Businesses stay ahead of the curve thanks to tech event

Businesses were given invaluable insight and advice to help them stay ahead of the technology curve.

Integrity IT Solutions, part of Eco Group, organised a ‘Future Proofing Your Business’ event attended by 20 different businesses from across Scotland and northern England.

Experts from Integrity IT and some of its tech partners shared top tech tips designed to help companies plan ahead.

Adam Shaw of Giacom talked about the advantages of businesses having Fibre to the premises (FTTP) connections. 

In the UK, 12.3million premises have access to FTTP at the moment, with plans to increase that to 25million by the end of 2026 and 30million by the end of 2027.

Chris Jewitt of Giacom also talked to businesses about the importance of migrating to all-Internet Protocol (all-IP) systems.

He gave businesses the inside track on what solutions are available so they can make sure their companies move to alternatives long before the UK’s analogue phone network switch-off in December 2025.

Chris said: “When you make the switch to digital, you will start getting access to a lot more data, more analytics, a lot more insight into your business performance.”

When it comes to AI and Machine Learning, Kyle Torres of Sophos had two crucial takeaways for businesses:

If you are considering using Generative AI in your business, then make sure that first you build an “Acceptabe Use Policy” because if someone in your business is using AI you need to know what is happening to your company data and the data of your partners;

Do you have security tools in place to monitor the Generative AI traffic you are receiving as a business?

Businesses were also given practical Cyber Essentials advice by Ryan Moffat of Integrity IT.

Ryan described how having Cyber Essentials helps businesses build trust with their customers. He said: “Everyone wants to know that their data is safe in your hands.” 

Gary Robertson, Eco’s Group Opportunity Strategist, took the opportunity to share with businesses how being able to measure their carbon footprint and implement carbon mitigation strategies are also becoming increasingly important.

Gary said: "One day an audit on the carbon reporting of your company will be considered as important as a financial audit – we don’t know when that will be, but that day will come – and your carbon audit will be just as crucial to the credibility and performance of your company as your financial audit is today.

“We will help businesses to benchmark where they are now, set targets for the future and then help them get there.”

Gary also said that governments, local authorities, and big companies will get to a time when they won’t award contracts without businesses being able to provide their carbon number which is where Eco can support businesses with its EcoMetrix carbon accountancy software.

He said:“We don’t want our partners and suppliers to have a situation where they don’t win an important contract which could have a significantly damaging effect on their business, because they have not got a carbon number.”

Jill Lockwood, Support Services Manager for Cochran, industrial boiler specialists based in Annan employing 215 people, said: “I found the event really interesting. We have already been considering what we need to do with our phone system. It’s a big project, and what we have heard raises a lot of questions for us as a business. But it helps us to plan to do it next year, so it has been really useful.” 

Jamie Shovelin, Member Services Manager of Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce, which has 145 members across the region, said of the event: “It has been really informative. It’s really good to know what technology changes are coming and what businesses and communities need to do to prepare for that.

“We are a rural region with an elderly population so it’s crucial to get the message across, especially about the 2025 switch-off, and be able to inform people. It's important we make sure all businesses in the region, including the agriculture sector, are aware of what’s ahead.”

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