the needs of clients. One day I will be on the waters of Tampa Bay again though. Have a great week!

Brad Howerter – The I.T. Guys –

When it rains it pours…

February 21, 2013

Have you ever heard the old saying, “When it rains it pours”? My Dad used to say it all the time when I was young, and sometimes it really does feel like that. Recently we were at a client site and they had a power outage/surge the day before. Some of their machines simply needed to be restarted. But others, they seemed fine for a while until the next day when several of them started to fail (hard drives, power supplies, motherboards, you name it). Why would they come back up and then fail? Our answer is, electricity does some strange things. I remember sitting at the table as a young kid eating breakfast with our family during a thunderstorm. In the Midwest, storms don’t have nearly the lightening that a Florida storm does. Well, that morning it did as it struck our CB antenna and a ball of fire came out of the end of the cable and rolled across the table! It was the most amazing site. Didn’t hurt anyone but it was something we have never forgot. When we went into the living room, the VCR was on and would not shut off. Even when you pulled the power cord from the outlet, it stayed on glowing for hours. My point, electricity does some strange things.  Be safe out there and have a great weekend!

Brad Howerter – The I.T. Guys –