Don’t hit ‘Later’ again

Don’t hit ‘Later’ again

We’re all guilty of doing it.

Whether you’re in the middle of an important piece of work, or just checking Facebook, when that notification appears to let you know there’s a software update available, it’s so tempting to just click ‘Later’.

And then forget to run the update when you’ve finished what you’re doing.

Especially if you’re working in the office one day and at home the next. It’s even easier to promise yourself you’ll install the updates when you’re in less of a hurry.

But it’s so important.

At the moment, we’re all more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Cyber criminals are taking advantage of how things are.

And there’s more to be aware of. Doing your updates means your devices will be:

  • Protected from the latest threats
  • Running the latest versions of your software
  • Generally in better health

Can you really face dealing with a data breach on top of everything else right now?

Nope.

Run the updates!

Or better still, get us to do them for you.

Call us on 01732 617744 or drop us a line at [email protected].

Reconnecting…

Reconnecting…

It’s frustrating isn’t it?

You’re in the middle of a great video meeting, full of ideas, solutions and plans for the future, and then…

Reconnecting

appears as your colleague’s image goes blank.

🙄

A poor internet connection has been a pain for many people while they’ve been working from home.

What do we really expect? There are more people video calling, working online, streaming music, films and TV in their homes. All at the same time.

Things were never going to be working at optimum levels.

But it doesn’t help your productivity.

So what do you do if your team’s home connection isn’t what it should be? Especially for those who will be working from home as a more permanent option.

First, check what services are available in their location, and what the coverage of available providers is like. Are they with the best provider already, or would a move be beneficial?

Could your business subsidise their move to a faster internet service?

Next, look at their routers. Is there a better one available for the kind of work your business does?  Consider whether a range extender would solve any issues too.

It’s not always straightforward, but giving your people the right tools for the job is vital, right?

If you need any help or advice on upload and download speeds, providers, or any of this internet connectivity stuff, you know where we are.

Call us on 01732 617744 or drop us a line at [email protected].

How much does IT Support cost?

How much does IT Support cost?

If you are looking for managed IT services, one of the most critical considerations is the pricing of a service. In some cases, you may think the information you are reading from various sources about managed IT services is designed so that you purchase them from a given company.

  • the benefits of outsourcing your IT support
  • the many variables involved in working out the cost of IT support
  • if your setup is simple enough take a look at our pricing page for an indicative cost – PRICING
So how much does IT support cost?

Before we focus on helping you understand different models used in pricing services, we would like to highlight some of the benefits of hiring a company specializing in offering managed IT services.

One of the major benefits is that you’ll save a significant amount of money that could be lost due to data breaches. A 2017 report by IBM revealed that a single data breach could result in damages worth millions of euros, with the average loss per stolen record being over a hundred thousand euros.

Every organization would want to lower expenses to increase profitability. A managed IT service provider will help to lower operational expenses and control expenses. If you are ready for the services, outsourcing them only requires a small investment. All your IT needs can be rolled into an ongoing predictable monthly payment.

This means that the services are an operational expense and easier to predict and budget for. Other than switching away from capital expenditures, managed IT services can lower your IT expenditure significantly. For example, you’ll not incur money on things such as licensing, training, and emergency repairs.

Additionally, you can get reduced labour rates through managed services contracts, which translates to more savings. Service providers employ experienced and certified professionals to do the work. Hiring an outsourcing firm means hiring a team of experts who have the qualifications, certifications, and experience needed for the work. You’ll also get more time to focus on running your business.

IT Support Pricing According to Workstations

More workstations means lower pay. For example, if you need ten workstations to be serviced, you may be required to pay more money per month than another client with 50 workstations due to economies of scale.

Note that companies may have several types of fees. For example, you may find hosted workstations and workstations support cover fee. The former refers the payment for the space and resources used by a particular client while the latter is payment for the issues that may come up in your hosted workstation.

Pricing Based on Servers

Devices used in your firm that needs support for will affect the final expenses. For example, the support needed for cloud-hosted servers and on-premises servers is different hence the cost will also differ. As a result, service providers will have two different prices. You may notice a significant difference between the two services. Usually, cloud server support is easier to manage, and this makes it cheaper than when managing on-premises servers, which need regular maintenance and updates.

