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A safe, speedy and seamless IT experience is essential for almost every business, whatever your sector or niche.

In fact, doing business without our computers, phones, tablets and other related office tech is almost unthinkable — if not impossible.

So, when it comes to growing your business, a robust, secure and flexible IT infrastructure is key. But where do you start?

We’re an IT managed service provider with over 20 years’ experience providing solutions and ongoing support to businesses of all shapes and sizes, including startups and SMEs. Hit the ground running with our 5-point IT checklist.

1. Choose your cloud infrastructure provider

Cloud technology has changed the game for businesses of all sizes, particularly startups and small businesses. It means all of your business communications, data storage and work-related apps are in one place and can be accessed remotely.

There are two preeminent options when it comes to cloud computing as a startup or small business: Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace.

Both offer a full suite of features, apps and services: email, video conferencing, documents, spreadsheets, calendars and other productivity software. Since everything is accessed online from one centralised location, real-time collaboration and sharing is simple.

Another benefit to cloud infrastructure is its scalability and cost effectiveness; as your business grows, so can your provision. You won’t be lumbered with a costly, cumbersome on-premise server. These cloud solutions both offer good security and support, too.

For a more in-depth breakdown, head over to our other Learning Hub post about cloud computing for startup, micro and small businesses. We also have a few other useful resources for those wanting to learn more about networking and cloud computing…

2. Kick off your connectivity

It’s no use having an excellent cloud-based infrastructure solution in place if you don’t have internet connectivity!

A quick bit of research around business broadband deals should reveal the array of internet service providers (ISPs) who will be able to serve your needs in your area. Choose a reputable provider who provides assurances about minimum speeds, security features and ongoing support.

What if your connection goes down? The issue of a single point of failure is eliminated by use of a soft-defined wide area network (SD-WAN); this makes use of a combination of different technologies (such as broadband, 4G and 5G) to ensure a flexible, efficient and stable connection.

What about phone calls? Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is the modern solution, allowing you to make calls using your internet connection. Traditional analog phone lines as part of a broadband connection are in the process of being phased out.

Would you appreciate a little guidance? Our team of IT experts are always on hand to help you discover the perfect business broadband solution for your needs — simply drop us a message.

3. Start your cybersecurity strategy

Despite 66% of small businesses reporting having experienced a cyber attack in the past year, only 37% have a formal cybersecurity strategy in place — quite alarming, especially given the cybersecurity risks faced by UK businesses.

Cybersecurity can sound a little like a buzzword and covers so much ground, but there are three key aspects to it that all smaller-sized businesses should make provisions for: phishing, password management and anti-malware.

Phishing attacks

79% of UK businesses identified a phishing attack in 2023, and it’s the most popular means of attack for cybercriminals.

Phishing attacks largely start as an email  — 96% of them, to be precise — and they can lead to more serious cyber breaches taking place, like ransomware

So stopping things at their most likely source — a phishing email — can stand you in great stead to avoid future IT headaches. 47% fall for a phishing scam while they’re working from home. 

From too-good-to-be-true offers to dodgy links and even poor spelling, there are a number of tell-tale signs of a phishing attempt. Be on your guard against ‘spear phishing’, in particular. This is where the content is tailored to the recipient — think face client invoices or internal requests from a senior company figure. They can be quite convincing!

A good rule of thumb: don’t open any attachments or follow any links you’re not expecting to receive. We won’t go into more detail on this here, but be sure to head over to our guide on how to spot a phishing scam, whether it’s an email, text or phone call.

Password management and two-factor authentication

Passwords are the digital keys to many aspects of your business — so ensuring everyone involved gets into good habits about password use and storage is a huge element to keeping important data safe.

  • Password managers: Adopting a password manager is highly advisable; it acts as a safe, secure encrypted digital vault where all your credentials are stored.
  • Password creation: For the passwords themselves, consider a password generator; your password manager might also have its own built-in generator. Ask yourself whether someone you know might be able to guess your password. For more detail, be sure to check out our guide to password management, including best practice, top tips and apps to try.
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA): We’d recommend turning this on all key logins and accounts for every user. 2FA requires an additional piece of verification in order to log in, commonly an authenticator app or text message to your smartphone, but increasingly biometric authentication like fingerprint and facial recognition.


Even with the highest vigilance to phishing attempts, rock-solid password management and 2FA across all important access points, it pays to have antivirus and anti-malware to protect your systems from malicious attacks. Perhaps just as importantly, it pays to keep it up to date; only 76% of UK businesses have up-to-date antivirus software.

4. Put an off-site backup in place

Have a recovery system in place that takes regular, consistent off-site backups of all your important business data. This negates much of the danger of a loss of data, whether from a ransomware attack, breach, theft or even natural disaster!

These backups should be taken every day as a minimum — ideally, every hour. Make a habit of checking in on the backups, too. Don’t see it as a ‘set and forget’ process.

The most popular backup systems are cloud based, but traditional on-premise backup solutions can still have their place. Some businesses opt for a hybrid system. For a deeper dive on backing up your data (and all other cybersecurity matters), head over to our cybersecurity guide for small businesses.

5. Ensure you have IT expertise and support on hand

Whether this takes the shape of a dedicated in-house IT person or a managed service provider, it pays to have the experts informing your IT strategy. Doing so means you’ll be in the best place to enjoy a robust, flexible and dependable IT experience heading forward.

So, in-house or outsource? Respectively, 57% and 65% of small and medium UK businesses hire out their cybersecurity to an MSP (like us!), citing greater expertise.

We have a range of CONNECT managed service packages to meet any business need or requirement. Support offered covers all aspects of IT: network solutions, remote working support, growth strategy, backup and disaster recovery, cybersecurity — and more! 

If this sounds like something your startup, small or medium-sized business would benefit from, we’d be delighted to help you level up your cybersecurity.

Startup or SME? Put your best IT foot forward.

With over 20 years’ working with businesses of all sizes and sectors, we can help you to get the most out of your IT experience and safeguard against increasingly complex threats. Start your journey to an incredible IT experience today.

Contact our tech team today