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Working from home? Then communication is key!

Most of you will now be working from home.

If not, it is most likely that you will be soon.

And if you are a keyworker and are outside and in potential contact with those who may have Covid-19. I salute you.

For those of us who are at home – this is the best way of containing and minimising the impact and longevity of the virus.

 And also, for those of us who are working from home (WFH) and have their WFH space set up so they can access their tech resources, a whole new set of challenges has arisen.

Communication is key…

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How do we communicate? How do we interact? I can assure you it is not the same as working in the office.

The 7-38-55 rule explains how the written word only gives 7% of the meaning of those words written, the spoken word only provides 38% and the rest is the body language.

If you move from face-to-face communication to just chatting on Slack or Microsoft Teams, be prepared for a bit of a shock!

This great post from Seth Godin goes into details about what we are trying to achieve when we work with others.

And just assuming it will be fine when we switch to remote working opens up a rather big can of worms. His key point is if you want to have a discussion with a co-worker or a group of them, is the online meeting the correct way? Would an email be better? Online poll?

“A conversation involves listening and talking. A conversation involves a perception of openness and access and humanity on both sides. People hate meetings but they don’t hate conversations.”

His article takes two minutes to read. It may be the best two minutes you spend this week!

If you’d like to discuss the above further or want input from ITGUYS, please get in touch. You can call us on 0207 241 2255 or simply fill out the contact form on our website and we’ll quickly get back to you. If you’d like to schedule a call directly with Ben, please connect via his calendar link.

Has your phone system been designed for your business?

You’ve got to admit, the telephone has come a long way over the past few years. In this month’s guide, we look at seven benefits of having a phone system designed for the way we do business in 2020.

Do you remember how business used to work 20 years ago?

Everyone worked from the office, probably using a huge grey or beige computer with a monitor the size of a breeze block. You just about had space on your desk for your phone and a coffee – your notepad had to balance at a funny angle.

All of your files were either physical or saved on your computer. If someone else needed an updated version you had to email it to them.

Most meetings were in person, but if someone was too far away, they could dial in for a clunky, expensive conference call.

It seems prehistoric now, doesn’t it? Literally, last century!

Business moves on quickly, and technology moves even faster!

Everything that changes with technology helps to improve our businesses and make our lives easier (though it doesn’t always seem that way to begin with).

Computers are faster, less cumbersome, and more advanced… the internet has changed the way we use information… so, what else do we need to look at?

What about your phone system? Have you ever considered that?

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The list of benefits to a new phone system is huge and it’s really worth considering for your business.

Could you do with an increase in productivity in your business? Could you and your customers benefit from the greater functionality a new phone system could bring?

Would you like to save a bit of money while improving your service?

It seems like a no-brainer!

So, if your phone system is three years old or more, a conversation about how bringing your phones in-line with your other technology is a good place to start.

And we’d love to help!

Contact us today on 020 72 41 22 55 or simply fill out the contact form on our website to see exactly how a new phone system could benefit you and your team. If you’d like to schedule a call directly with Ben, please connect via his calendar link.

Google, Brexit and GDPR. Messy isn’t the half of it!

What springs to mind when you think about Google, Brexit and GDPR?

No, we aren’t going to discuss the EU in-or-out question.

We’re going to look at how post-Brexit Britain is viewed by the large tech companies and the wriggle room the change suddenly gives them.

It’s common knowledge that Google uses personal data (anonymised) to target users with adverts and remarketing that match the user’s buying patterns.

The Guardian recently produced an article which goes into greater detail about the ins and outs, but in essence, Google has taken the opportunity to move UK Google and G Suite accounts out of the UK/EU and back to the USA.

This means that the data is not covered by GDPR and is replaced with far weaker data protection legislation. Remember, GDPR was not created on a whim. Previous data protection laws in the EU and member states were not up to the job nor really dealt with surveillance capitalism.

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The aims of GDPR were to give individuals a greater level of protection from their personal data being used in ways that they didn’t agree with. Plus, it gave Big Data even more access to information that we would never want to share with them.

Remember…

A key factor to bear in mind is the complex information sharing agreements that exist between the EU and US – such as the Privacy Shield.

The Guardian article compares the GDPR controls in say, Ireland, with whatever the UK ends up with (after protracted trade negotiations with the rest of the world) and the USA.

