25 Apr 2018

GDPR and Cybersecurity – Protecting contact data

We spoke to Mike Zammit from Digital Change Agents about how the General Data Protection Regulation – GDPR and cybersecurity go hand in hand.

What is the GDPR? Give us a brief introduction.

GDPR is a replacement for the current Data Protection Act (DPA), which is over 20 years old. It dates from a time when we didn’t have social media, and didn’t use the internet the way we do today, i.e. living every moment of our lives online − at work and at home.

The idea of the new legislation is to make the law fit for purpose in the digital age, and to help protect against data breaches and the misuse of personal data. Any company that fails to meet its requirements could face fines up to €20 million or 4% of annual global turnover.

What has driven the EU’s decision?

There are two reasons. In 1995, the EU wanted all member states to put a data protection law in place that would also make it simpler to share information across borders, so that it was easier to do business online. However, because the European Commission issued a directive and not a regulation it meant that each member nation had to create and implement their own laws. This led to each member state having its own interpretation of the directive, which created the opposite effect. Instead of making it simpler, they made it more difficult for businesses to share data across borders.

More than ever before, businesses are responsible for protecting their customers’ data.
Mike Zammit, Digital Change Agents

Secondly, something needed to be done to strengthen citizens’ rights after several high-profile breaches, such as those suffered by Sony and Talk Talk. Vast amounts of information were stolen by cybercriminals who hacked into the systems of these companies. In the case of Talk Talk, 21,000 customers’ records were compromised. To protect citizens from these attacks, it was decided to give them more control over their own personal data, what companies can do with it, how long they hold onto it and what they do with it when they no longer need it.

More than ever before, businesses are responsible for protecting their customers’ data and keeping it out of the hands of cybercriminals. With the possibility of huge fines to punish those that don’t do enough, all businesses must have robust technical and procedural security measures.

What is the reaction of businesses that now need to strengthen their cybersecurity due to the GDPR?

In general, businesses of all sizes − large, medium and small − are still somewhat complacent. Some organisations are not taking it seriously. The latest reports suggest that approximately 60% of businesses are not ready for the GDPR. Most seem to hope that a cyberattack won’t happen to them, or if it already has that it won’t happen again.

What do you think the solution is?

To become GDPR-compliant, and to be serious about cybersecurity, requires buy-in from the highest level of organisations. Technology is only part of the solution.

Technology provides the tools to help people become compliant. There are human problems. What we need is a change of mindset, where chief executives and their boards of directors take GDPR and cybersecurity seriously.

Breaches are often preventable, because most are caused by human error − employees being careless or not knowing the right procedures. I have seen instances of people leaving laptops on the train, phones falling out of pockets, and even people moving offices and leaving cabinets full of sensitive information. If these devices or cabinets fall into the wrong hands, i.e.
someone with malicious intent and the ability to hack into them, then the consequences can be dire.

Is the situation getting better?

We are seeing a gradual increase in people taking notice. However, crucially, it’s not getting to the very top − it’s not reaching decisions makers.

I present at a lot of GDPR awareness days, where we outline the requirements of GDPR, the threat of cybersecurity and why businesses need to get on top of both before it’s too late. I have noticed that there are more directors turning up these days, but I have never seen a chief executive at an event and I’ve never been asked to discuss GDPR by a chief executive. The chief executive of an organisation can really make a difference, as the best transformation is always lead from the top; if the boss says ‘do it’, ‘it’ usually gets done.

If you had a chief executive in front of you now, what advice would you give them?

First, it’s important to understand that this isn’t something that will go away. GDPR is happening, so you may as well get on top of it today. Likewise, cybercriminals are targeting businesses of all sizes; now is the time to improve security. When a cyberattack occurs, if you have not done enough to protect your customers’ data, you could be subject to a large fine, from which your business may not be able to bounce back.

Second, the GDPR and cybersecurity should be seen as a business opportunity not a cost. It’s an opportunity for companies to stand up and build trust, to show that they are good corporate citizens and have a social conscience.

