The role of IT in the modern organisation

Over the past few decades, IT’s ability to facilitate organisations’ various business processes has increased drastically. It has gone from basic office tasks, such as storing files, to inventory management systems or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Every organisation must make sure to implement IT in a way that maximises its benefit, depending on the organisation’s unique requirements and processes. From multi-national corporations who maintain mainframe systems and databases to small businesses that own a single computer, IT always plays a role.


IT’s impact on the following areas:

Communications – IT plays a vital role in enabling efficient communication between employees, suppliers, customers and business partners. Most organisations use email as their primary means of communication. One of the early drivers of the internet; it is a simple and inexpensive tool. However, recently other forms of communication have emerged. These include: video conferencing, Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), live chat services like SKYPE and smartphones. All these communication tools make it much easier and faster to transfer information within the organisation, as well as externally.


Data Management – The introduction of IT in the business world reinvented how organisations store their data. The days of having large file rooms filled with filing cabinets and having to mail documents are long gone. Today, companies store digital documents on servers and use databases to store and manage their data. Employees can send and retrieve data from the centralized system, which saves time and improves decision making.


Management Information Systems (MIS) – Storing data is only beneficial if it can be used effectively. Nowadays, most organisations use data for their strategic planning process. MIS is used to track sales data, expenses and profitability. This data is then used to analyse and compare revenue and profitability over time, return on investment and then set future targets or areas of improvement. Through this system, data must be accessible at any given time. MIS reports, therefore, summarise a large amount of data, which enables quick decision making.


Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – This is a system that records interactions with current and potential customers, in order to promote long-term customer relationships. In recent years, IT has played a vital role in how companies create and manage profitable customer relationships. A CRM system stores every customer interaction. Thus, when a customer has an issue, a customer support representative has access to the customer’s previous purchases, shipping information and all the details that allow the issue to be dealt with. Each interaction would then be stored on the CRM system and can be recalled if the customer contacts the company again.

As the world becomes smarter, progressive companies are now focusing on innovation that improves customer experiences and drives business growth. Modern organisations must be proactive in their approach to technology and embrace the changes brought about by IT. Innovation goes beyond creating new products, it is an integral part of every business process and makes organisation more efficient and efficacious. Shifting from the old model of IT as a separate business function to this new model results in a thriving enterprise.

Why Telecommunication is a vital tool for businesses

Telecommunication involves exchanging information over a network, which has helped businesses grow substantially. Networking means connecting with other businesses and clients to maximise one’s growth opportunities. The channels of telecommunication include: email, telephone, social-networking sites, websites, blogs, software-sharing and web-conferencing programs. Every business must realise the importance of making the best use of these modes and take advantage of emerging opportunities, in order to reach a broader audience.


Roles of telecommunication:


Customer service – the telephone and email remain a vital part of a customer service strategy. By using call management techniques, one can handle incoming calls quickly, even when all lines are busy. Moreover, one can route calls to the employee with the skills needed to deal with the respective issue. Alternatively, callers can be given the facility to choose from different options available, depending on the type of inquiry. Email can also be used to communicate and correspond with customers and business partners alike. It is used to promote products and offers, through newsletters, or deal with customer complaints and get feedback.


Collaboration – efficient internal communication is vital in every business. Telecommunication allows information to be shared internally and across different departments. It helps improve performance in areas such as, new product development, customer relationship management and day to day problem solving. This collaborative complex problem solving makes up most of the work for many employees.  Furthermore, telecommunication enables project teams to move forward and make decisions efficiently, even when other members cannot attend meetings.  These members can join a teleconference or web conference. All they need is a smartphone and internet connection.


Remote working – many employees, especially in sales and service teams spend most of their time visiting customers, travelling or working from home. Mobile telecommunication is thus an essential part of their work, which allows them to work productively on the move. Surveys show that 40% of businesses state that more than a third of their employees are remote or mobile workers. This shows how vital telecommunications has become for most modern businesses.


