Remote IT and Cloud technology

Ten years ago, the “Cloud” was virtually unknown however this technology has grown to new heights and it is now a phrase used almost daily in offices around the world. More and more businesses are using it for the huge benefits it has to offer.

This sudden uptake has raised questions too. Businesses want to know what the Cloud can do for them but want to understand it before committing their data to it and most of all – is it safe?

What is The Cloud?

The principle behind the Cloud is that it allows you to store, retrieve and work on your data without you having to worry about the fine detail of where or how it is kept. It may be stored on a single computer or distributed across multiple servers all around the world. Most often it is stored across one or more data centres as close as possible to your physical location.

From the perspective of the user it does not matter where the data is stored, just that the Cloud server will retrieve your data as quickly and efficiently as possible. You do not have to worry about the specifics and lets you get on with the running of your business.

Is the Cloud safe?

Your data will be sitting on one of many multiple computers stacked together in an air-conditioned temperature controlled clean room. Data centres make storing and securing data their entire business employing high level cyber-security and physical security with walled compounds, guards at security gates and state of the art CCTV. They also employ redundant power supplies to protect against unplanned power outages.

Cloud convenience

Storing data in the Cloud means having easy access to your data and regular backups. Staff across the business can work, share, and transfer documents at the same time without the worry of redundant copies or working on the wrong version and saving over previous versions.

Many companies didn’t know they needed the Cloud until they started using it.


Attacking a fortified, secure data centre is almost impossible, and the most significant threat comes from the users of the Cloud. A weak password or reusing an old one can open your data to hackers. A phishing scam or installing malicious software on your computer gives attackers the single opportunity they need to strike.

These issues can be guarded against with staff training, awareness, and simple security tools along with a password manager can guard against the biggest threats to your company.

The Cloud is the safest, most reliable, and most secure way to store your company’s valuable data.

If you would like to know more or would like any help with the Cloud give us a ring on 01543 889444

Returning to Work: Make sure you are IT Safe

Your business has had the go ahead to return to work onsite, but you are unsure of the precautions you need to carry out. Guidelines have been produced regarding social distancing and keeping your workforce safe but what about IT safety?

If you have had remote working during quarantine you could allow workers to stay at home if they are at risk or oppose the idea of returning too soon.

For those coming back, you could use a phased return to ensure social distancing making people feel more secure. You could use a hybrid approach, allowing people to work in the office three days a week and two days at home, allowing a staggered return and letting them regain their confidence to return to full workplace.

Do you have the correct technology?

You may think you have the technology to support your staff both working onsite and remotely but is it capable of supporting your business long term. Will your technology support you for the long haul or as some are saying the new way of working?

To achieve a flexible hybrid model of working you could go with cloud solutions or you could expand on site IT. Do you need the additional infrastructure to handle remote employees using VPNs? Both onsite and remote staff might need to securely access systems at the same time. Cloud collaboration software will allow both onsite and remote staff to use resources at the same time.

When you bring people back to the office you may need to space your workstations further apart to ensure social distancing meaning you may have to move computer hardware as well, or if you previously used shared computers, you will have to add more desktops or laptops.

Further IT precautions

Cyber-criminals are always on the lookout to make a quick killing; you only have to look at the proliferation of scams that have occurred during lockdown. Many businesses had to move quickly to remote working sometimes allowing staff to access the business from personal devices which could leave them open to cyber attacks.

Now is the time to explore any vulnerabilities in your IT systems. Double check permissions ensuring say someone from procurement cannot access payroll and vice-versa. Also confirm that all your staff have adequate virus protection on their devices and security patches are up to date.

You will naturally be concentrating your efforts on social distancing, deep cleaning, etc to ensure your staff are safe to return to work but don’t forget your IT needs. If you need any help ensuring your IT is safe and ready give us a call on 01543 889444.


How to Solve your Work from Home Internet Problems

Your internet has always been fine with no problems but suddenly you are working from home and problems are starting to occur, it’s slowing down when your boss needs a large file sending or you keep dropping out on an important video call with your colleagues. You need help.