For further information on the GDPR take a look at the Information Commissioners Office website.

Mike Zammit is a professional consultant and focuses on helping organisations improve performance and derive significant business benefit by implementing appropriate technology solutions. Mike Zammit can help direct your business through GDPR compliance.

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23 Apr 2018

Realise your business intelligence

Often, the image surrounding Big Data and business intelligence focuses on how giant corporations can hoover up an extraordinary amount of information, feed it into powerful computers that spit out a stream of crucial analysis and insights that the corporation uses to save itself billions.

According to a recent report by Research and Markets:
“the global big data market for small and medium-sized enterprises will grow at a compound annual rate of annual rate of 43 percent until 2018.”

While certainly a cliché, there are big companies harvesting incredibly large amounts of data, putting it to work and achieving great results. However, Big Data is not only reserved for ‘big companies’. More and more small and medium-sized enterprises are capitalising on the advantages that Big Data gives their business processes. By harnessing a large volume of data, and based on the right analysis, SMEs can:

  • Improve knowledge of what makes customers tick
  • Find new entries into markets
  • Reduce costs
  • Uncover new insights
  • Make better and more precise business decisions

‘Little’ Big Data – how to make it work

Analytics is the essential component when it comes to making your data work for you.

For SMEs, smaller data sets gleaned from social media, email marketing programmes or CRM tools can provide customer patterns and marketplace trends or reveal overlooked opportunities, which can be turned into important business insights.

The benefits of the cloud and Big Data

When we talk about recent technological innovations, the cloud is never far from the conversation. The thing about Big Data is, there’s a lot of it. So, companies need to be able to handle the bandwidth that the continued cycle of collecting, analysing and storing a large amount of information will cost. This is especially true for SMEs. The cloud is a far more cost-effective platform when implementing Big Data analytics and allows SMEs to control how they scale their data function.

For example, imagine you are a medium sized company whose flagship product is doing well. With the right analytics, you can study who is buying your product and start to build a profile of your ideal customer, demographic, etc. Naturally, you want to figure this stuff out fast because a rival company is gaining on your market share, so Big Data will be crucial. Similarly, if your product is not doing well, analytics can help you gain insight into why.

Synergy Technology can help you develop your BIG Data strategy. Our business applications all include data reporting modules to help you maximise the amount of business intelligence you can gain from your data.

Getting started with business intelligence

Beyond the question of budget, storage and physical capacity to engage with high volumes of data, one of the keys to utilising Big Data effectively as an SME is preparation:

1. Define your goals

Are you looking to increase customer satisfaction or to get a better sense of your competition? One of the first steps to make big data work for an SME is through defining what it is you want to achieve from your data strategy.

2. Start with the data you already have

Most SMEs have data stored across several different areas – information is often isolated from other information. By bringing these isolated sources together you can consolidate your data and build a strategy. Imagine, as a small retailer you could look specifically at the relationship between social media conversations and buying trends.

3. Create a centralised view of your data

Make your data easier to discover and access. Once you’ve identified the various sources of data you hold, you can bring that data together in a single place. For example, many organisations opt to build a customer data hub, where information is gathered one everything to do with customers, helping analysts to pull out customer insights.

4. Fire up the dashboard and get analysing

Once you bring the data into a single location, you can put the dashboard to work. Using the same customer data hub example, you should be able to test your key performance indicators against communications data that you already had. You will be able to see previous orders, email and phone correspondence, and who you have been in contact with. You can review recordings of previous calls and turn that experience to a more positive customer service in the future.

5. Refine and retune your process

It might take a teething period, but once you are up and running you’ll know what works best for your data strategy, and can tweak it accordingly. Based on a specific workflow you can be sure of what customers are expecting and in that way predict customer behaviour, which will enable you to enhance your business processes and, ultimately, your bottom line.

Synergy Technology can advise you how to maximise on the business intelligence you can gain from your data call us on 0345 456 0050 for further information.

