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Working Remotely Success Tips Title Image

5 Tips For Successfully Working Remotely

By | blog, Productivity | No Comments

Working remotely from home is on the rise, with flexi-time rising by 12.35% between 2012 and 2016.

In fact, an estimated half of the UK workforce will work remotely by 2020.

Working away from the office can boost productivity, allowing your team to fit their schedule around family and home life. But, there are risks to consider for your business, especially if you jump into remote working blindfolded.

We’re here to give you some starting points to help your team stay secure and productive.

Strengthen your security when working remotely.

Invest in security.

Antivirus, firewalls and backups – even if no one in your team works remotely, you should have quality software to protect your data and applications.

Moreover, it’s essential to push cybersecurity to the forefront of your employees’ and colleagues’ minds. Humans are often the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain and can easily undo any hard work put in by security software and systems.

Raise awareness about cybersecurity. Stop sharing passwords, think before you click on a link in an email and think twice before you hook up to the dodgy free Wi-Fi in your local coffee shop.

Keep your software up to date.

Viruses and ransomware are becoming smarter by the day, with new versions of the malicious software being released all the time.

Your antivirus and security software is only as reliable as its last update. Keep on top of updates and make sure you have the latest release installed so it can battle the most advanced threats.

Set up a VPN.

If your remote workers wish to work on-the-go, you need to consider investing in a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

This creates a secure tunnel between the user and the internet, preventing prying eyes from (notoriously unsecure) public Wi-Fi hotspots peeping in on your connection and data.

Read our blog on how to use public Wi-Fi safely.

Increase productivity when working remotely.

Manage your projects seamlessly.

It’s challenging to stay on the same page when you’re not all in the same office. But, with advancements in software, it is possible to keep everyone on track when they’re scattered around the world.

One simple way to keep on track with deadlines, meetings and dates is to put them in a shared calendar on Outlook or Google Calendar. Meanwhile, project management tools like Trello, Asana and Monday are brilliant for assigning tasks and moving projects forward, quickly.

Communicate and collaborate.

Again, it can be challenging to get everyone in the same room when you have a team of remote workers.

Instant messaging tools Microsoft Teams and Slack are built for businesses like yours. What previously would have been a quick (potentially unnecessary) meeting or long-winded email thread, can now be a five-minute group chat.

However, when you do need a face-to-face discussion, video conferencing software like Zoom and Skype connect people from all over the globe. All you need is an internet connection.


Thinking of remote working, but not sure where to begin? We can help you and your team get off to a great start, give us a call today.

Title Image For Backup Statistics Every Business Needs To Know

10 Backup Statistics Every Business Needs To Know

By | Backups and disaster recovery, blog | No Comments

We’ve rounded up a whole bunch of backup and disaster recovery statistics that highlight the importance of best practice and will hopefully motivate you to take action today, rather than putting off backing up your files until tomorrow.

3/5 of backups are incomplete and half of data restores fail.

Even if you make the effort to back up your files, it doesn’t mean they’re always 100% effective.

That’s right, a backup can fail and you may not realise until it’s too late.

Regularly checking your backups is essential to ensure that – if it comes to it – your files can be restored fully, with no missing data.

We recommend monitoring your backups every few weeks, or as often as you can. This way, you can discover any problems almost straight away, and only have to deal with a few days of data loss, rather than months.

17% do not backup business data at all.

Almost 20% of businesses admit to not backing up their files at all. Neglecting to back up is generally more common among sole traders and small businesses, with medium-sized to large businesses usually being more on it.

Do you fall into the 20%?

If you do, consider how long it would take to get your business back up and earning money if you lost all of your files and applications.

3.8 million UK businesses do not adhere to backup best practice.

Out of those who use backups, many do not follow best practice, such as an offsite backup and regular monitoring.

Half of the respondents to one survey admitted that their backups were kept on a separate system, but within the same office.

We strongly recommend following the 3-2-1 backup method; three copies of your data, stored on (at least) two different types of device, with one of these located offsite.

Read our guide on How To Set Up and Maintain Backups here.

But, what are the chances of data loss for my business?

Data loss is estimated to be up 400% since 2012, with around four million UK businesses at risk of losing data due to their insufficient – and non-existent – backups.

Remember, you can lose your data in a number of ways:

  • Cyberattack.
  • Damage to equipment.
  • Faulty machines.
  • Loss of devices.
  • Accidental deletion.
  • Malicious intent by an (ex)employee.
  • Natural disaster, such as a flood or fire.
  • Burglary or theft.

