How the learnings of 2015 can help us stay ahead in 2016

At this time of the year almost every business looks back to reflect on the past year and think about what lessons were learned, so we can continue to build and develop our businesses to be stronger in the commencing year.

2015 has been a big year for all things technology. We have seen some exciting breakthroughs in technologies and platforms which have allowed us to equip our workforce with the right tools to work smarter and more efficiently than ever before. Whilst we draw from these platforms to strengthen our businesses, we were often reminded about the risks and threats associated as we witnessed blue chip companies fall victim to severe cyber-attacks. Taking into account what we have learnt over the last 12 months, here are 3 things that your business should consider in order to stay ahead in 2016.

1. Review Security

Security has been the core topic of discussion throughout 2015, far overshadowing any of the great innovations that have been introduced to the market. With attacks and breaches against TalkTalk, Carphone Warehouse, Walmart and Costco to name a few, this year has served well to highlight two things:

1. The threat of security breaches and cyber-attacks to businesses is REAL
2. No business can become completely immune from cyber threats

TalkTalk.fwWhilst it is impossible for a business to completely safeguard and protect their IT infrastructure and data, it is important to take the time to review and fully understand where your business is. Introducing a security policy to your business will provide greater visibility and ensure that you review your current setup and highlight where improvements can be made, reducing the risk of threats and attacks significantly.

Key questions to take away:
1. Every business should have a Firewall. Are you confident in protection that your appliance delivers?
2. What are the level of security permissions across your organisation?  Are you confident that your staff can only see the data they should be able to see?
3. Do you have an Anti-Virus product installed on all business workstations? How is it managed? Are threats dealt with quickly?

2. Assess Backup Policy

No matter what your business is, in today’s digital world, being without key IT systems or business data is almost guaranteed to cause significant disruption. While hardware such as computers, laptops and mobile phones can be repaired or replaced, data, the life blood of a business, is not so easily recovered unless suitable plans and policies are in place. Understanding your backup policy (the solution you have in place) and being familiar with the terms; Disaster Recovery (DR), Business Continuity (BC), Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) is critical for any successful business looking to limit downtime.

What we can take away from 2015 is that system disruption and downtime costs a lot more than just money… it damages your brand and reputation. In today’s world where we live and shout about everything on Social Media, can your business afford not to stay ahead?

The takeaways from this section are:
1. Do you have a comprehensive backup solution in place? If so, what is it?
2. How frequently do you back up your data? Where is it backed up to?
3. In the event of a disaster such as Server hardware failure, how long would it take you to restore your data and services?

3. Understand The Cloud

2015 was another great year for Cloud innovation. With mobility of business data, applications and services being the focus and talking point amongst businesses, many took the time to review their IT platforms to establish how migrating to the Cloud could deliver increased performance, accessibility, resilience, scalability and value whilst at the same time, saving money.

While “Cloud” is a broad term, there are many businesses that are yet to discover what the Cloud means to them and the benefits it can deliver.

With Microsoft offering a broad range of market leading services such as Office 365, SharePoint Online, Dynamics CRM and Azure, Zenzero recommends all businesses should engage with an experienced service provider who can take the time to understand how your business operates as well your future requirements, before making suggestions on what Cloud systems should be implemented.

Microsoft claims that there are over 80 million users on their popular Office 365 platform

Some of the Cloud projects undertook by the team at Zenzero have included:

– Migration of Email Services from an On Premise Server or Hosted POP/ IMAP Service to Microsoft Exchange Online on the Office 365 platform

– Migration of an On Premise CRM system to Microsoft Dynamics CRM on the Office 365 platform

– VoIP Migration from an onsite PBX to a fully hosted Cloud platform

– Data migration from a local Fileserver to OneDrive for Business

– Implementation of hosted SharePoint sites for document collaboration amongst departments and teams

A few questions to take away are:
1. What services do you currently host on premise?
2. How important is mobility of business data, services and applications to your organisation?

What can I do?

With a wealth of experience in providing professional IT products, services and support to small and medium sized businesses, Zenzero are ideally placed to offer the IT advice your business needs to succeed. Our partnerships with market-leaders such as Microsoft, StorageCraft, Kaspersky and Dell enable Zenzero to tailor our support to suit your exact requirements.

To find out more about how Zenzero can help your business gain a competitive advantage please contact our friendly team on 0333 3209 900 or