Click on this link : Read our Business Talk online

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10 Apr 2018
05 Apr 2018

Sell online? Start with data integration from your ERP system

As a retail outlet, you may already sell online to increase the distribution of your products and services to a wider network of customers and to keep ahead of competitors. But does it work effectively with your internal systems. Is it integrated with your ERP system?

Setting up an effective order processing and distribution system in-house that can then integrate with your web store is the most necessary first step before setting up business online or, if you are looking to reimplement your systems. This ensures your ERP system is the foundation for your online store.

This integrated link between the two systems ensures the pricing structure and order calculations modelled specifically to your business can be automatically transferred to your web store environment. Likewise, all relevant ERP integration means that your web store software uses your ERP data as the foundation for your web store information. Likewise, all relevant data entered within your web store environment will automatically appear in you ERP system.

By setting up your web store in this manner it uses your ERP system to execute the required calculations, pricing and orders — all from one source.

The result is streamlined sales processes, an optimised customer experience and a wider access to a global client base.

So before you set up your retail web store, read our ten reasons why you should establish your ERP system first!

1. Get your data from a single source

Operating with a single source of data ensures all areas of your business uses the same information. This ensures accuracy across your entire organisation, as fewer errors can be made in mapping and interpreting information.

Not only does integrated e-commerce use your ERP’s master database, it also actively ensures that newly created records, such as orders, are instantly available at the source. What’s more, it does so without replicating, synchronising or mapping any data. This validation is performed by the same system, which ensures data accuracy.

You can create your web store to sell online with classifications and categorisations defined in your ERP system. This gives you a much more efficient way to build the navigation structure for your online store.

2. Accurate online order processing and improved efficiency

An integrated e-commerce platform minimises mistakes by only processing orders from within the ERP system. Because information from your ERP is available to share online with clients — including their past and recurring orders — you can also expect more repeat sales and increased efficiency.

3. A better customer experience

One of the biggest advantages of deploying the right integrated e-commerce is that your ERP processes the online orders immediately. This is opposed to the delay that would come with scheduled synchronisation in an interfaced system.

Using this synchronisation, your employees will always see what is actually available when they take orders by phone or email. Your customers benefit too: they see real-time inventory availability in the web store and can access the information around the clock without having to call or email.

This is because all your inventory information is stored in your ERP system. This data contains a lot of important business logic that relies on current inventory availability, inventory location, and projection of future inventory levels based on planned production and/or purchase orders.

4. Quickly launch multiple web stores

In our global society, many businesses are keen to sell internationally. An integrated e-commerce and ERP solution makes it possible to roll out multiple web stores based on multiple companies.

For businesses with multiple web stores, whether it’s for localisation purposes or to divide product offerings among multiple storefronts it’s important to be able to easily assign your products to the correct store(s). And, you only need to define your product assignments once, in your ERP system!

5. Add faceted search functionality for even more details filtering

An integrated e-commerce solution makes it possible to retrieve details related to faceted searches and browsing directly from your ERP system.
By setting up your ERP system first, you can select the attributes of the item you’d like to use in your web store, and your clients can search, filter and refine their product results in detail.

6. Tracking and recording Bill of Materials (BOM) / kitting and assembly

Industrial and technical wholesale and manufacturing companies know all about the complexity of composite product structures. These are products that are built from a Bill of Materials (BOM), or through kitting and assembly. These complex products can then be easily broken down into their respective parts in the web store. This lets your clients order individual parts and have them listed as separate line items on their invoice. Make sure your e-commerce software and ERP system can do this TOGETHER!

7. Share product images and information from your ERP in your web store

The biggest advantage of setting up your ERP system first is the ability to fully leverage the data already present in your ERP system and then integrate it into your web store, rather than the other way round.

By setting up your system this way, and then choosing the right web store system, you can display the product images already stored in your ERP in your online catalogue. There’s no need to upload photos to multiple systems, and your web store will always feature the most recent versions of your product images as they appear in your ERP.

