It is important to understand the legal and practical implications of the new laws governing the gathering, use, and storage of consumer information in place.

POPIA, the Protection of Personal Information Act, is a law designed to protect peoples’ private, personal information.

Although it’s been a long time coming, many businesses are unprepared. Few have the technology they need to be compliant.

It is just as important to equip your business with the tools you need to meet new obligations as it is to get sound legal advice.

Here are some practical tips to help match your technology to new regulations.


Where and how you are going to store and protect sensitive data is the first important question.

Keeping customer, supplier or employee data “backed up” on an external drive is ill-advised, impractical, and illegal. You could be deemed negligent, and thus responsible, for not doing your part to protect that info.

It also puts your team under unnecessary pressure. The storage devices might fail. There’s also the new legal requirement to capture and update user preferences in near real-time. Capturing every click that changes a cookie preference in real time is impossible if you are trying to do so manually.

Moving to a Cloud-based system is an effective way to reduce that pressure and risk. A virtual system removes the need for a physical server room. In addition, it equips you with backups and built-in redundancy designed to store data securely.

Integrating cost-effective, safe storage capacity across your business is almost mandatory given the demands of POPIA. So look to the Cloud.

A CTO KNOWS: The Cloud offers almost unlimited storage built around your needs.


The first P in POPIA is for protection. But what does it take to protect user data?

Again, the Cloud is a good place to start.

Physical storage puts you at risk of theft, or loss. Even a physical server room can be vulnerable. However, the Cloud protects data by moving it onto remote, online servers that are as designed to be extremely secure.

Most Cloud offerings include daily backups, password protection, restricted access, built-in fail safes, and evolving firewalls. Because they add to your security they give you a competitive edge, especially if you have teams working remotely.

A CTO KNOWS: Cloud isn’t only about storage – it’s a security must-have.


It’s easy to focus on the “background” elements of POPIA, but what about your customer-facing digital properties?

Updating apps, websites, and even customer service scripts can help visitors feel that their information is secure.

But a POPIA-compliance pop up is not enough. In addition, everything needs to be secure. That means the systems needed to store customer data in real time, across multiple properties, should already be in place.

For businesses that are trying to catch up to digital leaders, the new laws are an ideal opportunity to invest in the integrated data systems, or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions that make a safe, seamless customer experience possible.

A CTO KNOWS: Updating the digital system in sync with new regulations can enhance customer experience.

The Last Word

Becoming POPIA compliant is a new challenge. However, you can use these new regulations as a springboard to success. By embracing technology that gives your business secure storage, you can stay with the law and actually gain a competitive edge.

Need objective SD WAN advice? We’re here to help.


Every business can benefit from technology – but that doesn’t mean you need every piece of software out there. But how can you tell the must-haves from the nice-to-haves?

Part two of our exploration of tomorrow’s essential technology builds on from the first.

With a safe, stable connection, you can move to the Cloud – and then it’s time to consider automation and enrich your customer experience.

Must-have technology #4: CRM

Customers have never expected more from businesses.

It’s a one-tap, instant gratification world, and any organization that doesn’t deliver is likely to lose ground.

Building a great customer experience is about more than great UX on your website. It means every interaction – from online shopping to making a complaint – is personal and easy.

This is where Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, software can be invaluable – if it’s done right.

Using all the data it can gather about preferences, purchase habits and so on, this broad set of software can automate follow up communications, flag unhappy customers, and give insight into how people are experiencing your business.

It’s an old adage, but it’s still so relevant: put the customer first.

A CTO KNOWS: Investing in your customer experience always pays off

Must-have technology #5: Automation

Automation. It makes us picture robots handling the heavy lifting on a factory floor, but it isn’t all about futuristic technology. But it’s actually about reducing the number of repetitive, day-to-day tasks that slow your team down.

HR and payroll are two primary examples. Software can help do the important checks and balances for leave, salaries, and payouts, with a human supervisor conducting a final approval.

That means there’s almost no risk of human error, and staff assigned to those functions can focus their attention on dealing with irregularities and conflicts.

The best part of these systems is that they can “learn”, and just like a human worker, become more efficient as they are fed more information.

Whether it’s a production line or process – automation is a huge competitive advantage.

A CTO KNOWS: Automating the day to day frees up your team to focus on the extraordinary

Must-have technology #6: Extended Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technology is no longer reserved for creating immersive gaming and entertainment experiences.

