Meet The TurnKey Team! - Paris

  • 15/07/2015
  • Paris

An Introduction to Our TurnKey Team: Paris

As a company we are growing and therefore adding to our team. Our latest member is myself- Paris! Since joining TurnKey I.T Solutions about a month and a half ago I’ve undertaken a variety of job roles.

Having worked in public relations previously and attended courses on social media, I am able to promote our company and give our clients more information about us, and what we’re up to. This includes a fortnightly blog (which you’re reading now) and posting on our twitter account. Our aims are to reach more people and let them know about what we do and how we could be beneficial to them and their organisation.

With experience in photography and film, I am in the process of creating videos and photographs for our website and working on a variety of client projects. This has allowed us as a company to provide a more holistic package when creating websites for organisations and other projects.

Since developing GreenShoots, an innovative case management system for the addiction treatment market, created by our brainiacs has taken off, the demand for training and information has increased. This is where I come in; I provide training sessions to organisations, along with a user guide that is updated regularly. All clients will receive a fortnightly newsletter informing them of updates and changes that have been made to GreenShoots. This ensures that the training guides are evolving and improving as quickly as the software does.

Here at TurnKey we thrive to better ourselves and therefore better what we do for our clients. This means having opportunities to further the knowledge and skills that I already possess, or challenging myself by trying things that are outside of my comfort zone. Being a part of an evolving company and hardworking team, it means that all of this is possible!


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Con's of Cloud Computing

  • 29/06/2015
  • Paris

Con’s of Cloud Computing

With Cloud Computing’s popularity increasing every day, it seems logical to want to find out more about it, and from a business point of view - see if it would be beneficial to your company.

Having looked at the pro’s of Cloud Computing on the last blog post, we came to understand why so many use it. However, not everyone wants to invest into the cloud, which leads me onto discussing the points as to why you may not want to jump on the bandwagon. Where there’s a pro there’s a con!

  • Technical Issues
  • Security
  • Costs
  • Limited Control
  • Lack of support

Although you can use the Cloud anywhere where there is an Internet connection, like all technology- there can be some flaws. Even the best cloud service providers will have issues at some point, this can be due to too much pressure and the system may become overwhelmed – there have been some very high profile examples over the last couple of years. However, the most common technical fault is network and connectivity problems. If you do not have an Internet connection or your ISP (broadband supplier) experiences an outage, you will not be able to access any of your applications, server or data from the cloud. This means you will be potentially be unable to access your documents or system for that time period and you’ll need to implement a backup plan.

The other issues with using Cloud computing is the security risk. You need to be aware of the fact that you are surrendering all of your company’s sensitive information into a third-party cloud service provider- even though these providers do implement the very best security standards and industry certifications, storing data and important files on a external service has it’s risks, as does local storage. This is why it is so important to ensure that you’re 100% certain that the service provider you choose is reliable and trustworthy. Companies that have highly sensitive data or must meet certain compliance regulations may need their own personal IT department to keep the data secure.

Due to the cloud being a public service, it is often open to security challenges on a routine basis. This is because the Cloud/iCloud is so popular that it is an attractive target to hackers. For example, iCloud was hacked and celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence were on the brunt of it as naked photos of her were leaked.

Although when first looking into the costs of Cloud Computing it may seem cheap, dig a little deeper and make sure it has everything you need. This may mean comparing it to either a system you already have or look at in-house software. Once you’ve compared features you’ll need to look into the total cost comparison in the long term.

The prices of Cloud Computing are prone to change, so it’s important to make sure you’re up to date with the latest prices and potential changes to the software. If you have a small business or are running a short term project the Cloud can be pricey. Although it can help you to reduce staff and hardware costs, the overall figure could end up being more expensive than you expected. Typically the cloud is priced per hour, which can be confusing.

It may seem like you have full control when using Cloud Computing, however some users have limited control over the function, and execution of their hosting infrastructure. Cloud providers and management policies may impose certain limits on what customers can do when it comes to control and management of their applications, data, services and with their deployment. Of course this may not be an issue for everyone but it is something that is worth taking into account

If you have an issue with the system or your files and you’re not sure what to do, help isn’t always available when you need it. Sending an email to customer service doesn’t quite cut it if you have to wait up to a week or more for a response. The other option is to pay for support- but again that’s another cost.