Many distribution businesses and wholesalers are starting to look at not just promoting their business online but actually selling their products online too. With an ERP back end system already in place, many e-commerce systems are designed to bolt onto the ERP system and integrate directly into existing processes to quickly provide a front end online store ready to go. Read our blog: Six Benefits of Setting up a B2B e-commerce Store

 

8. Always display inventory availability in real time

It’s essential that you can sell the products offered in your web store as promised. However, keeping your inventory availability current across systems can be complex. With an integrated e-commerce platform, mistakes such as selling out-of-stock items just don’t happen. Inventory levels can then be checked directly from your ERP system during the order process, and inventory levels are updated instantly in your ERP when a client submits an order online.

9. Product export to marketplaces (add-on)

Another benefit of integration is the option to export detailed product information to marketplaces like eBay, Amazon and Google. By deploying the right web store solution this will allow product sets to be defined and exported using extensive ERP filtering. Combining product master data from your ERP system with semantic enrichment for improved web descriptions and images results in a powerful combination that helps you publish professional catalogues in large marketplaces.

So set up your ERP system first, and make it easier to sell online, in more than one place!

10. Display product customisations directly in the web store

ERP systems are designed to suit a wide range of businesses and industries. Sometimes, however, it is still necessary to create custom product attributes or user-defined fields to store and process the catalogues for a specific business or industry. Integrated web stores can easily process these custom product characteristics because they share the same product database as your ERP system.

Choosing Dynamics NAV as your ERP system “The Microsoft functionality makes it more straight forward for our website developers working behind the scenes between the website and NAV. It’s like we are all singing from the same hymn sheet!” Mike Hendon, Leisuretec Distribution. Read the full case study

Working with Dynamics NAV ERP system

ERP systems are designed to suit a wide range of business and industries. Dynamics NAV has been specifically designed to support client specific enhancements that work alongside its standard functionality and can be tailored by developers to suit a wide range of requirements and is ideal as the ERP system behind your web store. Development work can cover integration between Dynamics NAV and third party add-ons or modules including e-commerce, and creating sophisticated reporting systems that combines data from several systems linked to Dynamics NAV.

Read our blog on ERP bespoke development for further information.

Your Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP system lets you bring together all your product information and business logic. This is an invaluable resource for your sales department – so why not use Dynamics NAV as the driving force behind your online store? Synergy Technology is an accredited Microsoft partner with specialist Dynamics NAV consultants that can develop your ERP system, and advise you of the most suitable e-Commerce solution for your business.

Coupled with Sana e-commerce you will be ready to sell online.

Getting started and sell online

There are many more reasons why you should consider setting up your ERP system first. For further information on Dynamics NAV and Sana e-commerce systems or to receive a detailed whitepaper on e-commerce please contact Synergy Technology

Information provided to help compile this article is kindly supported by our partners Sana Commerce specialists in e-Commerce systems.

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01 Apr 2018

The Cloud in Practice – a Guide for SMEs

The opportunities to use the cloud are countless and SMEs are, of course, seeking to use hosted workspace services that meet their individual needs. This will differ by sector – a manufacturing company will have different computing needs to a marketing agency for example.

However there are many commonalities to doing business no matter where your business focus lies and, unsurprisingly, it is in these areas the uptake of cloud-based computing has been highest.

This includes core services such as productivity applications – most notably Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics 365, collaboration services and data time and money. Cloud-based email, website management and social media management tools are also commonly used by SMEs.

More specialised services such as customer relationship management (CRM), HR and accountancy applications are less prevalent at present although growing steadily in popularity. Though many organisations identify a need for these, the uptake to hosted applications is slow.

Needless to say security is also an issue that concerns many businesses hesitant from accepting hosted solutions as the way forward. More and more software providers, including Microsoft are now adopting the new philosophy with a focus on security: “mobile first, cloud first”.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 therefore becomes a cloud management solution that enables businesses to adopt the best features of CRM and ERP and to combine both services on a single platform under a single data model, but in a totally secure environment.

By moving to this solution, you can design and deploy across board, all customisations within the systems to Dynamics 365 for phone, tablet and web applications. Dynamics 365, Dynamics NAV and Dynamics CRM are available as on-premise installations or “in the Cloud” – also known as Software as a Service (SaaS).

