In a world where technology seems to move as quickly as changing fashions, we found ourselves wondering if 2015 could be the time for businesses to pause for breath.

Having dashed through an era in which many have been urged to go mobile and move into the cloud, perhaps this year is the time to take stock of such developments, ensuring that your business is robust from a technology perspective and that your data is under control.

Time to take a closer look at your IT?  (picture: Wikipedia)

Time to take a closer look at your IT? (picture: Wikipedia)

In just the last couple of years many businesses, of all sizes, have moved quickly to make use of apps on tablets and smartphones, putting files and systems online and allowing people to work from wherever they are. While there are undoubtedly productivity boosts to be had when this is done properly, there are serious risks for businesses that can only be controlled when you make all this part of a bigger plan that accounts for both hardware and HR systems and practices.

There is a lot of hype around moving into ‘the cloud’. To us that’s just a bit of jargon; what you’re really talking about is ‘the internet’ – no matter how you’re packaging or presenting it! So, taking that to its logical conclusion, what you’re doing is putting your data and communications into a place where you don’t necessarily have control of all of the parts.

Many staff have now been equipped with mobile devices and apps and many companies are relying on internet-based software and services. It’s easy to do, but take the time while there’s a kind of breather in the pace of change (there doesn’t seem to be another Twitter on the horizon right now…) to make sure you and your people understand the risk points. What happens when a device is lost or left unlocked in a public place? Could your entire business be compromised? Do you have the HR processes in place to ensure staff know how serious such a mistake could be for the business and, ultimately, their livelihood?

What would you do if a key service vanished offline overnight with an error? If you don’t think it could happen you only have to look at the massive Microsoft Azure platform which has had more than one major outage in 2014, affecting millions of firms globally!

Fallback systems, good security, properly trained and equipped staff and updated hardware might not be as exciting as encouraging staff to get involved in the latest social network, but could be the difference between business survival and failure.

You have to ask yourself, quite simply, if a key database was hacked, corrupted or otherwise damaged or you couldn’t access your working information for a day or more, what would that do to your business? If the answer makes you sweat a bit its time to take stock and take advice. A good system is actively managed and routinely monitored and updated and if you don’t have the expertise in-house just give us a call and we’ll make sure it’s one less thing you have to worry about. Our number is at the top of the page…