Twelve years ago James Grey set up a business in West Somerset manufacturing specialist components for medical equipment. Thanks to a steady contract with a large UK medical technology company and a number of smaller contracts, the business now employs 45 staff and is looking at further growth.
In the face of increasing competition from Asia, James moved the focus away from production towards innovation & design. The business has established strong research connections with partner companies and universities. Its main client is investing heavily in specialist medical software and has substantial international reach. As James and his team worked more and more with international businesses developing products, it was clear they needed specialist advice to ensure that they had effective business continuity planning. James had significantly invested in his IT systems following the introduction of superfast broadband in the area. However, he was aware that when things go wrong with IT the effect on a business can be catastrophic.
James saw the company’s growing international presence as a potential danger area for its intellectual property: “Working with a client that has a global supply chain increases the risk to our business. In the event of something bad happening to our IT systems, I wanted peace of mind that our applications, data, hardware and other electronic communications were secure.” The Superfast Business service was recommended to James by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), which was also supporting the business. They recognised that, although he is an expert in the industry specific software systems that the business uses on a daily basis, including CAD/CAM design, he wasn’t so knowledgeable about the software and steps needed to reduce the risk of his business being compromised. “I went through an initial assessment to see whether we were eligible for support,” said James. “Having been accepted, an Adviser ran a full diagnostic on the business to see what support was actually needed. The Adviser then arranged for me to have some one-to-one support with a data security specialist who helped me execute a Business Impact Analysis (BIA). That made me understand the potential risks to the business if a disaster occurred. I also got invaluable advice from a specialist via ‘webex’ (web conferencing service) on exactly how our data should be backed-up. We were then able to look at cloud computing and virtualisation as potential services to support the back-up and storage of our data.”
James added: “The support plan that I was able to create with my Business Adviser, and the data security Specialist, at the beginning of the process enabled me to ensure business continuity to protect our data and Intellectual Property. Our IT systems are now properly backed up and in the event of a problem our business would not experience any disruptions – that’s very comforting to know. I’ve also had feedback from existing clients, and potential ones, that they are reassured that our systems are watertight. I have recently been approached by potential investors and they too have seen our proactive stance on risk management as very important to our growth strategy.”
This case study is for illustrative purposes only. The characters and scenarios are fictional and used solely to highlight the types of businesses that the Superfast Business service can work with and how it can help them.