The number one benefit of SaaS is that you can access the system anywhere you have an internet connection and your data is always up-to-date. Fast implementation, no internal system management responsibilities required nor expensive servers or operating system software and you can access the data from any device that supports internet browsing.

The potential risk of data security is greatly reduced. With Microsoft your data is in one of the most secure environments conceivable, and much more secure than hosting your own data on premise. Alternatively your data and applications can be hosted on third party secure digital workspace services with the same level of peace of mind. Citadel secure digital workspace, provided by Synergy Technology offers this alternative SaaS service.

Preparing to make the move to Cloud

It is possible overall cloud usage is understated as many businesses may be using cloud computing tools without even realising it. Also, with such rapid growth in the market, demand is changing all the time. If your business hasn’t already taken the plunge, maybe now is the time to at least be considering it.

There’s no doubt your organisation could transition totally to a cloud environment, delivering many significant business benefits from lower costs and easier scalability to complete mobility and added security. However, there are many options to consider when migrating to the cloud. To discuss how cloud technology would suit your business needs contact Synergy Technology today to get started.

Most prevalent applications

If you aren’t a technology professional then it’s likely you won’t be aware of the changes the industry’s biggest brands are making to their services to take advantage of the cloud. Here is a run-down of the more notable business packages that are now readily available via the cloud:

Productivity software – For a small business it’s possible to run your main business functions in the cloud. Your core productivity software such as email and Microsoft Office have cloud computing counterparts branded Dyamaics 365. If you run a creative business, Adobe Creative Cloud offers their software from the cloud.

Storage solutions – Buying a server is a big capital investment for a small company, but cloud storage is now a viable alternative.

Accountancy services – Accountancy software providers have been quick to offer services for the cloud. Small companies can buy Sage on subscription. For mid-sized companies consider Pegasus Business Cloud if you have more complex needs.

Marketing software – There’s a wide range of powerful software and applications that help the marketer. Of particular note is CRM software such as SuperOffice that helps companies manage their client and prospect interaction and relationships to develop existing business and win new business.

Bespoke applications – Hosted services such as Citadel provides the platform to develop and deploy bespoke cloud-based applications. Using Citadel enables smaller businesses to fully leverage the cloud’s power and create new services that give them a competitive edge.

Exploiting the cloud with your IT provider

The role of your IT provider will depend on how much cloud-based computing you are going to do and how complex your business is and its requirements are.

Synergy Technology can advise you on setting up cloud-based services including:

  • Citadel hosted secure workspace : Which provides SMEs with a flexible, scalable alternative to in-house IT systems.
  • Pegasus Business Cloud : A flexible, secure and reliable infrastructure which is used to host Opera 3.
  • Microsoft Azure: Microsoft’s hosting service for Dynamics 365, a cloud base solution that unifies business applications (sales, service, operations, marketing, and finance) into one business solution.

 

We can check whether your business software is compatible with hosting services. As any movement into the cloud is likely to be gradual, it is important you receive help integrating the new services with your other business processes, which may not be currently in the cloud.

Ultimately, your organisation can transition totally to a cloud environment, delivering many significant business benefits from lower costs and easier scalability to complete mobility and added security. However, there are many options to consider when migrating to the cloud. To discuss how cloud technology would suit your business needs contact Synergy Technology on 0345 456 0050 today to get started.

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28 Feb 2018

Keep your business afloat in bad weather

The sudden extreme weather that is causing disruption across the UK, prompts us to remind you of our article about adverse weather. Be it floods or snow, are you prepared? Tony Poole, the Managing Director of Synergy Technology warns not to be complacent, protecting valuable business data and reducing the risk of financial loss due to damage to IT equipment and the subsequent disruption to business is critical to SMEs, particularly in areas susceptible to flooding or affect by snow. It may happen again!

