Blog : Otley

How COVID-19 will likely affect how businesses work in the future

How COVID-19 will likely affect how businesses work in the future

There’s no doubt about it the impact of Coronavirus has been huge, but how much will go back to “normal” when this is all over? What is “normal” going to be? Because it will not be what we were all used to pre covid-19.

In this post we will aim to set out what we believe the differences will be and what you and your team need to do to not only survive but thrive. Also please feel free to let know your thoughts.

A bit of back story from our perspective which I’ll try to keep to the point. In trying to balance relationship building and customer service our engineers have often opted to go to the clients’ offices and carry out our services in person when they could be done remotely.

This has been done for a few reasons as well as the two mentioned above, it seems somewhat counter-intuitive to spend time traveling when no or little other client work can be carried out when a job can be done remotely but we feel on balance the benefits outweigh this and until recently it’s been hard for clients’ to understand that a decent job can be done remotely. That’s by far a criticism but as remote working has only recently been largely adopted by UK businesses, you know what you know. (In March we set up over 500 VPN connections for our clients).

So we’ve always been advocates for the fact that remote working is not only possible but has many benefits over traveling to the office, like all things in life though, it’s surely about finding the right balance?

What’s it going to be like when Lockdown is over?
There’s no doubt about it things will be different, I think there’s a new understanding from management about how businesses can operate extremely efficiently remotely.

So I believe we will see a mix, I think we will all rush back into our offices to see co-workers and I doubt much work will be done that first day back, however as the dust settles I think we will see a much more fluid and connected workplace not just by office feng shui.

We’ve all spent a lot of time setting up remote working and forcibly become accustomed to it, there will no doubt be times when this makes sense rather than popping into the office.

How can businesses adapt to this new landscape?
Some things never change, clients and prospects will still want requests dealt with rapidly as the internet has accustomed us to, so we will all still need to offer amazing support on our products and services, however, there will be an understanding that a colleague may be working remotely and so hasn’t yet spoken to the office about a report or proposal yet.

This means that while answers to queries will need to be quick an understanding that the answers aren’t immediately available will purvey.

As we get back into the swing of the new normal it will be important to have amazing team collaboration software to effectively communicate and deliver for your clients. Things such as teamwork.com and Slack are great for this, they allow for fluid communication and bundling projects together, many of our clients have been using these tools for years and if you’re not using them yet I suggest you check them out.

Awesome phone systems that are adaptable and full of helpful features will be paramount. Such as not only a desk phone but also backed by an app you can have on your Laptop, Desktop, iPad, Mobile Phone, etc. They allow you to do everything you can do at your desk and more such as chat with colleagues and visual voicemail.
https://www.auroratechsupport.co.uk/hosted-voip/

Apparently we’ve all spent a huge amount on home office furniture, for those that have space this will no doubt stay and continue to allow us to get huge amounts done outside the office, therefore ergonomic workspaces will be incredibly important to allow a fluid workflow.
https://absoluteci.co.uk

flexible working embedded as standard, will no doubt be the biggest challenge, however, companies that allow their workforce to work flexibly and monitor results rather than time will benefit the most. Giving your team the freedom to produce results at the best times rather than clocking in and clocking out will have huge benefits for your business. Make sure that it’s part of your HR policy and you’re constantly adapting and monitoring.
https://hr180.co.uk

These are the core principles we should all focus on to allow for efficiency and growth coming out of COVID-19 there will no doubt be much much more to look at as we all get back to “normal”

Thanks, everyone that made it this far, we’d love to hear from you.

covid-19 coronavirus and how to ensure business continuity

covid-19 coronavirus report and how best to protect your business

Get set up to work remotely, remotely

Get set up to work remotely, remotely

Hope you’re all managing to stay safe, how many weeks are we into Lockdown now? I honestly can’t keep track, not moving around as much as we used to and only going out for server outages has made the usual passage of time somewhat distorted.

Now we’re all working from home, I’m sure we all have a pretty good idea of how things could operate smoothly, but of course, you don’t really want anyone out to set things up for you so you can continue to offer amazing solutions and products for your clients for fear of spreading the Virus.

So that’s where we have some amazing news 🙂

We can set up all you need remotely as long as you have an internet connection to your devices! No need to have an engineer out to you to get your trading unaffected.

Amazing! Give us a call if you’d like to discuss 01937 586888

Remote working – How to set up your business to allow remote working for the whole team

Remote working – How to set up your business to allow remote working for the whole team

Modern businesses need modern working practices.

Remote working brings many benefits, no more time stuck in traffic, no late trains, no time lost to the dreaded commute. Researchers have also found that remote working leads to healthier and more productive employees. In spite of the benefits, it can be difficult to know where to start. Businesses often worry about the cost of equipment and software packages in order to make remote working a viable option, but it doesn’t need to be that complicated.

