managed IT services

How IT Services Help Small Businesses Boost Profitability

How IT Services Help Small Businesses Boost Profitability 1920 600 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

It’s never been more important for small businesses to run lean – if you are a small business owner, you know exactly what that means. Fixed costs add up quickly, and can eat up a lot of your cash flow if you’re not careful. Fortunately, IT offers many ways to preserve your margin, and add more value to your bottom line in the process.

Here are just some of the ways IT helps small businesses boost profits:

Cloud storage and computing

The cloud has been gaining importance for several years now. Though many companies still run their systems with a combination of cloud and on-premise server solutions, the cloud has offered an alternative to many identifiable pain points, most of which may well become a thing of the past in short order. Examples include:

Elimination of paper files: without having to store masses of paper files, you can reclaim your file room and repurpose it for something more productive (a huddle room, perhaps?). Additionally, the incidence of lost files virtually disappears, and with it all the man-hours spent printing, sorting, filing, and maintaining a file system. Just think of all the trees you’re saving, too – but that’s just a bonus.

Save on hardware and IT maintenance costs: if your company’s systems and data is cloud based, you won’t have any costly equipment to purchase and maintain. It will also save on labour and maintenance of said servers, as all of your data is stored in the cloud. You might be able to reduce the size of your staff, or eliminate your IT team altogether, and you won’t have to pay for updates, upgrades or repairs ever again.

Increase productivity: by migrating your systems to the cloud, you can provide your employees with an easier way to access company data. They will be able to log in from any device and review documents, calendars, and other company essentials from wherever they are, facilitating better accountability and boosting productivity, which adds value straight back to the bottom line.

Better control of your budget, more flexibility: most cloud solutions offer pay-as-you-go options, and most are pay per user. This means you can know exactly how much you are paying each month, and can easily scale to meet your specific needs. Not least of all, you will be saving thousands of dollars on your energy bills, as you won’t have to power up a room full of equipment.

Business VoIP Phone Systems and Unified Communications

The exorbitant expense of a business phone system just doesn’t make sense nowadays. With the option to choose VoIP, there is little argument left in favour of legacy PBX or conventional phone lines, no matter what size company you run.

Voice over IP (VoIP) is not only vastly less expensive to deploy, it offers so much flexibility, and so many valuable business features that there shouldn’t be a reason not to do it.

Consider these points:

No more phone lines: VoIP can either run on your internal network, or it can be hosted in the cloud, so you can eliminate the cost of maintaining physical phone lines and the infrastructure that goes with them.

Cut toll costs: while you may still pay for long distance, it will be at a fraction of what it would be over a conventional phone line.

Add value to your telecommunications: VoIP offers a robust set of features that add value, not only for your customers, but for your employees as well. Call conferencing, forwarding, virtual phone numbers and area codes, and being able to connect directly from your CRM are just some of the features that will help your workforce save time and be more productive. Your customers will like it because they will have a better experience – and happy customers will keep coming back!

Greenlight ITC: helping your company boost profits and productivity

These are just some of the ways IT services can transform the way you work and boost your profitability. Greenlight ITC offers a range of managed IT services and support packages that are guaranteed to add value and save you money. With the goal of helping you reduce the day-to-day costs of maintaining your technology, we are always ready with expert advice and services that are made for the way Australia does business. Call today to find out more about how we can help.

Bring your own device (BYOD)

BYOD: How to Increase Productivity without Compromising Security

BYOD: How to Increase Productivity without Compromising Security 1000 667 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

Using personal devices for business tasks is convenient but poses several security risks. Sadly, many are not aware of the safety issues of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) practices. Not everyone will pay attention to the way they access their company’s data through their smartphones or tablets. They won’t even think twice about connecting to a public Wi-Fi connection because their focus is getting work done. Let’s face it: Productivity trumps security for most users.

BYOD is something that gives network and security administrators headaches, both in house and offering managed IT services. It’s easy to lose important data when someone uses a personal device for work-related tasks without proper precautions. This opens the door for security breaches and other problems where disaster recovery. The question now is: Is it possible to improve productivity without compromising security when using personal devices for work?