“The Environment Agency warns that climate change will increase the risk of more floods across the UK, leading to further problems for businesses and homeowners. Whether or not we can expect more frequent adverse weather conditions, business owners must remember it only takes a single disaster to potentially wipe out the whole business with the damage it can cause.” warns Tony.

“Even if a flood is not necessarily on your doorstep and whether or not water damage is destroying your premises, it may affect the power supply to your business or accessibility to your office for your workforce. It is also important to remember that supplier catastrophes are as critical as your own, so know your supply chain too. It is therefore essential to consider how prepared you are to avoid an interruption to the daily running of your business, and the long term financial effects that adverse weather may cause to your business.

Many of these problems can be avoided by ensuring you are well prepared and that your systems are set up to cater for unexpected interruptions to the running of your business due to natural disasters.”

Based on his own client experience, here are Tony’s 10 useful tips to avoid disruption to your business due to flooding or adverse weather condition.

Ten Top Tips to keep your business afloat in the next floods.

TIP ONE :
Back up and storage of critical data

It is important to instil a regular data backup procedure. Power cuts, flooding and energy shortages will cause disruption, but preparation is key. As long as staff know in advance what to do if the worst happens, data can be saved. For organisations, a solid data backup plan is the best way to keep critical data protected; establishing a relationship with a trusted data recovery provider should also be an integral part of any disaster recovery plan.

Conduct a data assessment. Know your high-value data assets – where your customer information and other sensitive data is stored, which files are heavily used, who is using them and which departments and teams they align with. Try to restore data on a quarterly basis.

Prioritise what data you need to have on hand after a disaster and who will need to have access to it. And don’t neglect laptops, as most people do. Most disaster recovery plans are focused on protecting just the office server and business data stored at data centres.

Remember – never assume that data is irrecoverable. Professional data recovery services offer the expertise and tools required to recover data quickly and successfully.

TIP TWO :
Make sure critical applications are also accessible

Not only does your business data need to be backed up and accessed during a flood crisis, but business applications too. Make sure critical applications are also accessible. Protecting your data is not enough if you want to keep the business running during an event that causes downtime. Ensure critical applications can be virtualised in the cloud and are licenced for use in different locations or from different hardware and devices, should you have to change the location and computer equipment used, if your business office and IT equipment is affected by floods.

TIP THREE :
Keep sensitive electronic equipment high and dry!

It might seem obvious, but if your office is susceptible to the risk of flooding, keep IT equipment and cables at a reasonable height off the ground and store critical equipment on higher levels, i.e. first floor or second floor. Make sure that your team switch off and disconnect computers and electronic equipment at the end of the working day, leaving only the vital systems operating.

TIP FOUR :
Secure your data by using offsite servers

SMEs can actually improve their disaster preparedness by adopting a hosted workspace and cloud data storage which also greatly improves backup costs, recovery of data and boosts performance, and also reduces the requirement for office-based critical IT support.

Store business data in a secure cloud or hosted workspace and keep backups off site, in a safe location. How far off site depends on the risks you are worried about. Essentially, you are putting your business operational network into a hosted cloud environment and it is then delivered to you on-demand. The onus of responsibility for security, updates, redundancy, and failover and business continuity then rests with your hosted provider.

Cloud storage and hosted workspace providers such as Citadel digital workspace and cloud services, takes away the requirements for an in-house server and subsequent in-house maintenance and server-based IT support. Desktop hardware can be replaced with the most up-to-date hardware or mobile devices available on the market offering significant additional cost benefits and user flexibility.

TIP FIVE :
Reduce the risk of damage to IT and computer equipment

By implementing a hosted workspace you immediately reduce the computer hardware and IT equipment required onsite in your office and you can operate your business using much less desktop hardware. Therefore much less computer equipment is at risk of water damage due to flooding.

Most business applications for users delivered via virtual desktops have very minimal requirements, so any laptop or mobile device with internet access is likely to be able to access the virtual workspace.

TIP SIX :
Adopting a virtual environment where your team can work from any location

Creating a flexible workspace is king. By adopting a mobile workspace for employees, users of a hosted workspace can gain a full desktop experience from Internet-enabled devices as varied as tablets, smartphones or their home computers.

