It’s time for an IT Audit when…

It’s difficult to conduct business these days without having a degree of reliance on IT systems and practices for your day-to-day operations. Unfortunately it’s also easy to become complacent when it comes to keeping your IT systems up-to-date and operating with the utmost efficiency, if you don’t have a dedicated IT support team.

It’s a general recommendation that you give your business hardware a refresh every 3-5 years, but more often than not small businesses will continue to use their IT systems for even longer than this. In this day and age, computer systems are improving rapidly, and it’s amazing how much a new computer will do for productivity.

If there are any signs of potential vulnerabilities in your IT network security or infrastructure, indicators of inefficiency in IT asset management then it’s probably time for an IT audit.

What is an IT Audit?

In a nutshell an IT audit is “the examination and evaluation of an organization’s information technology infrastructure, policies and operations.” This usually includes a full assessment of hardware, software and the general technical environment and even IT personnel.

When is the best time for an IT Audit?

Many companies conduct IT audits as part of a regular schedule, usually in conjunction with their financial audits. However they can also be performed as a selective audit whenever they are deemed necessary. There are plenty of circumstances when an ad-hoc IT Audit is necessary:

Inadequate Security

If you’re insure of how secure your IT systems are or are suspicious of its security, an audit is one of the best ways to determine vulnerabilities and putting them right by way of updates to software and hardware. IT audit services can help determine if there are vulnerabilities to your system that could create pathways for data loss, leakage, or tampering.

Checking For Compliance

Particularly with the introduction of GDPR, maintaining compliance with laws or policies is on every businesses minds. An IT Audit can assist you in determining if your business is compliant with these policies, and if it isn’t, make recommendations of where you can improve your IT practices, security or hardware to achieve an acceptable level of compliance.

Budgeting

It’s important for your IT budget to remain dynamic and chance with the economic landscape of the company. It’s all too easy for unnecessary software or hardware subscriptions to go unnoticed whilst cuts are being made in other areas of the business. An IT audit can help identify where budget cuts can be made whilst maintaining efficiency and operations.

Does Your Business Need an IT Audit?

At Spectrum Networks Solutions, we’ve got you covered. We have the knowledge and experience to conduct accurate, efficient IT audits and not only advise you of where your infrastructure can improve, but how and we can even supply you with the necessary hardware or managed IT services. Let us make your IT systems as good as they can be!

Contact Us today, to know more about our IT network support services and discuss your project requirements.

Why Your Business Needs External Support

As cyber-attacks continue to evolve, it’s almost impossible for your internal IT and office processes to keep up and prevent every type of attack against your IT systems. This also means that your internal resource can be tied up with trying to recover from a cyber-attack when they should be focusing on their important business roles. Let’s take a look at why it’s important for you to have access to external, industry leading specialists to handle your IT network security and support.

Expert Knowledge & New Technologies

Our IT managed services come equipped with the very best tools and resources that most small businesses don’t naturally have access to or can’t necessarily afford to have as on-site resources. By having access to teams of experts in an array of services such as network and data management to cyber security, you will have the best defence against cyber-attacks all whilst keeping your internal resources focused on their business roles.

With Managed IT services such as Spectrum Networks Solutions, all specialist training is taken at our own expense, and we’ll always have a technician available and on hand that is fully trained on the latest industry developments.

Past Experiences

We have been offering network security services and IT support to businesses for many years and as a result of this we have seen, prevented and recovered from. This means we can implement and manage backups and disaster recovery procedures with efficiency and with the best cyber defence protocols possible. This way your team would still be up and running after suffering from an IT emergency without disrupting much of your day-to-day business operations.

Our external support experience with data protection will ensure your systems are monitored around the clock so your security systems are always functioning properly to keep cybercriminals at bay.

Focus On Your Business

We appreciate that your business doesn’t focus on technology or specialise in IT systems. Let us take the worries of keeping your IT infrastructure secure so that you can focus on your day-to-day corporate activities and growing your business. With our managed IT services, we fully expect and are also ready for emergencies that occur outside of the traditional 9-5 hours. We know that time is precious and downtime can mean a loss of revenue for your business, so we pride ourselves in fixing any issues and getting your systems back up and running in the quickest time possible. What’s better; with our Managed IT these types of disasters are rarer as we’re constantly monitoring and correcting problems before they occur.