Businesses must determine their telecommunication strategy, that is, how telecommunication will benefit the company most. An example of a successful strategy would be to use web conferencing to build a relationship with a company based in a foreign country before expanding operations to the said country. Furthermore, telecommunication can be used to cut overhead costs by using software that allows employees to work remotely and collaborate on projects from different locations. Moreover, a virtual assistant could be used instead of hiring a full-time assistant, to set meetings and book appointments remotely. For such services and information you contact Clamtech on +356 2090 8800 or by email on: [email protected]

When investing less pays more! Outsourcing Cybersecurity adds value to your organisation!

Many organisations make the wise decision to hire a Managed Service Provider (MSP) that handles their cybersecurity. Although, there are still many small business owners who don’t understand that they must act on cybersecurity. This goes beyond installing an off-the-shelf anti-virus software and calling it a day.


As the cyberthreat landscape becomes more complex, most companies are finding it very challenging to keep track of new issues and protect their data. Moreover, hackers are growing more sophisticated when committing such crimes. The growth of the Internet of Things (IOT) also results in more businesses using smart devices connected through networks, which give hackers more potential entry points.


These security breaches result in significant damages to the company, ranging from data loss, server downtime and loss of clients due to bad publicity and reliability. SMEs are faced with three options for dealing with such security breaches. Firstly, they can attempt to manage cybersecurity internally, by hiring in-house security professionals, including a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). Alternatively, they can use the services of a consultant that would recommend a combination of security solutions. These would then be installed and managed by internal staff. The third and most common option is to outsource all cybersecurity to a Managed Service Provider.


Benefits of outsourcing cybersecurity:


  • Having a team of dedicated security professionals– these people are in high demand and without using the services of an MSP it may be impossible to hire them. The company would have constant access to security experts for immediate response. These experts are also always up-to-date on all the latest threats and security practises.


  • Better threat detection and incident response time– the team of experts that monitor your system 24 hours a day are able to respond to threats in real time. A Managed Detection and Response platform (MDR) is often used, which gives fast insight for quick response.


  • Advanced technology – new modes of cyber-attack require new defence tools. It takes time to train internal staff to install and use these tools efficiently. New software is also expensive to buy and maintain licensing and support.


  • Threat intelligence – outsourced threat intelligence platforms provide a detailed analysis of the company’s intelligence profile. This delivers precise and actionable threat intelligence indicators. This platform also deals with threats before they become breaches. With companies having many sources of data, it is extremely difficult to develop and maintain such a system in-house.


  • Independent validation of cybersecurity posture – outsourcing provides an independent analysis of the organisation’s vulnerabilities and weaknesses in systems and applications that internal IT staff may not have picked up. MSPs are specialised in, not only uncovering hidden risks, but also training internal staff to lower the risk of vulnerability to a cyber-attack.


When a company decides to outsource, it is vital to choose the right cybersecurity provider that has the means and expertise to meet all the requirements long term. Furthermore, advanced tools and expert security teams are needed for a comprehensive cybersecurity solution. Finally, the MSP chosen must be dynamic and constantly stay ahead of emerging cyber-criminal tactics.


For more information regarding this service, kindly contact Clamtech on +356 2090 8800 or by email on: [email protected]

Perks of using Cloud Based Unified Communications services

Cloud-based Unified Communications Services (CUCS) are developing rapidly and organisations should be proactive when planning the reorganisation of their IT team. Many companies are shifting from hosting applications in corporate data centres, to unified communications in the cloud. This is due to the productivity benefits that are constantly being recognised as this moves into mainstream adoption. There are several factors that organisations must consider when deciding on how to implement this service.


Reasons to consider CUCS:


  1. Business agility – Maintenance and support time is reduced, as there is no longer the need to plan and implement system updates. The service offers quick updates through the cloud, allowing a business to deploy new applications to all users or an entire department as soon as they become available. This gives the IT department greater flexibility with their communication system, since updates can be implemented without disrupting the system.


  1. Efficiency – Hosted CUCS provide businesses with the communications they need, without associated capital costs of traditional on-site systems and the costs relating to management and support. This increases IT resource and budgetary efficiencies. Furthermore, monthly costs can be foreseen and this allows for businesses to plan ahead more efficiently. This service also reduces costs, since there is no need to support and maintain a physical on-site system. All these factors allow the organisation to focus its resources on its core activities.