Pricing for Network Devices

Devices such as routers, Wi-Fi access points, and network switches are critical components of an IT setup. Therefore, make sure they are included in your support agreement. The expenses that service providers charge for network devices vary depending on a variety of factors, including age, usage, and status.

The Cover Levels

Another aspect that companies consider when pricing managed IT services is the type of coverage that a business needs. The needs vary from one business to another. If you need 24x7x365 cover, you’ll be required to pay more for the services than organizations that require cover only during office working hours.

Onsite & Remote Support

Another major consideration when determining the pricing of managed IT services is whether a client needs onsite visits and remote support. In most cases, remote support is sufficient as most faults can be solved without the need for a site visit.

If you need onsite visits, you’ll pay more money to get a comprehensive package. Professional support firms offer advice on the ideal options for a business and not just trying to sell extra features that may be unnecessary.

The Service Level Agreement

This will also affect the final quote for support. For example, a service provider will consider the response time and the resolution time to determine the amount of money you need to pay for your package. If you opt for a shorter response for your business, the total expenses will be higher. Experts can determine the required response times during an IT audit.

Pricing Based on the Number of Sites

Many businesses have been striving to gain a competitive edge over competitors by launching satellite branches over time. Usually, the expenses for multiple sites relatively lower per location. This is because the branches have few requirements to become operational, while the IT back-bone is located at the headquarters.

Ad-Hoc Support VS Monthly Fees

Ad-Hoc support and monthly retainer support are the two main ways you can pay for the services. The two methods vary in structure and pricing. Although the former may seem cheaper, as one pays for what they use, the overall expenses can exceed the amount of money you pay for monthly support.

One of the main reasons for the popularity of monthly packages is that they offer adequate support at a specified price. Unless there are significant changes in your business, the expenses shouldn’t change much. The ability of business owners to predict the expenses gives them peace of mind.

The Number of Devices and Users

Depending on the pricing model of your choice, the amount of devices or number of users in your firm will affect how much money you’ll pay for a package. Some service providers count workstations when determining the number of uses, while others use the number of the active email address. When it comes to counting devices, some organizations will add things such as tablets and phones.

Major Components of Managed IT Services
Network Monitoring

The service involves actively monitoring a company’s network to eliminate potential downtime proactively.

Data Back-Up

Usually, many back-up solutions have cloud computing options. This helps to ensure your data is available even if your hard drives are damaged.

E-mail Filtering and Archiving

This includes constant backing up of past emails and also using a spam filter to help in eliminating phishing threats.

24/7 Support

It is also known as the Help Desk. It is the call center for a managed service provider. The call centers may be outsourced by third parties while others are in house.

Firewall

It is a physical device that’s connected directly to an Ethernet port. They are designed to block or filter out specific requests or traffic.

Antivirus

It’s one of the most popular forms of protection against malware and various computer viruses.

Office Software Management

A good example of the software is TAKE Office 365. Some firms incorporate office management software to help clients in digitizing various processes.

Finally, when you are looking for managed IT services, ensure that the company you are about to hire has solutions that can meet your unique needs. First, assess the structure and systems you have in place and determine what you need to improve. Focus on areas you think pose more risks. Needs for IT varies.

If you have no idea where to start, professional service providers can help you to take stock of your current situation, identify potential risks and opportunities, and recommend the best course of action. If you have questions about the pricing of various services, visit our pricing page for more information. We understand that needs for IT varies from one client to another and will offer customized services.

“What I do have are a very particular set of skills…”

“What I do have are a very particular set of skills…”

We’ve all heard the quote (it’s from the excellent Liam Neeson film ‘Taken’), but have you ever been held to ransom?

While it’s very unlikely that you’ve ever received an anonymous call or letter demanding thousands in return for something you hold close… it’s not out of the question that your business won’t be attacked by ransomware.

What is ransomware?

Think malware – malicious software that damages your computer. But rather than all of your files being deleted, they’re taken away from you and you’re promised their return… only when you pay a fee.

Sound scary? It’s terrifying.

We’ve created a short video to show you how to avoid ransomware, including 3 ways to protect your business.

Watch our brand new video on ransomware