Is there more businesses can do to help protect them and their teams from having an IT meltdown in the event of an internet outage? Stephen Whelan, Technical Director at Integrity IT Solutions, which looks after more than 300 clients across the UK, shares his expert advice.
Many businesses are moving all kinds of different services to the cloud, such as file storage, accounts or CRM systems, even phone systems.
That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It offers many benefits.
However, internet access is almost taken for granted these days and when making these decisions, businesses often give little thought to business continuity in the event of a major internet outage.
Broadband does not have a service level agreement, so if there is an outage, there is potential for it to be down for a significant amount of time.
I helped a business last year who were without broadband for a week and were potentially looking at a further week until it was fixed.
So we implemented a 4G connection to get them up and running.
For those businesses which rely heavily on the internet there’s the option of a leased line. These are traditionally quite expensive but are getting much more affordable these days due to competition. Leased lines have a four-hour Service Level Agreement and are also available with broadband back-up circuit.
Leased lines and broadband utilise two totally different technologies, so the chances of both being down simultaneously are slim.
Looking after more than 300 clients across the north of England and south-west Scotland, ranging from sole traders to larger organisations, some with more than 1,500 users, Integrity IT is ideally placed to help businesses put in place a fault-tolerant network infrastructure to safeguard against such outages.
We design, supply, support and install IT systems for clients across a wide range of sectors including the hospitality industry, professional services businesses, education settings and the NHS.
We offer a range of business solutions including IT support, cloud migration projects, server hardware, WiFi installation and hosted telephony services, partnering with internet providers such as BT, Gamma and Zen, as well as all of the major mobile providers.
For a number of years now, we’ve recommended multiple internet connections into our clients’ premises, either multiple broadband lines utilising different ISPs or more recently utilizing 4G or 5G connections to provide an automatic fail-over.
We offer a SIM card specifically designed for this purpose, which under normal circumstances has a small amount of data and a small monthly fee, which automatically switches over to an unlimited data bundle in the event that you need to use it. This feature not only provides an extra layer of resilience, it is very cost efficient, the cost only being incurred when required. So you only pay for it when you need it. The SIM backup is an affordable alternative for many.
Many businesses have team members who work remotely and outside of normal business hours, so we have extended our hours to reflect that as IT issues at homes will now have a knock-on effect for the business.
IT is a trust-based business where clients rely on their IT provider to deliver technical expertise in a way which works for them and their teams.
We work with some brilliant businesses and organisations and we pride ourselves on offering a bespoke and personal service.
To adapt to more home working, we have extended our operating hours to 7am-7pm Monday to Friday to provide business critical support, as well as an emergency out-of-hours service.
To find out more about Integrity IT Solutions visit www.integrityoffice.co.uk or phone 01228 594 682 or 01461 387 040.