You are not immune. Everyone says it won’t happen to them, until it does.

Is losing data that bad for my business?

60% of businesses shut down within six months of data loss.

93% of companies that lost data for 10 days file for bankruptcy within one year while half file immediately.

31% of targetted attacks focus on businesses with fewer than 250 employees and 1/5 small businesses will be hacked within one year.

Hackers are turning their ugly heads to smaller businesses just like you, who are typically ill-equipped to deal with a cyberattack. While it used to be just the big guys getting attacked, now anyone and everyone is at risk.

40% of SMBs who manage their own network are affected.

Yep, if you manage your own network and use the internet for more than simply email, you’re very likely to have your network accessed by a cybercriminal, if you haven’t already – half of businesses are unaware when they’ve been breached.

A quality backup strategy and disaster recovery plan are essential for any business. Data loss can be extremely detrimental to your company. By securely storing and managing multiple copies of your most important data on and offsite, your office can recover quickly if disaster does strike. 


We work closely with you to install, configure and monitor backups, providing a proactive resolution that allows you to continue doing what you do best. If you’d like any more information about backups or disaster recovery, please get in touch with a member of our team right now

Sources:

  • IT Pro
  • Gartner Group
  • National Cyber Security Alliance
  • Richmond House Group
  • Symantec
  • Boston Computing
  • National Archives & Records Administration in Washington DC
Why Your Business Doesn't Need IT Support

Why You Don’t Need IT Support For Your Business

By | blog, IT Solutions

An IT company telling you that you don’t need IT support… wait, what?

Hear us out…

It’s a nightmare when something goes wrong with your business’ IT. Whether it’s a laptop breaking, your network going down or a lost internet connection, an unexpected problem can disrupt your day and cost you time and money.

A common attitude is “Let’s get IT support in quickly and get it fixed so we can get back to what we were working on”. 

We get it. Downtime is costly and you really need to get that project finished by close of business on Friday.

But, what if we told you that there was a way to have more control over your IT so you don’t have to worry about unforeseen tech issues?

IT support is not the answer. Managed IT Solutions is. Here’s why.

Proactive rather than reactive.

Waiting until something breaks to fix it might appear to be less expensive and easier. But, in the long run, additional problems will arise if you continue to use the same setup and ignore underlying issues.

A proactive IT company gets to know how your team works and what technology you rely on. This is beneficial for two reasons:

  1. We can pick up on any issues and nip them in the bud before they become a real problem.
  2. We know your IT environment inside out, so can resolve issues more promptly.

Added value rather than a one-time fix.

And, because we work with you to get your IT right, we can advise you on the services, apps, software and hardware that best suit your business.

Managed IT Solutions give you a chance to develop your own technology roadmap and strategy, so you can stay ahead of the game and look forward to how your business is going to grow in the future.

If you only ever get your old technology fixed, how are you going to move things forward in this ever-evolving digital world?

Fixed monthly fees rather than surprise invoices.

One of the worst things about an IT issue is that they always seem to crop up at the most inconvenient time. It could be during a quiet month when funds are slightly lower than usual, or maybe during a busy month where you have landed a few big contracts.

With Managed IT Services, you can enjoy a fixed monthly cost, instead of erratic and unwelcome bills.

One point of contact rather than multiple IT support companies.

Of course, with Managed IT Solutions, problems still rear their ugly heads.

Still, you’ll know exactly who to call when they do – in fact, your Managed IT Solutions company may have picked up on the problem before you.

When you opt for a break/fix approach, you may end up wasting even more time trying to get an IT company to come out to you.

Meanwhile, with a managed solution, a dedicated account manager – who already knows your systems and team – is on hand and committed to resolving your problem.

Still not convinced? Check out the infographic below or get in touch with us to tell us why.

Comparing-Proactive-Reactive

 

Person sending an email from a laptop

Why Managed Email Signatures Are Essential For Your Business

By | blog, IT Solutions

Managed email signatures are pretty much essential for every business, whether you’re a startup or large corporation.

They save you time, ensure consistency, look professional and allow you to quickly add marketing copy, legal requirements and disclaimers to all outbound emails.

In this post, we round up some of the key benefits, as well as explain how you can set up managed email signatures for your company.

What are the core benefits of managed email signatures?

Consistency.

If you want to present your business as professional and consistent, a managed email signature is a must, whether you’re a freelancer or have a large team.

As they are centrally-managed in the cloud,  a standard signature is attached to any outbound email.