Cloud working is now the norm for a lot of businesses, even if you’re not already using cloud products setting up a VPN to allow employees access to all the files they need can be done in a relatively short period of time and often for a low investment.

Allowing your team or even requiring you team to work from home or on the road not only has huge productivity benefits it also disaster proofs your business should employees not be able to get into work for a period of time due to illnesses or weather conditions for example.

Often businesses have the equipment required to provide remote working for your team with just security and settings needing to be configured. And when equipment is required often the cost is fairly low.

If you’d like to have a chat about how remote working can benefit your business please get in touch and give us a call.

Remote Working & Business I.T. Security Services

What basic security should my business have in place for 2020

What basic security should my business have in place for 2020

It seems each year technology changes at an unrecognisable rate, and managing the security in your business can seem like a full-time issue (or is neglected all together). There’s serious threats now to businesses and their data with ransomware attacks up 12% year on year for the last 3 years.

This page aims to be an extremely basic guide to what you should have in place in your Business in 2020 at a bare minimum.

Endpoint Security

Endpoint security is a software security package that provides, anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-ransomware firewall, and intrusion detection. It terminates at a central control panel so your I.T. provider can view all alerts across all devices on the network without needing to check each system individually.

Robust Backups

A robust backup solution for your business is imperative for business continuity, this is not only a secured on-site copy of your data with ransomware protection but a secure off-site copy with previous versions and retained deleted files. Simply taking a copy of your data is not enough and it’s only a matter of time before you’re caught out (if you haven’t been already).

Router ports blocked

Many hackers will use known exploits in Windows security to gain access to your devices, blocking this access of your companies Router is essential to ensure that your data does not fall into the wrong hands, you don’t want these people on your network at all, once they are in they can unleash huge damage on your network and data.

 

In summary network security is an absolute requirement for any business these days, if you’d like to discuss the security of your business network and devices please give us a call from the number at the top, or book a meeting using the link on the right or to find out a little bit more about what we do please check the link below.

I.T. Hardware and Infrastructure Support

“I.T. is boring”

“I.T. is boring”

Late last week I was having a conversation with a good client about their website and how they could use it to generate more work for their business, all the little things that drive traffic and get visitors to engage, how they might stay in touch with visitors that don’t enquire there and then and how they ensure that they are giving their prospects and clients what they want.

We must have been speaking for 10 minutes about where they were improving their website and what it was going to mean for the future of the company and then my client said to me “I.T. is boring”. Had we not just been waxing lyrical for 10 minutes about all the interesting a beneficial stuff they were doing with their website?

What I realised is that while I may love the technology behind the scenes and creating something that produces a result, they may not they just love the end product not the journey. I understand that, I don’t love the endless gym sessions and pitch-black 5ks to the next village and back of a night but I love the end result.

So I understand that a lot of people think IT is boring, even if we love it. But how great would it be to let us deliver an end result for you, your clients and your prospects that drives growth and success for your business?

Creating I.T. systems that give amazing experiences for your clients and prospects is our bread and butter.

Whatever you’d like to achieve in your business this year we can help you make that vision a reality if you’d like to have a chat about your goals and how we can work together to deliver them we’d love to have a chat.

Give us a call on 01937 586888

I.T. Hardware and Infrastructure Support

The end of Windows 7 as we know it

The end of Windows 7 as we know it

Today marks Windows 7 EndOf Life. In short, this means Microsoft will no longer release security upgrades and patches for security vulnerabilities.

But as Microsoft ends support for the Windows 7 operating system, still 79% of businesses in 2019 had at least one Windows 7 device in their office.

This will be a huge security flaw on any network moving forwards as Microsoft will not release security patches for known flaws and Internet Security and Virus protection do not patch security holes, that is the job of the operating system provider.

By March 2020 at the latest, you need to have all systems in your organisation running a supported operating system.

If you would like an Aurora Tech Support engineer to come to site to produce a free audit not just covering Windows 7 systems but a full security assessment please book to the right.

“What should I look for in Business I.T. support companies?”

“What should I look for in Business I.T. support companies?”

As I.T. becomes more and more integral to the daily operation of our businesses it’s therefore becoming more and more important to ensure that the I.T. support in our companies is not only fit for purpose but changing as the years go by to keep pace with all the changes in the way the world uses technology to make decisions and spend money.

New ways of communicating with prospects and clients are popping up or improving all the time and the expectations of those we do business with are getting ever higher as technology allows more and more companies to compete. Companies who would previously be left for dust.

So when looking for an I.T. support company to support your business, it’s clients, it’s staff and it’s assets you don’t just need an I.T. company that can cover the technicalities of what you and your team are setting out to achieve but also an I.T. partner that understand where your business is going.

