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Elevating Customer Experiences Through Technology – Harnessing IT for Better Customer Outcomes

In recent years, digitisation has been a key driver of revenue growth for many companies. Digital solutions have enabled businesses to better manage their sales pipelines, achieve more conversions, and offer their services in new and innovative ways. Today, there is greater focus than ever before on improving the customer experience through digitisation.

So why is that?

Building and maintaining an online presence has evolved from a ‘nice to have’ 20 or so years ago, to an absolute necessity for any business intent on growing in our digital age. Customers can now compare service offerings at the click of a mouse, with buyers basing their initial judgement of the business on the quality of the customer experience delivered to them. In many cases, this digital journey is the main distinguishing factor between rival products, so it’s vital to invest in it, and aim for consistent quality across every digital touchpoint.

Why is a Digitised Customer Experience Important?

A common misconception about customer experience is that customers always want a complaint, query, or issue handled by a ‘real person.’ While this is true for some individuals, and can prove the best course of action in some scenarios, today’s customers want choice, including the ability to self-serve. A digitised customer experience should therefore complement, rather than replace, traditional communication channels such as email and phone. This ‘omni-channel’ approach that combines employee-supported with independent, self-serve options gives customers control and flexibility over how they interact with your business, which in turn can support better customer satisfaction outcomes.

Customer Experience vs Customer Service – Understanding the Difference

Customer experience and customer service are associated concepts, but the two terms should not be used interchangeably.

Customer experience is used to define the engagements a customer has with your company between their initial contact and the close of a transaction. A good customer experience should aim to create an efficient, frictionless process that’s easy to navigate, and makes the prospective customer feel positive and supported.

Customer service steps in whenever a customer has an issue, query, or complaint, either during their customer journey or thereafter. Optimal customer satisfaction is achieved by investing strategically in both the customer experience and customer support functions. A digitised customer experience that functions well will support a seamless customer journey, and effective customer service channels will ensure there’s a friendly agent on hand to provide clarity and resolve minor issues.

In short, customer experience refers to an individual’s engagements with your brand on their journey to becoming a customer, while customer service refers to the support you provide if an issue or obstacle arises along the way.

Why Should You Invest in Your Customer Experience?

In the crowded digital marketplace, a first-rate customer experience will set your business apart from the competition. The quality, ease, and refinement of the customer journey can influence a prospect’s subconscious judgement of the underlying product or service; deliver a clunky, outdated experience, and the customer could lose faith in your offering.

Furthermore, customer expectations have never been higher. Today’s customers don’t want convoluted processes or communication channels with restricted hours of operation. Increasingly, there’s an expectation that the customer journey should be a near effortless experience, with a company’s digital infrastructure doing the ‘heavy lifting’ to facilitate this.

The experience your customers have is second in importance only to the quality of the service or product being provided. Provide an excellent customer journey, and you’ll benefit from high customer loyalty, enhanced brand reputation, and a greater chance of referrals.

The Role of Technology in The Customer Experience

Digital solutions can support a better customer experience in a number of key ways:

Automation and Self-Service Options

Customers don’t always want agent-assisted service or support. For many, there is satisfaction to be found in self-service; for others, there’s a desire to avoid the dreaded ‘on hold music,’ as it is passed between departments on lengthy phone calls. Self-service solutions allow prospects to take ownership of their customer journey, and in some instances, this can expedite the customer experience overall. Online forms, document upload portals, FAQ pages, and even video tutorials, are a great way incorporate self-service elements into your customer experience.

Automation is another technology that can be leveraged to deliver a smoother experience. One example of this is the use of automated appointment scheduling systems. These allow customers or prospects to view availability in real-time and choose an appointment time that suits their schedule. Once a time is selected and booked in, the system can be programmed to issue confirmations and reminders to the customer, as well as provide options for cancellation and rescheduling to further enhance convenience. Automation that’s well integrated into the customer experience can deliver a wide range of benefits, including reduced human errors, greater convenience, faster processes, and a reduced burden on the company’s staff.

Slick Customer Support

Sometimes it’s necessary to provide customer support to help a prospect transition from one stage of their customer journey to the next.

Thanks to intelligent digital applications, technology can now play a pivotal role in customer support, helping customers get their questions answered and problems resolved with minimal hassle.

AI powered chatbots serve as a useful example of such technology in action. These powerful applications use natural language processing to interact with customers in real-time, and deliver relevant, insightful information about the product or service in question.

A Tailored Experience

Customers today increasingly expect an individualised, tailored customer experience, one where their needs and desires are assessed and catered for in every interaction. Personalised recommendations based on factors like browsing history and preferences are one of the ways technology can deliver an individualised customer journey. Recommendations can help users identify the product or service best suited to their needs, and reduce the time spent sifting through product or service menus.

By providing a tailored experience, you can save your customers time and deliver a journey that is centred around the individual, resulting in better satisfaction outcomes.

In Summary

From initial contact to closing a sale, customers now expect a trouble-free, encumbered experience from beginning to end. A well-conceived, digitised customer experience can make all the difference when it comes to building brand loyalty, improving retention, and enhancing conversion rates. By investing in customer experience technologies today, you’ll give your business a solid foundation for growth, one that’s based on high satisfaction levels and a commitment to customer-centric service.

Up next, we look at 7 essential technologies for enhancing the customer experience.

4TC Services – Managed IT, Support, and Solutions for London Businesses

Secure, reliable, and tailored IT is a pre-requisite for success in our digital age. Here at 4TC, our mission is to help businesses across London and the Southeast realise their untapped potential using technology. From IT management that minimises downtime, to custom solutions that address persistent operational challenges, we can help you harness technology to grow and deliver the best possible outcomes for your customers.

To find out more, get in touch with 4TC today. We’d love to hear from you, and help you overcome your IT challenges.

Business and tech heavyweights to boost productivity through AI

Members of the UK’s first AI Opportunity Forum have been appointed today (Thursday 25th January) – with a clear mission to boost the adoption of AI in the private sector.

Overseen by the Technology Secretary and the Prime Minister’s Special Adviser on Business and Investment, pioneering AI companies will join forces with business leaders to bring their expertise to bear on encouraging adoption of AI across the private sector to boost productivity, fuel innovation, and deliver growth in all areas of the economy.

The Forum will particularly focus on the AI culture and skills of organisations in the UK, how they manage governance, awareness, and risks of the technology, and the availability of data which they can tap into – a crucial component in the use and development of AI.

Despite the importance of AI for businesses being almost universally recognised, only one-in-ten organisations are currently fully prepared to roll out the technology. The Forum will tackle this problem head-on sharing best practice and identifying measures which organisations can adopt to improve their AI readiness.

