I have been working with small to medium firms now for over 15 years, whilst IT systems have progressed infinitely in terms of software and hardware, some of the top issues that organisations face have not.
If you look at the bottom right of your screen near your clock, you should see an icon that relates to your virus protection. There are many companies that provide virus protection so this could be in the form of a McAfee, Symantec or AVG icon, to name a few. If you then right click and go to the about screen, you should be able to get the date of the virus definitions. Virus protection works as long as the virus definitions are up-to-date, if the definitions are more than a day or so out of date then your system is at risk. Now multiply this by the number of machines you have (and also not forgetting servers), are you sure all your machines are fully up-to-date? Your IT suppler should be managing this for you. If you have any doubt, contact Fusion for a free PC health check.
SPAM messages are classed as messages that you didn’t give permission for the sender to send. To get your name on a legitimate email list is not very difficult, have you ever subscribed or bought something and forgotten to click on the “do not give my details to trusted sources” checkbox? Many of us (myself included) will have done this, one firm sells a list to another firm and another firm sells it on, before you know it you are receiving emails from all sorts of companies. The one thing that differentiates between SPAM and a marketing email is the ability to unsubscribe, if you cannot unsubscribe and they are trying to sell you Viagra then the chances are its SPAM! How many of these do you receive a day? There are ways to stop these messages coming through, a good IT supplier or your ISP can help you with this.
How many people put in a tape each day and never actually test the backups? Many people do not even do backups, relying on the fact that hardware is more robust and reliable than it used to be. But what happens if you have a fire, flood or genuinely delete a file by accident? Every company should have an offsite backup, if you don’t you are running the risk of complete data loss, if you lost all your computer data would your business ever recover? A couple of other things that would keep me awake on a night; OK we are getting successful backups, but is my IT supplier backing up all the correct data that we have? Also when was the last time you did a test restore?
One of the main gripes that many clients have is the speed of the internet. You can obviously throw lots of money at dedicated leased lines into your buildings, but this isn’t always the most effective solution. There are many ways to increase your connection speed and it does not have to cost the earth. We can do an audit of your existing internet connection and make recommendations to bring you up to speed. It maybe that you have a fault on your line that needs chasing up with BT or it maybe that you need to bond two lines together to create one bigger connection. New technologies are coming out all the time; Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC), Virgin high speed connections and we can even utilise the mobile networks for emergency internet connectivity. Unless you have someone trying to bring these new technologies to your organisation you will be left behind.
Many firms struggle when it comes to getting connectivity into the office, in this day and age you should be able to access your email, office files and accounting system from wherever you are in the world. I personally have a home office, I am just as efficient working at home as I am in the office, in fact without the disruption of the office environment I would argue that I am far more productive. If you called into the office to speak to me whilst I was working from home the office would simply transfer you to my VOIP (Voice Over IP, basically a telephone that works over the internet) extension, it would be seamless to the caller. There are many solutions to help you achieve this such as VPN, remote desktop, direct access & Citrix, your IT supplier will be able to help you choose the right technology.
I have just scratched the surface of the top 5 issues that we come across, these are just some of the issues that Fusion strives to make sure are not issues which keep our clients awake at night.
Jamie Watson, Managing Director at Fusion IT Management Limited