Your business programs, applications and data delivered from the virtual desktop can therefore be accessed from any location – not just the office, so employees can even work from home.
If flood risk is imminent, encourage workers to take their laptops, work phones and other vital equipment home each night.

If creating a mobile office solution works for your business, just make sure in advance that your employees have a suitable Wi-Fi connection at home and that your insurance policies cover both the employees and company equipment when working from home.

TIP SEVEN :
Prepare a back-up workspace for business

In the case of flooding or a similar disaster affecting your office, if your employees still need to work collaboratively from one location, then ensure you have access to an alternative office location. Temporary office space leases are available with options to access:

  • Executive meeting room access
  • Wi-Fi, IT and phone support
  • Reception services

So make sure you have already a record of suitable temporary office services (think carefully about their location) which have the capacity to meet your business needs and can offer your office space at short notice.

TIP EIGHT :
Keep things running

When storms and other natural disasters strike, small businesses are especially vulnerable to power outages. While larger companies may have multiple locations that can pick up the slack while operations at one site shut down, the same is usually not true for the typical small business, particularly businesses in rural locations where the priority for reconnection may be lower than for nearby town centres.

Small businesses can combat these potential issues by installing a generator. Two basic varieties of generators are available. Automatic, or standby, generators that are permanently connected to a building’s electrical system. When the power shuts down, those generators automatically detect the problem and restore power to the building. On the other hand, portable, or backup, generators run on gasoline or diesel and have to be manually installed once a power outage occurs. While automatic generators require little or no work for the business owner, portable generators are typically less expensive.

TIP NINE :
Prepare a Crisis management procedure

To prepare for any future threat to your office being affected by flooding, prepare an effective disaster recovery plan. During a chaotic emergency in which there is flooding, fires or power outages, your team may not have the time to follow a long, complicated plan.

A plan must identify crisis management team members and set out their roles and responsibilities. It should also establish processes that:

  • Engage the right people at the right time
  • Maintain effective communication
  • Manage information and resources to keep the business running
  • Promote timely decision making

Think through the most likely threats to your business, cover all aspects, as well as natural disasters such as flooding keep in mind everything from human error to component failure. Most disasters happen without warning. This is what makes them so difficult to deal with. The actual disaster is not going to happen regularly, it’s going to be more chaotic. You need to be prepared.

TIP TEN :
Have a practice run!

Once you have considered all of the tips, make sure that your plans and preparation for running your business in adverse weather actually work, and don’t wait for the next spate of floods to see if your business sinks or swims! Try it and try it again. If you plan, the likelihood is that your business will stay afloat!

Enjoy working in a rural environment

Nateby Business Park, Cartmell Ln, Preston PR3 0LU

Synergy Technology is based in Wyre House, Nateby Business Park which is located in the stunning rural setting of Nateby. Working from a converted barn complex the Synergy Technology team enjoy the balance of working in a stress-free environment with a calm countryside location yet still operating a fully professional IT business. “Our office environments were designed from the outset to be disaster ready. We have an onsite generators, fibre and lease lines, CCTV with 24 hour onsite security, yet all set in a tranquil environment with nothing but beautiful views to fill your vision and inspire your team.” says Tony.

“We should encourage more businesses to set up office in rural areas to engender a more calm and welcoming working environment for employees” he adds. “Reducing the stress of commuting to crowded and expensive office locations in the city and town centres can only be beneficial to both the business and employees.”

“Our rural office can operate independently in adverse flooding or similar situations.  Says Tony, “By adopting a hosted IT system and engendering a mobile workspace it is the ideal solution to meet these requirements. I welcome any local business to come and take a look at our rural premises and determine the benefits of a peaceful rural office location. We have office space available for your business, and we can also discuss your business IT and data security, if fact, we can offer you a complete business solution.”

Footnote: For businesses located in areas prone to flooding, The Environment Agency provides a comprehensive guide for SMEs “Would your business stay afloat? A guide to preparing your business for flooding” 

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