Our goals are clear and simple – we aim and pride ourselves in keeping you a happy customer for as long as we can, thus providing you with the highest level of service possible at all times.

Contact Us today, to know more about our IT network support services and discuss your project requirements.

5 Areas of IT You Can’t Ignore in 2018

With 2018 in full swing, it’s time to take a look at 5 areas of your business IT infrastructure that you simply can’t afford to ignore:

  1. Disaster Recovery

It’s amazing to think that a recent survey showed that over 50% of businesses in the UK have no Disaster Recovery processes in place. This means that over 50% of businesses could find themselves in serious bother if their IT systems fail! It wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that these businesses have insurance to cover their employees and office space so why don’t they have reasonable cover for their IT and computer systems?

A sound disaster recovery provision is like an insurance for your IT infrastructure and will safeguard all of your critical business systems should disaster strike. Do you have disaster recovery (DR) for your computers and IT systems?

  1. Those 4 letters that have been in everyone’s minds: GDPR!

As of 25th May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation aims to harmonise the data protection regulations and strengthen data protection for all individuals in the European Union. GDPR applies to almost all companies operating in the EU and the regulation applies also to organisations outside the European Union, if they collect or process personal data of EU residents. It introduces tougher fines for non-compliance and breaches, and gives people more say over what companies can do with their data. Our IT Support services include all the necessary security updates, threat detection and response and encryption procedures so that you don’t have to worry about it!

  1. Saving Money With VOIP

VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a telecommunication system that offers an alternative to traditional systems based on a PBX – Private Branch Exchange – and an internal network that is separate to other networks in a building. Paying a fixed monthly fee to a service provider makes budgeting more predictable and preserves capital for strategic investments. We would be delighted to assess your current phone system and advise which hosted telephony service would suit your business best.

  1. Upgrade Your Hardware

It’s a general recommendation that you give your business hardware a refresh every 3-5 years, but more often than not small businesses will continue to use their IT systems for even longer than this. In this day and age, computer systems are improving rapidly, and it’s amazing how much a new computer will do for productivity. Not only can we advise you of the best hardware for your business requirements, but we can also supply you with all of the necessary systems and set them all up for you too.

  1. Using a Human Firewall

We’ve already written about “What is a Firewall and Why do you Need One?”, and a software or hardware-based firewall is simply a must in any business. But even still, these types of firewalls can only do what they are programmed to do and require updates to stay efficient against an ever-improving hacking community. That’s why it’s vital to have personnel who stay on top of your IT system security at all times and thoroughly penetration test your equipment.

 

 

 

Contact Us today, to know more about our IT network support services and discuss your project requirements.

4 Advantages of Managed IT vs In-House

It can be common practice for businesses to hire an in-house technician to manage their network and IT infrastructure – but is it really the best option for your business to do so? A dedicated in-house IT technician can be an unnecessary expense and you can often times find your personnel having little to do in general day-to-day tasks and only called into action when technical faults or disasters strike. We may be tooting our own horns a little, but we highly recommend managed IT services for any small and medium sized businesses looking for the best of both worlds – high quality IT support at the most cost effective rates. Unconvinced? Here are 4 advantages of Managed IT over in-house:

Availability

It’s safe to assume that a dedicated in-house IT technician would be restricted to a work schedule, 9-5 for example. But what about if something goes wrong with your IT systems out of these hours? It may be that your IT technician wouldn’t approve of being woken up at midnight for emergency repairs! However, with managed IT, we fully expect and are ready for emergencies that occur outside of the traditional 9-5 hours. We know that time is precious and downtime can mean a loss of revenue for your business, so we pride ourselves in fixing any issues and getting your systems back up and running in the quickest time possible. What’s better; with our Managed IT these types of disasters are rarer as we’re constantly monitoring and correcting problems before they occur.

Costs

At first it may seem appealing to hire an in-house technician because of the low hourly-rate in comparison to managed IT. However, it’s important to factor in the additional costs of the hiring process, training, bonuses and other financials. These additional costs can hinder other aspects of your business and your IT systems which can result in missing important upgrades and opportunities. However, with Managed IT services, your costs are fixed and agreed upon, usually as a monthly budget. This makes the service extremely good value for money and gives you immediate access to highly trained specialists in the field.

