Offsite backup is one of the simplest services we offer here at Nimbus, but for many Northern Irish businesses it is also the most important. This cloud-computing service allows businesses like yours to back up their data to external servers that aren’t dependent on their own IT systems. So, some questions to ask yourself. Does your business really need to back up its data to offsite servers? If so, should you outsource this process to an IT support service like us or should you invest in your own offsite servers instead? The answers to these questions depend on the type and size of the business that you run.
The reality is that almost all modern businesses are dependent on the data contained in their IT systems. Even if you run a very traditional business that sells physical goods in a localized area, you probably use an IT system to keep track of your stock and your profit margins. However, some businesses are more dependent than others. If your business is heavily tied to physical goods and products or is small enough to keep a paper record of all its transactions, offsite backup may not be necessary. After all, any data that you lose can be recovered by going through your paperwork and carrying out a stock check. However, if your business sells intangible services (which are harder to keep track of), sells goods over multiple premises or is simply too large to keep non-digitized records, you should definitely invest in offsite backup. Losing information that can’t be easily recovered or re-established can seriously damage your business and affect its ability to function. The reality is that most businesses have a lot data that is crucial to their success but which only exists in their IT systems, so most businesses need offsite or cloud based backup. Few businesses these days have adequate paper trails, unless forced to by regulation. The truth is these days not even the smallest of businesses can get by without backing up their data.
If your business (like most others) does need to back up its data offsite, it’s probably worth outsourcing this process. Investing in your own servers is very costly and it’s far too easy for employees to forget to back up data at the end of each day. By outsourcing your offsite backup requirements to an IT support business like us, you can save yourself money and ensure that the task is carried out reliably every day. Also think about monitoring your backup, in the real world things break, an unmonitored backup is no backup and of course we will monitor your backup for you.
At Nimbus we deal with businesses in Belfast, Dublin, Liverpool and all across Northern Ireland, Ireland and the UK – we help ensure their data is safe should the worst happen. Here at Nimbus, we are happy to take care of all your offsite backup needs, so get in touch with us today if your business needs to protect its data.
Many companies grow with one or two key people building up the office IT in an ad hoc fashion as the business expands. They add applications, new hardware, printers and networking in and among their other jobs, often leading to a chaotic IT situation, especially when they are on holiday or busy. With the growing threats of hacking and malware to all businesses, they may also not have time to keep up-to-date with upgrades and relevant security issues, and to thoroughly investigate any problems. They will probably also lack the time to teach other users how to keep their PCs secure, manage data properly and deal with other key issues.
Outsourced IT Support
If that sounds familiar, either or you’ve been reading our previous posts or you should seek outsourced IT support as soon as possible ! Not only can this help bring order to the chaos of your internal IT, it will free employees up to concentrate on their main tasks, and help bring security and good business practice to your company. Capable of offering low-cost managed IT services, improving server, email and internet security, and providing a clear guide as to the business benefits of cloud and other services, a professional eye on your IT is something that no company can afford to ignore.
No matter the size of the company, a managed approach to IT can reduce the cost of buying equipment, consumables and systems. It can improve the efficiency of the company with less down time and faster resolution of any issues. It can even help improve the efficiency of the company, helping with mobile and remote working services, better collaboration tools and other initiatives so a business can work smarter.
All of these benefits and the reduction of stress on the company go along with the knowledge that professional help is always on hand, from advice on when and how to safely upgrade, to providing the latest in disaster recovery or expanding the business across multiple locations. When it comes to IT, it should never be a drain on the company; outsourcing now provides a low cost yet local service across Ireland and Northern Ireland to help companies grow with efficient and beneficial IT.
When the head of Britain’s MI5 says that 80% of cyber attacks are inadvertently triggered by someone within the business, it becomes clear that relying on your staff is not an option when it comes to IT security. It takes just one user to click on that corporate-sounding email attachment or on a dubious web link, and the damage is done. Having professional IT support on hand can help prevent, mitigate and clean up should such an issue arise.
If you have Nimbus update or build your IT infrastructure and network, we can fortify your systems with antivirus and firewall protection to cover the majority of threats. We can also add intrusion and malware detection to prevent workers seeing the types of ransomware threats that are increasingly used by cyber criminals to hijack your data and hold it for digital ransom.