It’s your service providers fault
Yes it could be your budget internet service provider (ISP) not providing you with enough bandwidth but you get what you pay for, that’s why they were cheaper. Bandwidth impacts the data transfer rate making a difference to downloads and connectivity. The cheaper ISP’s might sell their capabilities betting that not everyone will be online at the same time but now everyone is working from home including you.

Switching to a higher quality ISP could help solve your connectivity problems but its worth checking what they can offer before you switch.

Most people living in towns now have full fibre optic connections meaning they can access data more quickly, however some people, especially in more rural areas have old style copper cables for their connections which use electrical pulses to carry data meaning slower data rates. Also the further the signals have to travel the lower your signal strength will become.

If old style copper cables or distance is an issue you could swap to point-to point Wi-Fi, 4G or 5G. For Wi-Fi you would install a disk or antenna on your house pointing to a nearby wireless provider or with 4G or 5G you would be using a mobile phone tower.

It’s your end not the Service Provider’s
It’s possible that the internet problem is from your home or your neighbourhood. With the whole family at home it’s entirely likely that your partner is on social media, your kids are on an online classroom tutorial (or more likely social media as well) and you are trying to send that large file all at the same time plus all your neighbours are all at home as well on their Wi-Fi resulting in congestion in your area.

You could switch to a 5 GHz connection which will improve your speed and you will not be in as much competition as many home Wi-Fi setups are 2.4 GHz frequency.

So What is the Best Solution?
This will vary depending on your location and the ISP options available and there’s no one size fits all solution but there’s no need to worry, give us a call on 01543 889 444 and we’ll will help you find the solution that’s right for you.

Tips for Working from Home

Working from home can prove difficult and challenging but with many people worldwide now being forced to do this because of COVID-19 the following tips can help you stay focused when working remotely.


Create your office space

Set up your temporary home office, away from distractions if you can, a spare room is perfect but if not somewhere you can close the door. Try to create your office at work as best as you can, so it feels as though you are going into your office at work and remove anything personal such as photos.

Creating your “office at home” can help with the mental association that you are going to work. Also dress as if you were going to work, if you wear a tie at work then wear a tie at home, don’t wear your round the house casuals, get your mind into work mode.

Keep to a routine

Keeping to a work schedule can help. If you go to the office at a certain time, start at your workstation at the same time, keep break times as consistent to work break times as you can, this helps the brain to think it’s business as usual even if you are working in the lounge on a coffee table.

If you eat at your desk at work do the same at home, it’s easy to sit in front of a TV at home and get distracted and you have lost valuable time before you know it.

If you checked your e-mails first then do this first. If you have a weekly conference call every Tuesday at 10 o’clock then try and keep to that as well using video or voice conferencing to stay in touch and safe. Keep your routine as close as possible to work.

Important – avoid distractions

News and social media are traps for those working from home, especially during this COVID-19 outbreak as you want to know what’s going on and the latest news, no one is watching you and it’s easy to think “I’ll just check”… before you know it another 30 minutes has been lost on something completely irrelevant to work.

Working from home with children can be difficult, especially if you are on your own and need to supervise their online learning. As you have your own work space then giving them their own work space can keep them motivated and away from you. Set out rules on breaks and when you can spend time together, try and explain that you are working as well.

Keep deadlines

The longer you have to do something the slower you will work, its human nature so setting yourself realistic deadlines as you would at work will keep you motivated.

Share your deadlines with other colleagues using an online task management tool. This can kelp with accountability.

Be patient

Your perhaps doing something completely new so don’t expect everything to go to plan straight away, give yourself time to bed things in and get used to your new routine (but not too long). You will be dealing with many changes. You could try setting a timer and work until the bell chimes.

You could try doing 30 minutes of good work on that thing you’re avoiding, it may only be 30 minutes but at least you will be further ahead on it and you may find you are close to finishing it and get the job done.

Have the right tech

Working from home can be a little daunting and requires a lot of self discipline as well as challenging, and you don’t want to make it harder by having unreliable internet and Wi-Fi connections. If you are having problems then give us a call on 01543 889 444.