Ongoing Training

If you have a dedicated in-house technician, you’ll often find times that they will be out of the office for extended periods of time for training in order to keep up with the rapid evolution of technologies. Not only does this result in their resource being unavailable, it is, as mentioned previously, another additional cost on top of their salary for mileage and certification. However, with Managed IT services such as Spectrum Networks Solutions, all training is taken at our own expense, and we’ll always have a technician available and on hand.

Goals

For the majority of employees, a higher salary is their long term goal and it can often result in job-hopping in order to achieve their goal. An in-house technician may well leave at the first opportunity for a higher salary, having already leveraged any training your business has paid for.  In these modern times, switching jobs regularly is expected, with an average of only 3 years in each position. It’s safe to assume that 3 years of service is a poor ROI considering the investment your business will have made in a salaried technician. However, our goals are clear and simple – we aim and pride ourselves in keeping you a happy customer for as long as we can, thus providing you with the highest level of service possible at all times.

Of course, it comes down to your particular business and requirements and the balance you need between expertise and profitability. With our Managed IT Services, you’re securing availability, ever-increasing expertise and commitment to the success of your business.

Contact Us today, to know more about our IT network support services and discuss your project requirements.

How Important Is Your IT Infrastructure To You?

The infrastructure of your IT systems can be the very backbone of your business and yet is an aspect that is often overlooked. To put it simply, investing in, implementing and maintaining a sound IT infrastructure is imperative to the growth of your business as technology continues to become vital to our every day tasks. IT systems that are aged can reduce productivity greatly and can put a strain on your every day tasks and therefore result in a loss of revenue. It can also result in downtime, which in itself can result in huge losses.

Many businesses take a piecemeal approach to updating their IT systems and network infrastructure, spreading the cost of investment across a longer period of time. However this will inevitably result in a higher investment outlay in a shorter period of time. As a modern business it’s extremely important to have a long-term strategy in place when it comes to your IT infrastructure in order to scale with the growth of your business and any advancements in technology.

The key to a reliable and effective IT system in your business is flexibility. The use of hybrid infrastructures for example, which combine the use of both on-site and cloud servers, means you can host a number of your services off-site, in the cloud, such as emails and general business applications, whilst the servers that are on-site can take the workload of other business requirements at a local level. This, of course, depends on the overall requirements of your business, but if you require the flexible services of Cloud hosting as well as the reliability of an on-site server, then a hybrid infrastructure may be an excellent option for your business.

Regardless of how it is created, an IT infrastructure must provide a suitable platform for all the necessary IT applications and functions your business requires. Solid management also allows admins to optimise resources for different workloads, and to more readily understand and handle the impact of any changes on interrelated resources.

Here at Spectrum Networks Solutions, we understand that keeping up with the latest technology and hardware for your business can be a daunting task. But don’t worry! We can assist you in making the right choices and keeping your employees equipped with the best possible hardware for your budget and business requirements. Whether it is top-of-the-range smartphones and tablet devices for your sales team on-the-move or equipping your entire office space with the latest desktop hardware; we will work closely with you and advise which options will suit your business best and give you the most flexibility. We will also provide the right support and advice on network cabling and, most importantly, the security, backup and disaster recovery solutions to ensure your infrastructure has the highest possible up time and reliability.

Contact Us today, to know more about our IT network support services and discuss your project requirements.

What Is The Cost Of IT Downtime?

Even as technology continues to grow and improve at an impressive rate, the risk of downtime and outages is still a major fear for businesses, particularly small and medium sized (SMBs). This is because IT downtime can potentially result in severe impacts to both reputation and finances.

It’s because of the severity of the impacts of IT downtime that it’s crucial for businesses to have professional, reliable Managed IT Services that includes a secure backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution to keep their data safeguarded and ensure they can get back up and running as soon as possible if downtime does occur.

The all-too-often mistake that businesses tend to make is that they don’t fully appreciate the value and importance of BDR until after it’s too late. It’s common for businesses to only implement a backup and recovery solution once they have been hit by a disaster or downtime!