Collectively called Extended Reality, these new technologies have a host of applications. Virtual Reality is now a powerful tool for offsite training, while Augmented Reality has been used to help maximize production efficiency for almost 5 years already.

With the price of the technology falling rapidly, it is well worth thinking about the way that these new tools can help make your business more efficient.

A CTO KNOWS:  Tomorrow’s reality has arrived early – and can give you an edge today.

The Last Word

Building on solid digital foundations sets the precedent to explore data-driven solutions like CRM, automation, and extended reality – all of which allow for a better customer and employee experience.

Need objective technology advice? We’re here to help.


Technology can enhance every business – but that doesn’t mean yours need every solution out there. This two-part technology series will help tell the must-haves from the nice-to-haves.

Technology is the world’s biggest industry, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.

In fact, it’s accelerating to match the evolving needs of both customers and businesses.  

What does that mean? For most people, it means a future full of cool gadgets and one-click convenience. For technology and software developers, the demand for progressive tools is a goldmine.

Thanks to this growing demand, tech companies are churning out more solutions, platforms, and products than most companies could ever need.

The challenge is figuring out which ones meet your short- and long-term needs. But how can you plan when everything is changing so quickly?

Although every business faces different challenges, there is some technology that could become (almost) mandatory as the world becomes more digital.

This two-part article explores what these could be, and why they’re going to become so important.

But first, some time travel.

Before we share our must-have “tech-list”, it’s important to identify the forces that are driving ongoing digitalisation.

First is the digital employee. Huge advances in operational technology mean more tasks are automated than ever before. Remote and hybrid work is set to become the norm for the human workforce.

To make that work, businesses need to supply secure connections that keep their operations smooth and their people happy.

Connectivity opens a new world of possibilities. One consequence of constant connection is that the internet of things (IOT), where every device can be connected to the web and technology around it, can become real. And when it does, it will change everything from marketing to factory safety.

Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), 3D printing, drones, and robotics are all ready to revolutionise every industry – and it’s all thanks to the stability of the connections that bring all this technology together to make new business models and products possible.

With all that to come, it’s clear that businesses need technology that enables great connectivity.

Must-have technology #1: SD-Wan

It might sound like something from Star Wars, but SD-Wan – Software-Defined Wide Area Network – is top of our list for building a strong, digitally-enabled business.

Rather than leaving the strength and speed of your internet connection up to chance, SD-WAN finds the fastest path for your data to flow from A to B.

Most offerings will also allow you to prioritise certain offices or connections, and even speed over stability. So instead of waiting for that “foolproof” fibre to do the job, SD-WAN will send your data from LTE to 3G and fibre as needed so it gets there – quick.

A CTO KNOWS: 3 words matter in the digital future: connection, connection, connection.

Must-have technology #2: Cloud

Remember when vital information was flown, driven, and passed around via storage peripherals?

Thankfully, the days of flash drives and external hard-drives are largely over.

Instead, everything is on the Cloud: online servers that allows employees to access documents, software, and security protocols from anywhere. That means all your team needs to work together in real time, remotely, is an internet connection.

Cloud storage infinitely cheaper and more secure than physical solutions, but it has broken other barriers too. Now, you can hire the best people anywhere in the world and set up teams to keep your business running around the clock. You don’t even need to meet them in person.

A CTO KNOWS: Cloud breaks the shackles and makes your business truly agile.

Must-have technology #3: Cybersecurity

Security is a common concern when moving to the Cloud.

In theory, you’re only one password hack away from being exposed to ransomware and other malicious forms of malware.

Been hit by an attack? Stop reading and take a look at this.

Security is arguably one of the aspects of your business that is likely to remain in human hands moving forward.

Growing threats will require your team to apply daily security protocols, like recognising phishing and having IT security support on speed dial in case anything suspicious happens.

However, the best SD-WAN and Cloud offerings come with sophisticated security that is constantly being updated. These connected systems can switch off a device that’s been hacked before the virus can spread, lock out users who behave suspiciously, and even back themselves up so you never have more than 1 working days’ data at risk: so invest in the best.

A CTO KNOWS:  Get security you can bank on.

The Last Word

Technology can reinvent your business, but only if the best building blocks are in place. A great connection empowers your business to become truly digital. Using a Cloud solution is the perfect step, but always make sure you stay safe.

Need objective SD WAN advice? We’re here to help.