  1. Reliability – Good service providers have secure data centres that are redundantly configured and geographically separated to ensure continued service in the case of a catastrophic event. Legal Service Agreements are also in place, to guarantee uptime. Each organisation’s data and user settings are backed up in multiple locations, creating a disaster-proof system for business communications. Moreover, hosted CUCS providers also offer 24×7 monitoring and updated encryption, ensuring your data is safe and secure.


  1. Disaster Recovery – In the event of an emergency or disaster, a CUCS service provider can adapt to the changed situation without additional expenses for the company. Most companies have a Disaster Recovery Plan in place to ensure that data and records vital to the operation of the business are duplicated or protected in off-site storage. CUCS now provides the ability to ensure that business communications are also protected in the event of an emergency and can be incorporated into the overall Disaster Recovery Plan.


  1. Increased collaboration – This means having access from anywhere, anytime and from any device. CUCS gives users access to applications that allow them to instantly chat, set up conferences and meetings, share documents and engage in real-time dialogue with customers. Thus, benefitting not only employees, but also customers.


  1. Customisation – CUCS gives organisations the flexibility to choose the specific model and applications to fit their specific requirements. Service providers also offer the flexibility to change as business requirements change.


To conclude, having your communications system in the cloud helps avoid technology obsolescence and the time and resources associated with a large scale “technology refresh.” This is due to cloud-based communications providing a system that is flexible enough to grow alongside your ever-growing business. For more information regarding this service, kindly contact Clamtech on +356 2090 8800 or by email on: [email protected]

Every business needs an IT #help #desk

Companies around the world make use of an IT help desk to ensure smooth running of their operations on a daily basis. It is put in place to assist the company’s management and employees whenever a problem arises. These are generally of a technical nature; thus, technical people are at hand to troubleshoot the problem. Such issues include: malfunctions with the office printer, getting access to a new system, as well as, server and security issues.

A help desk may be used to assist company employees and customers alike. This depends on the type of help desk. An IT support help desk supports employees by addressing their difficulties, from simply forgetting their log in credentials, to the entire network going down. Alternatively, companies may use a customer service help desk, which focuses on serving the company’s clients. These might have questions regarding the products and services offered by the company.

There are several functions that a help desk should perform that benefit your company. To begin with, communication should be efficient, due to a single point of contact between employees or customers and the IT service provider. Issues are also addressed immediately as they arise, since help desks are available to the client 24/7. Moreover, customers can get help from the technical help desk agents or through self-service, such as, FAQs. A help desk should also allow users to rate the service, allowing the company to measure customer satisfaction.

When businesses first start out, they usually rely on email for support but as they grow, they go beyond email and IT support becomes critical. This needs to be proportionate to the level of business. Companies should turn to help desk software, when their internal personnel struggle to solve issues efficiently and keep up with emails. This software organises information, streamlines workflows and eliminates many manual processes. An IT support specialist will no longer have to log issues by hand, deal with sorting of emails to solve a problem, track the status of issues manually, or let requests slip through the cracks. Therefore, such system automates the process of dealing with issues, centralises information, and uses email alerts to keep employees informed. Employees have the luxury of simply submitting a ticket to the help desk team, which will then receive, log and assign issues to the right help desk technicians automatically. Detailed records of all submitted issues are kept, this makes it easier to track updates and report on what work was carried out.

It is vital to choose the right help desk software, one which depends on the specific company needs. The cost is the main factor holding back many companies from investing in this software. The price of this service depends on the size of the company, the number of employees and the specific business needs. Some vendors offer basic help desks, while others offer enterprise-level customisable solutions. For more information kindly contact Clamtech on +356 2090 8800 or by email on: [email protected]

Why you should start using #server #management services.

Every individual or firm that owns a server needs server management. Some do it themselves, but most make use of professional server management services. The most common users of these managed service providers are large corporations, web developers, web designers, start-ups or small-scale firms.

This entails system administration, which includes various tasks. After the initial server set up, regular server monitoring and maintenance must be done. This includes monitoring apps running on the server by; checking their status, uptime and making sure that there are no new issues. Moreover, one must also update the server and software installed on the server. Server management teams are responsible for keeping systems secure. They protect the system from harmful and malicious software. Data backups are also an essential part of server management, preventing loss of vital data.

