February IT Update
It’s been another busy month for IT and I’m excited to bring you our monthly update on our current projects. As always, I hope it provides some sense of the scope of the work we are doing, and what you can expect in the coming weeks and months.
I’m pleased to report that our upgrade to Timegate went according to plan and the feedback has been positive. There were some queries as to why this was done during business hours, and the answer is that due to the links with Payroll and other connections, it was best to mobilise this while as many people as possible were available to assist and ensure any required follow up was carried out swiftly. As we continue to improve our capabilities and transition to true 24/7 IT service provision, these kinds of upgrades will move out of business hours in the future. My thanks to the Timegate team for their continued hard work to drive these improvements, and we are pleased to hear they are having the desired positive impact. There are a lot of other features that have not been ‘enabled’ – these will come soon. As always, we welcome your feedback. Watch out for the user forum coming soon!
This month we kicked off some trial programmes for future solutions to common issues such as Office365 – Teams has been well received and has driven us to be more collaborative, engaged and be more agile in the way we work. The next wave will be all about being truly mobile and how you can access your emails and work on documents with agility. We will report back on these trials and their outcomes in due course. My thanks also go to all of those colleagues who volunteered to be part of these tests, your contribution speeds up the timeline for bringing these platforms online considerably! Watch out for an invite soon.
Cyber Security Update
You may have been prompted to update your passwords this month – my personal apologies for the lack of notice. This is due to a vulnerability test which was carried out this month and revealed that our password system was more exposed than we would wish. We identified significant risks that we needed to address quickly. There will be more work in this area and there will be times you will be asked for your login credentials more often than expected – please bear with us.
To explain, means of cracking passwords are more sophisticated than ever. A password containing eight characters (the minimum) can be cracked by a skilled bad actor in as little as three hours. Simply adding additional characters to an 11 character minimum means that the same bad actor using the same tools would require over 100 years to crack.
Finally, I will apologise in advance for the disruption you will experience over the next few months as we bring new technologies and solutions into play. We are going to have to break a few things in order to make them better in the long run. We will communicate as much in advance as possible and ensure the impact on your work is minimised.
I am really excited at what is coming down the line in regards to the changes in our back-office tools, business systems and client-facing solutions – all driven by your input and feedback. Thank you!