IT ABCs: Choosing a Cloud provider

The ABCs of IT part 4: Cloud

Not sure what the Cloud can do for your business? Our new series is all about understanding the ins and outs of IT and OT so you can accelerate your business’ performance.

It’s hard to imagine a time before “the Cloud” changed the way businesses are built.

A few years ago, precious data and documents were downloaded onto external drives and and delivered to the people who needed them.

Today, the risk of putting your success in the hands of a peripheral are gone. Instead, anyone with an Internet connection can access and securely store info they want to share, or protect, online.

The Cloud – which is really just a data centre that can be accessed online – is a total revelation. Like so much new tech, it has caused a digital gold rush. With vendors popping up everywhere, finding the right solution for your business can be a challenge.

Here’s a handy checklist of what to look for when you’re shopping for platforms.

Cloud back ups: What happens if something happens?

Remember the old expression about keeping all your eggs in one basket? The same is true when you migrate to the Cloud. If you’re putting your computing and storage online, it’s critical that the offering has solid backup and redundancy features built in.

Daily backups should be the default. This frequency can help minimize the impact of a cyber attack or failure to less than 24 hours. But don’t forget to pepper the sales reps with questions about redundancy, too.

Redundancy refers to the way the storage network is built to protect your business if anything goes wrong. It is a series of fail safes built into the system: by duplicating data and regularly moving it to safe locations on the Cloud, you always have a safe, current, secure copy. That way, even if part of the system crashes your data is safe.

A CTO KNOWS: Backups are the bare minimum – look out for redundancy, too.

Did someone mention Multi-Cloud?

A second consideration is whether or not you will need a multi-cloud solution based on your business’ trajectory.

You can build clouds that serve different purposes and connect them as needed. For example, you could set up a more storage-focused cloud to secure documents and data from key locations, while creating another for a team that needs to harness the power of cloud computing.

Apart from giving each of your teams access to the functions that they need most, using a multi-cloud approach can also give collective access to shared materials, which can speed up your operations significantly.

Do you need it? That depends on your medium- to long-term strategy. If you need the Cloud for storage alone then one is probably enough; but if you’re planning to transition to a more tech-led, digital business, multi-cloud can certainly be worth the money.

A CTO KNOWS: Technology is always evolving, and it pays to look ahead.

Safety is (still) first

Data breaches dominate headlines because they can expose customers and ruin the reputation of a company in seconds.

Although Cloud-based solutions can reduce the risks associated with physical storage devices, storing data online can be risky, too. In theory, anyone with a password and the right credentials can get their hands in the cookie jar.

The final hallmark of a really sound Cloud offering is its security protocols. Apart from strict credentials, look out for two-factor authentication (where a unique, time-sensitive code is generated at each login) and regular updates to keep your business, staff, and customers safe.

A CTO KNOWS:  Safety is still first: even in today’s digital landscape.


Moving to the Cloud can make your businesses safer, faster, and more flexible – but not all offerings are created equal. Make sure that the right architecture and protection is in place, and think about the next 3 years before selecting a supplier.

Need objective Cloud advice? We’re here to help.


The ABC’s of IT part 3: SD-Wan solutions

Stumped every time you read about SDWan solutions? Don’t worry – our new series is all about understanding the ins and outs of IT and OT so you can accelerate your business’ performance.

Maintaining the strength, speed and stability of your internet connectivity can be frustrating. And it gets worse if you’re trying to connect multiple branches or offices.

Generally, connection quality tends to dip when you move further away from the head office.

This make sense. Data has to jump between different networks to cover significant distances. Some of these networks simply aren’t designed for high performance or big volumes of traffic. The result? Your connectivity slows down.

It’s like a car on a road trip. When the main highways are busy, you can use side roads and back routes. You’ll get there eventually, but it can take longer than planning.

From a data perspective, there are a few ways to work around this “traffic”. You could install private MPLS networks where needed. That guarantees performance and connectivity, but it’s pricey.

You could also consider your connectivity hardware every year or so. That’s just as expensive, and impractical.

The lack of solutions has forced many business owners to leave their connection to chance – until now. SD-WAN, Software Defined Wide Area Network, is software that allows you to manage the way data moves across the devices that make up your network from a single management portal.

It’s a technology full of potent possibilities – but with over 100 vendors now offering solutions, it can be tricky to find the right supplier. Here’s what to look out for.

SD-WAN puts the work in network

When you start looking for an SD-Wan provider, start by scanning the provider’s range of shared transport solutions.

It’s a case of the more, the merrier. Good providers empower you to connect across different options, including everyday broadband, LTE and even MPLS setups. That means much better stability.

Look out for the option to prioritise connections and set backup options should the primary transport fail. That way, if your Wi-Fi crashes, the system will automatically revert to the best available connection. No more frozen moments during meetings.

A CTO KNOWS: Stability trumps inconsistent speeds all day long.

Branching out

Another hallmark of a quality SD-Wan solution is the ability to spin up additional sites seamlessly via a single management platform.

In the past, adding a new storefront or office would involve the painful process of buying routers, finding the best high-speed provider in the area, and configuring new firewalls to ensure the new devices could be safely integrated into the existing framework.

Thankfully, with SD-WAN, that’s all changed – if you choose the right provider.

Look for one that offers the ability to manage every aspect of the network from a single platform, because there are some that still require you to use multiple management tools that will only slow you down.

A CTO KNOWS: A single management platform gives you the flexibility to change your network at speed.

A strong SD-Wan is always improving

While it isn’t essential, it may be better in the long run to choose a solution that is constantly optimising itself by monitoring application and network performance and making any necessary changes. Daily software updates are an indicator of this functionality.

Make sure that you have visibility of performance through analytics and reporting features, too. O

Although your network should be able to identify, flag and resolve threats, it’s always worth going through a report to try and understand the root cause and avoid repeated problems.

A CTO KNOWS:  Self-healing solutions save your team time and money.

The Last Word

SD-Wan can be a game changing solution for your business, but just because it’s new, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take good old-fashioned service, support, and the provider’s track record into account when choosing the right provider.

Find a solution that works across multiple connections, is easy to manage, and looks after itself and you’ll take your business to new heights.

Need objective SD-Wan advice? We’re here to help.


The ABC’s of IT Part 2: IT team

Looking to expand your IT team? Our new series is all about understanding the ins and outs of IT and OT so you can accelerate your business’ performance.

IT is one of South Africa’s most in-demand skills, with many companies willing to pay a small fortune to build an. IT team with the level of expertise they need.

In a market where jobs are scarce, the promise of a serious salaries has attracted many professionals to this highly-competitive industry. Unfortunately, there are a lot of chancers too.

Putting your IT department in the wrong hands can have destroy your business. But how do you tell serious IT talent from the tricksters?

What’s at stake when hiring your IT team?

You may not be convinced, but when it comes to IT, bad hiring decisions can lead to disaster.

You can expect delays in getting new joiners up and running, and delays dealing with simple IT issues. But worse, under-qualified IT teams don’t know how to stop serious security threats. That means lengthy days and the constant risk of downtime and cyber attacks.

IT imposters also tend to have a superficial knowledge of suppliers, technology and operating systems. That means whenever you ask them for advice, you’re not getting the objective input you need to make an informed choice. You don’t want to be stuck with problematic software.

Given the possible impact on your operations, security, and long-term performance, it’s not worth the risk to employee anything but the best IT team. But how can you tell who qualifies?

A CTO KNOWS: Hiring the wrong IT talent can have a long-lasting impact on every part of your business.

Hiring an IT team? Here’s what to look for.

Many of the best IT professionals are self-taught, and learn their trade through experience. However, a qualification from a reputable university or college is a good sign that the applicant has the base knowledge in place.

Most of the country’s leading institutions offer courses in Information Technology and Computer Science, so keep an eye out for a legitimate degree or diploma.

Next, assess their level of work experience. Remember that in this case it’s quality over quantity. It’s far more useful to have a candidate who has 1 year of experience building secure network infrastructure from scratch than another who has been building basic websites as a hobby for 5.

Lastly, look for specific instances of working across different technology environments. In most cases it’s ideal to have a generalist with a broad range of experience rather than a very niche set of technical skills.

A CTO KNOWS: Qualifications, quality experience and a broad range of skills are all promising signs.

Trust your instincts

One last tip when hiring an IT professional is to trust your instincts – particularly during interviews.

IT teams need to be cool under pressure, so don’t hesitate to throw some complex technical questions their way when you interview them. If possible, have your IT lead or an expert in the room with you to assess their responses.

Culture and personality are important, too. Ask yourself if is this somebody you can trust with your business in the long term? Don’t discount your initial reactions – sometimes a bad impression is a warning of worse to come.

A CTO knows: First impressions last for a good reason. Assess the in-person interactions as well as the applicants qualifications and references.

The Last Word

The IT team and talent you hire can make, or break, your business. Make sure you conduct thorough checks, and assess their qualifications, experience, and personality to avoid getting duped.

Need objective IT guidance? We’re here to help.


The ABC’s of IT part 1: Managed Service Providers (MSP)

Not sure what a Managed Service Provider (MSP) is, or how to choose one? Our new series is all about understanding the ins and outs of IT and OT  so you can accelerate your business’ performance.

SMEs generate approximately 30% of South Africa’s total turnover; but when it comes to investing for success, your Managed Service Provider (or MSP), is probably not a priority.

Marketing, personnel, legal, rent, and stock often get the nod when it comes time to do the budget. Unfortunately, that doesn’t leave much for IT.

IT is considered a luxury. But in truth, it can improve operating efficiency, security, and customer experience. And it doesn’t have to break the bank.

There are a thousands of affordable IT tools aimed specifically at smaller businesses. One of the most powerful is a Managed Service Provider. But what is it, and what do you need to know before choosing an MSP?

Managed Service Providers in a nutshell…

An MSP is essentially a subscription to an IT department.

Instead of investing in infrastructure, hiring an IT team or buying expensive software and devices, you subscribe to these services which are managed by a team off-site.

It’s a huge advantage. Apart from reduced cost, different subscriptions can also help with you can enjoy everything from offsite data security and storage to payroll, HR, and Cloud services.

In addition, the same team handles all of your needs. That means no more worrying about compatibility problems or training new staff.

Sound good? The only “problem” with MSPs is that there are hundreds of different options to choose from. Your biggest problem may be finding the right partner for your needs.

But what sets one provider apart from another?

A CTO KNOWS:  Subscriptions can unlock savings over time, but migrating to a new system may require some capital.

RMM + MSPs = Results

There are two key considerations when looking for an MSP: their technical capabilities, and their suite of Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) tools.

The RMM is a secret weapon that allows the MSP to monitor all of your networked devices in real-time. 

This performance data gives you instant alerts when there’s an issue. Plus it enhances your ability to make key decisions needed to keep key systems working.

That means a more efficient, secure, stable business, and more time being productive.

Despite these advantages, most MSPs don’t have their own RMM – they partner up with external suppliers.

That means you’re not only subscribing to the MSP, but their RMM supplier, too. Look for the right combination. The RMM brings the technology, while the Managed Service Provider brings the expertise and services. It’s a partnership that needs to work seamlessly.

A CTO KNOWS: A smooth sales pitch is pointless if the tech isn’t there to back it up. Look for the best of both worlds.

Can the Managed Service Provider help you scale up?

Another thing to remember as you search for an MSP is that most offer different subscriptions based on your need.

But your needs will change as your organisation grows.

While it may be tempting to get the package that covers your current IT needs, your business will (hopefully) be growing very quickly. Your MSP needs to be able to help you accelerate that growth.

Try to look beyond the price tag as you make your choice. Assess the MSP to ensure they have experience managing the technology that’s already in place, and that they can support the tools you plan to use in future.

A CTO KNOWS: Choose an MSP that’s skilled in today’s technology, and ready for tomorrow’s

Looking for an MSP? We’re here to help.


Working from home part 4: Cyber attacks

The final article in our Work From Home series is designed to help you cope in the event of a cyber emergency.

Cyber attacks costs businesses around the world an estimated $1 trillion last year. Sadly, that number will grow as more people choose to work from home permanently.

That’s a huge sum. More than enough to attract some seriously smart criminals.

Whether it’s phishing, smishing or vishing, hackers are using a wide range of technology to create increasingly sophisticated crimes. Their target? Your distributed workforce.

It’s enough to give any business owner sleepless nights.

In the office it’s easier to prevent, or at least detect, a cyber attack. But even a well-prepared workforce can still become a victim of cyber crime.

But do you know what to do if your business is hit?

Training your team to avoid cyber attacks

Every business should have a clear set of procedures in case of emergency – and cyber attacks fall into that category.

And, just like preventing fires and accidents, dealing with a cyber attacks starts with sufficient training.

As mentioned in the first article in this series, your team needs to be able to sniff out suspicious activity. Today’s cyber-attacks are subtle. Don’t expect the flashing skull and crossbones you see in movies: duplicate sites used to implant malware are designed to look completely legitimate.

To help your team, cultivate a “better safe than sorry” attitude that’s matched by a clear action plan. Everyone needs to know who to call in case of an emergency – and to be brave enough to do it. Also, remember that any device used for work purposes could be at risk, so try and use landlines.

You also have a legal obligation, under section 22 of POPIA, to alert the Information Regulator and any victim of a data breach as soon as possible.

Include as much information about the attack as possible, and communicate any possible consequences. You also need to explain how you intend to resolve the situation, and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

A CTO KNOWS: Your team won’t follow the emergency procedure if they’re afraid to be punished. Handle threats together as a team.

Cyber attack in progress? Shut it down!

Once your emergency lead understands the threat, they may need to shut down the device, or devices, that have been targeted.

Thankfully, most end-point security systems allow you to do this remotely. This can stop the spread of malicious software before it spreads throughout your networked devices.

End point solutions scan the affected machine remotely – especially if you are using a VDI or similar solution – so as soon as you can, your IT team needs to try and track down the threat.

If you don’t have any end-point security in place, you need to instruct all of your employees to shut down and disconnect from any linked network programmes immediately. A brief period of downtime is a lot better than letting an attack grow.

A CTO KNOWS: Cyber threats are like a disease that infects you network. You need to stop the spread by any means necessary.

Time for a hard reset

Criminals love to return to the scene of the crime, and it’s important that you’re not vulnerable if they do come back.

Cyber attacks can access huge amounts of sensitive data in seconds, so while your team tries to find any malware that’s lurking on the network, get everyone else to update all of their passwords.

As soon as the experts have given all the all clear, implement a hard reset of device and router passwords so that any information that may have been lifted is pointless.

A CTO KNOWS: Acting quickly can help prevent a follow-up attack.

The Last Word

Security doesn’t stop with passwords and end-point protection. To avoid a significant attack, everyone on your team needs to know exactly what to do should the worst happen.

Need to upgrade your security? Chat to us today.



Part 3 in our Work From Home series explores the essentials for you and your team to stay connected in the new world of work.

More than half of business across the globe are now run remotely in some form. And more are set to follow.

There are clear advantages to this approach, but it also brings new difficulties – like the lingering feeling of disconnection.

Most leaders are worried about protecting their culture, and technology can be a powerful tool to keep morale up. A stable, secure internet connection can keep your staff productive, but it can also help them feel like they’re part of a team.

So, what’s the best way to keep your crew connected?

Getting your connectivity up to speed

Your business is basically run from a network of home offices. Whether it’s open wi-fi networks (a huge security risk, FYI) in coffee shops, co-working spaces or the couch, everyone has a different degree of connectivity.

It doesn’t matter whether your team members have FTTH (Fibre To The Home), a 3 of 4g-enabled dongle, or access to 5G, home setups are not backed by SLA’s, so their speed and stability varies.

You can’t risk your business’ reputation on a wobbly Wi-Fi connection.

Blending and extending your teams’ connectivity is a great way to keep them feeling connected. It’s best to have a backup plan in place in case their connection fails.

That could mean providing those with  FTTH with a backup LTE connection like a dongle or router. You could even set up subscriptions with different network providers – a good solution in areas where fibre is yet to be installed.

A CTO KNOWS:  Double down on dongles and data – it can make all the difference.

Top tips to boost connectivity at home

If offering every employee a blended home network isn’t an option, you can help them get more from the what they already have.

There are loads of online tutorials on the best way to set Wi-Fi speeds soaring you can share. If needed, set up a virtual tour of their space to recommend optimum router placement and offer other advice.

Someone struggling? Get them a range extender. They’re an affordable, simple solve for less tech-savvy teams.

Still buffering during the board meeting? You may need to install a Wi-Fi mesh. Extending the primary router’s strength with satellite stations can improve speed and stability without the need to upgrade your broadband package.

A CTO KNOWS: Fast internet is pointless if it presents a risk to your organisation, so make end point security a priority.

Keeping your customers and clients connected

Your customers and clients might also be feeling a bit disconnected at the moment. After all, they are probably have their favourite sales rep on speed dial.

Platforms like Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Skype solve that problem to a certain extent, but not completely. Plus there’s the challenge of using multiple services – and different email addresses!

VOIP, Voice Over Internet Protocol, is a great way to make sure your clients feel cared for and connected.

It’s a technology that recreates your office phone network across connected devices. Instead of dialling a number, customers and colleagues can call one another online. Most service providers even have a directory feature.