Aurora Tech Support work hard not just to monitor your network and iron out the creases, look for gaps in security and fix, make sure devices are running as efficiently as possible but we also look to see where your company might take you in the next 2 years and what your I.T. should do to assist that growth in your company’s operations.

We look to build relationships with our clients and be as involved in their day to day operations and success as anyone involved in your future. In fact, that’s where we believe we leave other I.T. companies for dust, we pride ourselves on our customer service, conscientious attitude, and communication.

If you’d like to have a chat with a member of staff about the I.T. in your business and how we can help you succeed please give us a call on

01937 586888

How to speed up Office computers

How to speed up Office computers

One thing we get asked a lot by clients is how to speed up the computers on the office network.

Unfortunatly there’s not one answer for this but I’m going to outline the most common reasons the computers in your business might be running slow.

RAM

In each of the computers in your business you’ll have a set amount of RAM and an amount your computer will support. Typical values for this are 4-8Gb currently and a maximum of 16Gb. A good target if your computer is running slow is to try and double what you currently have, the more the better but really your aim should be to try and ensure you’re not using all of it and you have some capacity left.

CPU

Another reason you might be suffering from slow business machines is the CPU (or processor) in your systems. Unfortunatly this cannot be upgraded the way RAM can above, and really needs to be a major consideration when purchasing PCs for the office in the first place. The best in our experiance is a Intel i3 at a minimum or an Intel i5 or i7 would be ideal.

HDD

A HDD or Hard Disk Drive is the part of your computer that stores all the data, so the letters, spreadsheets, email and Windows and all the applications installed on your system. But there’s a shift to what are called SSD or Solid State Drives. These are storage containers that have no moving parts (like the USB Storage you plug in to a computer) this is not only much quicker than traditional HDDs but more reliable and less prone to faults. Also we can clone your existing HDD to a SSD.

Apps

Over time or even at manufacture a lot of apps and software get installed on your office PCs, and a lot will start with Windows even though you’re not using them, some need to run when the systems start but many don’t. By configuring what needs to be running and what doesn’t you can make significant improvements to the PCs running in your business.


As mentioned at the top there can be hundreds of reasons a PC might be running slow but these are some of the most common, when we take care of a clients business I.T. systems we monitor and look out for these causes so they can be fixed.

If you’d liek to have a chat about Aurora Tech Support maintaining your office infrastructure ether as a part of an ongoing monthly agreeent or ad hoc please give us a call.

01937 586888

How to make rapid efficiency gains in your organisation over the next 12 months

How to make rapid efficiency gains in your organisation over the next 12 months

The I.T. in your business can help you not only deliver amazing client experiences but really explode your companies growth.

A few of the things you should consider implementing in your organisation if you haven’t already and their benefits to you.

A maintenance agreement not only gives you an I.T. professional to call and ask for I.T. advice whenever you need it but the add-on services attached provide many more tangible benefits. By remotely monitoring and managing devices you can:-

– Reduce downtime
Real-time alerts and allows us your IT provider to remediate IT problems before your users come to you and tell you they can’t work.

– Enforce IT Compliance, reliability and system security
Protect your organization through fully managed patching, antivirus and backups.

– Reporting
Get frequent reports on where improvements can be made and efficiency gains be found.

If you want to speak with someone no obligation please use the below link to send us your details and we’d love to provide a free audit of your systems.

#Growth #Business #ITSupport

Find out how I.T. can catapult your companies growth

What does your business need to go to the next step?

What does your business need to go to the next step?

Scaling a business is hard, and that’s the main reason 8 out of 10 businesses fail. Of course I make the assumption they are good technically at what they do.

Often the failure to scale a business means that companies can’t manage turbulent times or unforeseen periods of difficulty that sometimes aren’t even created by those in the business. As technology weaves it’s way further into the fabric of our businesses the need to use those I.T. systems to scale and grow becomes greater and greater.

I.T. and the technology available to you is your “get out of jail free” card, often solutions can be implemented at a fraction of the cost of a new employee, to achieve the necessary growth required to hire those new team members you require but don’t have the capital quite yet. For over 15 years we’ve worked with many Yorkshire companies to create efficiency in their offices, increase employee engagement and productivity.

We first sit down with you, understand your business it’s values and challenges and then we look at monitoring the performance of the systems in your company and look to make improvements not just in the systems performance but how the technology in your business is used.

From this we can each month make constant improvements and efficiency gains for your team. This then leads into a huge spike in productivity and employee engagement.

Then scaling your business is easy, as it’s done in a holistic and manageable way, we’re positive that only by building these relationships with you can businesses succeed and thrive. In fact for 15 years we’ve built scaled Aurora Tech Support in this way through our technology. If you’d like to have a chat with us about how we can help you to scale and create a business for your competitors to be jealous of please get in touch.

I.T. Hardware and Infrastructure Support