Friday, 13 January 2017
In the fiercely competitive world of recruitment, where time is money, I often get asked for advice on what can be done from an IT perspective to keep your top fee earners billing to their maximum potential.
So here are my top 6 tips for making sure your IT systems are delivering 100% of the time, ensuring your fee earners have everything at their fingertips to be first to secure the deal!
1. Good quality hardware and a well-designed IT infrastructure
When it comes to server hardware, you do get what you pay for. Yes, enterprise class hardware is expensive, but can you really afford to be running your business on hardware that periodically fails? With the short windows of opportunity to do business in the world of recruitment, if your system is down at the vital time you run the risk of missing out to a competitor, so an investment in enterprise-grade, highly resilient hardware, designed in a fault tolerant configuration is a must. And these days, it doesn’t have to be so expensive for SMBs, especially with the advent of cloud solutions that can allow recruiters to benefit from providers’ highly resilient hardware platforms.
2. Remote Working Capability
Long gone are the days of 9-5 office working. Nowadays a deal can happen (or be missed) at any time of day, and as such having secure and easy-to-use remote access into your office systems from home, or anywhere else, plays an important part in maximising your billing potential.
3. The Appropriate Level of Cyber Security
Cyber security is not a subject that excites every business I know, but is one that recruiters ignore at their peril. With over half of UK businesses having experienced cyber attacks in the last year (more on which another day) including threats such as ransomware which can render the entire network inaccessible, it is essential that the right measures are being taken to secure the network. With new security threats emerging daily, this is a constantly moving target, and one where it is important to take specialist advice. With GDPR also now looming large, and the potentially catastrophic level of fines and reputational damage that will be incurred by a security breach, getting cyber security right has never been so important, and as such many businesses chose to outsource their security to a specialist IT company.
4. Proactive Monitoring
There are plenty of packages on the market now that will monitor your servers, and alert you when there’s a problem BEFORE it impacts your fee earners. This prevents costly downtime caused by things like servers running out of disk space, as you will be alerted once certain thresholds are reached so that the issue can be corrected before it impacts the business. One word of caution though – this type of software needs to be configured correctly as it has a tendency to either over-alert, deluging you with endless messages, or to under-alert, which can result in a problem not being spotted.
5. Responsive 24x7 support
As I touched on above, we no longer work in a Monday to Friday 9-5 office based environment, so it’s important that your IT support provision doesn’t either. If your fee earners are working from home of an evening to secure a deal, they need assurance that their IT systems are going to be working and supported too.
6. Disaster Recovery Planning
Finally, we all like to bury our heads in the sand when it comes to disaster recovery…… “It will never happen to me” after all?! Sadly, unplanned downtime did strike 57% of UK businesses in the last 12 months according to the EMC Global Data Protection Index 2016, so having effective plans and being prepared to deal with such an eventuality is critical if you are to minimise the impact on your business.
In coming blogs I will be exploring many of these topics in more depth, but if in the meantime you need any advice on the best ways to ensure your IT systems allow your fee earners to be maximising their billing potential, then please do not hesitate to contact me on 0208 732 5656 or email email@example.com