Why 80% of businesses are willing to move to the cloud despite the threat of cybercrime

Cybercrime is one of the fastest growing types of crime in the UK. It has recently been reported that police receive 150 reports of cybercrimes every day – an average of one every 10 minutes.

Despite the growing threat of cybercrime, a recent poll found that 4 out of 5 companies in the UK have would still adopt the cloud in their business. The research, conducted by Techmarketreview, found that although concerned about security and data-protection, 80% of the 500 senior executives questioned would not be put off from adopting a cloud-based solution.

 

These findings show that businesses are becoming more aware of the benefits offered by the cloud and are particularly reassured by the level of security that cloud solutions provide.

To summarise the benefits, the cloud allows:

  1. Easier detection of security threats as opposed to countless hours troubleshooting on-premises servers. Data centres are constantly monitored, allowing any threats to be dealt with quickly and effectively.
  2. Data centres have enterprise level of firewalls and security software – much higher than any individual business could achieve. These layers of security afforded by the cloud are more than a deterrent for most attacks.
  3. Data can be encrypted. As the most effective way to achieve data security, the fact that data held in the cloud is encrypted provides reassurance to businesses that their files and information are safe.
  4. Employees restricted on downloading and can only access certain data. Cloud-based solutions allow blocks to be put on downloading material online – an activity that carries a particular threat of malware. In addition, companies can restrict access to files, again reducing the possibility of these becoming affected by a cyber attack.
  5. Ensures data is backed up and a good business continuity plan is in place. Having a hosted desktop means that employees are forced to adopt certain IT procedures, such as storing files in a drive that is regularly backed up. Where employees aren’t subject to such restrictions, an attack could see important files and programmes become affected, resulting in business downtime.

 

Key’s UK based data centres provide state of the art security for business customers using their cloud solutions. Find out more information on how Key’s Hosted Desktop solution can benefit your business contact a member of our Cloud Server team today on 01942 261 671.

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How Service Manager can ensure you fulfil your contracts over the Christmas period

The Christmas period is the one time of year where many businesses (and their Directors!) take a ‘break’. With staff taking time off work, changes to customer requirements and often the closure of head office, many businesses come to an effective standstill for a few days. However, as a service business, delivering on your contracts is still your priority and just because you want to take a break, it doesn’t mean your customers will feel sympathetic!

 

Having the right software in place to support your business during quiet periods is crucial.

Key’s SaaS Service Manager helps to keep your business delivering over the Christmas period in a number of ways. These include:

  1. Complete visibility of customer demands. Forget rifling through piles of notes or an endless number of spreadsheets. With customer jobs, availability of engineers and stock level information at your fingertips, you can see your customers’ needs are met effectively, even if you’re working with a reduced workforce.
  2. Software in the cloud. This means you are able to access your scheduling system anywhere with a secure internet connection (even from the sofa whilst you’re enjoying a mince pie and a glass of sherry!)
  3. Only having the workforce required to fulfil contracts. Nobody wants to be seen as a ‘Scrooge’ over Christmas! With Key’s SaaS service Manager, the need for administrative staff is greatly reduced as engineers can invoice from the field as and when jobs are completed. So you can give more of your workforce time off with their families.
  4. Remote management of jobs. As engineers have the ability to manage their jobs in the field, giving status updates when they arrive at and complete jobs, routes and schedules can be constantly maximised. This means that jobs rarely slip off the daily schedule and in the majority of cases, customers receive their visit at the expected time.
  5. Easily managing client expectations. Key’s SaaS Service Manager allows you to schedule jobs in advance but change these as and if required, all the while keeping customers up to date.

 

Key’s SaaS Service Management solution helps your business to run like a well-oiled machine, even during periods of reduced staff levels. To find out more please contact a member of the Key team today to arrange your free demo on 01942 261 671.

 

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5 key features for making the most out of your Service Management software

Having the right Service Management software is the first step in improving your business’ operations. But having a system in place and utilising its full capabilities of it are two different things.
Is yours delivering for you? Or do you feel you could be getting more out of your Service Management system?

