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Five key questions to ask about your IT set up

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4) How can you make the most of your spending on technology

This seems obvious, but it’s not just about watching the pounds now–it’s watching them in the future. Dont rush out and buy all the kit, as a lot of what you need is available on-demand.

“Cloud” solutions, whether theyre stored somewhere else or operated by someone else, are accessed over the Internet and give you flexibility of use, ownership and cost. Pay for what you use, no up-front investment, and add new people when you need to. Most importantly, you stay up to date. You dont have to replace your investments every six months; instead, the cloud provider executes the updates.

Operating this way also helps you save on your day-to-day resources. When someone else owns and operates the majority of the technology, you dont have to pay someone to maintain it. With support coming from the cloud providers, your technology burden is eased.

5) How can you avoid being “that company” in the news for security breaches

You dont know what youve got til it’s gone. Security threats are everywhere and worryingly, 95 per cent of data breaches have human error as a factor. Its not just the likes of national governments or multi-national corporations, like Sony that are affected. The vast majority of hacks and breaches are smallsometimes unnoticed. But over the course of time the impact is significant.

Email is one of the easiest ways for a hacker to get into a system, so make securing it a high priority and dont take it for granted.

Equally, make sure to instil security into the consciousness of every employee via single sign-on identity management, for instance. Employees dont need multiple passwords to remember, so keeping the system secure is much easier. Security is a big deal, so check out the credentials of anything before you buy it.

Taking the first step

There is a lot to consider, but part of investing is knowing the right questions to ask. And there will always be someone to help you if you know your parameters. The one-stop-shop type of technology companies can simplify the implementation, so check out the range of what a provider can give you before you commit and your new technology will bring you huge benefits.

Richard Walters is general manager and vice president of identity and access management at Intermedia.

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