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How can proactive IT support and ongoing monitoring help your business?

IT functionality provides a firm foundation on which any business can begin to grow. A well designed infrastructure and proactive support will optimise IT investment to deliver real returns and enable tangible development. For any organisation, the right support and monitoring can be both an efficient way to handle the challenges of modern business IT and an opportunity to enjoy the benefits.

Ongoing monitoring has become essential

From network performance through to attacks on servers, monitoring is a simple way to ensure insight and awareness of critical change to IT systems. The performance insights that network monitoring provides enable IT infrastructure to be better tailored to the business, to identify resources that could be better used and areas where support is lacking. Networking monitoring also provides crucial early warning when issues arise. The timing of a response to something like a security breach can make all the difference to its outcome – without ongoing monitoring some breaches can simply go unseen and the damage can be significant as a result.

Proactive IT support provides access to experts at a manageable cost

An in-house IT team is an expense that many organisations – especially SMEs – simply can’t cover. 24/7 support for problem solving and routine administration doesn’t have to come from an internal team. In cost benefit terms it rarely makes sense to opt for this kind of investment, particularly when economies of scale make the expertise and experience of an in-house team available at a fraction of the price via an outsourced service. With proactive outsourced IT support, a business has the support and strategic vision it needs to thrive without the heavy cost burden of paying for this in-house.

Business continuity is improved with the right support

From network monitoring, to regular maintenance and expert disaster recovery planning, proactive IT support includes many features that are designed to deliver improved business continuity. Operational disruption is one of the biggest threats to organisations today, particularly given the rise in the number of cyber attacks and the much higher expectations that customers now have, particularly when it comes to data protection. It’s essential that organisations have business continuity provision in place and proactive IT support makes this simple.

A well designed IT infrastructure can improve productivity

Businesses that benefit from IT support that helps to optimise infrastructure design and includes regular, proactive maintenance, have the opportunity to significantly improve productivity. Systems and strategies that are the right fit for the organisation (i.e. the hardware and software required to meet business’s needs) support swifter growth and development and help to remove obstacles that hinder productivity. Well maintained systems reduce key frustrations – for example, a well maintained infrastructure results in 80% fewer support calls – and remove inefficiencies that might be preventing a business from moving forward.

Our proactive managed IT support makes all the resources of an enterprise class IT department available to any business. From continuous network monitoring, to maintenance and strategic vision, we can support your IT infrastructure fully. Get in touch with help4IT today to find out more.

What data compliance expectations are there for your IT infrastructure?

There is no doubt that the GDPR is dominating the data discussion right now. The EU regulation comes into force on 25th May and will put new obligations on businesses to better handle the data of individuals and make it more accessible to users. However, outside of the GDPR, what expectations exist when it comes to the average IT infrastructure and how do you ensure that your business is meeting these expectations?

Positive data management

Customer expectations surrounding data management have been heightened by the conversations that have arisen around the GDPR. Now, there is significantly more focus on the way that businesses handle data and an expectation that proactive steps will be taken to ensure positive management of any information that customers or clients hand over. Legal compliance requires that data is properly stored and secured, held only for a limited period of time and then safely disposed of. However, this will also help to ensure that your business is able to meet the expectations that customers have around how data should be managed.

Business continuity

Compliance with regulation such as the GDPR could take you down the route of using virtualisation as a better way to ensure data security, for example, and implementing a CRM that can track the dates on which users gave consent. This compliance infrastructure can also be developed to meet key expectations around business continuity and has a range of other benefits. The use of virtualisation, for example, will ensure that you always have a data back up in place, providing the foundations of reliable business continuity even when events or incidents occur to disrupt this.

Choosing the right IT provider

The GDPR places more responsibility on businesses to be responsible for data. The knock on effect of this is that expectations are much higher when it comes to how brands design IT infrastructure – including the IT providers they choose. Your customers not only expect your own business to be on top of compliance requirements but for this to also be factored into the decisions that you make about the partners that you work with. Looking for an IT provider that meets requirements, such as FCS, PRA, SANS, Cyber Essentials and SEC standards will help to ensure that data protection compliance is a priority for all those you partner with. And the ultimate result will be that all that data handled is better protected and expectations are met.

Improving internal understanding

True data protection compliance requires everyone in the business to be on board. All staff should understand how IT infrastructure contributes to data protection and also what is required of each person within the organisation to work in a safe and compliant way. It’s also crucial that there is a good understanding of what data the business works with, why it is processed, how it makes its way through the IT infrastructure and where the vulnerabilities lie. This is not just legal compliance but also the only way to ensure safe and efficient data management that meets legal and customer expectations.

We provide unrivalled IT support and consultancy services to help ensure our clients’ systems meet all expectations – contact us to find out more.

The 7 benefits of managed IT support for your business

Managed IT support is a smart solution for any business. From meeting challenges of security through to enabling better strategic planning, there are many good reasons why managed IT support makes sense.

1. 24/7 helpdesk support

Expert support is one of the key benefits of managed IT support. The cost and commitment of providing round the clock helpdesk resources in-house makes this level of support impossible to provide for all but the largest and best resourced businesses. However, as part of a managed IT support package, a 24/7 helpdesk is available to organisations of any size and for everything, from remote problem solving to routine administration.

2. Network monitoring

Security is a significant vulnerability for many businesses today and network monitoring has a big role to play in improving this. Where comprehensive network monitoring is in place there is an early warning system when an issue arises and small inconsistencies that could be a sign of a larger problem are spotted early. Monitoring of critical network and valuable servers is affordable and scalable as part of managed IT support.

3. Strategic overview

Does your business have the right infrastructure to serve its goals and purposes? Have you mapped out hardware and software need in line with business strategy in the coming years? Managed IT support means having an IT manager who maintains a comprehensive overview of your IT and ensures that software and hardware needs are being met and planned for.

4. An upgrade in expertise

For many businesses, working with a managed IT support service means an upgrade in expertise and access to specialists the business would not be able to afford on an in-house contract. The service is set up so that a specialist technician carries out weekly remote administration of the business’ server, preparing and maintaining detailed information on the IT infrastructure.

5. Information collection and communication

Businesses working with managed IT support are assigned a dedicated technician who will keep detailed records about the business. This kind of data can be invaluable when it comes to working out whether the current IT infrastructure is fit for purpose and where key changes could be beneficially made. Communication is easy, as the dedicated technician will keep the rest of the business’ virtual IT department informed and up-to-date.

6. Real time data and regular reporting

Reporting on IT use and need has a crucial role to play in ensuring the infrastructure in place is providing the best possible support to the business. Working with a managed IT service means regular reporting so that key information is always available to the management team. Secure access enables support and data to be obtained 24/7 without any concerns about unauthorised access.

7. System specification and procurement

Procurement and system specification represent a challenge to most businesses, particularly those on the smaller side of the scale. Without the right experience and expertise it may be beyond the scope of existing knowledge to make the right acquisitions. A managed IT support service enables these requirements to be outsourced, saving time and cost and ensuring the right decisions are made.

Managed IT support has a number of very real benefits for businesses looking to ensure they are getting the most from existing infrastructure. Contact help4IT today to find out more.

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