Your Business With James Caan 2017 - 175
"Data security is key.
Go with a trusted
IT provider that can
keep your data safe"
Opt for a support
has the ability to
tailor its oﬀering
to suit you
to consider outsourcing their IT
services. This will mean having
qualiﬁed engineers based remotely,
managing your IT infrastructure and
resolving any issues.
You can choose whether you'd
like them to manage the whole
infrastructure or only part of it.
Either way, it removes the ﬁnancial
burden from your business - some
companies oﬀer prices starting at
£10.95 per user, per month - but
there are things to bear in mind
when looking for a provider.
One of the most important factors is
how well they align themselves to your
individual needs. Opt for a support
company that has the ability to tailor
its oﬀering to you - and not just at
the start of the relationship. As your
business evolves, they should be able
to tweak their services as well.
On a related note, gauge how in tune
they are with the latest technology
developments. Like you, they should
be proactive, so do they have good
knowledge of trends and updates that
are a year or so down the line?
ON-SITE HELP DESK
Even if your providers are based
remotely, this doesn't mean there
should be limited face-to-face contact
and site visits. They should always be
available to come to you and physically
ﬁx any issues.
However, you may wish to have the
reassuring presence of professionals
at all times, so consider an on-site IT
team. A lot of companies who provide
remote services also give you the
option of having their engineers based
at your oﬃces. This may be expensive,
but when weighed against the cost of
hiring your own IT team - consider
salaries, sick pay, National Insurance,
expenses, phones, laptops - it may be
the better option.
If you keep all your data on your
on-site servers and nowhere else,
you're treading on thin ice. Back-ups
are crucial, but this doesn't just mean
copying things to external hard drives
- you need your ﬁles to be stored in
diﬀerent physical locations. Not only
will this protect you from IT failures,
but also robbery, ﬁres and ﬂoods.
You can, of course, use external
drives, but you need to make sure
these are kept on a diﬀerent site.
Perhaps once a month you can bring
them into the oﬃce, copy over the
relevant data and then take them back.
If there is sensitive data at stake,
you may wish to store the drive in a
safety deposit box. There are many
independent security ﬁrms who
provide this option.
However, if you have multiple staﬀ,
it isn't really feasible to ask everyone to
store external hard drives at diﬀerent
locations. Therefore, everybody should
make use of the cloud. Online back-up
services that automatically save your
ﬁles to a cloud location start from
around £11 a month.
Smaller businesses may prefer for
all staﬀ to work solely on Google Drive
or Dropbox. However, while these
services are deﬁnitely cheaper - and
even free if you're not storing much
data - be aware that they don't have
the stringent security measures of an
online back-up service. You'll need to
change the passwords every time a
member of staﬀ leaves, for example,
which isn't the case with paid services.
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