It’s clearer, cheaper, and more mobile, because you can make business calls wherever there is internet – all you need is a device. It’s more secure too, because unlike WhatsApp, Zoom, or Skype, VOIP comes with encryption and ID management to help you protect sensitive IP

A CTO KNOWS: Your team will thank if you can protect their privacy and keep work communications to professional, office channels.

The Last Word

In today’s digital, distributed word, human connections depend on a solid connectivity. Keep everyone online and safe, and half the battle of shifting to a dispersed workforce is already done.

Not sure you’ve got the best connection? Chat to us today.

Performance + Protection = Productivity

Working from home part 2: Productivity

Part 2 in our Work From Home series is all about finding the right solutions to help your remote workforce keep productivity levels up while protecting your business.

The work from home revolution has had a profound effect on productivity.

People are reportedly working more than ever before; no surprise when we are quite literally living at the office.

While business leaders need to protect their teams from burnout, it’s equally important to make sure “office” hours are still productive.

One way to do that is to equip your workforce with the technology they need to perform safely. But how do you do that without breaking the budget?

Don’t worry: you don’t have to dig deep in your pockets to pay for a fleet of shiny new iMacs. You simply need to make some informed choices.

Pushing productivity: Is VDI the VIP?

Working from home would definitely be easier, faster and safer with the latest laptops. However, most businesses cannot provide them for the entire team. In fact, most business networks now include personal laptops and mobile phones.

To deal with these devices, many companies are buying into VDI – Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

VDI improves the performance of networked devices by connecting them to the computing power of a server.

So, instead of struggling with a slow laptop, your team can log into a virtual machine that offers lighting quick performance. All they need is a screen: the processing power is offsite.

VDI gives you better hardware performance that can boost your team’s productivity. It also makes it easy to managed your network of distributed devices from one location. It’s easy to scale as your team grows or shrinks, and you won’t need to buy and maintain an expensive server.

Subscribing to a VDI solution can be a game changer, but don’t underestimate the cost of a subscription.

The monthly cost can add up quickly, especially if you’re adding users regularly. It might be worth partnering directly with a technology supplier to get functional, low-maintenance devices for your team.

A CTO KNOWS: Crunch the numbers and check your long-term growth strategy before you set up a monthly subscription.

Productivity essentials: End point security

End point security is not a nice-to-have; it’s essential.

As the name suggests, end point security protects devices at the “end” of your network – like your teams’ phones, laptops and tablets – from ransomware, malware and viruses.

The aim is to protect your network by detecting and nullifying threats when they appear. Depending on your setup, you can remotely block USB ports to make sure nobody spreads harmful software, or shut down a device if it’s at risk.

But endpoint protection isn’t just about securing devices. It also allows you to set rules about data access so that nobody can share sensitive information with the wrong person by mistake.

End point protection is absolutely essential for keeping your team online and safe whenever and wherever they’re working.

A CTO KNOWS: The cost of end point protection is far less than the losses that an attack or network downtime can cause.

What about Wi-Fi security?

Most people don’t give their wi-fi a second thought unless it goes down, but it’s a point of serious vulnerability. When everyone’s working remotely, each home connection becomes poses a threat to the business.

Here are 5 steps to take to ensure your WFH wi-fi is as safe as possible:

1) Change all of the out-of-the-box passwords

Encourage your staff to change their Wi-Fi passwords, including the system administrator details, to avoid attacks that reconfigure the network settings.

2) Install updates and security patches regularly

Any outdated software is more vulnerable. Make sure you update your router software often to ensure the latest security patches are installed.

3) Make sure all connected devices are secured

Remember, data flows both ways between your router and devices. That means malware can be spread in both directions. Keep all your devices secure.

4) Add security layers

WPA2 is the preferred safety standard for routers. Get your IT team to guide your teams through the process of switching to this next generation access framework.

5) Consider work-issued dongles

If you’re worried about at-home networks, you can configure and issue dongles that remove the risk of exposure to potentially unsafe systems.

A CTO KNOWS: Most people don’t know how dangerous their home network is. Don’t allow that risk into your network.

The last word

You don’t need a bottomless balance to make sure your team has everything they need to hit peak productivity levels. stay productive at home. VDI, new devices, end point security and basic Wi-Fi security will help you avoid any dangerous threats and downtime.

Not sure your team has what they need to perform? Chat to us today.