When “now” is too late!

Fire Escape SignLast week saw an underground fire in Holborn, London, lead to the cancellation of a number of West End shows, costing theatres thousands in lost revenue.

More than 1,900 homes and businesses were left without electricity when the power had to be cut for safety reasons, directly affecting around 5,000 people who were forced out of their homes and offices whilst the underground fire was brought under control.

A small number of larger businesses were able to continue functioning because they had suitable contingency plans in place to cover precisely this type of eventuality. These were the ones that had back-up generators to ensure a continuity of electricity supply which enabled them to continue their activities whilst all around ground to a halt.

A small explosionSo what provisions have you made for business continuity in the event of an incident that leads to you having to vacate your offices?

Remember, this fire, although disruptive, was not classed as a “major” incident and similar issues could happen almost anywhere, at any time. Would your business cope, could it survive should you have to be evacuated, without warning.

What would be the impact on your business if you couldn’t access your office for hours, days or even weeks?

How do you manage the data and documents that are critical to the survival of your business?

Would your business be able to move seamlessly to a different location, would your key staff be able to work from home or elsewhere?

How do you manage and store the documents that are essential to the running of your business? Are they stored on your laptop/PC, on a server, back-up, in the cloud or a USB stick?

Are your clients and business contacts in a Customer Relationship Management application, on a spreadsheet, on your phone or in your head?

How about your financial records, are they saved in Excel or a dedicated software application?

Bits and BytesThere are many ways to store and manage your essential data, you just have to be sure that you can access the business critical information from a location away from your office.

Companies most reliant on data may have back-up locations, complete with computers and data connectivity that they can move key personnel to, ensuring that service and continuity continues with the shortest of interruptions.

Smaller businesses might have file servers storing their data attached to their network with back-up devices regularly creating copies with the back-ups being taken off-site.

Micro-businesses and sole traders could make effective use external hard-drives, whether attached by USB or shared on a network, automatically cloned to one of the numerous, and inexpensive, cloud data services.

Remember, it’s too late to do anything about business resilience once an incident has started.

Bristol IT Company learns of secret plans to speed up the internet

World Wide Web speeded upWe’ve all had that feeling at one time or another when surfing the internet and felt that everything was running slower than it should? You could reboot your computing device, PC or Mac, Laptop or Desktop, Phone or Tablet but things won’t be much better.

You reboot your router in the hope that will make a difference but after the 5 minutes that it takes to restart you realise that you’ve forgotten the password and your master password list is stored in the cloud so you get on your phone and struggle to log on to Google docs. You get there eventually, find your password and key it in – only to remember that you changed it 2 weeks ago and forgot to update your master list so you try to log in to your router from your phone – but can’t remember the password so you Google how to reset your router and make a note of the master password.

Frustrated laptop userFinally, you are back online but nothing has changed, accessing websites is still like struggling through deep snow.

You run a “speed test” and everything appears as it should be and yet everything still feels slow, just like when you input an address into your SatNav and it lets you know that the journey will take 1 hour, you set off at 2pm and don’t arrive until 4:30 but you didn’t get caught in any traffic jams, there was just way too much traffic on the roads..

You go to your favourite search engine to see whether anyone else has the same problem and the interweb is full of people with the same complaint.

Bits and BytesThe reality is that the interweb is just too congested, too many people are using it, there are just too many bits, bytes and bobs zooming around and it’s going to get worse. More and more people are buying phones and tablets to get online whilst out and about, Smart Thermostats are connected to the internet so that people can turn their heating up and down whilst out and about, light bulbs are getting internet connections so that you can turn them on and off, up and down and even change colour whilst away from the house.

Fridges are getting connected so that they can order groceries as soon as you take them out of the fridge, connected microwaves will enable you to zap your food when you are minutes from home so that it’s ready for you the moment you walk through your front door even spectacles will soon be useless without a connection to the internet.

And on top of all this, your toilet will soon be connected, emailing an analysis of your urine or faeces directly to your GP for close examination

However, Bristol IT Company have been snooping around some of the hidden places on the interweb and have discovered that a solution could be close at hand.

You won’t have heard about it yet because it’s a big, big, big secret but we’ve found about it, tucked away in an article in Hello magazine when they were covering Benedict Cumberbatch’s wedding plans.

Apparently Benedict had a lot of very smart people around for tea and discussions about his choice of Best Man one afternoon. Being a bit of a geek he’d got some of the brightest tech people together to crunch this difficult problem. Bill Gates was there, as was Stephen Hawking, Tim Berners Lee, Vint Cerf, Brian Cox, Dara O’ Briain and even the late Steve Jobs (by séance).

The conversation meandered (as they do) and one of the topics touched on was the frustration caused by the slowness of the interwebs and they decided to work on a solution, there and then, and the solution they reached will blow you away with its amazing simplicity.

All that needs to happen is the introduction of another w and all we need to do is get used to this. www. is changing to wwww. and we have a year to get used to it because the Wider World Wide Web is being introduced on April 1st 2016 .
You can discover how this is being achieved at wwww.bristolitcompany.com

Questions or comments to Andy Poulton
• Email andy.poulton@bristolitcompany.com
• Tweet @SupportBristol & @SupportSwindon
• Phone 07966 547146