It builds on the Prime Minister’s AI Safety Summit held at Bletchley Park which set a path for building a global approach to ensuring safe and responsible AI, such as the UK’s trailblazing launch of a new AI Safety Institute.

The UK’s continued international collaboration efforts through the AI Safety Institute and fora such as the G7 Hiroshima AI Process, Global Partnership on AI (GPAI), the G20, and the UN will continue to advance this conversation, ensuring the entire global community can safely realise the benefits of AI adoption.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

We stand on the cusp of a productivity revolution – one which has the potential to grow the economy in a way we’ve never seen before. So, it’s important we get it right.

This forum builds on the AI Safety Summit – putting the UK at the vanguard of AI innovation to help us safely embrace AI in a way that delivers for British people.

Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan, said:

We want to see organisations across the UK tapping into the transformative power of AI to boost their productivity, unlock new opportunities, and drive growth.

The AI Opportunity Forum brings together our brightest minds from the worlds of AI and business to drive forward that effort.

AI develops at an incredible pace, and we’re acting in lockstep to ensure businesses and employees in every sector of our economy can take advantage of this generation-defining technology.

Members of the Forum who have been unveiled today represent a who’s who of both industry and AI expertise. Co-chaired by Secretary of State Michelle Donelan and the Prime Minister’s Business Adviser Franck Petitgas, the Forum will also feature Microsoft and Google, as well as representatives of Quantexa, KPMG, Arm, Barclays, Vodafone, Universal Music Group, and GSK.

The UK’s AI sector already contributes £3.7 billion to the UK economy and employs 50,000 people across the country with these figures set to grow. As we’ve seen over the past century, our economy and jobs market evolve with technology, with changes in technology creating new industries and new jobs.

CEO of Microsoft UK, Clare Barclay, said:

Speed of AI adoption, backed by robust industry skilling programmes, will determine just how successfully the UK embraces this generational shift in how we live and work.

The AI Opportunity Forum will help accelerate the private sector transformation we need to compete and lead in the global economy.

Managing Director of Google UK, Debbie Weinstein, said:

We’re looking forward to working alongside the government to ensure that British businesses are well equipped to harness the benefits of AI.

Google’s UK Economic Impact Report highlighted the scale of this opportunity, with forecasts showing that AI-powered innovation could create over £400 billion in economic value for the UK economy by 2030.

Initiatives like the Government’s AI Opportunity Forum are key for unlocking the transformative potential of a technology which has the potential to boost productivity, fuel creativity and drive tech-led growth across a variety of sectors up and down the country.

Chief Executive Officer of GSK, Emma Walmsley, said:

We’re very optimistic about the opportunities for positive impact from AI, not just for GSK but for the UK’s short and long-term economic growth, innovation and skills development.

The UK has the potential and talent to exploit these transformative technologies, but faster adoption is key. This new forum brings together businesses large and small with AI developers to develop practical ideas and support and we look forward to contributing.

Quantexa CEO, Vishal Marria, said:

As an AI first technology company, Quantexa is thrilled to be involved in the AI Opportunity Forum, and proud to be part of this investment in UK-based innovation that positions the UK at the forefront of AI on the world stage.

We have been investing in AI since our inception, and it lies at the heart of Quantexa technology. But what we have seen over the last 12 months – is its adoption and impact accelerate. We see AI as the biggest technological breakthrough for generations and are ramping our investment in AI because we know this is going to transform how organisations make decisions.

Understandably, there are concerns around the associated risks of AI. But, with the safe and ethical adoption of AI technology, there are huge opportunities for UK businesses across industry sectors to accelerate productivity and growth.

Chief Executive Officer of Sage, Steve Hare, said:

At Sage, we’ve been using AI to bring practical time saving solutions to small and medium-sized businesses for some time.  AI has the potential to improve the UK’s productivity and simplify everyday tasks like invoicing, managing late payments, and handling tax and cash flow issues.

To make AI more effective and trustworthy, there is a need for more collaboration between the government and the tech sector to nurture the digital economy and ensure SMBs are adopting digital tools to reap the benefits of AI. The AI Opportunity Forum is a step towards this goal, aiming to bring real AI solutions to real businesses.

The government is also stepping up its plans to accelerate the rollout of AI across the public sector. Earlier this month, the Central Digital and Data Office published a new framework which will implement principles for government departments on the responsible use of Generative AI. Written in collaboration with industry, the framework also looks to upskill civil servants through free generative AI courses to ensure public servants have a robust set of skills when working with AI.

The Forum will now gather for its first meeting in February, with further meetings taking place bi-monthly.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/business-and-tech-heavyweights-to-boost-productivity-through-ai

What does a future with quantum computers look like?

Quantum computing is an exciting and evolving deep-tech sector, which could transform parts of society when it comes to fruition.

These powerful machines are capable of processing vast amounts of data and could eventually solve problems that are far too advanced for modern supercomputers, which would lead to enormous benefits for humanity.

But the journey to get there is not easy, with a variety of technological and scientific hurdles to overcome before these we can create true quantum computers.

Ulrich Seyfarth is a manager in BearingPoint’s Munich operations. He said that a lot of effort has been made to solve the issues surrounding quantum computers, but there is still a long way to go.

“Major challenges include the number of information carriers (qubits) needed and the ability to compute long-running calculations due to the impact of noise and decoherence effects which must be mitigated by powerful error-correction methods,” Seyfarth said.

“The current stage of quantum computing is called NISQ (noisy intermediate-scale quantum), more a playground to get used to quantum computing, than a stage where we can gain from powerful new solutions. That horizon however, is approaching.”

Many researchers are working to bring us closer to fault-free quantum computers. Last month, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) claimed they found a new way to hit 99.9pc accuracy in certain quantum operations.

Earlier this year, quantum computing company Quantiniuum claimed it was able to accurately simulate a hydrogen molecule by using an error-detecting code.

The potential benefits

When – or if – we get to the stage of general-purpose quantum computers, Seyfarth said there are various ways these machines could be used to benefit society. One way would be to simulate aspects of nature, as “nature is quantum”.

“Quantum theory is a fundamental description of the physical behaviour of our world,” Seyfarth said. “Computers that speak the same language as nature are best suited to simulate it.

“The potential for new discoveries in physics, chemistry, biology and other foundational sciences is immense. Research will be a key application of quantum computing in revealing new discoveries as foundations for applications across many industries.”

Quantum computers could also help to break past certain bottlenecks in modern technology, such as miniaturisation. For example, Seyfarth said circuits are now operating at such a small scale that quantum phenomena are posing “significant challenges to the continuity of Moore’s Law”. This is the principle that the number of transistors incorporated in a densely populated chip will double every two years.

