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Category: IT News, IT Security, News.

New research says that almost 90% of SMEs are now looking to switch to the IT Managed Service Provider with the best cybersecurity services, above all other selection criteria.

Global IT management company Continuum spoke to SMEs across the UK, US, France, Germany and Belgium about their cybersecurity concerns. Its main conclusions included:

  • Almost all SMEs are now aware of the business-critical importance of cybersecurity
  • 89% of those surveyed would consider switching to a new IT support provider if it offered the right cybersecurity solutions
  • Almost a quarter have already switched following a cyber attack.

The research highlighted that cybersecurity is now the most important issue for SMEs selecting an IT provider and that virtually all businesses were willing to move away from their current provider if it meant getting a better service elsewhere.  Interestingly, the majority don’t feel like they are protected sufficiently and therefore are considering switching for better security

Is your business protected against cyber attacks like ransomware or email phishing? Do you feel that your current provider is giving you good advice and being proactive with measures to protect you and your customers? Or is it time to look at other options to keep your business safe?

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Category: IT News, Mobile Computing, News.

What makes the iPhone such a smart business device is its power.

The iPhone’s security features are market-leading and with a wealth of apps available to power your entire life (it is estimated there are 2.2 million apps worldwide) there is no better device for mobile working.

According to IT PRO, here is a summary of some of the best (free and paid-for) business apps for productivity and collaboration purposes for the iPhone for you to consider.

  1. Bear

This is a powerful writing app for notes, essays, to do lists and coding

  • Genius Scan

Your own portable document scanner that uses the iPhone’s camera to produce copies of documents in PDF format

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader

A file viewer and editor necessary for anyone who regularly works with PDFs

  • Airwatch Agent

This is an app that manages and supports devices across your company.  Great for companies that rely on communication and collaboration between teams.

  • Dropbox

This is a cloud storage app that allows you to store and share files and documents between team members allowing you to work from anywhere

  • CamScanner Pro

This app allows you to get high quality scans from wherever you are which are easily accessible and backed up using just your iPhone

  • Enlight

This is a mobile photo editing suite app which allows you to touch up images.

  • Evernote

This app allows you to sync across all of your devices, so you don’t have to keep switching between them.  It is a great workspace for everything from note-taking, creating checklists and more

  • Inbox by Gmail

This mail app is great for bundling similar messages together and making reminders in separate entries for easy reviewing to minimise the amount of time and attention given to inboxes

  1. Invoice2go

This app allows you to create and send professional invoices using a variety of templates.  It is a comprehensive way to track money owed, paid and received.

  1. iPlanner UK

This is a highly customised app to keep track of meetings and events

  1. ITranslate Voice

This app can help you communicate more efficiently across languages allowing you to translate spoken language into written English for example

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Category: IT News, IT Security, News.

Under new government plans, tech companies and social media platforms will be compelled to abide by a duty of care relating to online content.

Those companies that breach standards set out in the duty of care, which will be established by a digital regulator, will be issued notices or receive “substantial” fines for failures to remove harmful or extremist content.

The statutory requirement is seen as necessary following repeated calls to action by The Government to tackle harmful and illegal content that is still too readily available online as well as the growing mistrust of online services.

The Government has hinted it will target the biggest companies first such as internet giants Facebook and Google or those companies that pose the clearest risk to users.

“Tech can be an incredible force for good and we want the sector to be part of the solution in protecting their users. However, those that fail to do this will face tough action” said The Government’s Digital Secretary, Jeremy Wright.

To find out more visit https://www.parliament.uk/business/news/2019/april/government-announce-world-first-online-safety-laws/

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Category: IT News, IT Security, News.

Due to the increased number of cyber attacks, and consequently ensure that good practices in information security take place, the UK government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (DBIS), introduced a government-endorsed scheme called Cyber Essentials.

Cyber Essentials was developed back in 2014 in collaboration with industry partners such as the Information Security Forum, the Information Assurance for Small and Medium Enterprise Consortium (IASME) and the British Standards Institution. Due to the significant rise in these attacks in the last few years, especially for SMEs, security is more topical than ever.

The mandatory scheme was introduced to ensure the protection of sensitive data by ensuring companies follow a basic level of due diligence on how data is used and secured to avoid it being compromised.

Companies that have the Cyber Essentials trust badge are showing their compliance and dedication to cybersecurity which aims to build trust and confidence amongst clients.  It is also a useful standard for companies to check for when working with potential partners when data is involved.