Putting a Cost Against IT Downtime

Downtime is an expected yet expensive risk of doing business today. Without the ability to maintain or restore business operations, it could result in direct losses in productivity and revenue. Below is a chart of what businesses claim to be the cost of an IT downtime incident:

There are two different types of associated costs when it comes to IT downtime; direct and indirect. The direct costs can include loss of sales or employee productivity, whilst indirect costs refer to the further consequences of the downtime, such as loss of revenue from reputational damage. The combination of both direct and indirect costs is what truly puts your business at risk. As the chart above outlines, the majority of businesses see a £35,000 – £75,000 loss just from IT downtime, with a large portion seeing even up to a £350,000 loss. Can your business really afford losing out on this level of revenue?

It’s more than likely that your businesses relies on day-to-day operations that involves data. How would you be affected if you were no longer able to access this vital data? Ask yourself if your business could still function as normal without access to this data or any relevant IT systems. Were you aware that 50% of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) don’t even have BDR solutions in place?

In fact, only a tiny 6% of businesses have never experienced an IT downtime event. The below chart outlines how many and how recently businesses have suffered from downtime:

IT Downtime can occur more often than you think and is easily one of the biggest IT related expenses a business can face. Simply having a backup isn’t a solution – despite common misconception, even backups can fail. A professional backup and disaster recovery solution will perform regular, reliable backups that will allow your business to recover vital data and mitigate any losses from downtime. At Spectrum Networks Solutions, our experienced IT Support team we will even ensure that you have a solid recovery plan in place and that you will have optimal recovery points – what’s more, we’ll do our very best to prevent downtime from occurring ever again. You will have complete peace of mind that even if you do experience downtime, you won’t suffer any long-term impacts on your business and revenue.

Contact Us today, to know more about our IT network support services and discuss your project requirements.

What is The Cloud?

So what exactly is “the cloud”?. When something is stored in the cloud, it essentially means it’s stored on internet servers instead of on your computer. It’s like having an extra hard drive—one that you can access anywhere and anytime you’re connected to the internet. In the past, you only had a home computer and the software you installed on it. Now you can take your files anywhere thanks to cloud solutions, or web apps, which run inside your internet browser.

Whether you’re working in retail, or real estate with financial data or photos your business depends on Applications that run reliably and securely at costs that scales with your needs.

A web app that you may already use is Google Docs. It’s free, you don’t have to install anything to use it, and it allows you to create several different types of projects. You can access everything that you create in Google Docs from any computer or device with an internet connection. Since you only need a connected device to access the cloud, you can take your music, photos, and videos with you wherever you go.

For instance, if you take a photo on your smartphone and upload it to a cloud-based photo storage service like Flickr or Picasa, you can access that photo on any of your other devices, on your computer, or even on your TV. You can share your vacation photos with friends and family while you’re still on vacation. With your photos and other multimedia stored in the cloud, you’ll never have to worry about losing them to a computer malfunction ever again.

Storing files in the cloud is a great way to protect your important files from accidents, viruses, and more. You can use cloud-based storage services to back up the contents of your computer. These services run continually and back up automatically, so you will always have the most recent versions of your files stored in secure online servers. If something bad happens to your computer, you can easily transfer your backup files from your storage service to another device.

If your business requires it, the Cloud allows you not just to store large amounts of data on remote servers, but it also allows you to deploy very advanced computing algorithms and the ability to do high performance computing using machines that you physically don’t own yourself.

So, what are you waiting for?

No matter how you use your computer, tablet, or smartphone, the cloud has something to offer you.

Whether it’s checking your email when you’re travelling, backing up the photos and music that you love, or using web apps to work in different locations, the cloud can—and already is—making your life, and the technology in it, more manageable.

Contact Us today, to know more about our IT network support services and discuss your project requirements.

Hosted Email Explained

Hosted Email uses cloud technology to provide an efficient email service in the cloud thereby removing the need for on-site server hardware and associated management. With Hosted email all you need is internet access and a suitable device to access your email account via the Hosted platform.

If you don’t use email in your business, it’s safe to say you’re in the minority. It is currently estimated that 294 billion emails are sent every single day from nearly 3.9 billion email accounts.

100 billion of those are classed as business grade emails, and those are emails from hosted mail accounts.

76% of all worldwide email accounts are free. These are classed as consumer accounts. According to The Radicati Group, a technology market research firm, hosted email accounts currently stand at 929 million and growing at a rate of 5% per year.

