Finding the right business technologies to meet commercial needs.

September 25, 2015

By Paul Holborow, Head of RMT Technology

To say that information technology has had a massive impact on the workplace in the last two decades might well be the understatement of the century.

From the advent of emails, mobile telephony and the pretty much universal incursion of the Internet into all areas of business through to videoconferencing, social media and cloud computing, there’s been a wholesale evolution in the way that technology pervades every aspect of our working lives.

RMT Technology, the specialist IT support division of Gosforth-based RMT Accountants & Business Advisors, has undergone a similar evolution since first coming into being in the mid-1990s.

From humble beginnings supplying Sage related services to small businesses, our expertise widened over the ensuing years to include hardware, networking and server configuration before evolving in the 2000s to entail increasingly sophisticated mid-market software solutions across a range of market sectors.

Today, as specialists in accounting and business systems and IT Support, RMT Technology deploys some of the most sophisticated technologies and IT services available on the market, covering everything from connectivity, communications and IT services to voice, data, and both hardware and software.

We also work with a range of specialist partners to provide the right systems and solutions for clients’ particular requirements if we don’t offer them directly ourselves.

The application of these technologies, however, is not the be all and end all, and our view is that, rather than being an end in themselves, their use must always be a means to a commercial end.

Instead of being product-lead, our approach is governed by first understanding the issues that a given client is facing, reviewing the present operational position in which it finds itself and then developing an appropriate technology strategy that will enable the management team to achieve their business goals.

Our aim is to be trusted advisors, rather than to simply sell on the latest equipment, and the accountancy influence that being part of RMT provides ensures we maintain an open mind towards the ideas and opinions we put forward.

The guiding principle that all owners/managers must follow around technology must be ‘is what I’m being offered right for me and my business?’

For example, the concept of cloud computing has become very visible over the last couple of years, and if you believed all you saw and heard, you’d think that adopting a wholly cloud-based approach was the only way for all forward-thinking businesses to go.

While this will indeed be the case for some, and we’re working with a number of businesses to help them do just that, there needs to be careful consideration about whether it’s right for your individual needs.

For example, will there be any regulatory issues caused by the storing of crucial data anywhere other than on your premises, or do you have the processing capacity to operate bandwith-hungry applications such as Computer Aided Design packages from a remote server?

The Cloud offers a great opportunity, particularly for smaller businesses, to access some fantastic intuitive technologies for a relatively low cost, but there’s also the question too of whether you actually need everything that’s up there.

In many cases, a hybrid solution, utilising both on premise and cloud technologies, can be the right way forward.

Basic cloud-based services covering areas such as accounting, payroll, expenses and CRM databases can be offered to companies of all sizes, with more complex or sensitive functions managed from the office, and as operations develop, additional cloud-based services can easily be added as required.

Cloud-based services can also offer suitable business continuity and disaster recovery solutions, where key data is replicated across a number of servers in a way which can be easily controlled by clients.
These recognise both the internal strategic business and external regulatory requirements that companies face, and ensure that both can be met with the minimum of fuss.

Security is, of course, always high on the agenda when it comes to deploying new technologies, and as part of a national group of accounting firms that has been working on this area for a considerable time, we have helped to develop a security framework which goes beyond the Cyber Essentials scheme introduced by the Government last year (for which we have successfully won accreditation) to help SMEs trade electronically in a safe and secure way.

This framework, which covers procedures, policies and training requirements, helps smaller businesses to properly assess their security requirements, identify where work is or will soon be required, and easily access the tools they need to work safely in the online environment.

As part of the new North East Cyber Security Cluster, we’re also working with other businesses and organisations across the region to address the security issues facing regional firms and to share information that will help them keep on top of their operations in this field.

Today, in many ways, the technologies that businesses choose to deploy can effectively become the business itself, and the better the decisions you make in this area, the more chance you have of achieving long-term, sustainable, scalable commercial success.

From installing a network to implementing security policies, accounting software to manufacturing, RMT Technology has the experience to help find a solution built around your individual needs.

To discuss how we might help you meet your technological and commercial objectives, please contact Paul Holborow on 0191 256 9550


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