Can you Afford to Ignore a Disaster Recovery Plan?

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Do you ever think about what would happen to your business should disaster strike? What if you experience a serious data loss, where would you work if the building was damaged by a fire or flood? Whether it’s a natural disaster or a preventable catastrophe, businesses need to be ready for the worst – or pay the price.

Small Business Trends recently reported that over half of small to medium businesses are not prepared for data loss, and 60% of those that lose data end up closing within six months. The sad part is that businesses have the opportunity to become resilient and can fight back after an accident or disaster – but they fail to prepare for these circumstances.

The trouble is, most businesses simply don’t prioritise a DR plan. They think it will never happen to them. No company can afford to backbench a disaster recovery and business continuity plan, because if they do, the business might never recover. Here are some things to think about in terms of running the business in the aftermath of a disaster, and how they can be protected with a plan in place.

Equipment and Technology

If the business is hit by Mother Nature or an arson attack, it is likely that the majority of your expensive equipment will be ruined. If all of your computers are stolen, how would the business function? How would you still be able to serve your clients? You need to make sure you have top quality insurance for all eventualities, and a disaster recovery plan to identify how normal running would resume as quickly as possible.

Data Backup

If something goes wrong with your equipment then your entire IT system will be affected – including data storage. Always have backups in place, to ensure you don’t lose company data forever. If you can’t access your client database how on earth are you going to carry on?

Communications

When you can’t access the office or your business premises, how will you communicate with your suppliers and clients? It’s important that you let people know there may be a disruption in services and that customers can contact you if needed. But if your phone line is down, what message does this give out? A professional disaster recovery plan should recognise this issue and explain how voice calls can be taken from another location, such as using hosted voice and mobile solutions.

The cost of disasters can often send a business into administration – can you afford to ignore disaster recovery plans?

4 Reasons to Move to the Cloud

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If you’ve never considered cloud computing then you probably don’t understand the multiple benefits and cost savings associated with cloud solutions. Migrating to the cloud is often viewed by some businesses as a huge effort which doesn’t need to be prioritised – but resisting the change could do more harm than good. Cloud service providers have been around for almost a decade now, helping companies collaborate easier and improve productivity.

Still not convinced? Read on for our top four reasons for making the transition to the cloud.

Save on infrastructure and running costs

It can be very difficult for companies to find large sums of money to invest in IT hardware and infrastructure when it is required. Moving to a cloud based infrastructure allows businesses to manage IT expenditure more effectively, without the need to invest so often. Cloud service providers offer pay-as-you-go packages usually with a monthly fee, so it’s easy for IT departments to plan for spending and manage budgets.

Flexibility

Businesses and employees are constantly craving more flexibility in terms of working hours and locations. Nowadays it is just not feasible to save all company files and data on a hard drive which is only accessible in the office. The cloud lets companies adapt to flexible working, so employees can work anywhere, anytime.

Greater collaboration

As well as a greater collaboration between employees, cloud services bring together freelancers and business partners from all over the globe. Documents saved on the cloud in real time can be shared rapidly with anybody you’re working with, allowing for greater teamwork and productivity.

Scalability

A huge benefit working on the cloud is the ease of scalability. Physically, dealing with demand would mean spending more capital on expanding infrastructure, whereas if the business grows on the cloud it is easy to increase your storage needs. The server capacity will move up and down to adapt to the business requirements. This is also good news for your green credentials – you won’t be wasting energy as the cloud will only use what is needed. Using the cloud can also reduce paper usage for meetings, which is another environmental advantage. If you’d like to find out more about cloud solutions and how your business could benefit from cloud migration, contact Dynamic Edge.

How Important is your Website Host?

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Does your website live in a safe place? By this we mean where it is hosted, because choosing a website host can actually have a huge impact on your site’s speed and reliability. Many people don’t realise the importance of website hosting, and how choosing the wrong type of hosting service for your business requirements could spell disaster for your website.

When it comes to web hosting, there are a myriad of options and different price brackets – which means budget also plays a factor in the hosting service you choose. Before opting for the cheapest hosting provider, ask yourself: how much would you pay for a reliable website which never goes offline?

That’s the main risk to consider when choosing a website hosting provider, the amount of downtime you could experience. Shared hosting, which is often a cheaper option, probably won’t offer the best performance, while housing your own server at your business premises is probably the most reliable and secure choice. This way you cut out the middleman, although you are responsible for keeping it updated and running 24/7.

The second important factor influenced by hosting is security. If you take online payments or personal details through your website, then you should take security very seriously. Websites need to be secure at all times and not fail at the last stages of checking out.