The PC Support Group is an IT provider with the Cyber Essentials trust badge.

To find out more, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cyber-essentials-scheme-overview

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Category: Business, IT News, IT Security.

In recent months we have seen a significant increase in reports of major security breaches around the world, resulting in large-scale theft of data and cash, with potentially catastrophic consequences for the victims.

By the day, the tactics used by cybercriminals are becoming ever more sophisticated. 

1 in 6 UK SMEs have suffered at least one cybersecurity breach or attack in the last 12 months and those that were affected, 21% reported that it cost them over £10,000 and 11% said that it cost more than £50,000.

It just makes sense to protect the business you’ve worked so hard to build – and demonstrating that you have cybersecurity measures in place is increasingly essential for SMEs wishing to supply large organisations.

A small investment today could save your business tomorrow.

Here, at The PC Support Group, we have produced a Cyber Crime Security bulletin which highlights some of the key risks and the preventative actions that you could take which will help minimise the risks to your organisation as well as fulfilling your legal obligations.
 

If you’d like to receive your FREE Cyber Crime Security download, click here, email our friendly staff on info@pcsupportgroup.com or call us on 03300 886 116 for a confidential chat about your cybersecurity or IT support requirements.

Phil Bird
Managing Director, The PC Support Group

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Category: Business, IT News.

How has 2019 started for you and your business?
Here we are nearing the end of February already – so are you on track to reach the objectives you set for this year in developing your company?

We want to help at The PC Support Group so I’d like to invite you to help to set the agenda for the next series in our programme of regular IT advice and guidance emails. Just let me know what your IT concerns, issues or fears are and we’ll use these to guide our information communications over the coming months.

For example do you worry about:

  • cybersecurity and how to guard against attacks?
  • how to keep up with the latest IT developments?
  • whether your people have got the right IT to provide a great service?
  • investment decisions – on premise, or move into the cloud?
  • your customers’ expectations from your IT?
  • what would happen if your IT goes down, for one hour, one day or one week?

Please let us know your top three IT-related concerns (which may or may not include some of those mentioned above) by emailing us at info@pcsupportgroup.com and we’ll take it from there.

What’s great is that you probably have similar IT challenges to many colleagues in our SME community, so hopefully, by helping you, we can also help other businesses too.

After all, by sharing useful information we’re supporting each other and helping make our businesses more efficient and profitable!

So, please send in your suggestions and, in the meantime, if you’d like to speak to us directly about IT or telephony support, call us on 03300 886 116, leave us a message here or email info@pcsupportgroup.com for an informal and confidential chat.

Phil Bird,

Managing Director, The PC Support Group

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Category: Business, IT News, News.

The PC Support Group has been recognised as a top performing MSP in the recent Cloudtango awards 2019.

Cloudtango, the global MSP directory has been publishing these awards since 2015. The awards are released annually and recognize MSPs around the world who bring cutting-edge approaches to providing managed services to their customers.

These independent awards nominated by the sector are based on customer reviews and testimonials, turnover and growth trends.

Phil Bird, managing director, The PC support Group said:

“We are honoured to have been recognised by Cloudtango as a leading MSP performer.”

Phil continues:

“To get the industry approval means we must be doing something right and we are delighted to have been awarded both an UK as well as a global award by the industry sector.  It is a great feeling to see that our awards success in 2018 is continuing into 2019.”

To find out more about the UK Cloudtango awards, visit www.cloudtango.org/topMSPs/UK/

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Category: Business, IT News, News.

Multi-award-winning IT provider, The PC Support Group has been re-accredited the Workplace Wellbeing Charter for 2019.

In accordance with the Charter assessment criteria, The PC Support Group underwent a rigourous process including 1-2-1 interviews with selected staff members.

The Workplace Wellbeing Charter is an accreditation standard that is built on best practice, the latest research and business sense.

Suzanne Wootton, consultant at Health at Work Consultancy Services said:

” Achieving the Workplace Wellbeing Charter shows The PC Support Group is forward thinking in cascading wellbeing practices throughout the organisation and demonstrate this commitment. This accreditation marks The PC Support Group as an employer of choice, and we congratulate all at the organisation for their efforts in being awarded the Workplace Wellbeing Charter. “

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Category: IT News, IT Support.

I recently came across a couple of situations when speaking with prospective clients that got me thinking. The first one was a business owner that was very unhappy with the service he was getting from his current IT support provider.   He had decided to move to us but then realised he was stuck in his existing contract for another year. He has since come to an agreement, so he can move.  The second was a lady I met who spent 30 minutes telling me why her current IT provider and infrastructure was holding her business back but has decided to stay with them for now because it is easier and see how it goes.

