The last 18 months have seen many businesses move online faster than they would ever have imagined, bringing with it a rise in demand for e-commerce platforms, new websites and social media management to keep sales pipelines flowing. John McGill of BCNS explains.
In many cases, the speed of the digital transformation moved faster than the need to plan and project manage the move to e-commerce sites or into cloud-based systems, bringing in its wake a fresh set of problems for business owners to contend with.
BCNS has been working with schools, colleges, businesses and charities for over 20 years, helping to align organisational objectives with IT requirements and systems.
Our MD, Rodney Freeland, explains how we do this: “Most organisations have a fair idea of where inefficiencies might lie and what their business goals are. It is our job to plan and implement changes in their IT which will solve those problems, and which the people actually doing the work, will see as an improvement and not just as new-fangled technology.”
Here are my top tips for businesses as they grow – it’s essential to plan for IT changes, project manage the change, and then constantly review and invest in IT. IT needs to be updated regularly to maximise its return, so a 5-year plan is a must.
1. Build in a backup system when you move to the cloud.
Businesses assume that data stored in the cloud is there forever. That’s not the case! Old versions of your data are deleted in most cases after no more than 90 days, leaving you vulnerable if a file becomes corrupted or if you need to retrieve files for statutory reasons. Invest in a back-up system at the same time as you migrate to the cloud. A suitable cloud backup solution will also protect you from the consequences of malware.
2. Think about archiving
As part of your data storage systems, you should be looking at archiving data that you don’t need all the time while keeping it safe from malware, phishing or viruses. You’ll be paying significant amounts of money for data storage, archiving data can make a substantial impact on your operational costs. Investing in archiving software, which strips out repeated data like forwarded emails and duplicated documents retaining only the original data, can also save you a lot of money over the years!
3. Planned your migration
One of the biggest pitfalls is not planning the migration to new systems. Clients who turn off the old on-premises systems before thoroughly testing new processes and procedures or fully training their staff often end up in real trouble. BCNS can advise on an implementation process that avoids falling into the trap of jumping in before you’re ready.
4. Look at leasing IT
A mistake we see many businesses make is trying to upgrade or replace IT systems bit by bit, when investing in the new system properly would be more efficient and effective. Usually, this is because they’re trying to avoid capital expenditure, especially now. Leasing can be a great option; just as most cars are now leased, BCNS has a ‘Tech as a Service’ leasing option for clients, including the hardware, software, project planning, support, insurance, and implementation of new IT systems. It also means clients can plan effectively for the future since, after 2 or 3 years, they can add to or upgrade, keeping their IT at optimal performance levels.
BCNS are based near Plymouth and offer managed IT support across the South West. Please contact John McGill for more information on firstname.lastname@example.org