How should I get started?
For many of us computers are part of our everyday life. For all the advantages that technology offers, setting up and maintaining your computer can sometimes be tricky and time-consuming. To ensure your computer needs are met, and everything runs smoothly, our specialist partners are here to share their knowledge and offer impartial advice on the latest innovations. Whether you are starting an office afresh or having a shake-up of all of your technology, it is worth planning an executing your installations and upgrades in a certain order. So many office environments are impacted negatively by their IT infrastructure and this is a shame. To be sure that your staff have exciting and vibrant work surrounding, take the time to plan with your IT support company where cables and desks will live before the cabling starts and you will have a much easier time of integrating everything as you progress your office layout.
Design and Plan Your Office to Integrate I.T.
Whether you are planning a small office IT upgrade, a relocation of your office desks and equipment, or a full office re-fit, you need to bear in mind how your computing and telecommunications equipment will integrate from the start. Start space planning with a utilisation study of what space is being used and where desks are positioned and make sure you pay attention to where equipment is connected as this can dictate what can be moved and where. Look at how your office space is currently used, how much time is spent in meeting rooms, at desks and in break-out areas and how much space is given over to different activities? Find out how your business works now - the work-flows and the way your staff interact and work with each other – look at which desks or screens are used by individuals and which are a shared resource and could be mounted on a wall with a touch screen etc.
What Sort of Computer System Should We Use?
The big question here is, are you big users of Microsoft Office? If you are then the best bit of news about Microsoft Office 2016 is that it runs pretty well on an Apple Mac. For years there was simply no competition but now PC users will find that getting home to their Mac and using Microsoft Office isn't such a nightmare anymore. This is something to be considered seriously - the thing about Macs is that there is less chance of errors due to viruses or user fiddling. Apple Macs have a simpler and less cluttered approach in their design and, although they cost more at the outset, with everyday use they quickly show their value in any office environment. Our advice is to drop in st the Apple store and have a look at Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac. Of course this is not for everyone, the staff will object at the outset. They will complain that they cannot find where to change things like their desktop background and their mouse click speeds, but all of this will quickly disperse. The Mac is more like a butler, it takes care of everything for you.
How Should we be Storing our Data?
It is time to stop messing around and get yourselves into 'the Cloud'- eek! You no longer need a server unless you have a very bespoke application and your provider insists upon it (even then ask them if they can host it for you to save space, security and cooling etc.) Your email can be hosted by Microsoft, Google or others but if you stick to one of the big providers then your staff will already know how to use it as they will have an account with one of the email giants already. Your customer services management and mail shots should already be on-line as solutions like Zoho and MailChimp can bring huge benefits to efficiency at little or no cost. Accounting is much easier with applications like Xero as they perform so many functions so quickly and easily. Lastly of course, it means that your staff can get to their applications and data anytime so if they need to get something finished they can just jump on the computer at home. If you are not in 'the Cloud' then your head must be in the clouds!
Help and Support for 'the Cloud' and How It Affects Us
Because 'the Cloud' is essentially a subscription service, it comes with its own support and assistance built-in. The structure of the cloud as a service means that every subscriber has the latest version because their subscription entitles them to upgrade to the latest version as part of their service. This means that legacy versions do not need huge support groups as the first question that support staff ask is "What version are you using?" followed by an instruction on how to update.
Because of this huge saving on multi-version support, the software providers can invest more in developing and bug-fixing the current version and so the software becomes more reliable and gains requested features faster.
It also means that everyone can share files with everyone else and so bigger companies out-source more because they know that their partners will be able to use the same version and the same secure storage.
No More Backups and No More Data Loss
The final reason to be in 'the Cloud' is one that is often overlooked because they do not ever have to realise the benefits. This is because they never see it happen to themselves or any of their partners because they are all in the 'the Cloud.' When a server or disk fails, it is a miserable time for everyone. The IT team obviously hate it unless they are getting to charge per hour, and the staff cannot do any work and may very well be facing the loss of work that they needed for an important meeting in the morning. The people who hate it the most, however, are the business owners. All they get to see is their money being wasted for a day or two. All of the customers are made to wait - a highly risky situation for the future of the business - and any on-line ordering or invoicing is off-line until a resolution is found, assuming that the data can be recovered from a backup in the first place! The cost savings emotionally, financially and structurally that benefit from moving into the cloud are considerable and require your attention in the short-term, before you have been in business long enough to regret not moving over when the competition already have.