Key SaaS Service Manager integrates into a business’ operations, helping to utilise all of your assets to their full potential, therefore maximising profitability.

Here are 5 key features of Key SaaS Service Manager software that help to optimise workforce productivity and improve customer service:

  1. Central scheduling – allocate all jobs from one centralised calendar, allowing you to take a snapshot of all scheduled jobs whenever you choose.
  2. Instantly allocate jobs to engineers in the field based on location, experience, job details. You know the skillset of your team so using the tools offered by Key Service Manager, you can ensure the right person is allocated to a job, seeing that customers’ needs are met first time.
  3. Allows transparency with customers. Customers like to know when they can expect things and with Key SaaS Service Manager, the customer is kept in the loop. As they know exactly what service they are receiving, this can be measured against contract SLA’s.
  4. Mobile tracking and access to history. Field engineers can quickly and easily access the history of a job they are sent to, which can often help a resolution to be reached quicker. In addition, office-based managers can track engineers, meaning that should an emergency arise, the closest engineer can be redeployed, helping to drastically reduce response time.
  5. Instant access to stock levels. Having the right tools available for your engineers’ planned jobs is essential to keeping on track of your workload and customers happy. Key SaaS Service Manager allows you to access stock information so you can instantly see if the required tools are available, increasing the number of first time fixes.

Effective use of a Service Management system can not only ensure you are using all resources but can help with improving efficiencies by easily scheduling jobs to the right engineers. To find out how Key Service Manager can integrate into your business’ operations, helping them to run more smoothly, contact a member of the Key team today on 01942 261 671 to book your free demo.

 

 

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What would happen if your I.T. system failed over the Christmas Period?

Christmas is coming! For most of us, Christmas hails a time of year for relaxation, eating and drinking too much and enjoying time with friends and family.

If your business is closing over the Christmas period, it’s unlikely your IT will be top of your list of priorities to sort before the break. But what would happen if your business was subject to a cyber attack or another incident which threatened your IT infrastructure over Christmas?

 

At the very least, a failure in your IT infrastructure would result in some level of lost time and poor customer service. In the worst case scenario, you could ultimately lose all of your on-site data, resulting in days and potentially weeks of ‘downtime’ whilst you attempt to reinstate a workable IT infrastructure. The long-term effects of this could be significant and may result in loss of customers and revenue.

With a traditional IT infrastructure, it may be that you don’t discover there had been an issue until the first day back in the office over the Christmas break. Upon returning to work, you therefore could be faced with the headache of correcting the situation plus downtime from employees being unable to work. This is the last thing you’ll want after an extended break!

Although with a traditional IT infrastructure you may feel safe in the knowledge that all your important information is sitting on a server in the office, this could actually make your data – and therefore your business – much more vulnerable.

Where unmanned and unmonitored IT systems carry the possibility of malfunctioning over Christmas, a hosted IT infrastructure is much more stable and secure. As cloud environments are constantly monitored they provide peace of mind that if your IT goes down over the Christmas period, or at any time, the problem will be identified and fixed swiftly, and you will be back up and running before you step into the office.

Ultimately, as a business Director, it will be you that will suffer should your IT go down over Christmas.

If you could do without the headache, contact a member of our Cloud Server team today on 01942 261 671. We can discuss your option with you to help find an IT infrastructure and support service that is best for your business and your budget.

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How business intelligence can improve Service Management

Business intelligence is crucial for successful organisations. Large multinational businesses spend millions on collecting, analysing and interpreting intelligence, using the results to improve performance across many areas of a company.

Imagine having access to analytical reports, with data on KPIs available at the click of a button to help with strategy, planning and improving efficiencies within your business.

 

Such business intelligence may be closer than you think… in fact, if you are running a Service Management system, it could be very close indeed.

Key’s SaaS Service Manager includes a wide range of business intelligence capabilities, allowing you to run and access reports across a wide range of criteria. The benefits include:

  1. Quickly analyse large volumes of data through automatic reporting. Want to keep track of a key set of KPI’s but don’t want the hassle of running reports? You can set up automatic reports, scheduled to be completed on a frequency to suit you.
  2. Real time reporting. Want to have access to the most up-to-date information about your business at any given time? Keep track of sales, stock levels, or any given parameter with on demand real-time reports.
  3. Provides the true picture and able to quickly identify areas of improvements. If you’re not careful, as a Director, you can be left in the dark about certain areas of the business. With a Service Management system that has business intelligence capabilities, information is transparent, allowing Directors to act on any areas before serious problems are allowed to arise.
  4. Share information with relevant employees quickly. Forget printing and binding reports for the monthly or quarterly management meeting. If there’s a business issue that needs addressing, you can prepare and share reports quickly and easily. With a Service Management system such as Key’s SaaS, you can also assign report access permissions to key individuals within the business as per your requirements.
  5. Improve efficiencies and allows you to keep control. Processing data manually can be a time-consuming and slow process. With all of your key business information at your fingertips, you are firmly placed in the driving seat and can be fully armed to make the informed business decisions you need to.

If you are running a Service Management system, it is crucial for it to include Business Intelligence capabilities.

To find out how Key SaaS Service Manager can provide operational data to gain increased visibility into profitability, revenues and leakages contact a member of the Key team today on 01942 261 671 or contact us to book your free demo.

 

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Want to reduce I.T. spending? Cloud is the solution

Referring to applications, services or resources made available to users on demand via the internet from a provider's servers, cloud-based I.T. has really taken off over the past few years. With smaller businesses now able to access the technology designed for much larger corporations, cloud-based I.T. solutions offer scalability, flexibility and reliability.

It is difficult to argue against the benefits a cloud based solution can have for a business. But such ease and efficiency must come at a cost, right? Well, no. Actually, cloud-based I.T. could help to reduce your overall spend. Here’s how…

  1. Only pay a per user per month cost

Cloud-based I.T. solutions are now widely available for the SME market, with many providers working on a fee per user per month basis. This means that you only ever need pay for what you use – allowing small businesses to access the same technology as their larger competitors from the outset, simply adding on users as they grow.

  1. Reduce capital expenditure

When a cloud-based solution is in place in a business much of the computer processing required for day to day business activity is actually done off-site. This means that investment in computer hardware can be minimised, with only a relatively low spec of device needed. With cloud-based solutions, some businesses even operate on a BYOD (bring your own device) basis, meaning expenditure on equipment can be kept to an absolute minimum.

  1. Removes the requirement for onsite I.T. support

With a hosted solution, your supplier will take care of the majority of I.T. support tasks. This means that things like rolling out software updates – including security updates – are all done remotely, removing the need for you to spend time/money on resource to maintain the system in house.

  1. All license fees are included in one monthly price

With a cloud-based solution, the fees are very transparent. Unlike a more traditional ‘on premise’ I.T. setup, where there are often considerable ad-hoc software licencing fees to pay throughout the year, you pay a flat fee per month, with all licence fees included. This makes managing your I.T. budget, and therefore business cashflow, much easier.

Don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what one of our customers said about our cloud solution:

“We were able to cut our annual IT budget by 60% and save a further £15,000 by no longer needing to replace our old server.”

If you are ready to reduce your IT budget Key’s Hosted Desktop solution can do just that. To find out more information on how Key’s Hosted Desktop solution can benefit your business contact a member of our Cloud Server team today on 01942 261 671.

 

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Are you only using 75% of your Service Management system? Why modular is best?

Investing in a Service Management system is crucial for the running of your business.

But if you’ve taken the time to install and roll out a new Service Management System, can you be sure you’re using it to its full potential?

When we’re called into a business to assess their Service Management System requirements, we sometimes find that their legacy system includes functionality that simply isn’t needed, and therefore isn’t used.

 

However, it needn’t be like this. The market-leading Service Management System, such as Key SaaS Service Manager, allows you to modify your system to directly meet your business requirements. This modular approach means you can have a SaaS system tailored to meet the needs of your business, meaning you’re not left paying for functionality you don’t require and will never use.

A modular solution:

  1. Provides employees with the relevant access they require. Depending on their role in the company, employees will have different software and application needs. For example, whilst most will need an email application, you may want to restrict access to scheduling apps to managers and software apps to certain individuals. With a modular system, employees can be given access to some or all of the tools available, as per the business’ needs.
  2. Is scalable depending on business requirements. There’s no need to be held to a certain bracket of individual users per software programme as with traditional models. A modular system can grow with your business – simply add users on a monthly basis.
  3. Means you only pay for what you require. There’s no need to pay for capabilities you don’t require. Maximising the return on your investment with flexible ‘per user per month’ fees.
  4. Optimises productivity. With a modular Service Management system, access to programmes can be turned on or off as you require. As employees only have the tools they require at their disposal, distractions can be kept to a minimum.

Worried you’re paying for functionality you don’t need? Key’s SaaS Service Management solution is modular and can be configured to meet your exact business needs. To find out more please contact a member of the Key team today to arrange your free demo on 01942 261 671 or simply reply to this email.

 

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7 reasons why businesses that fail to adopt the cloud will be left behind

Survival of the fittest isn’t just a concept that applies to nature. To survive in business, you need to operate at the best possible level, matching or surpassing your next best competitor in your particular field.

One key area that needs to function effectively in order for you to stay one step ahead is your I.T. infrastructure.

Businesses that are leading the way are choosing to adopt the cloud for their I.T. solution. As such, failure to adopt the cloud can leave businesses behind, paving the way for those that are open to change to continue to thrive and increase their competitive advantage.

 

Failure to adopt the cloud can have a negative impact on your business operations in the following ways:

  1. Capital expenditure – Still spending a fortune on hardware? Your competitors aren’t! Cloud-based solutions can run on basic hardware and even offer the flexibility of Bring Your Own Device.

 

  1. Lack of flexibility – Restricted to a certain number of users per software programme or only have a set number of desks? Cloud allows you to go for growth, with a fixed monthly cost per user, so you can add or remove users depending on your requirements at any time.

 

  1. Testing new services – Want to trial a new service but don’t want to risk the I.T. setup cost? With a cloud-based solution, modules can be added and removed at will, so you can go for launch safe in the knowledge that you can cut back your solution cost at any time.

 

  1. Cost effective business continuity – With a cloud-based system, files are stored and accessed via a remote server, which is backed up as a matter of course. Should the primary system fail, the back-up kicks in, meaning the business can continue to function.

 

  1. Efficient mobile version – Having the ability to enable staff to work from home can help keep costs to a minimum, improving profitability. Cloud-based I.T. gives workers the ability to work remotely whilst still having access to all of their files, programmes and other resources they might need to complete their work effectively.

 

  1. Better security –On-premise I.T. solutions often leave businesses open to a greater risk of security breach. With regular system and security updates performed as part of your cloud solution, you are always up to date and using the latest levels of security to protect your reputation.

 

  1. Data management – Holding and managing data is set to become a great deal more onerous under GDPR. As cloud-based I.T. providers host data day in day out, their data management provisions are state of the art, so you don’t have to invest more in this area.

 

Worried your business is being left behind? To find out more information on how Key’s Hosted Desktop solution can increase your competitive advantage, contact a member of our Cloud Server team today on 01942 261 671.

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Key are proud to feature in ITN & CIMA programme: Data Deluge & Decisions

‘Data - Deluge and Decisions’ is a news and current affairs style programme which explores how commercial enterprises are transforming and advancing society ever more radically, and how business leaders’ decisions have never before had such far-reaching implications.

Watch now to find out what Cloud Geeni (a Key company) says about how businesses are using Cloud technologies to increase security, maximise productivity and advance in their industry.

Simon Shelley, Head of Industry News, ITN Productions, said:

“We’re excited to embark on this project and engage with key organisations and people dedicated to shaping businesses of the future.”

Click here to watch.

Andrew Harding, FCMA, CGMA, Chief Executive – Management Accounting, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, said:

“We (CIMA) are delighted to partner with ITN Productions on this project. Management accountants play a critical role in driving business forward through good decision-making. This programme affords us the opportunity to share that story with the global business community.”