The answer depends on how strong your drive is to improving both because, let’s face it, there will always be risks of losing data even if you workers are using company-owned computers. It all boils down on the user and how solid your company’s BYOD strategies are.

Implementing Clearly Defined Policies

Companies first need to create clear policies regarding usage of personal devices for work-related tasks. These must include why, when, and how they can access data. You need to draw the lines and make it clear to employees the risks involved in using their own devices. Conducting trainings and regular meetings about data security can be advantageous.

Don’t forget to get them involved. Most of the time, your employees don’t know their activities are compromising security because they have no idea. By educating your staff, you significantly reduce the risks.

You may think that only huge companies can pull this off because they have departments that can take care of trainings. They’re not the only ones. Although it might present some challenges, small business can also implement BYOD security strategies.

Encourage Responsible Data and Device Use

If users are well-informed of the risks involved, they’re more likely to become more responsible in using their devices. It’s up to you, as their boss, to lead by example. Be transparent. Demonstrate how you use your own devices for work, when possible. Encourage discussions and friendly exchanges between all concerned parties so that you can address any concern, like confusion about apps that they can or cannot download.

More importantly, give them the impression that you’re willing to assist if they encounter any problem. A recent Gartner study found that only 27 percent of users in the US that found security issues with their devices felt the need to report to their employers. You don’t want your staff to withhold critical information like this. You have to stay on top of any security concern and that will only happen if they’re comfortable enough to talk to you.

Consider Investing on the Appropriate Technology

Using the right technology is very important in securing your data. Even the most prudent employee can lose critical information if he doesn’t have the right tools. The most obvious route is to install antivirus and anti-malware software in all devices. In this day and age surveillance is getting a pad reputation, but monitoring the devices’ location and Internet traffic is a crucial aspect of preventing any security breach. That way, you can take appropriate actions when, say, an employee loses a tablet or smartphone. Monitoring software will let you either retrieve the device or, in the event it was stolen, help the authorities apprehend the culprit.

Kill Switch, Anyone?

These days, it’s increasingly easy to retrieve data from lost or stolen phones. This can be disastrous for companies. That’s why a kill switch might be the best solution. It’s basically a device that can remotely wipe or shut down any device and render the hardware unusable.

But there’s the question of what happens to the user’s personal information? Jeff Rubin, Vice President of Strategy at a security specialist company, raises this issue. The company’s option would be to contain the data on the user’s device so the kill switch can only wipe out applications that contain corporate data, leaving their personal files intact.

Another solution would be to use software that allows you to approve the applications installed in smartphones, tablets, and even laptops. Gartner predicted that the number of people who use mobile applications will double by 2015, and this makes software like this more appealing to business owners.

Dual Persona Smart Phones

Samsung and Blackberry have recently rolled out their own versions of security and management software that has dual-personality features, which enables users to separate personal and corporate data on devices like the Z10 and Galaxy S4.

What Should You Do?

BYOD is here to stay. In fact, companies across the globe are working towards improving the productivity, flexibility, and efficiency of their employees. So much, actually, that they will soon make it mandatory for employees to use their own devices. And with the increase of smartphone and tablet sales to consumers, you can only expect more people to use these in lieu of their office PCs. As such, it’s crucial that companies work hard in implementing solid strategies that improve productivity without compromising security, even if they use managed IT services and refer these matters to contractors for the most part.

A combination of the right tools and solid BYOD policies should be enough to get everyone on board, making them more responsible in using personal devices for work.

Melbourne Managed IT Services an Asset in Erratic Weather Conditions

Melbourne Managed IT Services an Asset in Erratic Weather Conditions 150 150 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

Searing heat in Melbourne, flash floods in Toowoomba, dust storm in Onslow, firestorms near Sydney. Welcome to Australia, mate.

In a country with one of the most erratic weather systems in the world, disaster recovery should be no less of a requirement for everyone. One hour it gets really hot, the next hour it gets really cold for reasons that make science scratch its head. If there are people who take the worst of Mother Nature on a frequent basis, it has to be Australians.
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