Don’t jeopardise moving your business forward because you think it’s too much hassle to move IT, provider.  Switching is usually quite straightforward.  Moving supplier can add value to your business beyond cost reductions by taking advantage of better talent, technology, processes, and innovation.

If you’ve decided that your current supplier is not right for you and your business, here are some things to think about before switching that will help a seamless transition:

Check your contract with your existing IT support company

Before you tell your current supplier you want to switch, make sure you are legally able to make the move.  A lot of companies tie you in for a year or more, require several months’ notice and even automatically enrol you into additional years if notice is not given. Even if you’re not ready to change now, make sure you know your contract terms before doing anything.

Pull together all your IT network documents

Make sure you have collated all IT documents that you can, so you can pass this on to your new IT support company and take backups of all your data if possible. If this is something you don’t have, ask your current supplier to provide it before giving them notice.  Examples of the documents that will help are your current website domain host, passwords to servers and other important systems, and information about where data is stored and backed up.

Do your homework on the IT provider you are switching to

The more information you can find about your new IT provider beforehand, the better chance you have of a great working relationship that will last for years and the more your business will grow.

To help, we have devised a simple guide with 20 key questions to help you choose the right IT support provider, once you have decided to switch.  Please feel free to download this here.

Check the new supplier has migrated systems like yours before

When changing IT provider, most problems are caused by the new supplier’s lack of experience in migrating cloud so check they have migrated other similar ones. Do they have a dedicated project manager and project team to ensure the transfer is planned and goes smoothly?

Always be open and transparent with your current supplier re switching

Communication is key, and any ethical company will want to make sure that their reputation is not harmed.  By being open and transparent you can agree on expectations before and during the transition.

So, if you have decided now is the time to switch to a better service, feel free to give us a call on 03000 886 116 or email us on info@pcsupportgroup.com.

Phil Bird

Managing Director, The PC Support Group

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Category: IT News, IT Support.

An internet search on the business benefits of having happy employees throws up enough reading to last a lifetime! Hundreds of research projects tell the same story – that happy employees are great news for your business.

Happy employees stay longer, work smarter, are more committed, take more responsibility and are more productive and creative. They need less management, they support their colleagues – and customers love them because they provide better service because they’re, well, happy! In a nutshell, happy employees save you money and make you money.

Did you know that flexible working tops the wishlist for employees working in UK SMEs? In a 2018 study by financial advisers Drewberry, 42% of respondents desired flexible working arrangements above any other employment benefit.

So, what does flexible working actually mean? Flexible working is working outside a normal working pattern which is typically in the same place each day during the same hours. Flexible working is a way to work that suits your employees’ needs and may suit your business needs too.

Remote working is a type of flexible working which means working from anywhere and has become possible and a lot more common due to advances in IT.  With today’s technology, it’s never been easier to work away from the office – there’s a host of great, simple to use tools, such as Office 365, SharePoint, OneNote, Skype and many more – and, in the cloud, you can securely store and access everything you need to work 24/7.  In fact, remote working has resulted in 13% performance increase (Institute of Leadership & Management Research) – so it is a huge benefit to businesses.

So, if flexible working makes employees happy – and happy employees are gold dust, there’s no time to lose! If you’re considering flexible and remote working arrangements for your people, what are the key things to consider? Here’s what I say when our customers ask me that very question:

  1. Firstly, prepare a business case examining the pros and cons, analysing the costs and benefits of implementing flexible working in your business
  2. Decide how much flexibility and remote working that you want to introduce and what suits your business. For example, remote working will probably suit a small, client-facing consultancy business more than a mid-sized manufacturer
  3. Talk to everyone who you think is interested, or would benefit from being able to work remotely. There isn’t a one size fits all strategy
  4. Communicate your decisions to all your staff
  5. If you’re concerned about losing control or visibility of your people, then set ground rules, times when they will be in the office or available electronically and, most importantly, agree ways of measuring their productivity to ensure they meet their targets
  6. Talk to your IT support partner about the technology best suited for your needs, the most cost-effective way of introducing it and the training available to make the most of it

If you’d like to speak to us about successfully introducing or extending your flexible and remote working arrangements, call us on 03300 886116 or email info@pcsupportgroup.com for an informal and confidential chat.

Phil Bird

Managing Director, The PC Support Group