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I.T. Tips

A productive team high-five

3 Ways To Improve Business Productivity

By | blog, I.T. Tips, IT Solutions

A key focus for a lot of our clients is boosting office productivity.

This blog is a snapshot of some of the projects we’ve completed to increase efficiency with various organisations. Regardless of the size of your business, these solutions will help your team to collaborate, communicate and get more done.

Embracing Office 365.

Several companies we work with have now adopted Office 365, a subscription-based service that encompasses email with a suite of the latest Microsoft applications.

Both startups and established firms have made the leap and enjoyed more consistent and guaranteed access to their mailboxes. Larger firms have had to move away from their own on-premise Microsoft Exchange servers to the cloud solution.

On top of this, they have cut down expenditure as the cost for Office applications and reliable email hosting is now combined.

Adopting SharePoint Online.

Many of our clients already have a clear vision and direction.

For example, some of the words and phrases that crop up when we speak with businesses about their requirements include:

  • More collaboration.
  • Access from anywhere.
  • Improved security.
  • Version control.

If this sounds like you, SharePoint Online is a great solution for your company.

The teams at these businesses now have instant access to the latest edited version of documents and can work on them in and outside of the office. This removes the need for re-sending documents and reduces the risk of the wrong information being circulated. The move to SharePoint improves productivity across the board as it enhances collaboration capabilities.

Additionally, everything is stored in one place and can be updated from anywhere by anyone with the right permissions.

Refining backup strategies.

We’ve already dedicated a whole blog post on common backup mistakes, but getting your backup and disaster recovery strategy right can seriously save you time and money as a startup and large corporation.

In our experience, clients are often under the impression that their data is safe and regularly backed up.

But, who is checking and what if your backup fails? Will you know about it?

After taking a closer look, we found that several of our clients’ backups weren’t as effective as they first thought.

For example, some common problems include:

  • No backups at all.
  • Backups not monitored.
  •  The wrong data being backed up.
  • Data backed up to inappropriate areas and devices.

We looked at what applications can be used to provide a productive, cost-effective and secure solution to successfully back up their business. By doing this, you can decrease the risk of business downtime, avoid hefty costs caused by data loss and protect your organisation’s reputation.

Discover how your team can become more productive and effective by contacting us today. 

How To Setup and Maintain Backups

How To Set Up and Maintain Backups

By | I.T. Tips, IT Solutions

Whether you’re a startup or global corporation, backups are an essential part of any business’ IT strategy.

Creating and storing multiple copies of your data is key to preventing file loss due to device theft, malicious attacks, or even a fire or leak in your office.

We understand that backups and disaster recovery can be confusing and that duplicating and managing files is time-consuming for business owners.

This is why we’ve rounded up some basic tips on how to set up and maintain backups successfully.

 

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

A key factor that discourages people from maintaining backups is the lack of knowledge of how to do so properly.

The standard recommendation is the 3-2-1 method; three copies of your data, stored on (at least) two different types of device, with one of these located offsite.

Many make the mistake of having only one backup of files. Of course, this is a lot better than having none at all, yet having two extra duplicates significantly reduces your chance of complete data loss.

You must ensure that these are stored on two different types of medium, such as a USB stick and an external hard drive. This protects you against device malfunction or physical damage to the storage units.

Lastly, you must always store one of your backups away from the other copies. By using different locations, you can cover yourself if there is a fire, burglary or another unfortunate event in your office space.  

 

But, there’s an alternative for SMBs.

You may be thinking “But, I don’t have access to an additional site to store a backup!”

Startups and small businesses can still use the 3-2-1 method, without having to hire out another office or storage space. Cloud services provide a more affordable – yet secure – service, which gives companies the opportunity to store their files on a remote server.  The files are then managed by a trusted company like Amazon and Microsoft.

These services are a great option for you if you are already using OneDrive, Google Drive or Dropbox to store documents and data because they can be seamlessly integrated.

Just remember, file sharing sites like the aforementioned are not a backup solution and should always be used in tandem with other backup methods.

For instance, one we like to use is Spanning Backup. Hosted in AWS, you can backup all of the above vendors and set up an offsite copy. It’s also a great choice as it stores multiple copies of the files.

 

Check up on them.

It’s all well and good backing up your files, but you must make sure that you are checking them regularly.

If you do not actively monitor them, how can you be certain that they are working correctly?

Depending on what systems you have in place, we’d recommend taking a look at your backups from anywhere between each month to every six months. This makes sure everything is running smoothly and that your data can be restored in full if a disaster occurs.

 

Disaster recovery.

On a similar note, outlining a disaster recovery plan is essential to limit the amount of downtime your business will experience if data loss occurs. It’s no use having a backup of your data if you have no idea how to restore it.

 

Consider automation.

Manual backups are a great way to ensure your documents are safe whilst still keeping costs low. This makes them an excellent solution for individuals and small businesses.

However, automation is something to think about sooner rather than later. Automating your backups guarantees no file is left behind. Manually copying your files is not only time consuming but can be a hotbed for human error.

This list includes just a few tips for maintaining backups and is by no means a complete guide. If you would like to discuss your backup and disaster recovery strategy further, please get in touch today