- Applications and Licensing
- IT Support
- The Cloud
- Web Hosting and Domain Name Management
1. HardwareLet’s start with the hardware you’ll be using. There are a number of questions you need to ask yourself, including:
- Will my employees be office-based, remote, or a combination of both?
- How long will I need a warranty for, and what do I need this to cover?
- What is my budget?
2. Applications and LicensingAs with your hardware, you have to know what your employees need applications for, and how long they’ll need to use them for. This will help you find apps that let them get on with what they need to do, and consider licensing that’s suitable and within budget. Office 365 covers a lot of bases for many organisations. Word, Excel and PowerPoint are still staples of many office workers. But there’s now so many applications that cater for today’s cloud-centric, collaborative appetites. Teams allows for instant group messaging, while OneDrive reduces the need to send multiple documents over email. Of course, not everyone in your office may need to use every single feature of Office 365. So you can save costs by deciding how much licensing everyone needs.
3. TelephonyDeciding what telephones you and your employees need is about, yet again, purpose. Remote workers will need durable handsets. Office-based workers need landlines which have clear instructions on how to put callers on hold, and reach someone across the office floor. As well as these requirements, a client of ours needed a phone that would be appropriate for conferencing. So we recommended them a piece of kit that was ideal for small conference rooms.
4. IT SupportChoosing an IT support company is about so much more than finding someone with competitive prices. You also need to know:
- If they can offer remote support for any non office-based workers
- What their help desk access is like – they might be 24/7 for mission critical issues but normal business hours for everything else
- How fast they can respond to issues, and if response times depend on issue severity
5. The CloudThe popularity of cloud-based services has risen dramatically over the last few years. With internet costs falling and bandwidth availability expanding, the cloud is becoming a standard feature of many businesses. Cloud platforms are known for their ability to provide reliable backups and strong resilience. When our client asked about how to start using the cloud, we advised them to with a central file sharing tool. This makes data easy to share between devices and users, and ensures it is safe and backed up. There a few kinds of cloud out there: public, private and hybrid. Think about your business needs again. This will help you to determine which kind is best for you. Read more: What types of cloud are there?
6. SecurityStrong cyber security is essential. Today, cyber attacks are not a matter of if, but when. Most attackers don’t go after specific companies; they simply try their luck with anyone and everyone. Nevertheless, you need security in place that protects your IT network, but also doesn’t interfere with your day-to-day tasks. We provide many clients, via a partnership, with an anti-virus service that has low system demands. This means they’re well protected and system resources aren’t having their performances affected. It also protects them against software vulnerabilities and data leaks. Their firewall and websites are set up so each user has a private network within the site, without the need for additional equipment. And it comes with the option of relaying this setup across the entire WiFi network. Read more: 6 ways to stop common network security threats
7. Web Hosting and Domain Name ManagementWeb hosting and domain names are particularly technical areas, as as such can be tricky to handle. So it’s good to know there are experts out there who can take care of this for you. We manage the following aspects for our client:
- Backups of all data
- Web server and database administration
- Blacklist checking of server IP
- Managed enterprise firewalls
- Fully redundant servers and disks
- Support for all open source platforms
- Website backend support and advice