“We are reaching manufacturing limits, at a time when the demand for computational power is increasing rapidly,” Seyfarth said. “Many organisations are reliant on an ability to process increasing volumes of data, faster.

“A fundamental change in computation capability is necessary and this is driving the significant investment we see in quantum computing technology.”

While various challenges exist, Seyfarth predicts that the future of quantum technology is “promising” and that new quantum hardware, algorithms, processing methods and other breakthroughs will develop in the future.

“The development of quantum compilers, abstract languages and available computational power in the cloud and middleware platforms will lead to easier access to this technology – also creating new industries and ecosystems around it,” Seyfarth said.

While there is no clear prediction for when quantum computing will become truly available for businesses, Seyfarth said organisations should develop an understanding of their data processing needs for the future and the potential quantum computing may have to help them to “remain competitive”.

“Those that start early in developing their understanding of the technology and its likely implications, will be better positioned to harness its power,” Seyfarth said. “If you think that quantum computing technology is potentially relevant to your future business, a good starting point is to invest in developing some internal knowledge within your organisation.

“As the technology becomes more accessible from an R&D perspective, consideration could be given to potentially start pilot projects, though [it] will be important not to invest too heavily in a single technology provider at this early stage.”

The risks of new technology

Transformative technology also has the potential to create negative consequences when it is first introduced, such as generative AI being used as a tool to spread disinformation and boost cyberattacks.

Quantum computing is no exception to this rule and Seyfarth said organisations and society need to address the new risks that new technology presents.

“In an era where computational power is an important driver for our economy and our society – there is a possibility that access to this power becomes centralised to a small number of entities,” Seyfarth said. “This may lead to imbalances in competitive advantages in industry.

“Of course, there is also the potential for certain jobs to be rendered obsolete, while demand for other new roles is created – so there will be an onus on society to ensure that adequate supports are in place to facilitate retraining.”

Another key issue in the digital world is cybersecurity and the way new technology can shake up this landscape. Quantum computing presents a risk due to its potential to break modern cryptography – which is used to encrypt data and communications.

Experts have warned about the risk of hackers stealing and storing encrypted data, for the purpose of decrypting it quickly once quantum computers become a more accessible reality. This is sometimes referred to as ‘store now, decrypt later’ tactics.

“Secret data that must be secured for more than 10 years is already exposed to future attacks,” Seyfarth said. “Organisations should prepare risk mitigation actions, including analysis of data encryption methods in use and implementing future-proof encryption methods where necessary.

“Post-quantum cryptography, a technology that is similar to current cryptographic solutions, but with higher requirements computational power and key sizes could serve to minimise risk – another area to keep an eye on from a standards maturity perspective.”

Source: https://www.siliconrepublic.com/machines/quantum-computers-simulation-bearingpoint-deep-tech

Scalable IT Solutions for Sustainable Growth – Cloud-Hosted VoIP

As your business expands, it’s vital that your IT system is able to grow in parallel. To achieve this, you need scalable tech solutions that can quickly adapt to the changing demands of your business. This ensures that your employees have the technology and resources they require to work unhindered and at maximum productivity.

Why Scalability Matters

IT investments used to require significant capital outlay on new hardware and infrastructure. The rationale behind such investments, was that return on investment would be achieved over the hardware lifecycle, with costs recouped in the form of productivity gains and efficiency savings. However, a common pitfall with legacy solutions is their inability to adapt to the dynamic and fast-changing needs of a business as it grows and evolves.

Today, modern, scalable tech solutions allow you to match your IT costs with the point-in-time demands of your business and provision new resources at short notice to accommodate rapid expansion. The result is IT that supports your growth journey, keeps your team productive and connected, and offers optimal value for money.

4TC Managed IT Services – IT solutions and Support for Businesses Across London and the South East

Here at 4TC, our mission is to help SMEs across London and the South East reap the benefits of tailored, secure and expertly managed IT solutions. Scalability is vital to ensuring cost-efficiency and high ROI in any IT project. In this short blog series, we want to highlight the benefits of some of the most compelling, scalable IT solutions available to businesses, starting with a technology that’s of particular relevance at the moment: Cloud-Hosted VoIP telephony.

What is Cloud-Hosted VoIP Telephony?

VoIP – meaning ‘voice over internet protocol’ – refers to a set of standards and technologies that enable the transmission of voice and multimedia sessions over the internet. You’ve probably used VoIP technology in some form already, perhaps through video conferencing applications like Microsoft Teams and Zoom.

So how does VoIP differ from traditional telephony?

Traditional telephony products use technical standards that allow voice data to be carried across the varied circuits of the public switched telephone network (PSTN). While some aspects of this infrastructure have been modernised over the years, the PSTN contains copper cabling and other aging components that struggle to meet the data speeds and bandwidth requirements of modern businesses. As such, the decision was made to fully decommission the public switched telephone network, with BT Openreach aiming to fully digitise the UK’s telephony by the end of December 2025.

The switch from the partly analogue PSTN to a fully-digital broadband system, means traditional telephony products, such as ISDN, will stop working in the coming years. If your business currently uses an ISDN phone system, you’ll need to adopt a ‘Digital Voice Service’ sooner rather than later to avoid being cut off when the PSTN switch off happens.

Cloud-Hosted VoIP – The Smart, Scalable Business Phone Solution

Combining the features and capabilities of a PBX phone system with the convenience and cost-efficiency of cloud hosting, cloud-hosted VoIP is a compelling option for businesses looking for scalable and futureproof telephony. Cloud-hosted VoIP gives you access to a full-featured phone system without the installation costs and maintenance overheads of a traditional system. Instead, the cloud VoIP provider manages the host infrastructure on your behalf; you simply sign up and connect to the system using a compatible device or a VoIP desk phone.

Offering all the advantages of an office-hosted phone system without the drawbacks, we believe cloud-hosted VoIP is the smart choice for SMEs looking for a future-ready and scalable phone system in 2024 and beyond. Here are 5 reasons it could be the optimum choice for your business.

It’s Scalable

Adding new lines to a phone system was once a challenging and occasionally disruptive task. The process involved reaching out to your provider, scheduling an installation date, and often enduring weeks of waiting for the project to be completed.

Cloud-hosted VoIP puts an end to this lengthy process, allowing you to add new lines in minutes, with subscription-based billing ensuring you only pay for the capacity you need at any given point in time. Various admin tasks can be completed through a centralised management portal, giving you the ability to add new lines, assign phone numbers, and manage billing through a convenient and intuitive online interface.