Now you know how important it is to choose the right server hosting selection, here are the main choices.

Shared Hosting

As you might guess from the name, this type of hosting requires you to share the server resources with other websites. The advantage is this comes at a lower cost, however be aware that other sites can cause problems for yours when you share the same server.

VPS (Virtual Private Server)

With VPS you will still be sharing a server with other sites, however you’ll have dedicated resources such as disk space, which should prevent other sites directly affecting yours. Businesses will also have a greater sense of control and be able to tailor requirements which simply isn’t possible with shared hosting.

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated hosting is the premium option. This allows you to rent an entire server from a hosting company, or you can even have the server at your own data centre or business premises. You have full control over performance and security, yet you will also need the resources to look after the server independently and pay for repairs or upgrades.

Never underestimate the importance of your website host – your business can’t function without it.

Why a Managed IT Service is Best

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Businesses of all sizes can benefit from a managed IT service – it gives the reassurance that when technology goes wrong, problems can be fixed as efficiently as possible by professional IT technicians. By outsourcing your IT support services, your company can also gain access to the latest state of the art equipment, which you might not be able to invest in yourself.

Managed IT services come in all different shapes and sizes. Some businesses require help with IT strategy and hardware, while other organisations may only need remote monitoring and support as it is required. A packaged IT service can be tailored to individual business needs, which is what makes it such an attractive option.

If you’re considering different options for IT support and IT management, read on to find out why an outsourced managed service is usually the best option.

Large resource pool

When choosing a managed IT service, you instantly have access to a large resource pool of multi-skilled IT pros. If you hired a permanent staff member as an IT technician, you only have one pair of hands to look after the entire company – with an IT services company, you have access to an entire team of IT experts. That means a larger skill base for the same price or less than hiring your own.

Expertise and specialist advice

A managed IT service is bespoke, and therefore delivers everything you need from day one. From a successful IT strategy to advice about the latest technology to invest in, a service provider is happy to provide expertise. Most companies don’t have the budget or workload for an IT director or manager, but with a fully managed IT support service, advice is only ever a call away.

Cost effective

Even though businesses are essentially getting more skills and expertise than hiring their own staff, they will see cost savings from choosing a managed IT service. By outsourcing, the company won’t have to pay NI contributions, pension contributions and other benefits which all add up.  Instead of paying one person a

A few of the many benefits when you choose Dynamic Edge as your cloud computing partner…

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Just as with the introduction of computers and the internet, cloud computing has changed the way we do business. In a fast-moving and increasingly mobile digital world, IT solutions need to be dynamic, smart and holistic – enter cloud computing.The word “cloud” can easily be exchanged for “on the internet”, and this is the basis behind cloud computing, it’s taking your traditional desktop/locally installed hardware and software, and moving it all online, or “into the cloud”.But what are the benefits of this approach, we hear you ask… In honesty there are far too many to list, but here are a few highlights to get you started!

 

    1. Be “always online”
      Cloud computing allows staff to be online wherever they are,in a “mobile desktop” of sorts. If there’s an internet connection available, a cloud-driven IT set-up provides staff with all of the facilities commonly associated with the office, from email to Excel, and everything in between, if it’s in the cloud, it’s with you.
    2. Disaster? What disaster?
      In the era of cyber security and high profile IT malfunctions, it is important that businesses of all sizes have a robust, tried and tested disaster recovery plan. Sounds expensive, right? Not with the cloud. No more are companies required to back-up expensive on-site hardware to ensure business continuity. Instead, cloud solutions allow for data recovery and back-ups to happen in an online environment – saving time and money should the worst happen.
    3. Automatic software updates
      With your company’s servers off site and out of mind, important software updates such as security changes are handled by the supplier at server level and not your IT staff on-site. This gives companies using cloud solution the peace of mind that all systems are fully up to date and secure, and gives your IT staff the freedom to focus on more important things, like growing your business…Sound interesting? Arrange a coffee with us and we’ll happily talk you through the many other benefits you could be taking advantage of with Dynamic Edge’s cloud solutions. We guarantee you’ll realise business efficiencies instantly and the only question you’ll have will be “why didn’t we do this sooner?!”

 

In what locations are Dynamic Edge currently serving?

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In a recent client tender we were asked to provide the details of the locations Dynamic Edge are currently providing IT services. Naturally, like most companies, we have a database with all our clients’ information; so, this was easy enough to provide. However, we thought it would be much more interesting to create something more visual to really show where we are serving and took it upon ourselves to create a heatmap that we could insert along with the list required. Here were the results: