This past week we concluded our “Bulletproof your Business” webinar series (if you missed the live events you can access the recordings here).
The first webinar, an overview of the series, can be located here.
It became clear to me during the sessions that, whilst all the solutions we discussed are clearly “cloud-hosted” technology solutions, the essential message is really about ensuring robust business practices.
Disruptive events are becoming more pervasive in the “new normal” environment. In the past we worried about data corruption, theft, power outages and similar events. More recently cybercrime and especially ransomware needed to be added to the list. Now we need to plan to mitigate against global pandemics as well. Hosting your server in our secure and redundant virtual private server environment ensures continuity of transactional processing ability (watch the webinar here).
A legitimate hosted environment encompasses state-of-the-art cybersecurity to ensure that your applications and data are protected from all forms of cybercrime. Cloud-managed cybersecurity solutions should also be on your “to do” list for implementation on all locally based devices in your business (laptops, desktop PCs, tablets, phones). Learn more about cloud-hosted cybersecurity solutions here.
Working remotely (or relocating your team at a moment’s notice) has always been the preserve of large corporations with “deep pockets”. This is no longer the case. As long as you have proper broadband Internet connectivity, workable and affordable cloud-hosted communication solutions should be part of your new normal. Watch our webinar explaining Microsoft 365 with Teams Video Conferencing here and VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol telephony) here.
By combining a fully hosted secure server, with always-on email and video conferencing as well as hosted telephony, you can seamlessly continue business operations from any location.
I believe that technology solutions should be transparent and straightforward for business users. You shouldn’t have to think about “the server in the storeroom” or “the PBX on the reception desk”. How old are these items? When do they need to be replaced? How much will it cost? Are they insured correctly? What happens when these items break or get stolen?
Moving business critical technology solutions and communication devices to the cloud means that Capex requirements are almost eliminated and budgeting becomes consistent and predictable. You no longer have to budget for expensive equipment replacement, and support costs are minimised or eliminated. In fact, with proper planning and a holistic view of all of your business’ operating expenditure, migrating relevant solutions to the cloud allied with the dispensing of legacy processes which no longer add value can actually result in meaningful cost savings. For example, what is the cost of insuring on-premise data servers and PBX equipment?
It’s very clear that the Covid-19 pandemic and consequent lockdown has removed our sense of control over our ability to interact socially. This doesn’t have to be the case with regard to management of your business. Subscribing to Microsoft 365 enables you to configure an “Active Directory in the Cloud” instance. AD in the cloud effectively enables:
- Management of both remote and office-based workforces, i.e. who is allowed to connect to the company domain.
- Which locations are permitted to connect (for example company domain access is not enabled from insecure Wi-Fi networks such as Internet cafes and coffee shops).
- Who is currently connected and what their activity levels are.
If you watched any or all of our “Bulletproof Your Business” webinars, you would have noticed that, in fact, all of the cloud-based solutions we advocate include remote management console functionality – from AD in the cloud and including:
- Cybersecurity management
- Virtual private server (VPS) hosting
- Data backup and disaster recovery management
- Telephony and call management on the VirtualPBX
In other words, cloud-hosted business tools actually enable a sense of control which is far more extensive than was previously possible (particularly for the SME sector).
Finally, we discussed Plan4Continuity (P4C), our hosted tool that enables you to design detailed, auditable plans that assist in the mitigation of any possible business disruption. As they say in the classics – if you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail! P4C is a fantastic tool to help with planning, minimising negative effects of disruption, ensuring all audit requirements around planning are met, and assisting with compliance with forthcoming privacy regulations. Watch the P4C webinar here.