For help managing data and making the best decisions about technology for your business contact Key on 01942 261 671 to find out more about how our range of cloud solutions can help your business.

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Long term and short-term benefits of a good field service system

Thinking of investing in a SaaS service management system? Here are some of the short term and long term benefits you can attain if you choose the right service management software partner.

 

Short term benefits:

  1. Optimum scheduling of work – Scheduling jobs for engineers need no longer be a time-consuming task. A service management system allocates jobs to field operatives according to location and estimated duration, creating a schedule that optimises each person’s workload.
  2. Respond quickly to urgent jobs – Key Service Manager also allows you to make live updates to schedules throughout the working day. Need to prioritise a job? No problem – simply add a job as urgent and the rest of the jobs will be re-allocated accordingly.
  3. Easily rescheduling field operatives – Just as you may need to add and remove jobs from the schedule, you may sometimes need to call a specific operative to deal with a job at hand. Re-allocating jobs to different operatives can be done quickly and simply with the click of a button.
  4. Track performance by customer job type, employee etc. – Where you’re delivering a service, being able to monitor activity and performance is key. As all of the information for each completed job is centralised, you can run reports to identify areas of strength and weakness. This then allows you to make business decisions accordingly, all the while improving your service bit by bit.
  5. Reduce admin time – With a Service Management System, jobs can be distributed directly to each operative’s personal device. Any completion paperwork can also be completed and submitted digitally, where it is stored in the system under a customer/job reference number. This not only dramatically cuts admin time, but also reduces the margin for error.
  6. Improve invoice accuracy and shorten processing time – Concurrent with reducing admin time, having engineers sign off jobs as and when they are completed, submitting any documentation digitally as part of the process, also improves the speed and accuracy of the invoicing process. In turn, this allows you to collect payments quicker.
  7. Manage inventory requirements for scheduled jobs – Managing stock no longer has to feel like you’re stumbling around in the dark, or plucking numbers out of thin air! As jobs can be scheduled days/weeks in advance, you’ll always know what you’ll need for when. Additionally, over time, your system will gather data about the number of items that are used and when, allowing you to spot patterns and predict required stock levels.
  8. Reduce stock holding and improve cashflow and efficiency – As a service management system allows for smart scheduling of jobs and the stock inventory required for each job, keeping large quantities of stock is often unnecessary. This allows you to not only reduce warehousing costs but also improve cashflow by purchasing small quantities on a frequent basis rather than large quantities in an ad-hoc, unpredictable manner.

Long term benefits:

  1. Management information –

As alluded to above, over time, your service management system will collect a whole range of data about jobs, individuals, customers, accounts and stock. At any given point, managers and business owners are able to access detailed real-time management information, helping to answer crucial commercial questions. These might include…

Which contracts are the most profitable?

Which need to be managed differently to make a good return for the business?

Who are the most productive engineers?

How are changes affecting specific operations?

Having access to information and being able to draw down reports allows you to spot trends and identify any issues, allowing you to address these and ultimately manage your business much better.

 

  1. Improve visibility –  

When you’re at ground level, it can sometimes be difficult to see the wood for the trees. A Service Management System gives you a bird’s eye view of everything that is going on in the business at any given time – something that is notoriously difficult to do when running a remote workforce.  As managers are able to monitor operatives and their jobs remotely within a few clicks, they can assume a much greater level of control and influence. In the vast majority of businesses, this enables better, more informed decision making.

 

  1. Continual improvement –

As a SaaS service management system is cloud based, software can be updated and upgraded on a continual basis. This not only allows for potential advanced capabilities that you can easily roll-out throughout your business, there is also always the opportunity for further streamlining.  As a result, your business never has to be restricted by the system it’s built upon – leaving you room to respond to customer demands and ultimately improve your customer satisfaction levels.

Key’s Service Manager provides your business with all the above benefits and more. If you are ready to improve your business with a leading service management system contact a member of the Key team today and request a free demo.

 

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