So, having looked at the most popular pro’s and con’s it seems fair to say that overall the pro’s do outweigh the con’s. The fact that you can access the cloud anywhere where you have Wi-Fi, you have almost endless storage AND your files are all backed up, are appealing and make life easier for most companies and employees. Although there can be the odd technical difficulties- which sometimes can’t be avoided, spending a little extra to ensure you have someone who will have your back when experiencing problems will pay off in future. And as for security issues- the Cloud is becoming so popular that yes the ‘hackers’ may see it as a more appealing target, but the Cloud will also have people on their team that are just as strong-willed who want to prevent any intrusions and violations.

As long as you have a clear idea of what you/your company needs, then researching different cloud packages and finding one that is suitable for you will change your I.T experience.

If you agree or disagree, or simply have an overall view on Cloud Computing then follow us on Twitter and let us know!

By Paris Ward

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Pro's of Cloud Computing

  • 15/06/2015
  • Paris

Pros of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is an expanding and evolving computing resource that reduces the pressure of running applications. The network of computers that make up the cloud handles them instead. Hardware and software demands on the users side also decrease. The only responsibility your computer has is to be able to run the cloud computing systems interface software, which can be done simply using your web browser. If you use web-based e-mails like Yahoo!, Hotmail or Gmail, then you’ve already used cloud computing. This is because this is not a program running on your computer, the software and storage for your account is on the service’s computer cloud.

Cloud computing is becoming more popular across businesses of all shapes and sizes, so we’ve come up with a few points as to why that might be.

  • Almost endless storage possibilities.
  • Back-up/Recovery
  • Cost Efficient
  • Automatic Software Integration
  • Easy access to information/Increased collaboration
  • Environmentally friendly

When it comes to storing things on the cloud, you don’t need to worry about running out of space- no more having to try to make space by deleting files, digging out a battered memory stick or increasing your current storage capacity. The cloud provides almost unlimited storage capacity.

We all know the stress of misplacing or losing files that we’ve been working on for hours, or are just generally important. So when it comes to backing up, all your data is stored in the cloud and most cloud service providers are competent to handle recovery of the information. This makes the entire process of backing up and recovering much simpler than other traditional methods of data storage. A lot of companies and people use the cloud itself solely as a backup repository. This includes most apple devices, where you can use the cloud to save and share media, notes, contacts and conversations between your own devices such as iPhones, iPads and macs.

Companies can save on licensing fees and also not worry about overhead charges such as the cost of software updates and data storage. You can pay for the service as a one-off-payment or as a pay-as-you-go. It also delivers a better cash flow by eliminating the capital expense (CAPEX)- associated with the developing and maintaining of the sever infrastructure, but as you’re not running your own server you don’t have to pay up-front capital costs, in the world of cloud-computing it is then put on someone else for them to deal with- yay. Also when you run your own server you’ll need to buy back-up hardware, just incase there’s a failure. In the worst case scenarios you may need to duplicate everything- and having spare hardware that’s just sat gathering dust waiting for a problem to occur is an expensive way to cover your back. So, having the cloud use at least two of their several locations to mirror your data and applications provides an effective and cheaper option.

Software integration is something that occurs automatically when using the cloud. It means that you do not need to take the time to cutomise or integrate your applications. It also allows you to customize your options without hassle, which means you can choose which services and software applications that suit you best.

By using the cloud you are allowing your company to be flexible and reach more people. You can access information from anywhere where there is an Internet connection, this means that employees can sync up work on documents and shared apps simultaneously outside of the office. Looking at the bigger picture it means that you can accommodate others that are in different time zones and geographical locations. You can rely on the cloud to guarantee that they will provide continuously availability of resources. They typically use several servers for maximum resilience.

We all want to do our bit for the environment, whether it’s committing to the recycling system and remembering to split up your cardboards from your plastics, to washing your clothes on eco. With the cloud, businesses that are using it only use the server space they need; this then decreases their carbon footprint. It’s been proven that using the cloud results in at least 30% less energy consumption and carbon emissions, in comparison to using on-site servers. Cloud is generally more efficient than typical IT infrastructure and takes fewer resources to compute, therefore saving energy.

