How to reduce your reliance on your IT company

Am I crazy? Possibly. Probably! Maybe… Who knows? Who gets to decide anyway?

What am I on about? Well, I’m evangelical about ensuring my businesses educate our customers on all matters IT, so you can actually REDUCE your reliance on your IT company. Logically that means in time they won’t have to spend as much money with my businesses, or they may even be able to drop us completely and do it (IT – geddit?) themselves. Would you like to know how to reduce your reliance on your IT company? Well, keep on reading…..

So let’s consider:

  • We’re providing FREE education on all matters IT to our clients (and everyone if you follow us on social media or this blog)
  • That FREE education reduces client dependence on us
  • Reduced client dependence means reduced fees for my companies
  • In the extreme you may feel that you don’t need us at all!

Simply put, we’re providing free education which may result in reduced income for us.

Yeah, that’s crazy.

Do you think?

Or maybe there’s something else going on? If so, what?

Confidence and trust, that’s what.

We’re confident that by educating our customers and their staff in computing and IT matters we will increase trust. And if we increase trust, they’ll continue their partnership with us.

Let’s face it, there are too many companies in IT who give the industry a bad name. We conducted a market survey last year, and the number one issue that came out was ‘Trust’. People rely on their IT provider to provide them with IT solutions appropriate to their business. Too often those people don’t understand what is being offered and can be left with an uneasy feeling of paying for something they don’t need.

That is absolutely not what any of my businesses are about. The last thing I want is for our customers to feel that way. We want – we need – you to feel assured with your IT solutions. The only way we can do that is through education and trust.

That’s why if you follow us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) you will see, at least weekly, tips on all matters IT.

That’s why this year we implemented our ‘IT Roadshows’ – we visit all our contracted customers and present to every member of their staff. What we do, why we do it, computer usage tips,  cyber security tips. Free.

That’s why all our staff are instructed to communicate in plain English – to explain any matter IT in a way that the recipient understands. No bamboozlement.

And that’s why all our staff sign-up to our cultural values. You can read them all here.

 

Crazy? If doing what is right for our customers is crazy, then fine, guilty as charged!

Thanks for reading, until next time…

Backing up and protecting your data – the basics

I was asked at a networking meeting recently for recommendations on best practice for backing up a laptop. It was in the context of an individual who has sensitive data on their laptop, and what follows were my recommendations. It’s worth noting that these recommendations apply as much to SMEs as they do to an individual.

  1. We recommend a belt and brace approach. A local backup and a cloud backup. This applies to single-PC/laptop users and companies with servers and networks alike. Local backups protect you from internet accessibility failures (they do happen!) and cloud backup protects you from local failures, and is also an invaluable defence against Ransomware.
  2. Cloud storage is NOT Cloud backup. A professional cloud backup system has end-to-end encryption and provides for a complete system restore. Files in Cloud storage are fully susceptible to ransomware. Find out more here: https://neovault.net/
  3. Anyone who has access to company systems -whether an employee or not, whether local or remote – should be subject to the same IT and security policies as locally-based employees. If you don’t have any IT policies in place, strongly recommend that you do so.
  4. Anti-virus and anti-spam software should be professional, ie paid, versions
  5. Mobile devices carrying personal data – client, employee, supplier etc – are a GDPR risk and need to fall under the company IT policy umbrella
  6. Encrypt the hard drives on your laptops

Hoping this provides some useful guidance!

US Laptop Bans Lifted on Kuwait Airways and Royal Jordanian

Airport BanAfter security inspections of Kuwait Airways by US officials and the implementation of new security measures for US-bound flights by Royal Jordanian, the two carriers were allowed to lift the ban on laptops.

What Ban?

Back in March, the UK and US governments introduced a ban on taking laptops and tablets on planes as cabin baggage on flights from selected Middle East and North African Countries. The stated aim was to reduce the risk of concealed bombs being taken on board passenger aircraft.

For the UK, the ban was set to cover all flights from 6 countries: Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Lebanon. This means that 14 airlines, including British Airways and Easyjet, have been affected by the ban.

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British Airways Says ‘Never Again’ After Weekend Meltdown

British Airways Plane BABritish Airways has moved to try and mitigate some of the damage caused to its reputation as a result of an IT systems meltdown that left 75,000 passengers stranded at airports and separated from their luggage over the busy Bank Holiday weekend, by announcing that it will never allow it to happen again.

Power Surge

British Airways has stated that its flights from Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday were cancelled, and flights into Britain were severely affected because a power surge shut down British Airways baggage and communication systems.

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Flash Battery – Worlds Fastest Phone Charge?

Flash Battery ChargeIsraeli company StoreDot have reportedly claimed that their innovative Flash Battery technology means that five-minute charging smartphones could be on the market by 2018.

Minutes Rather Than Hours

On average it takes most of us anywhere between one to three hours to charge our smartphones depending on the size of the battery and the flow capacity of the charger.

Considering how pressed for time most of us are nowadays, five-minute charging may seem like a dream come true, although it may be a reality in 2018.

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Brexit Blamed For Microsoft £400 Price Rise

brexit, europe, flagThe effects of the UK’s vote to leave the EU and the resulting fall in the value of the pound appear to be the reasons why Microsoft has raised the price of its Surface PCs by as much as 15% in the UK.

Big Hike

The price hike is likely to add up to £400 to the price of some Microsoft’s Surface and Surface Book PCs here in the UK.

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