This removes the ‘Sent From iPhone’ default when you’re sending emails from your phone and ensures that your business is presented in the best light.

Update instantly.

Once set up, your staff can update their own contact details with ease from a central location.

There’s no need to contact your IT guy!

Of course, this allows your IT team to focus on their other tasks, whilst members of staff quickly update and make changes when necessary.

Everyone can get on with their work, without having to worry about their email signatures.

 

David Gilbey Email Signature

 

Always legal.

Legal statements are always attached – or ‘stamped’ – onto every email that leaves your business.

This is great if you need to add a disclaimer on every outbound email.

Meanwhile, it’s easy to update this disclaimer, add marketing copy and make changes to everyone’s signature from that centralised location. You don’t need to ask everyone to stop what they’re doing to make a change – one person can do this via a central control.

Flexibility.

What’s more, with most managed email signature software, you can apply different signatures to different groups of people. This is super handy if you have different teams – sales staff, marketing, IT – who need a variation in their signatures.

In most cases, you can also set a signature to run for a certain period of time. This feature is great for promoting campaigns, discounts or highlighting specific services you offer.

For example, we’ve recently changed ours up to support a good friend of ours, Josh Barnfather, and the campaign #DoItForJosh to help raise funds for his life-extending treatment.

#DoItForJosh Email Signature

How do I set up managed email signatures?

We use and recommend Exclaimer, which is compatible with Office 365 and – more recently – G-Suite. A monthly subscription allows you to create and design your own email signature. On top of this, it allows you to manage all of your signatures centrally, syncing with your mail client and ensuring all staff contact details are correct.

If you’d like to find out more about managed email signatures, please get in touch with us today.

A man and a woman discussing something in front of a laptop

Why Proactive IT Support Is Crucial For Your Business In 2018

By | blog, IT Solutions

Here at Just Gilbey, we take a proactive approach to IT.

But, what does this mean exactly?

Well, rather than constantly fire-fighting IT issues, we work with our customers to implement long-term systems and solutions.

We believe that this is the best way to ensure your business and its technology continues to run smoothly without any unexpected costs or downtime.

However, there are a lot of companies out there who still adopt a reactive break/fix approach to IT, believing it to be a more cost-effective choice for small and medium-sized businesses.

Whilst it’s true that a one-off cost if something goes wrong sounds more appealing than a regular monthly bill, it can mean that more serious (not to mention more expensive) issues crop up later down the line.

Today, we’re talking about the top reasons why you should consider a managed solutions package as opposed to waiting for IT problems to rear their ugly heads.

We can prevent issues from happening.

As we’ve briefly mentioned, a proactive approach means that we can deal with issues before they become damaging to your business.

A qualified, dedicated IT consultant should ensure that your systems and infrastructure are set up correctly from the start, following best practice and reducing the risk of future issues.

Meanwhile, by actively monitoring your systems, we can flag up a problem before it becomes a real problem for your team.

This preventative approach will cost a regular fee, however, surely a fixed, monthly cost is more appealing than a large bill landing on your doorstep after a major IT issue affects your business?

We get to know you and your team.

At Just Gilbey, we pride ourselves on becoming an extension of your team. We’re not just in your office to fix one thing that isn’t working. Instead, we sit with you and discuss, at length, how you work best and what systems and services you already use.

After gathering this information, we then use our experience to draw up a tailored solution that suits your needs.

We’re always on hand to advise you on any aspect of IT, happily recommending products that are right for you. On the other hand, we look to see if you’re shelling out for services that aren’t quite working for you.

We can add value to your business.

And, this brings us to our next point.

Whilst break/fix is a quick way to get rid of pressing IT issues, it doesn’t add value to your company.

By getting under the bonnet of your organisation, we can help you to put together a strategy that moves you forward, equipping you for the future.

We bridge the gap.

For many SMEs and startups, a full-time IT director or department isn’t a realistic option – and often not necessary.

Meanwhile, having no technical support can leave you very vulnerable. It increases your risk of business downtime, malicious attacks, data breaches, data loss and an overall fragmented system.

By outsourcing your IT, you enjoy the benefits of a dedicated engineer without the hefty price tag of employing fulltime.

If you would like to discuss proactive IT solutions or managed services packages, please get in touch with a member of the Just Gilbey team today

 

A productive team high-five

3 Ways To Improve Business Productivity

By | blog, IT Solutions, IT Tips

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 | IT Solutions, IT Tips

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