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.

“Well, we haven’t really thought about that”

“Well, we haven’t really thought about that”

If you participate in activities that include searching for that “right” business intelligence tool, you will find that most organizations have these top 3 challenges in common: Use manual tasks that include desktop query and reporting tools, to answer their business questions. Have “something” in place that they are not really happy with or is becoming out of date and cost prohibitive. Have difficulty managing data within multiple silos and have the need to access, consolidate and optimise it. Hence, they are usually looking for a reasonably cost business analytics alternative that can provide them with answers to their critical business questions; while providing ease of use and other functionality that will fit in their budget. Don’t believe me? Join the many business intelligence group... »

A Small Business Guide to Data Protection Compliance

A Small Business Guide to Data Protection Compliance

Essentials The essential information about data protection compliance Your Responsibilities With data protection compliance you have a number of responsibilities… Glossary A list of data protection terms FAQs Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about data protection Rules & Regulations The rules and regulations governing data protection Essentials The law requires personal data to be collected and used in such a way that individuals’ personal details are protected. To comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 (the Act) a business must follow the eight data protection principles when handling personal data. When your business handles personal information the principles require the data to be: fairly and lawfully processed; processed for limited purposes; adequate, relevant and not ex... »

The Wisdom of Zebras and Giraffes

The Wisdom of Zebras and Giraffes

How to create a data-based decision-making culture We can learn a surprising amount from animals, as I discovered recently on my first safari trip in South Africa. Consider for example the collaborative relationship between the zebra and giraffe, and the lessons this holds for agile, fact-based decision-making. The giraffe has great height and expansive vision, but it cannot obtain sensory input from the ground. The zebra on the other hand can smell advancing predators at the ground level and see them under trees, but cannot see danger from afar. Conscious of this, the animals forage together, doubly secure in their collaborative defence effort. At the first sight or smell of danger, one will bolt, causing the other to follow. The folly of top-down By comparison, traditional corporate deci... »

A Small Business Guide to Bonded Broadband

A Small Business Guide to Bonded Broadband

If you’re a rural broadband customer, or one living in a town as yet to be blessed with Virgin Media’s cable or an upgraded BT fibre exchange, broadband can be a sore topic. It’s a real postcode lottery: while some are enjoying broadband speeds close to 100Mb, many others can struggle to get more than 2-3Mb. While this can simply be an inconvenience for consumers, increasingly businesses rely on a good internet connection to stay competitive. If you need to upload or download a lot of data, have multiple simultaneous connections or rely on high bandwidth services such as video streaming, your business’ efficiency can be seriously compromised. The Bonded Basics In the simplest terms, you can think of bonded broadband as ‘bonding’ several individual phone lines together to make one faster AD... »

Top 10 Tips for Small Businesses Outsourcing Software Development

Top 10 Tips for Small Businesses Outsourcing Software Development

According to a recent survey*, 36% of businesses have seen an increase in IT outsourcing over the last 12 months. Although this is a significant increase, this statistic isn’t unsurprising. The pace of technological change makes it a constant battle for small businesses to retain and recruit the necessary skillset in-house. As a result organisations outsource to specialists to ensure they remain competitive. One such specialism is software development. The entire project can be a highly skilled and resource intensive task – from establishing the requirements and matching these to the right platform, language and database; all the way through to development, deployment and support. If each stage isn’t perfected it can result in a poor performing and costly application. So if you are conside... »

Is Your PBX System Secure?

Is Your PBX System Secure?

The telecommunication needs of every start-up and growing business are very different, however, security is an issue often overlooked. Once an individual or organisation decides to implement a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) system, they need to ask themselves what measures are required to keep their system safe and secure? When installed and run properly a PBX system simultaneously saves money and gives businesses much needed flexibility, but often the security implications that come with adopting a PBX system are neglected, leaving themselves at risk to serious financial loss and data theft. The ‘net’ connected world is a breeding grounds for cyber-criminals who want to hijack your data and systems. One of the most lucrative targets for a cyber-criminal is a PBX, because of this the ... »

Will 2013 be the Year Businesses Take Information Security Seriously?

Will 2013 be the Year Businesses Take Information Security Seriously?

Yet again, 2012 was another year of security stories after the advent of ‘hactivism’ in 2011. Whilst computer viruses are still prevalent, with 2012 seeing the biggest infections to Apple Macs and phones operating Google Android, information security disasters have moved from mere industry website write-ups to the front pages of the broadsheets. As a result, today even technophobes are familiar with hacker groups such as Anonymous and LulzSec who famously targeted the likes of PayPal, Sony and MasterCard. Here in the UK, details from the Census were hacked and Travelodge was embarrassed after customer emails were obtained after their website fell victim to unauthorised access. With the dawn of super-fast, fibre optic broadband and with the ‘cloud’ era meaning information is conveniently av... »

Three Questions to Ask IT About BYOD

Three Questions to Ask IT About BYOD

IT culture within businesses has shifted dramatically in recent years. In the past, IT departments drove technology changes in their organisations. But increasingly workers are taking the lead as the technology they are using in their personal life is more cutting edge than their business tools. From a business perspective enabling employees to work from home if they wish, check their emails on their commute or use their iPad in a presentation, is a real positive. Employees that are able to use their own devices are more likely to use them outside office hours, making employees more productive both in and out of work, whilst boosting morale and encouraging a positive work-life balance. But there are also a number of well documented drawbacks in terms of data protection and security challen... »

Making use of Enhanced Annual Investment Allowances

Making use of Enhanced Annual Investment Allowances

Last year’s Autumn Statement announcement brought some highly encouraging news for British technology companies and small business. Chancellor George Osborne revealed that corporation tax will be reduced to 21 per cent from April 2014 and that figure was revised down again to just 20% in the Budget 2013. In addition, it was announced there would be a tenfold increase in Annual Investment Allowances from £25,000 to £250,000. These moves are positive steps that are set to be of great benefit to non-tech SMEs investing in the technology and tools to get themselves up and running with the most up-to-date technologies. At a time when many organisations are struggling to justify investment in IT, these new Government initiatives are sure to be welcomed by businesses both large and small. H... »

VoIP Implementation: 4 Key Tips

VoIP Implementation: 4 Key Tips

Before you adopt VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), there are a number of concerns that need to be addressed. Any organisation, regardless of its size or budget, will need to think about the various aspects of VoIP and how harnessing this telecoms technology will have an impact. When formulating your implementation plan, why not keep in mind these tips to help enhance the process? Research is Key If you do not do your homework on VoIP, you could end up choosing the wrong type of solution for your business, or worse, end up being sold a product that is not suitable for your business! This not only involves looking at what benefits the technology offers, but also considering how it can be integrated with your current set-up. The good thing about VoIP is that it often has the ability to pro... »

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