To employ or not to employ? Factors to consider when looking for IT support The first thing to disclose is that EasylifeIT ...
What should be included in a business continuity plan?
Unpalatable, but predictable
You’ll be glad to know this isn’t another Coronavirus article. Businesses have been faced with severe threats to their survival long before anyone had heard of COVID-19 – floods, fires and other localised disruptions are not new. Pandemics do remind us however that unpalatable events can and will happen.
COVID-19 is unusual in recent history because its consequences for business have been so severe and so widely felt. And it brings into sharp focus the relationship between likelihood and impact. Once in a lifetime events are, by definition, very rare. But when they do strike the pain can be relatively high. We may be less able, or perhaps less willing (sometimes with justifiable good reason), to prepare. And – yes – let’s be honest – that justification may be that reducing the risk is prohibitively expensive and we decide therefore that it is a risk worth taking.
I’m unhappy with my IT support. What should I do?
In this article, I explain what to do if you outsource your IT support to a third party and things aren’t going as well as they should be.
I don’t know what to ask, let alone understand the answers!
I’ve got an admission to make – IT used to be my least favourite thing at work. It all started from the shock of being given responsibility for the IT function in a very large manufacturing plant. My politics degree hadn’t covered servers, firewalls and networks. I had managerial experience but felt very uncomfortable wearing my new hat. I didn’t know what questions to ask; I wouldn’t have understood the answers even if I did.
Data Protection Audit
THE STORM HAS PASSED – RIGHT?
“GDPR – thank goodness that is over! I got fed up with e-mails asking for my consent and inviting me to read privacy notices.”
Relief seems to have been a common reaction to the arrival of the UK’s third generation of data protection laws. After months of media attention and a good deal of confusion, everything seemingly went quiet.
You could be forgiven for thinking the storm had passed. Time to start the clean-up operation and cleanse the inbox of all those GDPR related messages from May you never opened. It all blew over and nothing really happened. It was just like the Millennium Bug. Not quite…
The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in May 2018. Awareness amongst businesses is increasing. However, whilst some companies are well on the way to updating their processes and procedures in preparation, the majority have either yet to start or are in the very early phases.
I’m confused – is this going to prevent ‘Business As Usual’?
A key concern of many businesses is confusion surrounding the implications. As the profile of GDPR has grown, so too has a perceived level of misinformation. It is something which the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the government body which upholds data rights such as GDPR, recognises.
When we started EasylifeIT in 2006, my business partner insisted that we had strong systems in place from day one. More than a decade on and having seen the company flourish over that period, I appreciate more than ever how sound that advice was. It’s something I’m passionate about when I work with clients because I know from my own experience that it delivers results.
Despite having worked in the IT industry, but unlike many of my peers, I am a firm believer that not every problem requires an IT solution. However, when it comes to driving customer service and sales efforts, I am completely sold on the value of systems.
IT policies – A cure for insomnia?
Let’s face it – IT policies are not the most exciting topic. Because of that reality, there are two common (but similarly futile) approaches:
- Approach 1 – don’t bother.
- Approach 2 – Find a generic IT policy on the internet. Put a copy in the staff handbook. Hope the staff will read it.
Does this sound familiar? Don’t worry – you are far from alone if so. However, it’s still worth taking a moment to think about trying to be better than average. The good news is that it isn’t difficult or costly to make a big step forward. And it’s worth doing to help protect your business, your customers and your staff from the threat of cyber crime.
They say the customer is always right. But, was anyone really doing the Emperor any favours when they remarked how wonderful his new clothes were?
If a customer approaches me and says “We need a new system,” my first questions are often “Are you sure? Can we talk this through?” This may surprise you as it might appear to be suggesting the customer is not always right. Although it could be interpreted as being unhelpful, there is method to my madness.
Off the shelf or bespoke? Which type of software is right for me?
You have a business problem. You know IT could help you solve it. But you don’t know where to begin. Have you ever been in that position?
The starting point is often to think about whether someone has already invented a solution that you could purchase and configure for your needs. These are often referred to as ‘off-the-shelf’ or ‘third-party’ solutions.
The more generic the challenge, the more likely somebody has invented a solution.
Online accounting packages are a good example. Every business from the smallest to the biggest needs to understand its income and expenditure. Type “Online accounting software” into any search engine and you will see that there is a lot of competition for your business.