In short, cloud-hosted VoIP puts you in control of your phone system, allowing you to adapt quickly to the changing demands of your business, and benefit from affordable, flexible billing.

Unified Communications

Most modern businesses use multiple communication channels to deliver customer service and explore new sales opportunities. For optimum results, communication across these various channels should be carefully orchestrated to ensure consistent messaging, and to support an efficient, streamlined experience for customers. Customer relationship management software (CRMs) is often critical to coordinating sales outreach and customer service engagements across numerous communication channels, including social media, email, instant messaging, and telephone.

Many cloud-hosted VoIP phone systems enable the integration of CRMs and multiple communication channels to create a single, unified interface for business communications. This allows employees to conduct all communication within a single application, enhancing productivity, and giving staff the data they need to create managed and consistent conversations with existing and prospective customers.

Reduced Costs

Compared to traditional telephony products, Cloud-hosted VoIP is almost always cheaper to run, and the costs manifest in various ways. In terms of calling costs, reports suggest that VoIP services are 40% cheaper on average than traditional telephony products, with savings rising to as high as 90% for businesses that make a high volume of overseas calls. Hosted VoIP services offer a variety of billing regimes, ranging from flat-fee subscription pricing to usage-based charges, which makes it easy to find a call plan to suit your needs and budget.

But lower calling costs are not the only area where savings arise!

Cloud-hosted VoIP is inherently infrastructure-lite. In fact, sometimes there are no hardware requirements whatsoever, as most systems operate via computer and mobile based software programs called ‘softphones.’ These allow users to access the phone system through existing devices, including desktop PCs, laptops, mobile phones, and tablets. VoIP-enabled desk phones and headsets could be beneficial to provide a better user experience, but ultimately, VoIP lets you access the benefits of a PBX phone system without the cabling and server infrastructure that such systems traditionally entailed. Moreover, considering the VoIP provider’s role in system maintenance, this results in an exceptionally budget-friendly phone system that delivers an impressive return on investment (ROI).

Access Your Phone System Anywhere

Unlike a traditional phone system which is tied to a fixed physical location, cloud-hosted VoIP provides a virtualised, location-independent experience, allowing you to take your phone system with you and access it from virtually any location. Leverage one phone number as your business’s single point of contact, and transfer calls seamlessly across your business, regardless of where your team are working from. Your customers will benefit from a smooth, frictionless calling experience that keeps you contactable whether you’re working from home, on the move, or even out of the country.

Extensive Features

The affordability of cloud-hosted VoIP doesn’t mean you have to compromise on functionality. In fact, most systems come packed with features that support efficient call handling and a smooth, unencumbered inbound calling experience. VoIP providers usually offer packages at various price points, allowing you to choose an option that best suits your needs and budget. Some of the features on offer include:

Call Forwarding

Redirect calls seamlessly across your team to share the call-handling workload. Conditional or sequential call forwarding can be configured to keep wait times to a minimum during periods of high demand.

Call recording

Many hosted VoIP systems support call recording, a helpful feature that allows calls to be recorded and retained for training or compliance purposes.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

IVR provides inbound callers with an interactive menu of options, allowing them to route themselves to the appropriate call handler or department based on the nature of their query. IVR makes for a more efficient experience for inbound callers and makes it easier to manage high call workloads.


Voicemail-to-email functionality ensures you never miss a call back by sending a transcript of voicemails to your email inbox.

In Summary

Offering affordable pricing, unparalleled mobility, a rich range of features, seamless mobility and the ability to add and subtract phone lines in a matter of minutes, cloud-hosted VoIP phone systems deliver an array of business benefits and support the seamless call experience that today’s customers have come to expect.

For more insights into scalable tech solutions, stay tuned for our next blog, where we’ll examine the growth-enabling benefits of hosting your IT services in the cloud. 

4TC Managed IT Services – Uniting People, Processes and Technology 

Secure, stable and optimised IT infrastructure is critical to the success of all businesses in our information age. 4TC helps businesses across London and the Southeast realise their potential through the delivery of expertly managed IT services and support, and solutions that solve business challenges by achieving perfect alignment between people, processes, and technology. Get assistance with your IT challenges today by getting in touch, we’ll be glad to assist you!  

Guarding Against Holiday Cyber Scammers

Rachael Medhurst, Course Leader and Senior Lecturer in Cyber Security NCSA, University of South Wales

The festive season is a time for joy, family and festive cheer. However, it’s also a prime target for cybercriminals. As online shopping ramps up, so does the risk of falling prey to cyber-attacks. That’s why it’s crucial to be extra vigilant about your cybersecurity during this time.

Here are some essential tips to safeguard yourself and your data during the festive period:


Phishing is when criminals use scam emails, text messages or phone calls to trick their victims. Their goal is often to make you visit a certain website, which may download a virus on to your computer, or steal bank details or other personal data.

This type of scam tends to increase at this time due to the amount of people having bought or received new gadgets and technology.

Look out for there being no direct reference to your name in any communications, with wording such as “Dear Sir/Madam” or other terms such as “valued customer” being used instead. Grammar and spelling mistakes are also often present.

Be wary of any suspicious links or attachments within emails too, and don’t click them. It’s better to contact the company directly to check if the message is genuine. You can also report suspicious messages and phishing scams to the government’s National Cyber Security Centre.

Shopping safely online

The convenience of online shopping is undeniable, especially during the festive season. However, it’s crucial to prioritise your security when buying online.

Before entering your personal and financial information on any website, ensure it’s legitimate and secure. Look for the “https” in the address bar and a padlock icon, which indicates a secure and encrypted connection.

When creating passwords for online shopping accounts, use strong, unique combinations of letters, numbers and symbols. Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts, as a breach on one site could compromise all your others.

As with shopping in the real world, be cautious when encountering offers that are significantly below usual prices or which make extravagant promises. Always conduct thorough research on the seller and product before making a purchase. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

And if you are out shopping in towns or city centers, there will often be a large number of public Wi-Fi options available to you. However, criminals can intercept the data that is transferred across such open and unsecured Wi-Fi. So, avoid using public Wi-Fi where possible, especially when conducting any financial transactions.

Social media

While social media platforms provide people with a means to keep in touch with family and friends over the festive period, they are often a goldmine for scams and malware (software designed to disrupt, damage or gain unauthorised access to a computer). In the spirit of the festive season, people often share an abundance of personal information on social media, often without considering the potential consequences.

This trove of data can make people vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Scammers can exploit this information to gain unauthorised access to social media accounts, steal personal information, or even commit identity theft. To protect yourself, be mindful of what you share.

