Dan Frederick is president of Claritech Solutions
What is Claritech and what does it do?
Frederick: Claritech Solutions is a managed IT service provider based in Calgary. Our focus and our passion is on proactive data protection for small and mid-sized businesses. We help our customers navigate the complex world of cloud services from simple email to the more complex customer relationship and enterprise management solutions, while keeping them safe through best practices and user training. Our customers rely on us to provide them with the most efficient hardware at the best prices and to respond quickly whenever the inevitable problems arise. We have built up expertise in migrating our clients from on-premise solutions to cloud services as
well as integrating the various cloud services with one another. We take advantage of many cloud services ourselves. We operate completely paperless and in the cloud. We use these carefully chosen tools to deliver our services cost effectively and timely, while paying utmost attention to the safety of our customer data.
How Claritech came about?
Frederick: I was trained at the University of Calgary as a chemical engineer and my passion has always been with computers and information technology. When I graduated during the last major oil bust in 1986 I got into computers and have never looked back. I spent several years as an IT consultant in Calgary and started Claritech in 2001 after earning my MBA at the U of C. Since then we’ve seen the role of IT in small businesses grow to become an essential tool in all businesses, regardless of size or industry. I’ve always been focused on getting things done well with the least amount of effort or expense. To that end, we have at our disposal a myriad array of tools that Claritech and our clients can take advantage of that help us protect our data and overall make our businesses easier to manage.
How vulnerable are businesses to attacks on their data?
Frederick: There are many threats to business data today. Targeted attacks could be considered rare and increase with the value of the underlying data. In my opinion, the current primary threat to data is a physical loss caused by user error, hardware or software failure, or by malware such as ransomware. All of these losses can be managed by a good backup strategy that includes test restores. The next threat on the horizon will likely be a ransomware attack coupled with a privacy breach. If an attacker were to threaten to release confidential information if a ransom isn’t paid, then the victim will need to weigh the cost of the ransom with the cost of a privacy breach. No number of backups can protect against a loss of goodwill.
What can businesses do to protect themselves?
Frederick: I’ve always been a big believer in using the available tools to their best advantage and to have the software work for me, not the other way around. The extensive selection of cloud services available today presents both an opportunity and a risk to small businesses. The key to mitigating the risk is to have your own data protection plan tailored to your particular business needs and to carefully choose the tools that will provide the best business value with the lowest risk. An example of this is email. There are hundreds of cloud-based email services available in addition to the dozens of in-house email server options. The vast majority of small businesses cannot go wrong with either Microsoft’s Office 365 or Google’s G-Suite, simply because they have a massive interest in maintaining security and protecting their millions of users from both themselves and bad actors. That’s not to say that there aren’t risks associated with either of these solutions. We help our clients protect their data through user training, implementing best practices around security and with additional cloud and local backups.
What is your vision for the company’s future?
Frederick: Our vision is to be a leading provider of managed IT services for small businesses in Calgary. As we grow, we are working toward a fully automated business from marketing, sales, onboarding, service delivery and a rewarding customer experience. Our team is involved in developing our processes and working with our clients on the best possible delivery model. Claritech’s focus will continue to be on protecting our clients’ data and finding the right solutions that combine the best security practices with convenient access and functionality.
Dan Frederick was interviewed by Mario Toneguzzi.
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