Server work done by seasoned professionals presents many benefits, putting your mind at ease. You don’t have to worry about updates and security issues when experts are monitoring your server 24/7. You also don’t need to stay updated on the latest security releases and trends. Another benefit relates to the costs incurred. Instead of hiring a team of full-time administrators, you can outsource your server management and save money on wages. Furthermore, most server management providers offer a 24/7 help desk and emergency support. This reduces the impact of any technological failure by providing quicker turnaround time. Instead of wasting vital hours troubleshooting and researching the problem, experts are at hand to immediately find the best way to fix the problem quickly and efficiently. Without such 24/7 support, if an issue was to arise outside of the office working hours, it would take a long time to be resolved and data would be at risk.

As businesses grow, so do their IT needs. Small businesses generally make use of a single server, but as the workload for each workstation increases, the company will need more dedicated servers to work efficiently. Moreover, most small businesses cannot afford to have their own in-house IT department to monitor their servers and network, and keep up with upgrades. This results in most businesses seeking third party server management. This is a great way for small or growing businesses to alleviate responsibility and stress, focusing instead, on their core business activities.

Businesses should always carry out extensive research in order to find the right server management provider. It is the responsibility of these service providers to proactively maintain their clients’ servers through regular maintenance, monitoring, helpdesk and emergency support. They design a strategy to reduce the likelihood and impact of adverse technological failure, while identifying any potential issues.

Why you should implement a #hosted virtual desktop

The primary purpose of having a virtual network is to allow a service provider or data centre to provide and manage a suitable and efficient networking structure. This structure must be constantly updated to reflect changing conditions, through software rather than physical hardware changes. Simply put, a hosted virtual desktop is a user interface that connects to applications and data that are stored on a service provider’s servers, rather than on the user or corporate network.

Implementing a hosted virtual desktop presents various benefits and cost savings for a company. The service provider is responsible for storage and backup of data, system security, as well as, upgrades. Moreover, they also offer redundancy, constant availability and optimized power. These virtual desktop models benefit the company, by enabling its employees to access their desktop from anywhere and anytime, given that they have an internet connection. They can also use various devices to do so; smartphones, laptops or tablets. As a result, the workforce is way more efficient and information is easily accessible to everyone in the company.

Cost effectiveness remains the main goal of every company. Firms adopt such technologies and digital services in order to cut costs, while still reaching their corporate aims. Virtual desktops deliver these cost savings. This is due to traditional desktops having very high lifecycle costs. Gartner, a leading consultancy agency, reports that the yearly cost of ownership of a computer exceeds $5,000 per year. This includes purchasing hardware and software, management and support, communications, system downtime and training, among other productivity losses. Adopting a hosted virtual desktop results in significantly lower total costs of ownership. This is done through economies of scale, that are achieved by centralization of IT systems and services. Rather than every company individually storing data on its own cloud and having its own infrastructure, all these services are provided by the service provider to many companies. The competitive nature that exists in the cloud services market also reduces the price charged for these services.

Cloud service providers present a low-cost way for companies to access applications stored on a cloud. These agencies are generally very secure, reliable and offer 24/7 support for their clients. These service providers group a number of physical machines and build a large number of virtual machines with software, making them accessible through the internet. This whole package with services and support would be offered at a monthly price for each desktop, referred to as a hosted virtual desktop.

Virtual desktops come in two different designs, either session-based, or dedicated. Session-based desktops are an economical solution for users to access applications with less changing needs. Users, such as, clerks and assistants, have less intensive computing and user personalization needs. Dedicated virtual desktops are aimed at those who need more resources, personalization, and control. These are used by individuals who have specialized requirements for high level computing, data storage and personalization needs.

Another benefit of using hosted virtual desktops is that these can be created with the desired configuration and software can be updated instantly. Virtual machines are much more capable of responding to the changing needs of a business, when compared to physical machines. They are easier to manage and make use of the available physical resources more efficiently.