So to sum up, there are many pros as to why Cloud Computing is a beneficial software to use, but, where there are pros there are cons.. which leads me onto my next blog post, ‘Cons of Cloud Computing’. So keep an eye out for it when it goes live on Friday 26th of June (2015). But before then, if you have any views or information on this topic, then follow us on Twitter and get involved!

By Paris Ward

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‘Off the shelf’ software vs. bespoke software or is there a third alternative?

  • 18/05/2015
  • Mike

Many businesses are still purchasing off the shelf software that simply does not fully align with their needs and forces them to dramatically alter the ways in which they operate. These alterations are frequently inconvenient, expensive and often extremely frustrating for staff. 

So what are the alternatives? 

Bespoke software refers to software that has been specifically designed for you and your business needs by a developer. The developer will carefully assess your ways of doing business and the procedures you regularly employ to create a completely customised solution that works with you intuitively and contributes to improving your business efficiency and effectiveness. 

There are frequently perceived barriers to even considering a bespoke software solution and these can include the following:-

• Concerns over the cost of developing custom software;

• Worries about the time scales;

• Familiarity with old ways of doing things and inefficient work arounds;

• Failure to realise that bespoke products are available at increasingly competitive prices;

• Not knowing where to start or who to reach out to in order to get started.

Whilst these barriers are easily overcome in most instances we do find that sometimes a third alternative approach is best. This is a flexible hybrid approach whereby we customise existing software to make it suit your needs. Think of existing software packages as a base that we can develop to ensure that your every need is met and your business model is not compromised by inefficient programs. Instead of you bending your way of working to fit within the rigid outline of a case management system designed for a completely different business, you can start with baseline software but then have us add/refine functionality to suit your individual needs. This can be an ideal solution and works well for case management systems, web portals, stock control systems, estimating systems etc. This approach also allows for the software to continuously grow and evolve with your business responding to the ever changing environment. It is not static for the next 3/5 years or subject to changes which don’t work for you from a functionality or timing perspective as is frequently experienced by users of generic software.   

Remember – software is there to support you, not to give you a headache! Give us a call to chat through your requirements.

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Software as a service – what can it do for you?

  • 26/03/2015
  • Mike

Software as a service – what can it do for you?

Software as a service (SaaS) allows a business to purchase their software needs on a subscription basis, paying for only what they need.  The software applications are hosted on an external server and accessed via the cloud. The benefits of software as a service to a client include lower costs, less IT support and safety of documents. 

What is the cloud?

The ‘cloud’ refers to the practice “of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer.” For example, a Word document is hosted on your own personal computer, while a Google Drive document is hosted on the cloud. The use of a SaaS program like Google Drive prevents you from losing your work.

Safety First 

A client’s work (including spreadsheets, client lists, documents and other integral components of your business) is safely and securely stored on an external server whenever you are using a SaaS program. Imagine never again feeling the panic of potential lost documents in the case of an accident – whether a fire, burglary, power outage or just simple human error - everything is securely and safely stored on the cloud.

Pick and choose what you need

SaaS continues to change how we operate in the business world by allowing a company to use only the software that they want and need, and no more. This eliminates the need to purchase software packages that are bloated with features and functions that are not needed – a client saves money by picking and choosing the capabilities that they deem essential to their success.  

SaaS eliminates the need to forecast into an uncertain future, and purchase cloud software for your needs of the next financial year – your programs will organically grow with your needs every step of the way.  SaaS programs can instantaneously adjust their capacity – that means they can fluctuate from hosting one use to tens of thousands in seconds. 

Lower IT costs

The SaaS pay per use, hosted model is ideal for start ups and established businesses alike, as it removes the need for an in-house IT team take time away from their busy schedule to manage or support any problems. Software upgrades update instantly onto your devices, allowing IT professionals to focus on other important tasks. 

Work from any place at any time

SaaS programs can be utilised from any computer device that is connected to the internet, allowing clients and users to access their documents from their homes and even their smartphones. This enables quick changes, emergency edits and access to important information no matter what time of day or night. 

How do you get started?

Getting started with SaaS couldn’t be simpler. There are plenty of online guides that can help you determine what you need, but it is always a smart idea to consult with an IT professional to ensure that your SaaS solutions are the best for you. Get in touch with TurnKey IT Solutions today, and we can help you to start saving money by utilising the cloud.. 

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