Be wary when interacting with posts and direct messages, especially if they contain suspicious links or attachments. Before clicking on anything, hover over the link to verify its destination. If it shows a website you don’t recognise or seems unrelated to the message, do not click on it. If you receive a message from someone you know but the content seems strange or out of character, contact them directly through a trusted channel to verify its authenticity.

Likewise, be wary of messages containing urgent requests for money or personal information from businesses. Genuine organisations will never solicit sensitive details through social media.

There are many buy and sell platforms available on social media. But while such platforms can be a great place to find a unique gift, it is also important to remember that not all sellers may be legitimate. So, it’s vital that you don’t share your bank details. If the seller sends a link to purchase the item, do not use it. When meeting to collect an item, it’s generally safer to use cash rather than transferring funds electronically.

Package delivery scams

As well as being a time for giving and receiving gifts, the festive season is also ripe for cybercriminals to exploit the excitement surrounding package deliveries.

Scammers often pose as legitimate delivery companies, sending emails or text messages claiming that a delivery attempt was unsuccessful or requiring additional fees for processing, or even customs clearance. Typically, these messages contain links or phone numbers that, when clicked or called, lead to fake websites or automated phone systems designed to collect personal information or payments.

To protect yourself, always verify the legitimacy of any delivery notifications you receive. Check the sender’s email address or phone number against the official contact information for the delivery company. If the information doesn’t match or seems suspicious, don’t click any links or provide personal details.

Legitimate delivery companies will never ask for upfront payment or sensitive information through unsolicited messages or calls.

Remember, cybercriminals are skilled at manipulating the festive spirit to their advantage. Stay vigilant, exercise caution, and don’t let your excitement for gifts and deliveries compromise your cybersecurity.

Source: https://nation.cymru/news/how-to-protect-yourself-from-cyber-scammers-over-the-festive-period/

AI Poses Growing Threat To Next General Election

Advances in artificial intelligence pose a growing threat to the integrity of the next general election in the UK, Britain’s cyber security agency has warned.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said countries such as Russia would likely seek to meddle with the outcome of the poll – which must take place by January 2025 – as well as other major elections in western democracies in the coming year, including in the United States.=

In an annual review of a broad range of cyber security issues, the agency, which is part of GCHQ, warned about the prospect of increasingly realistic, deepfake videos and other forms of disinformation designed to influence voter preferences.

“While the UK’s use of paper voting in general elections makes it significantly harder to interfere with our elections, the next election will be the first to take place against the backdrop of significant advances in AI,” it said.

“But rather than presenting entirely new risks, it is AI’s ability to enable existing techniques which poses the biggest threat.”

This included fabricated online posts at speed and deepfake campaigns spread across social media at great speed.

“Any interference or attempts to undermine our political discourse are completely unacceptable and the UK government is committed to enhancing our capabilities and countering the threat from online harms, such as disinformation,” the NCSC said.

It described how the “threat landscape” had evolved “significantly” since the last UK general election in 2019, in particular in the wake of Russia’s war with Ukraine.

People at Shefford Town Memorial Association to cast their vote in the Mid Bedfordshire by-election. Picture date: Thursday October 19, 2023.

That conflict “has made the prospect of influencing the political discourse in democracies ever more attractive to state actors”, the agency said.

It also warned about the emergence of cyber actors that are aligned with malign states such as Russia and share the same ideological goals but can act with less restraint, calling this category “a new class of adversary for the UK to counter”.

“The NCSC assesses that democratic events, such as elections, almost certainly represent attractive targets for malicious actors and so organisations and individuals need to be prepared for threats, old and new,” the NCSC said.

In response, the UK has set up a Defending Democracy Taskforce and a Joint Election Security Preparedness unit.

As well as a focus on Russia, the NCSC report agency also flagged the ongoing cyber threat posed by China, Iran and North Korea.

Source: https://news.sky.com/story/ai-poses-growing-threat-to-next-general-election-warns-uk-cyber-security-agency-13007659

Google DeepMind Solves Unsolvable Math Problem With AI

Recent advances in large language models (LLMs) have made artificial intelligence more adaptable than ever before, but that comes with a drawback: lies. Generative AI tends to make things up, but Google DeepMind has devised a new LLM that sticks to mathematical truths. The company’s FunSearch can solve highly complex math problems. Miraculously, the solutions it generates aren’t just accurate; they’re entirely new solutions that no human has ever found.

FunSearch is thus named because it searches for mathematical functions, not because it’s fun. Although, some people might consider the cap set problem a real hoot—mathematicians can’t even agree on how best to solve it, making it a genuine numerical mystery. DeepMind previously made advances in AI with its Alpha models like AlphaFold (protein folding), AlphaStar (StarCraft), and AlphaGo (playing Go). These systems were not based on LLMs, but they did reveal new mathematical concepts.

With FunSearch, DeepMind started with a large language mode, a version of Google’s PaLM 2 called Codey. There’s a second LLM layer at work, which scans Codey’s output and prunes incorrect information. The team behind this work didn’t know if this approach would work, and they’re still not sure why it does, according to DeepMind researcher Alhussein Fawzi.

To start, DeepMind engineers created a Python representation of the cap set problem, but they left out the lines that described the solution. Codey’s job was to add lines that accurately solved the problem. The error-checking layer then scores the Codey solutions to see if they are accurate. In high-level math, equations may have more than one solution, but not all of them are considered equally good. Over time, the algorithm identifies the best solutions from Codey and feeds them back into the model.

DeepMind logo

DeepMind let FunSearch churn for several days long enough to generate millions of possible solutions. This allowed FunSearch to refine the code and produce better results. According to the newly published research, the AI came up with a previously unknown but correct solution to the cap set problem. DeepMind also turned FunSearch loose on another difficult bit of math called the bin packing problem, an algorithm that describes the most efficient way to pack bins. FunSearch found a faster solution than those calculated by humans.

Mathematicians are still struggling with integrating LLM technology into their work, and the work at DeepMind shows a possible path forward. The team believes this approach has potential because it generates computer code rather than the solution. This is often easier to understand and verify than raw mathematical outputs.

Source: https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/google-deepmind-solves-unsolvable-math-problem-with-ai

Supercomputer Mimicking a Brain to Unlock AI and Mind Secrets

A supercomputer scheduled to go online in April 2024 will rival the estimated rate of operations in the human brain, according to researchers in Australia. The machine, called DeepSouth, is capable of performing 228 trillion operations per second.

It’s the world’s first supercomputer capable of simulating networks of neurons and synapses (key biological structures that make up our nervous system) at the scale of the human brain.

DeepSouth belongs to an approach known as neuromorphic computing, which aims to mimic the biological processes of the human brain. It will be run from the International Centre for Neuromorphic Systems at Western Sydney University.