After a company opts for a hosted virtual desktop, it is vital to choose the right service provider. Industry certifications for cloud hosting, from companies like Microsoft, are good indicators of the credibility and capability of the vendor.  Another factor to consider is the level of experience of the vendor, in terms of length of time working in the industry, the size of existing customers and size of customer base. A hosted virtual desktop provider must have a very good track record of working with different customers, from small and medium business, to corporations, to individual professionals. Moreover, their offerings must be customizable to suit the specific needs of each business. Finally, they must be proactive and respond effectively to changing trends and demands, while increasing management tools.

Choose your Business Continuity Plan wisely – It might save your business

Companies are facing an unprecedented number of exposures from an ever-growing external environment. Internal risks, such as I.T and personnel, also present potential losses for companies. However, these are under the control of the firm, whereas, external factors cannot be controlled. All risk arises due to a level of uncertainty and impacts the achievement of objectives. This impact can be of a hazardous (negative) nature, opportunity (positive) nature, or simply a deviation from what is expected. A business continuity plan is the first step towards mitigating the potential adverse impact of such risks.


Business Continuity Planning (BCP) is defined as a holistic management approach that identifies potential impacts that threaten an organization and provides a framework for building resilient and capable responses that safeguard the interest of key stakeholders, reputation and the brand. Due to the increased reliance on technology and corporate networks for survival, a BCP focuses greatly on continuation of core digital processes, including maintaining networks and other I.T processes.


When a company network fails, all methods of communication with its customers, suppliers and employees also fail. Even worse, access to critical information is lost or may be compromised. Even when presented with these adverse impacts, there are still many organisations that fail to develop an effective BCP and are thus not prepared to deal with adverse events relating to their business and network operations.


Common misconceptions include: employees already know what to do in an emergency, insurance will cover the losses, it is not worth the time and cost. Contrary to this; employees respond differently in an emergency, usually in a manner that adds confusion. Insurance is not a strategy, but rather part of the plan and it does not cover the cost of a loss of data, reputation and customers. Moreover, the time and cost spent on an effective BCP strategy is an investment in the company. Fixed costs must still be payed after the event, therefore it is vital to get the system up and running and return to normal operations as fast as possible, to reduce the negative impact of the event.


The first stage of a successful BCP is to determine all threats that could cease core business activities. Then the tasks that are required to continue such activities and business processes are determined. Details about the necessary tools, information and people needed to continue these operations are stated. Responsibility for creating a BCP should be delegated to various people. All modern organisations rely heavily on a network for their operations; thus, it is vital to carry out regular data backups and a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP). The latter is an important part of the BCP. DRP is a plan for responding after an event. It deals with preparing for the failure and recovery of a business’s IT systems and controls.

The following are some measures used to protect a company’s network and data, that form part of a BCP.


  1. Planning for power failures – all critical network components should be connected to a power source that has a very high availability percentage. This should be around 99.999% for a data centre.


  1. Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) – are connected to emergency power sources to maintain internal communication. These are used when a LAN provides critical services, such as, a bank or hospital.


  1. Updated BCP – companies are constantly changing their internal processes to maximise growth. It is vital that all changes and upgrades are included in the BCP. Network documentation must be constantly up to date and periodic analysis is made.


  1. Security – hackers prey on companies that have experienced an event that has weakened their network. They try to breach information and network security of the organisation. Thus, a BCP must ensure that the same level of security for the primary system is also found in the disaster recovery system.


Companies are often better off outsourcing the development and implementation of a BCP. The cost outweighs the huge burden of having to manage offsite backups and a hosting provider can provide a facility that is much more cost-effective and less time-intensive. This also reduces the time and resources that would be wasted in training the company’s own internal staff, by having staff from the external service provider manage all digital services.

The true cost of network downtime

Every business wants to reduce its costs. Technology has been adopted by most businesses by now, but many do not manage their system efficiently and do not plan on how to address the inevitable downtime.  This term refers to the period of time during which a system fails to perform its primary function. Avoiding upgrades in technology to reduce expenses will almost certainly increase them. Many businesses also underestimate the costs of downtime or do not think it is worth the money.