But why should you pay for your email? After all isn’t email free?

Yes it can be free to you, but somebody has to pay for the service.

Maybe you receive a lower level of service than you should? At the height of the Conficker virus in 2010 it was stated that up to 20% of all traffic to free email services was dropped due to the load on their systems. These emails could have contained lucrative orders or important business information for you.

Maybe you’re concerned about privacy? In the past couple of years Google faced a law suit against their right to access and read all emails sent to or received by their 425 million users. The practice, something Google has done nearly since the launch of its email service, allowed the company to digest the contents of email messages and use them to deliver targeted ads within Gmail itself.

Hosted email, no matter if it’s on your premises or in the cloud, have guarantees attached to them. From their uptime, that’s how often they are available through to privacy, encryption and even where your data is stored. Maybe you work in an industry where you can only have your data stored within the UK or Europe? That level of service is available with hosted email.

Hosted Exchange gives you the opportunity to build on your customer service by enabling you to contact, collaborate and share data wherever you are whenever you need to. You are no longer tied to your desk! By switching to Hosted Email there are no limits to when or where you work meaning no matter where you or your employees are you retain productivity levels and ensure business continuity.

There are numerous benefits from hosted email that can be easily tailored to how you use it. These include, amongst others, remote working, mobile access or collaboration.

The underlying question you need to ask, is email important to you and your business?

If the answer is yes, then your business could benefit from what hosted email could bring to you and we’d love to discuss the various Hosted email solutions we can offer.

If not, you take the risk as to what ‘free email’ actually provides.

Contact Us today, to know more about our IT network support services and discuss your project requirements.

5 Reasons to Choose Hosted VoIP over On-Premise

VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a telecommunication system that offers an alternative to traditional systems based on a PBX – Private Branch Exchange – and an internal network that is separate to other networks in a building.

There are also two ways of implementing and managing a VOIP system;

In one corner, you have Hosted telephony, where you pay a service provider to host your system in the cloud. The provider of the hosted PBX charges a monthly fee that is inclusive of a minutes package and potentially certain features. Charges can also be at a per minute calling cost.

In the other corner is “On-Premise”, where you set up (or upgrade) the infrastructure on your own business premises. It is similar to a traditional PBX system that resides at a location, such as a computer equipment room or phone closet

But which is better? Actually, there is no clear winner! In the end, it really depends on a number of factors. Understanding benefits and limitations makes it easier to determine the best option for any particular organization

  • Your business & operational needs
  • Your internal resources & infrastructure
  • Your financial preferences

Let’s take a look at 5 key factors that may make a hosted telephony solution a far better choice for your business:

  1. Keep the up-front costs down

Paying a fixed monthly fee to a service provider makes budgeting more predictable and preserves capital for strategic investments.

  1. Get the infrastructure off-premise

VOIP infrastructure Installation costs can add up quickly. With hosted VoIP, you can say goodbye to on-premise infrastructure. All you need is a suitable connection to your service provider, and phones for your users.

  1. Make better use of your in-house IT team

With a hosted VoIP solution, the service provider takes care of system maintenance, upgrades, and other operational issues – leaving your IT team the time to concentrate on more strategic tasks.

  1. Take advantage of the latest technologies

If your VoIP is hosted, your service provider is responsible for upgrades. They deploy the latest version to all your users.

  1. Hosted solutions grow with your business.

With a hosted solution, you won’t face the cost and disruption of increasing network capacity. Just scale your level of service with your provider and you’ll have all the capacity you need, to suit your requirements.

If the above 5 points seem to fit your business, then a hosted VoIP solution is an excellent choice for you! Ultimately it comes down to satisfaction, which is the most important aspect of choosing a system, regardless of whether it is hosted or on-premise.

We would be delighted to assess your current phone system and advise which method of telecommunication system would suit your business best.

Contact Us today, to know more about our IT network support services and discuss your project requirements.

IT Support Services for London Companies – IT Services & Cloud Solutions

We are UK leaders in offering IT Services at reasonable rates.

With a number of years experience in IT services we help organisations to overcome any IT challenge and make the business process streamlined. When it comes to checking for IT Support Service UK clients recommend our name because of our quality results.

Read More

Contact Us today, to know more about our IT network support services and discuss your project requirements.

1 2

Contact Us