Is it time for an IT audit?

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Have you ever performed a full information technology audit of your business? Doing a deep dive into your IT infrastructure can be a fantastic way to understand your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Technology is ever-evolving and companies that stay on top of these changes are likely to be more cost and process efficient, as well as being likely to have better cyber security and resilience.

Here are some questions you may ask to decide whether or not it is time to perform an IT audit:

1 Have we ever done an audit before?

This one is an obvious question, but if you’ve never taken the time to look at the full technical infrastructure in place at your company, then how can you know where you stand, where the risks are, and what tech opportunities exist to increase your business efficiencies?

Mapping out your current tech set-up, including hardware and software, from phone systems to website hosting, ERP to database hosting, this can be a very useful exercise.

Our tip? Look for vulnerabilities first – what are your biggest cyber security risks? What is the worst-case scenario and what are your contingencies if the worst was to happen? Think of database back-ups, cloud software and VoIP versus PBX phone systems as examples where you might reduce vulnerability in your organisation.

2 What tech advances have we taken advantage of in the last 3 years?

As stated before, technology evolves at such a pace it is hugely important that businesses take stock and have an eye on the present and the future to ensure they’re not left behind. In reality your business should already be taking advantages of such technologies as cloud-based applications such as Microsoft Office 365, IP calling, and connected enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

These technologies typically can create massive efficiencies with your workforce, enabling the tools to have employees work smarter. They can also save you serious money when you take advantage of cloud systems versus more traditional “hard install” systems such as phone lines and enterprise software.

3 Are we safe and secure?

Cyber security remains a hot topic and unfortunately no business is invincible against a hacking attack or disaster. Data is a valuable commodity and could be considered the lifeblood of your organisation – think financial, marketing, customer, and HR records all held electronically. The types of questions that you should ask include –

  • Where is our data held?
  • What is our data retention policy?
  • What is our back-up and recovery plan?
  • Who is keeping an eye on our infrastructure?
  • Who is on call if our systems fail in an evening or weekend?

Of course, these questions are intended to open discussions with your business and assist in towards the first steps in having a solid foundation for a forward-thinking and efficient IT strategy that delivers value in terms of workforce output and cost savings.

Not sure where to start with your IT audit? Dynamic Edge have assisted hundreds of clients with the delivery of market-leading IT strategies. Contact us today to find out how we can help: https://www.dynamicedge.com/contact-us/

How to get and use video conferencing

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How to get and use video conferencing

As companies grow and adopt more modern and efficient ways of working, it is common for employees to be based in multiple locations and adopt flexible working arrangements, new offices will open and clients and suppliers will be based in different towns, cities and countries. All of this growth is great, but the constant need to communicate in real-time with people across multiple geographies can be a challenge! One way to overcome this challenge is with video conferencing.

Video conferencing technology has advanced massively over recent years to the point that it can feel almost as natural as face-to-face meetings. Better software applications and faster internet connections have not only enabled real-time high definition video conferencing, but these apps can open enriched functionality such as file and screen sharing, multiple meeting attendees regardless of location and crystal-clear voice clarity.

So how can you get video conferencing for your business and how do you use it? This simple guide will talk you through the basics:

 

Step 1 – choose your application

There are literally hundreds of software packages that can empower your business with video conferencing capabilities, each with its own subtle nuance or unique selling point. A couple of the most prominent and our recommended apps include:

  • Microsoft Teams – Teams is much more than just video conferencing.  It provides departments and organisations with a fully-fledged interface that empowers employees to collaborate through shared planners, live file editing, team organisers and of course instant messaging and video calling.   

The video calling is intuitive and of high quality. The contacts list links with your internal phonebook and users can be contacted via an app that can be placed on any PC or smartphone. It’s part of cloud-based Office 365 too, which means you can install it quickly and easily as part of the other suite of Microsoft apps (Word, Powerpoint, Excel etc.). 

  • Google Hangouts – As this is provided as part of the Google suite of products, you can be assured that it’s going to have the quality and reliability that is synonymous with the tech giant’s brand. The system is simple but powerful, where you can invite up to a staggering 100 people (instant messenger) or 10 people into the same video call and share files, photos, maps and more.  Google have allowed synchronising with your account meaning your contacts and chats can be shared across multiple devices and operating systems.   

 

Step 2 – Make your first video call

As these systems are so user friendly, downloading or connecting to them is inherently simple. All you really need to start making calls straight away is the details of your call recipients and a stable internet connection (on both sides). Make sure both users have the relevant app installed and get calling. You may need to allow for the app to access your device camera and microphone to allow your recipient to hear and see you as you communicate. Give it a test and try out the functionality – you’ll be wondering why you’ve been making traditional calls or excessively travelling to meetings for so long!

 

Step 3 – roll it out and spread the word!

Now that you’ve tried it successfully yourself, the next and final step is to roll out your software to your employees. Try demonstrating with the next board meeting or call with colleagues from another office. Once your staff are on these systems it can provide a real cultural shift, and of course create working efficiencies and time/cost savings at the same time.

Need help setting up cloud-based systems and video calling? Dynamic Edge have decades of experience in supporting clients in the latest technology solutions. Give us a call today to see how we can help your business: Contact Us