To truly understand the importance of implementing a network downtime prevention and recovery plan, it is vital to understand the full costs of network downtime. When systems unexpectedly fail or crash, downtime has a direct influence on business operations. Most business cannot operate at all and this costs them a lot of money. Apart from monetary losses, data losses pose a huge threat to your business. Research conducted in the United States shows that downtime costs have risen a staggering 41% since 2010. When data centres go down, the businesses they support suffer. With average incidents lasting 86 minutes, the average cost per incident is now $69,200. These losses depend on many factors, including: revenue, industry, duration of outage, number of employees and time of day. Businesses which are heavily dependent on data transactions, like banks and online retailers, experience significantly higher losses per hour.


These downtime costs include direct and indirect expenses. Direct costs are immediate fines, fees and expenses. Indirect costs refer to long-term costs resulting from loss of business and tarnished reputation.


Direct costs:

  1. Legal repercussions – companies handling sensitive client information and financial data may be sued due to network downtime, especially if this is a result of a security breach. In certain cases, companies can also lose certification with the legal regulatory if they encounter downtime frequently.


  1. Data loss – downtime during the work day interrupts ongoing work, often damages data and causes errors when the network is back online. Furthermore, unsaved data is lost, meaning that employees have to work more hours to recover the data. This results in even more costs for the business.


  1. Productivity loss – most employees cannot carry out any work without the company network but would still get paid, this results in a loss of productivity. Resuming work and catching up after the system outage is also time-consuming.


Indirect cost:


  1. Loss of revenue due to lost customers – It takes time to build a loyal and trusting relationship with a client. The confidence a client has in the company is extremely important and a single incident could jeopardise it. This expense represents the cost of losing customers because of the downtime event.


  1. Damaged reputation – the reputation of a company can be easily affected as a result of network downtime. Surveys show that after experiencing a technical failure, more than half of businesses said that this damaged their reputation. This could result in negative reviews, loss of sales and a loss of seasoned customers.


System failures are sometimes inevitable, but some are entirely preventable. Companies should make use of methods to avoid downtime, while developing contingency and recovery plans. I.T support agencies provide such services, as well as: emergency response, circuit monitoring and custom security configurations. The cost of these services is minimal when compared to the major potential

Why is networking vital to your business?

Networking refers to the transfer and exchange of data between different nodes in an information system. A node is a connection point that can receive, create, send and store data along a network. Networking goes beyond simply having an internet connection. It entails not only the design and construction of the network, but also, management, maintenance and operation of the network infrastructure. This facilitates everything, from telephone calls, to text messaging, to streaming video, to the internet of things (IoT). Technology has improved considerably over the past few years and it is now much easier to set up a network for your business. Networks can be either wired or wireless.


Wired networks

Wired network connections make use of cables to connect to the internet and to other devices on the network. Data is transferred through ethernet cables. These networks represent very limited mobility and are an inconvenience for office workers, installation takes a very long time and the wires and cables make for a less tidy workplace. Wired networks also present benefits, mainly: reliability and stability, visibility, speed, security and cost-effectiveness.


Wireless networks

Most small to medium businesses make use of a Local Area Network (LAN), which comprises a group of computers and/or mobile devices connected to a server.  This allows employees to share a single internet connection, in order to access files, peripherals and software. With unlimited access to documents, emails, applications and other network resources, employees have the ability to roam freely and have constant access to the tools required to do their jobs. This, therefore, increases productivity by encouraging fast information sharing and gives workers the freedom to work from anywhere. Moreover, it gives offices a cleaner look, reduces falling hazards and allows visitors to have access to the internet. On the other hand, wireless connections can also represent vulnerability to cyber-attacks, interference and issues with range. Wired connections may be more suitable for offices with thick walls.

Therefore, businesses may opt for wireless or wired networks depending mainly on the budget, mobility, security and performance requirements.

In today’s internet-driven world, every business needs a reliable network to send and receive data internally, as well as, externally. As your business expands, you will need to set up a LAN at each location, all of which can then be connected to a Wide Area Network (WAN). It is vital for your business to choose a reliable IT Support and Consultancy company in order to have a smooth and efficient move from the old system to the new network.