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Business news round-up: Save the Children moves to cloud, Sage's EU debate & £5 billion cost of cyber attacks

Save the Children swaps on-premise migration plan for public cloud

International charity Save the Children explains why it has abandoned plans to shift its core IT systems back on-premise, to embrace public cloud computing technology.

Most of its back-office systems have been shifted to the CenturyLink public cloud, as part of the not-for profit organisation's push to serve 15,000 users worldwide.

Save the Children has a global staff of 15,000 running humanitarian operations across 55 countries, meaning that workers need consistent access to core IT systems from wherever they are in the world.

This requirement largely dictates its IT strategy, Graham Kent, Save the Children’s head of global IT service delivery, tells Computer Weekly: “We’re always under pressure to reduce costs on things that aren’t to do with humanitarian programming, because we want to spend our money on saving children, not corporate IT.”

Read more about why the charity is choosing public cloud at Computer Weekly.

Sage invites EU referendum debate on Twitter with #SageDebateEU

On Monday 13th June, Sage held an EU referendum debate at their office in Newcastle.

Businesses unsure whether to remain or leave the EU were given the opportunity to join, watch and listen to the debate, or to get any of their burning questions answered, either via a free live stream hosted by Sage at lunchtime or by visiting Sage’s UK headquarters.

In the Question Time-style discussion, chaired by BBC Breakfast’s Steph McGovern, attendees saw an expert panel consider both sides of the EU campaign. Joining the panel was a team of #SageDebateEU bloggers, who tweeted their thoughts about the event throughout.

Watch the debate to help you decide, and find out what small businesses think about the EU referendum in Sage’s exclusive infographic.

Cyber attacks on SMBs 'cost UK economy £5.36 billion'

Small businesses need help to combat millions of attacks faced every year, according to articles from IT Pro.

UK SMBs suffer a cyber attack seven million times a year, with the average hack costing them £3,000, new research has shown.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found that SMBs are the victim of an average of four cyber attacks every 24 months, with 66 per cent of the 1,006 organisations surveyed having been a victim of cyber crime at some point.

A separate study by IBM's supports this, concluding the average cost of a data breach to UK businesses is £2.53 million per incident. However, this reduces substantially if a company has an incident response team in place.

The evidence shows that cyber security is a permanent cost organisations need to be prepared to deal with and incorporate in their data protection strategies.

Read more about the research here.

2016 E3 Business Awards Winners announced

The finals of the 2016 E3 Business Awards took place on the evening of Friday 3rd June at the Macron Stadium in Bolton.

The winners were announced in front of an audience of over 400 delegates, representing a broad spectrum of North West companies, universities, investors and business support organisations.

There were seventeen award categories in all. The nominations themselves were judged by an independent, seventeen-strong panel of entrepreneurs, academics and business support professionals.

Thanking all the guests, judges and finalists for their attendance, Managing Director Mubarak Chati took the opportunity to announce the date of the inaugural E3 Business Conference, which will be held on Wednesday 12th October 2016. Designed to pursue similar aims to the E3 Awards and the E3 Expo, the E3 Conference will provide a platform for North West businesses to get together, build new relationships and hear expert views on a range of subjects relevant to the economic future of the North West.

Next year's E3 Business Awards will take place on Thursday 13th July 2017. Read more on the E3 Business Awards website.

High street retailers urged to go mobile to compete in modern markets

The issue of mobile digital technology and retailers’ ability to fully comprehend and embrace this is partially to blame for the demise of BHS and other British chains, reports The Drum.

With people increasingly doing their shopping online, there is also a rise in the number of customers shopping on the move. Mobile devices are becoming the avenue of choice for British shoppers. It has even got to the point where search engines have started to penalise sites that are not mobile friendly.

Mobile technology also allows customers to share and like deals and products immediately, which can help both established and burgeoning brands to reach customers. BHS, however, failed to adopt a mobile and social presence – which, when compared to its competitors, played an integral role in its downfall.

Read more about the impact of mobile on high street retail competition at The Drum.