Intra-government and trading bloc data-sharing agreements are likely to be complicated. Google’s stance is just the beginning of what is coming up in the next 18 months.

Expect this to be a long a messy journey!

If you want to discuss this in more detail or want input from  ITGUYS, please get in touch. You can call us on 020 72 41 22 55 or simply fill out the contact form on our website and we’ll quickly get back to you. If you’d like to schedule a call directly with Ben, please connect via his calendar link.

Get your staff on board with cyber security…

Think you’ve got your cyber security covered? Read more

A risk assessment will help you be cyber-attack ready!

Just how confident are you that your organisation could stand up to a cyber-attack? Has your company had a risk assessment done? Read more

So, you’re still not prepared for the 2020 problem?

Are you really still not prepared for the 2020 problem?

This promises to be an exciting decade for technology, with predictions ranging from flying cars and holidays to the moon (yeah right), to paper thin mobile phones (that sounds more like it).

It’s going to be a time of great change. Which is one of the reasons why Microsoft has been so keen to phase out its old software in favour of more up-to-date, 2020-compatible software.

It’s killing Windows 7, Office 2010 and a whole host of other important software, on January 14th. This is what’s known as the 2020 Problem.

The bad news about that is, if you’re still using this old unsupported software, you’re now running your business on borrowed time.

2020 has finally arrived and it’s time to act fast…

IT experts like us have been warning business owners about the 2020 Problem for the past year.

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We’ve seen first-hand the impact that failing, unsupported software can have on an organisation.

Once software is no longer supported by the maker (in this case Microsoft), it can be a real pain trying to keep it working properly.

New bugs won’t be fixed. Hackers can exploit loopholes without anyone closing them. And you’re not compliant with GDPR if you use out-of-date software.

Essentially, if you continue to use any of the following systems this year, your business WILL suffer in one way or another:

  • Windows 7
  • Office 2010
  • Office 2016 for Mac
  • Exchange 2010
  • Project 2010
  • SharePoint 2010
  • Visio 2010
  • Visual Studio 2010
  • Server 2008
  • Windows Server 1809
  • Small Business Server 2011

This month’s guide takes a close look at what will happen and what you need to do not to get caught up in the 2020 problem!

So, if you’d like to discuss the issues raised in this blog further, please get in touch by giving us a call on 020 72 41 22 55 or fill out our contact form and we’ll quickly get back to you. This is definitely a case of better safe than sorry and we can help!

Surveillance capitalism and you…

So, what is surveillance capitalism? In essence, surveillance capitalism describes a market-driven process where the commodity for sale is your personal data. The capture and production of this data rely on mass surveillance of the internet. It’s often carried out by companies that provide us with free online services, like search engines and social media platforms.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation published their report: “Behind the Mirror: A Deep Dive into the Technology of corporate surveillance”, earlier this month.

Jack Schofield refers to this report in his article last week.

The article, in summarising the report, describes how personal data is collated and exploited to server targeted adverts/messages/subliminal suggestions.

You can limit this to an extent by stopping tracking cookies (which follow you from site to site) but the “real world identifiers” (name, email phone number) follow you wherever you go.

The Guardian article goes through the pros and cons of browser and browser extension choices, but these will only have a limited effect.

Surveillance – how are you being tracked?

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Clever tech can map you as you go to swipe your loyalty card in your favourite coffee shop or before tapping your debit card as you get on the tube. Aggregate these kinds of metrics and data: the potential of this information “bank” is alarming. Legislation such as the EU GDPR or Californian CCPA are the small/first steps in the right direction but the truth is that far more rigorous regulation is the real way to stop this growth.

Asking technology companies to handicap their apps so they can’t mine data and make enormous profits is a bit like… well, turkeys voting for Christmas!

There is a follow-up article from the same source which goes into greater detail on the well-known search engine DuckDuckGo – and explains that is not as simple as just changing search engine.

If you’d like to discuss the issues raised in this blog further, please get in touch by giving us a call on 020 72 41 22 55 or fill out our contact form and we’ll quickly get back to you.

How to face the 2020 problem like a hero!

We’re serious, time is running out! This month’s guide looks at how to face the 2020 problem like a hero. Read more

Cyber security in the supply chain…

A recent Microsoft security survey confirms what we all thought: Cyber-Security in the “Supply Chain” is a big issue! Read more