Our brain is the most amazing computing machine we know. By distributing its computing power to billions of small units (neurons) that interact through trillions of connections (synapses), the brain can rival the most powerful supercomputers in the world, while requiring only the same power used by a fridge lamp bulb.

Supercomputers, meanwhile, generally take up lots of space and need large amounts of electrical power to run. The world’s most powerful supercomputer, the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Frontier, can perform just over one quintillion operations per second. It covers 680 square meters (7,300 sq ft) and requires 22.7 megawatts (MW) to run.

Our brains can perform the same number of operations per second with just 20 watts of power, while weighing just 1.3kg-1.4kg. Among other things, neuromorphic computing aims to unlock the secrets of this amazing efficiency.

Transistors at the limits

On June 30 1945, the mathematician and physicist John von Neumann described the design of a new machine, the Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer (Edvac). This effectively defined the modern electronic computer as we know it.

My smartphone, the laptop I am using to write this article and the most powerful supercomputer in the world all share the same fundamental structure introduced by von Neumann almost 80 years ago. These all have distinct processing and memory units, where data and instructions are stored in the memory and computed by a processor.


For decades, the number of transistors on a microchip doubled approximately every two years, an observation known as Moore’s Law. This allowed us to have smaller and cheaper computers.

However, transistor sizes are now approaching the atomic scale. At these tiny sizes, excessive heat generation is a problem, as is a phenomenon called quantum tunnelling, which interferes with the functioning of the transistors. This is slowing down and will eventually halt transistor miniaturisation.

To overcome this issue, scientists are exploring new approaches to computing, starting from the powerful computer we all have hidden in our heads, the human brain. Our brains do not work according to John von Neumann’s model of the computer. They don’t have separate computing and memory areas.

They instead work by connecting billions of nerve cells that communicate information in the form of electrical impulses. Information can be passed from one neuron to the next through a junction called a synapse. The organisation of neurons and synapses in the brain is flexible, scalable and efficient.

So in the brain – and unlike in a computer – memory and computation are governed by the same neurons and synapses. Since the late 1980s, scientists have been studying this model with the intention of importing it to computing.


Imitation of life

Neuromorphic computers are based on intricate networks of simple, elementary processors (which act like the brain’s neurons and synapses). The main advantage of this is that these machines are inherently “parallel”.

This means that, as with neurons and synapses, virtually all the processors in a computer can potentially be operating simultaneously, communicating in tandem.

In addition, because the computations performed by individual neurons and synapses are very simple compared with traditional computers, the energy consumption is orders of magnitude smaller. Although neurons are sometimes thought of as processing units, and synapses as memory units, they contribute to both processing and storage. In other words, data is already located where the computation requires it.

This speeds up the brain’s computing in general because there is no separation between memory and processor, which in classical (von Neumann) machines causes a slowdown. But it also avoids the need to perform a specific task of accessing data from a main memory component, as happens in conventional computing systems and consumes a considerable amount of energy.

The principles we have just described are the main inspiration for DeepSouth. This is not the only neuromorphic system currently active. It is worth mentioning the Human Brain Project (HBP), funded under an EU initiative. The HBP was operational from 2013 to 2023, and led to BrainScaleS, a machine located in Heidelberg, in Germany, that emulates the way that neurons and synapses work.

BrainScaleS can simulate the way that neurons “spike”, the way that an electrical impulse travels along a neuron in our brains. This would make BrainScaleS an ideal candidate to investigate the mechanics of cognitive processes and, in future, mechanisms underlying serious neurological and neurodegenerative diseases.

Because they are engineered to mimic actual brains, neuromorphic computers could be the beginning of a turning point. Offering sustainable and affordable computing power and allowing researchers to evaluate models of neurological systems, they are an ideal platform for a range of applications. They have the potential to both advance our understanding of the brain and offer new approaches to artificial intelligence.

Source: https://theconversation.com/a-new-supercomputer-aims-to-closely-mimic-the-human-brain-it-could-help-unlock-the-secrets-of-the-mind-and-advance-ai-220044

Connecting to a Digital World of Work – Catalyse Your Business’ Growth with The Cloud 

Over the last 2 decades, no technology has had more of an impact on workplace IT than the Cloud. From small-scale data storage to the infrastructure that hosts large-scale corporate networks, cloud computing services offer versatile, scalable resources that can be adapted to the needs of large and small businesses alike. 

As you read this, it’s likely your business utilises cloud computing to some degree. From storage services like Dropbox and workplace productivity suites like Microsoft 365, to hosting solutions for websites or databases, the cloud has helped many businesses remain competitive and agile over the last decade. Today, it’s estimated that around 94% of companies leverage cloud computing services in one form or another. 

Despite the clamour to embrace the cloud in recent years, many businesses remain cautious about exploring further uses for cloud computing in their operations. This can often be attributed to misconception about the cloud, such as unfounded fears that it affords less privacy and control than on-premise hosting solutions. However, with careful configuration, and strategic guidance from a committed IT support provider, cloud computing can be a powerful force for business growth, delivering the flexible, cost-efficient and remote-ready solutions businesses need to stay competitive in today’s dynamic business environment.  

Here are 4 ways Cloud computing can be harnessed to create value and drive growth in your business. 

Empower Effective Collaboration 

The access-anywhere nature of the cloud makes it an ideal fit for businesses looking to unite remote workforces. We saw this during the covid pandemic, which at its peak, saw almost half the UK workforce working remotely. Communication Platforms like Microsoft Teams and Zoom became household names, as smaller companies in particular chose cloud applications as the default tools for remote workforces. 

While many of us have returned to the office, remote access solutions remain an integral feature of business IT, giving employees a degree of flexibility in their work schedules by retaining working-from-home as a viable option. While technologies like remote access VPNs and SD-WAN provide an option for secure remote access to business resources, cloud-hosting and cloud-based applications remain one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to facilitate effective collaboration. 

One solution that has arguably revolutionised workplace collaboration more than any other, is the world’s pre-eminent workplace productivity suite: Microsoft 365. Providing scalable file storage, a class-leading virtual meeting platform, customisable collaboration spaces, powerful task management features, plus several options for implementing workflow automation, Microsoft 365 delivers the tools and capabilities businesses need to empower focussed and efficient collaboration, both remotely and in the office. 

Live document collaboration allows multiple Microsoft 365 users to collaborate on the same document in real-time, with revisions made immediately saved to the cloud. Plus, hundreds of third-party integrations allows businesses to customise their Microsoft 365 environment with the tools they’re already using, with support for the likes of Saleforce, Asana, Hubspot and Trello. 

