A robust and scalable IT infrastructure is essential for any modern organisation to remain relevant in its industry. While accountancy firms face a unique set of challenges in this regard, the constantly evolving MS365 suite of applications as well as our own package of services are perfectly suited to providing a bespoke IT solution.
No IT setup is the same
Over the past year we have covered a large number of IT related issues and how to resolve them. From security concerns to optimising hybrid working environments, there is always an appropriate MS365 app or Sleepless process that can be implemented. But every company has its own unique requirements that need these programs and apps to be tweaked to get the best out of them. Accounting firms have the additional complexity of needing to use industry-specific programs that have not always integrated well with more mainstream solutions. With the rapid and continued evolution of the MS365 suite of programs, this is happily no longer the case. To demonstrate the benefits of updating your IT setup we have used one of our accounting clients as a case study to demonstrate the potential benefits of updating an ageing IT infrastructure.
Old problems, new solutions
Our client contacted us last year with a list of issues that ranged from old Microsoft licenses that were not being managed correctly to totally inadequate security protocols and old and outdated hardware and software in the office. Hybrid working was a nightmare as access to office files was next to impossible thanks to an obsolete network system. The day-to-day challenges were mounting and the self-appointed ‘IT guy’ in the office was unable to cope, let alone manage his own workload. This all seemed like an insurmountable challenge to our client but many of these issues are surprisingly common to most businesses.
Accounting for a new IT infrastructure
The best approach to a complete IT overhaul is to tackle it one section at a time, Sleepless uses a 3-phase process which allows us to effectively bring in new systems with minimal disruption. We set up a timeline and run through each step with the client beforehand, the Sleepless team assigned to the task is also introduced to the client at this point. They become the point of contact for the client throughout the process and once everything is in place.
For our accounting firm we started by building all the required infrastructure to support Cloud storage, SharePoint, Email and Teams as well as collaboration tools and Virtual Desktops. Our IT experts would then further customise these solutions to our client’s needs, but initially, the framework was put in place.
With the basics taken care of we focused on the hardware, by replacing older machines and reconfiguring more current equipment to ensure that they were all capable of handling the required workload.
The third step in this particular businesses case was to introduce a new VOIP system to eradicate the reoccurring communication issues that were happening between employees and clients.
Communication and Support
Communication in any business is key and we keep our clients in the loop at every step. We had regular check-ins with our accounting client and arranged meetings to discuss the project’s progress as well as how and when the next steps would be implemented. A review meeting was held after each phase as well as at the completion of the project. Our team would address the issues and concerns at each stage and would get the client’s sign-off before continuing further.
The proof is in the IT pudding
With the entire company now operating on our new IT infrastructure, with our dedicated engineering team on call, both the employees and the accounting firm’s clients soon noticed an improvement across the board. Hybrid working was no longer a pain, thanks to the personalised Azure Virtual Desktop setup and appropriate hardware systems to back it up. Communication with clients was far more seamless, thanks to the new VOIP infrastructure, which allowed for quicker turnaround and a general improvement in productivity.
Security was also vastly improved, allowing for totally secure connections regardless of the location and automated software updates ensured that no system became a weak point for potential cyber-attacks.
And of course, the office ‘IT guy’ could go back to his actual role within the company, leaving our team of experts to take care of any IT-related issues. So, whether you are running on ancient hardware with zero security measures and no proper backups, or just need to tweak your hybrid work setup, give our team a call and they will gladly help sort out your IT infrastructure.