Customer satisfaction is an integral part of a successful business; however, while most businesses focus their efforts on external customers, there are also real benefits to be gained by improving the satisfaction of internal customers. Here we’ll look at why it’s important to establish an equilibrium that benefits both internal and external customers.
What’s the difference between internal and external customers?
Essentially, external customers are the consumers that buy your products and services. They are customers in the traditional sense of the word. Internal customers are the stakeholders in your business, employees and partners who, rather than buying things from you, still need you to deliver services to them in order for them to carry out their work effectively.
The importance of customer satisfaction for external customers
While customer satisfaction has always been important, that importance has grown significantly with the internet. Today’s online consumers frequently seek social proof about a company or product before they choose to give it their custom and will look at reviews, ratings, social media comments and more in order to come to a decision.
How good those ratings and reviews are, of course, is directly related to customer satisfaction. If products are of bad quality, delivery is late, customer service is shoddy, the website too slow, etc., customer satisfaction will be poor and this will be reflected in what people have to say. As a consequence, the business at the receiving end will find it harder to attract new customers or keep hold of existing ones. This is why customer satisfaction is the predominant focus of most businesses – without customers, a company has no future. – Read more
Businesses are keeping more files, bigger files and collecting more data than ever before; a trend that is likely to increase in the future. This has made storage one of the key features of modern IT infrastructure. However, while having adequate storage space solves one problem, there are other needs to be addressed. Files and data need to be secure, organised, easily accessible and shared. Today, there is a range of storage options available, including local drives and cloud storage platforms. Here, we’ll look at the pros and cons of both of these solutions.
The pros and cons of external hard drives for data storage
External hard drives are relatively inexpensive and easy to get hold of, available from many online and high street outlets. Advances in technology have also made them able to hold more data. Portable drives can store several Tbs and larger external drives significantly more. Overall, portable drives benefit from being a one-off expenditure, helping those with limited IT budgets avoid ongoing charges for third-party storage services.
Evolving technology means portable storage now has SSD drives which read and write data far quicker than older HDD drives. That said, they need to be plugged into another device, such as a laptop, using a USB cable. While USB speeds have increased, USB 3, for example, can reach up to 10Gbps data transfer, this is significantly slower than the capacity of the SSD inside and thus limits the performance of the external storage device overall.
Small and easily lost, stolen or damaged, data loss is one of the biggest disadvantages of using external drives. Lost files can cause major disruption to your business and if a misplaced or stolen drive contains personal information about customers or suppliers, it can result in a data breach that lands your company with a large fine.
Another concern is that It is not unheard of for former employees to take external hard drives containing critical business intelligence with them to new jobs where they can use that information to the detriment of your company and the benefit of their new one.
From a design perspective, another flaw with many external drives is that, unlike computers and storage servers, they have no internal fan. Without an in-built cooling mechanism, there is no control over the temperature other than a small vent. In hot rooms, when working busily for long periods, they have the potential to overheat and this can result in hardware failure and the loss or corruption of data.
The final risk is with the disposal of old drives. If data isn’t completely erased, it can be restored. Selling a drive second hand or throwing it away could potentially lead to your deleted files getting into the wrong hands.
The pros and cons of cloud storage
Cloud is now the go-to IT infrastructure and used by businesses and individuals for all manner of purposes, including running critical applications, data analytics, automation, IoT, app development and storing data. Here are the pros and cons of cloud data storage. – Read more
If you are running out of storage space or find that your current way of storing data makes it difficult to manage and use, then it’s time to consider an alternative option. Today, growing numbers of businesses are finding that the cloud is the best place to store their documents, files and data. Here, we’ll explain seven reasons to store your data in the cloud.
1. Never run out of space again
The amount of data that businesses store is growing exponentially. Companies are collecting more types of information than ever and keeping it for longer – and as they grow, so does the amount they generate. That can cause problems when storing it as its easy to run out of server space.
The benefit of storing it in the cloud is that no matter how much data you have, your vendor will always have enough space to store it. What’s more, upgrading to a bigger capacity package can be done very easily and quickly. It is also much less expensive than buying a new and bigger server.
2. Easy accessibility
Centrally storing all your data in the cloud means that none of it gets buried in departmental silos, making it accessible to anyone you have given access permission. What’s more, when someone updates a file and saves it to the cloud, everyone will have access to the latest update.
Equally important for the modern business is that being in the cloud, the data can be accessed over the internet. This means your employees don’t need to be in the office to do their work; they can work remotely or be out on the road and still have access to it on any device with a connection.
3. Solid security
Cloud vendors have to meet strict security regulations to keep your data secure. Their employment of security experts and use of the latest firewalls, anti-malware and intrusion prevention tools provide levels of security hard to match in-house. Of course, you’ll need to implement your own security measures, such as access rights, strong passwords and two-factor authentication, but, together, these make your cloud-stored data extremely secure – especially when the cloud provides a centralised repository for it all to be stored and securely managed.
In addition, your data is protected against data loss through hardware failure. If there is an issue with hardware in a cloud datacentre, the virtual server on which it is stored will simply be moved to another physical machine. It will always be there and always be online for you to access.
4. Cost-effective storage
A cloud storage package is far less costly than the capital expenditure needed to purchase a large storage server. Neither are there any additional running costs, such as electricity, insurance or premises rent. Your vendor will even take care of the hardware management for you.
5. Makes collaboration and file sharing a breeze
Cloud storage gives companies the ability to share files and sync updates and new additions. Files can be sent to other users and audiences can be invited to access data available online. This helps teams collaborate far more effectively no matter where the members are based, giving them all access to the most up to date versions.
6. Complete convenience
When data is stored in the cloud, it can be accessed directly from the internet. This means it’s not reliant on any internal business system or specific device. You won’t need to be connected to your internal business network, use a company computer or plug in an external storage device. What’s more, viewing or working on a file can also be done online, meaning that you won’t need to fill up storage on devices, though copies of files can be downloaded if required.
It’s also worth considering that cloud servers offer exceptional performance, their all-flash storage and Intel CPUs ensuring that data-heavy applications will run like clockwork. – Read More