Streamline Workflows with BPA and AI 

In 2022, the global cloud computing market was valued at $569.31 billion. By 2030, that figure is expected to hit $2.432 trillion. These forecasts illustrate the growth in cloud computing that’s still to come, as businesses both big and small expand their cloud footprint even further. As the cloud continues to grow, tech companies will shift their focus even further into the domain of cloud computing. This could leave businesses without a cloud presence unable to access the latest innovations, and the disruptive technologies that are likely to transform how we live and work over the coming years and decades.  

Examples include technologies like AI and Machine learning, which have already made waves in the business technology space, with applications ranging from chatbots and data analysis to predictive security tools and sales forecasting.  

Business process automation (BPA) represents another unexplored frontier for many businesses, with the cloud providing the easiest route-of-entry to this efficiency-boosting technology. From cloud-based accounting software that can automate expense management, invoice filing and financial reporting, to human resources management systems that deliver automation for payroll, employee onboarding and performance management, cloud-hosted software provides countless opportunities to introduce automation to your business’s workflows. 

The cloud even provides options for introducing simple, no-code automations to rule-based repetitive tasks like data entry, data validation and form filling. Robotic process automation (RPA) platforms allow organisations to integrate applications that would otherwise require manual data transfer, thus giving staff more time to focus on activities that provide strategic business benefits.  

In summary, by enabling seamless cross platform integration, and delivering the innovative tools businesses need to streamline time-consuming processes, the cloud is a compelling IT ecosystem for businesses that are keen to achieve efficiency-powered growth. Migrating to the cloud now will also ensure you’re able to exploit emerging technologies, helping you remain productive and competitive in an age of fast-paced technological change. 


Enjoy Enhanced Security 

In the past, the notion of the cloud being inherently less secure than on-premise hosting was a myth in widespread circulation. Today, many businesses are realising that this simply isn’t the case, with as many as 94% reporting security improvements following cloud adoption. 

Thanks to cyber security budgets amounting to billions of dollars, and data centres that feature advanced, enterprise-grade protections to defend against both cyber and physical threats, leading cloud services are safeguarded by defences most SMEs would struggle to establish in-house.  

Microsoft Azure provides a good example of the types of protections applied to the data centres of large cloud service providers. Some of the key cyber security protections and measures incorporated in Azure’s data centres include: 

  • Encryption, applied to data both in transit and at rest. 
  • Firewalls and Network Security that features protective measures against fast-moving DDoS attacks. 
  • Threat Intelligence and Monitoring Center, featuring 3500 dedicated cyber security experts. 
  • Robust Physical Protections to safeguard the integrity of data centre sites, including 24/7 surveillance, biometric authentication and a continuous security presence. 

Furthermore, many cloud platforms feature inbuilt security features that users can configure to further improve their security posture and safeguard sensitive data. Microsoft’s 365 data loss prevention features and advanced authentication protocols provide a good case in point, empowering users to take action to prevent unauthorised access to sensitive information in accordance with the stipulations of regulations such as the GDPR.  

Other security controls and capabilities on offer include encryption, automated security updates and real-time threat detection and response that’s capable of providing network-wide identification and live threat neutralisation. 

While cyber security may not seem instinctively related to business growth, it’s important to remember how damaging and potentially ruinous cyber breach events can be for small businesses, with as many as 60% of small businesses ceasing to trade following a data breach or cyber-attack. By embracing the cloud therefore, you help to protect the long-term success and viability of your business, by hosting your critical services and data in an environment equipped with some of the best security technologies around. 

Reduce IT Spending 

Growing businesses need fiscal headroom, and one of the ways to achieve this is by reducing operational expenditure.  

The cloud allows businesses to run resource-efficient, cost-effective IT infrastructure thanks to flexible pricing mechanisms that are responsive to changing business demands. Pay-as-you-go, pay-per-user, reserved instances, and spot instances are just some of the pricing models used by cloud service providers, which give businesses the ability to scale-up and down according to fluctuating needs, and avoid the resource overprovisioning that’s so common in on-premise hosting setups.  

Cloud-hosting provides a cost-effective alternative to housing databases, applications, email servers and other critical IT services in-house, and avoids the substantial capital expenditures that tend to accompany network and server infrastructure upgrades. Thanks to the flexible pricing models we’ve just mentioned, businesses can provision networking resources, storage, virtual machines, compute power and more without having to purchase deploy and manage the host infrastructure, thus avoiding maintenance and hardware lifecycle expenses. 

Traditional IT projects can be a costly undertaking, with equipment acquisition, consultancy and installation costs capable of driving capital expenditure so high that many small businesses defer making vital infrastructure upgrades. By converting these capital expenses into manageable operational expenditure, the cloud makes it easy for resource-constrained businesses to run cutting-edge, growth-enabling IT infrastructure. 


With a wealth of deployment options, SME-friendly pricing, and platforms that put efficiency-saving technologies within the reach of small businesses, the cloud provides endless opportunities for organisations keen on using technology as a catalyst for growth. Start a conversation with your IT support provide on ways to leverage the cloud to grow your business in the years ahead. 

4TC Managed IT Services – Uniting People, Processes and Technology 

Secure, stable and optimised IT infrastructure is critical to the success of all businesses in our information age. 4TC helps businesses across London and the Southeast realise their potential through the delivery of expertly managed IT services and support, and solutions that solve business challenges by achieving perfect alignment between people, processes and technology. Get assistance with your IT challenges today by getting in touch, we’ll be glad to assist you!  

Connecting To a Digital World of Work – The Problem with Legacy Technology 

Over the last decade, Enterprise IT has evolved at an unprecedented rate, with each passing year introducing innovative new technologies and solutions. Despite the rate of progress however, many organisations remain committed to running outdated legacy systems, which are thought to account for around 30% of the workplace technology we interact with. 

So, what do we mean by ‘legacy technology?’ Legacy technology has no strict definition, but it generally refers to digital systems considered outdated by modern standards. Such systems are likely to integrate poorly with modern equivalents and may no longer be supported or maintained by their original developers. They are likely to segregate data, and provide no convenient option for the introduction of automation, resulting in inefficient, clunky workflows that demand a high degree of user interaction and manual data handling. 

Here at 4TC, we provide IT support, management and solutions to SMEs across London and the Southeast. Our mission is to empower businesses with secure, optimised and reliable technology that supports sustained business growth and success. One of the ways we deliver on these aims is by helping businesses identify ways to tackle persistent challenges and issues using the best modern solutions. This practice is otherwise known as ‘Digital Transformation.’ 

What is a Digital Transformation? 