If you don’t think that would ever happen to your business, it has happened to American hospitals, businesses large and small around the world, and individuals too, all of whom thought it would never happen to them. That’s because the software that triggers these attacks is sent out in huge volumes to millions of users a day, it is indiscriminate and the attacker can set the ransom depending on the size of the victim from £100s for a person to millions of pounds for a big business, many of whom have paid as they lacked adequate backups for their data.
Get a Backup!
That’s why disaster recovery and other backup systems are also essential for any business. Offsite backup can provide a daily duplicate of all your company’s essential business data. Stored in encrypted form on remote servers, it is available should one of your key PCs or servers fail, if there is a fire or flood that damages the systems, or if your data does fall victim to cyber ransom.
With increasing numbers of Irish businesses, whatever their function, relying on data for customer information, parts databases or client details, losing access to it will see your company losing money rapidly. Considering the modest cost for professional IT services and support, it is a threat you cannot afford to ignore.
For most SMEs in the UK, attempting to secure new business and ultimately affect the bottom line is an ongoing struggle. Add in keeping your existing client base happy, mentoring and training employees, and ticking off all your marketing objectives, and it is no wonder that an increasing number of businesses are outsourcing their IT support, so they don’t have to worry about it. Here we look at the main benefits of seeking outside help for IT.
1. Cost control
By outsourcing your IT support, you will pay for help as and when you need it, and you can cut down on costs by negating the need for an individual or department that has the sole purpose of looking after your IT requirements. Aside from new units, you will know how much you will be paying each month.
Many new technologies require specialists to install them and make sure they are up and running within your workplace. An in-house department might not have the necessary qualifications or time to conduct a full installation, so why not begin your new projects straight away by getting the professionals in?
3. Reduce risk
There are many security and compliance issues that can represent risk for IT service providers, so why take all these on yourself? By seeking outsourced IT support, you can pass on these potentially hazardous areas so you don’t have to worry about them.
4. Compete with the big boys
As an SME, it is unlikely you will have the resources to compete with the big corporations in terms of their IT capabilities, but there is a way you can give yourself access to all the latest technologies and expertise. By using externally sourced IT experts, you can keep up with the big boys, without having to fund an IT department of your own.
5. Experience is key
Specialist IT support services are presented with a whole variety of problems on a daily basis; usually there is no issue they haven’t encountered before. This is in contrast to an in-house IT professional, who may be restricted to less complex tasks within the confines of the company. Day to day experience is important.
Small business owners need IT more than ever, but you don’t need the technical hassles, or the traditional large expense. From helping you sell and manage your inventory, staff or services, to accounting and storing data, IT exists to help make these tasks easier. Yet, even in the age of user-friendliness and service-based offerings, it can still be as complex and challenging for any Irish or Northern Irish SMB. Not only that, but ever-increasing security threats to PCs and the data stored on them mean all companies have to be a master of many IT disciplines.
A current question popular among small businesses is should they click the ‘free upgrade to Windows 10’ icon that appears on many Windows 7 and 8.1 PCs. Microsoft is pushing the update hard, and the free upgrade offer expires at the end of July. If you run standard applications like Office, Outlook and so on, then there is little harm in upgrading your office PCs, as your current PCs should be fine to run Windows 10.
If your office is still using Windows XP, then there is no free upgrade route, and with practically no updates for that version, it is highly vulnerable to attacks and malware. As of late March 2016 there has been a sharp increase in the amount of crypto virus emails being sent. If you need advice for upgrading and securing your data, do get in touch.
Among the benefits of Windows 10 are direct links to cloud services like OneDrive storage, Office 365 to work on all your documents across any device and many more. At the time of writing OneDrive is one of the weaker file sharing offerings available. Windows 10 also comes with Cortana voice assistant and works seamlessly across your Windows mobile devices. The OS is also more resilient to attack and is easier to update and upgrade, with Microsoft planning future upgrades for free. After July, the upgrade will cost around £80 per PC, so do consider it as a valuable cost saving exercise in the months up to that deadline. Also consider that your PC or 3rd party software may not function correctly if you do choose to upgrade – just because you can upgrade doesn’t mean everything will go smoothly. If you are an existing Nimbus CS client, no need to worry, we will be assessing what is best for your business and if an upgrade is in order we will handle the process for you.
If you have any other IT questions about backups, improving security or other issues, give us a call and let us help you improve your business, through upgrades, cloud services, security and IT support, while reducing the stress that IT can bring. At Nimbus CS we offer a free system audit to let you know where you stand.