Tech

Is4profit’s tech section covers a variety of features on how small and medium enterprises can utilise technology hardware, digital software, business broadband and hosting and mobile apps to help them grow and succeed.

Cloud Computing: How Can it Boost your Business?

Cloud Computing: How Can it Boost your Business?

Jack Bedell-Pearce of 4D Hosting talks about how to move a small business to the cloud and how this can boost efficiency and cut costs. To run a successful business today, organisations need to cut costs, improve margins, grow revenue, overcome competitive threats and comply with new regulations, to list a few. They have to develop their IT systems so they can step up to the plate with new and improved services that help address these issues as quickly and inexpensively as possible. Meantime, increasing customer demands make rapid service delivery all the more critical, so where does the cloud fit in and how can it boost profits? Defining the cloud The term ‘cloud computing’ was inspired by the cloud symbol that’s often used to represent the internet in charts and diagrams. Broadly s... »

As a Small Business, Do I Need VPS or Cloud?

As a Small Business, Do I Need VPS or Cloud?

A virtual private server (VPS) and cloud hosting (in its many guises) have a lot of similarities, so which you opt for depends on your company’s needs. Do you just want to host a few applications, or do you want to run a large e-commerce website? What is a VPS? Most servers that have one purpose (or dedicated servers as we call them) are woefully underutilised. For example, an Exchange Server which exclusively looks after email may work at 60% capacity during the working week but the rest of the time it’s idling at closer to 20%. By installing ‘virtualisation software’, it’s possible to trick a single physical server into working like multiple machines. This can turn an expensive single dedicated server into many virtual private servers which can share the physical resources of the former ... »

How to Find the Right Web Host for Your Business

How to Find the Right Web Host for Your Business

Starting a business can be a daunting process, and often the owner will have limited technical knowledge about how to run their IT services. One important decision is how do you choose the right host and not lose time, money and effort on downtime. Jack Bedell-Pearce of 4D Hosting has some top tips and questions you might ask before signing up. What type of hosting do I need? As a start-up you may have a small website with just the basic information about you and your products and if so a shared hosting option will be perfect for your needs. However, if you have an ecommerce site you may need more than this and can consider a virtual private server (VPS) that will have more capacity to keep your website running under heavy loads. What should I pay? As a small business owner, your budget wi... »

How to Streamline a  Small Business Using Cloud HR

How to Streamline a Small Business Using Cloud HR

It’s amazing how many people are aware of ‘The Cloud’ but don’t know they’re using it, over 75% of businesses are in, or are looking to move to the cloud for a variety of reasons. But first, if you’re on Facebook, Twitter, shop online or bank online you are actually more familiar to the cloud then you already know. They all use the cloud because it’s simple, it’s mobile and pretty much anyone can use it, working in real time makes your life easier. This is why HR is moving to the cloud, for the same reasons you use the above; Instant access, easy to use. Cloud makes business simple? So you’re probably wondering how using HR in ‘The Cloud’ can simplify your small business. How can a cloud based HR system help a small business? Cloud based HR is ideal to manage your employees’ personal data,... »

Accepting Payment with a PDQ Machine

Accepting Payment with a PDQ Machine

The PDQ (Process Data Quickly) machine is everywhere these days; it has revolutionised payment transactions, making it quicker and simpler to pay than ever before. The use of a Chip and PIN The introduction of the chip and PIN machines totally changed the lives of shoppers, making the payment transaction easier, smoother, quicker and ultimately, safer. Previously, a customer’s credit or debit card was swiped through a magnetic field, the payment was verified, and then the customer was asked to sign a transaction slip; this was then compared to the signature on the back of the card. This system allowed the possibility of fraudulent use. Dishonest retailers could change the amount on the transaction slip, or cards could be stolen and signatures falsified. Using the chip and PIN togethe... »

Cybercrime Goes Mobile

Cybercrime Goes Mobile

Mobile devices are outselling PCs and currently over 40% of all online traffic is coming from the mobile channel, so selling to this audience is big business. However, the boom in mobile connectivity has brought an equally big surge in cybercriminal activity. In 2013 there were 350,000 examples of malicious android apps, up from nearer 1,000 in 2011. Cybercrime attacks are: Targeted — Malware is typically not generic, so traditional anti-virus detection no longer handles these attacks effectively, and more dynamic detection is needed. Adaptive — Malware can now be adapted to re-infect compromised devices. Attackers can constantly change attacks, repurpose compromised devices and avoid detection. Effective — Hackers develop malware using professional software development techniques and have... »

Why Small Businesses Should Have a Responsive Website

Why Small Businesses Should Have a Responsive Website

Modern day technology moves at an unrelenting pace. Keeping up is an everyday occurrence for professionals and business owners. With these rapid advancements in technology comes the need to keep clients engaged with businesses through the Internet. We are increasingly spending more of our time accessing web content on the move. This is due to the rapid integration of the Internet as a standardised feature provided by current mobile devices. This allows users access to content wherever and whenever they like. Although this opens up a world of significant new opportunities for business, it doesn’t come without its problems as Marketing Mangers and Designers are now tasked with solving the problem: How do we create engaging mobile content for my business? The rapid development of mobile devic... »

A Guide to Cloud Computing Guide for Small Businesses

A Guide to Cloud Computing Guide for Small Businesses

Cloud computing offers businesses a way of managing their data, hardware and software requirements online. Documents, emails, customer information, business applications and other assets can all be stored externally – ‘in the cloud’ – to be accessed using a computer, laptop or smartphone with an internet connection. You can use cloud computing as a stand-alone solution or in addition to your existing IT infrastructure. It can help you reduce hardware and software costs, support more flexible working practices, and make it easier to scale your IT systems. Cloud computing can also reduce your need for in-house IT support and offers reliable and secure back-up for your business’ data. This cloud computing guide for SMEs explains how cloud computing works, how to ... »

Unlicensed Software – Some Clouds have a Silver Lining

Unlicensed Software – Some Clouds have a Silver Lining

We established CareShield, training specialists for nursing homes, in 2009 in the midst of a deep recession. Since then we have encountered some bumps along the road, arguably to our benefit, as each experience has made us more efficient, resilient and focused. One was the difficult decision to downsize the company and consolidate our products after a period of unstructured growth. The other was to turn an investigation into unlicensed software use into an opportunity to reorganise our software assets, and in so doing equip ourselves with tools to deliver superior online training products to over 300,000 users in the health and social care sector. In 2011 we purchased Access Academy , specialists in training software, with a view to wholly owning and developing the online training system p... »

A Small Business Guide to Selecting an Internet Service Provider

A Small Business Guide to Selecting an Internet Service Provider

Being online is business critical to many companies these days, so what questions should you be asking your internet service provider (ISP) to ensure you have the right supplier and the right broadband connectivity? Do you provide coverage in my area? Before you even start making comparison charts when choosing an ISP you need to know if they will be able to provide connectivity in your area. Most ISPs will supply information on their website, or just call customer service. Another option is to search online for lists of all the broadband providers that exist in your area. You could try broadbandgenie.co.uk, uswitch.com or comparethemarket.com What are the installation costs? All providers will offer different deals to secure a contract with you, but be aware that some will offer free inst... »

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