A digital transformation is a process or strategy that leverages advancements in technology to fundamentally change how a business operates and delivers value to its customers. The objective of digital transformation is to improve efficiency, competitiveness, customer satisfaction, security and innovation, in an age when digital adoption is so integral to business success.  

We accept that the term ‘digital transformation’ can seem a bit misleading or ambiguous, after all, every business uses digital technology in one way or another. It’s best to think of a digital transformation as an ongoing, evolutionary process rather than a fixed state. Your business embraces digital transformation by considering inefficiencies, bottlenecks and pain points across your digital environment, and devising ways to tackle these issues by aligning processes with up-to-date solutions that perform to the standards today’s employees and customers expect. 

For many businesses, slow, inefficient, and poorly integrated legacy technology is one of the greatest stumbling blocks to undertaking a comprehensive digital transformation. 

Why is Legacy Technology So Problematic?  

Some of the legacy solutions still used by businesses today can trace their roots all the way back to the 70s, 80s and 90s. In those early days of digital evolution, the capabilities available to developers, and as a result, the priorities of the developers themselves, were very different to those of today. The result is applications and programmes that fall significantly short of modern performance and security standards, and that fail to offer the features, capabilities and integrations today’s users expect.  

Despite the obvious shortcomings, legacy systems remain entrenched in the operations of many SMEs, underpinning some of their most critical functions and processes. There is a natural reluctance among many business owners to explore a replacement for these systems, with concerns often expressed about the cost, disruption, risks and learning curve involved in the migration process. As we’ll explore in our next blog, many of these fears are unfounded, with modern alternatives to legacy technologies offering low-impact deployment, minimal upfront costs and intuitive user interfaces that require little in the way of staff training.  

Let’s now look at 6 key reasons your business should consider a replacing its legacy technology sooner rather than later: 

Poor Security 

Many of the legacy applications still in use today date back to the latter decades of the 20th century. This was a period of rapid change, but one in which the cyber security landscape was vastly different to how it is today. Software developers in those days, focussed on speed of delivery, often rushing out programmes that contained significant code flaws and security vulnerabilities. Often, little consideration was given to cyber security, in fact, it could be argued that even Microsoft didn’t take security seriously until the early 2000s. 

This culture of cyber security complacency coupled with software development practices that prioritised speed of delivery over code integrity, resulted in systems laced with security vulnerabilities, and programmes that lack the security controls and protocols today’s hostile threat landscape necessitates. 

Challenging Maintenance 

Using unsupported software is not only risky from a data security standpoint, it can also present distinct maintenance challenges and heighten business continuity risks.  

Outdated coding languages, like COBOL for instance, are becoming increasingly difficult to support, as professionals familiar with it are retiring out of the industry. As such skills become rarer, they subsequently become more expensive, resulting in growing maintenance costs over time.  

Maintenance struggles become particularly acute when business-critical faults that require urgent attention arise. If such a scenario were to develop, you could find yourself struggling to locate an engineer with the niche skills and knowledge required to reinstate your vital systems. In a worst-case scenario, this could leave you without the applications you need to run your business and serve your customers effectively, for a prolonged period of time. 

Data Silos 

A data silo refers to a depository of information that sits in isolation, lacking the ability to be easily shared and integrated with other digital systems or departments within an organisation. Data silos present efficiency challenges and inhibit a business’s ability to harness data as a means to drive value creation.  

Many legacy systems were developed in a time when data analysis was only common practice among larger companies, and when manual data handling was simply considered an unavoidable fact-of-life. As such many systems feature no cross-platform compatibility by default, isolating strategically valuable information, and providing no option for data transfer between systems other than slow, inefficient manual data entry. Siloed data stands as a barrier to collaboration, damages productivity, prohibits the use of business process automation and makes it more difficult to leverage insights from data across your business. 

Hardware Degradation 

Many legacy applications are incompatible with modern IT infrastructure, and as such, require archaic hardware to be maintained to support it. As this hardware ages, components begin slowing down and performance issues escalate into recurring system outages that hamper business productivity and damage staff morale. 

Additionally, outdated hardware is less likely to support or integrate with modern security tools, leaving the data stored in legacy systems more vulnerable to cyber-attacks and data breaches. 

Continuing to operate aging hardware to support your legacy applications could therefore be subjecting your data to an unacceptable level of risk, and leave staff struggling with buggy, slow and unreliable technology that falls well below modern performance standards.  

Damage to Your Business’s image 

Legacy systems are rarely easy on the eye. They look old fashioned because they are old fashioned, often featuring dated user interfaces that lack the finesse and crisp graphics found on modern systems. Using a legacy system in any capacity, be it public-facing or not, may portray your business as stuck-in-the-past and reluctant to innovate, damaging your image, and eroding confidence in your service or product offering. 

Dated technology can also impact employee satisfaction. Slow, unreliable and unintuitive technology can leave staff feeling demoralised, and can make it harder to deliver a high-quality customer experience, particularly in embarrassing situations where customers are aware of the issues and limitations of your technology.  

By operating legacy technology, you leave your business vulnerable to reputational damage that could see you lose the trust of customers, and you run the risk of missing out on new opportunities and revenue streams. 

Compliance Becomes an Uphill Struggle 

Depending on the type of information your legacy technology hosts, you could find it very difficult to take the steps necessary to achieve compliance with data protection regulations like UK GDPR.  

Under such regulations, data controllers are required to defend the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of personal information, using a range of technical and organisational controls and measures, including the likes of firewalls, anti-malware measures, user access controls, data backups and rigorous authentication protocols. Due to a lack of centralised oversight and widespread compatibility issues with modern security tools, legacy technology makes satisfying the requirements of leading data protection regimes an uphill struggle. This could leave sensitive data susceptible to misuse, loss, theft, accidental deletion, or unauthorised access, and could result in fines issued against your organisation for non-compliance. 


From security vulnerabilities that expose data to online threats, to data silos that present obstacles to automation and collaboration, legacy technology can represent a serious barrier to running a secure, productive, resilient and compliant operation that supports the growth ambitions of your business. By embracing digital transformation, you create a synergy between your technology processes and people, enabling a productive, secure and streamlined workplace.  

In our next article we introduce some of the compelling modern alternatives to legacy technology and explore some of the benefits that businesses can unleash by undertaking a digital transformation.  

4TC Managed IT Services – Uniting People, Processes and Technology 

Secure, stable and optimised IT infrastructure is critical to the success of all businesses in our information age. 4TC helps businesses across London and the Southeast realise their potential through the delivery of expertly managed IT services and support, and solutions that solve business challenges by achieving perfect alignment between people, processes and technology. Get assistance with your IT challenges today by getting in touch, we’ll be glad to assist you!