Citadel Technology after Covid-19 – The Other Side

Monday 23rd March 2020 – this is a date that we will remember for years to come.

On this day, the UK Prime Minister decided to lockdown for the first time due to the spread of Covid-19 pandemic. This impacted businesses all over the UK, some greater than others, meaning that many companies had to readjust to navigate their way through these unprecedented times.

In terms of working from home, it has been a different experience from business to business. For some companies, it has accelerated their transition to a cloud-based environment, whereas for others it has been a frustrating experience due to using technologies that do not support their business effectively and efficiently.

We have asked our director Andy Hughes to share with you some of Citadel Technology’s biggest challenges, accomplishments, and success stories from this period.

Andy Hughes, Director of Citadel Technology

When we first heard about the pandemic, we were not too worried about moving our entire work environment to a remote one because using our own cloud solution, we were able to access all our work and still be able to communicate as a team from our own homes, almost like we were still in the office.  

The same applied for our customers, being able to access their hosted desktop and just work as normal.

However, there were some minor concerns along the way.

Once our customers moved to remote working, they discovered that actually they may not have some of the necessary day-to-day tools that they require. An example of this is one of our customers realised that they did not have an internal communication system, other than Outlook emails, that they could use to talk to each member of staff, since they were accustomed to speaking in the office.

Therefore, small issues like these arose at the start, but our team managed to assist our customers whenever needed. With the example I described above, we were able to suggest Slack, a business communication platform that worked as a temporary solution for our customer. Since then, we have incorporated further cloud-based solutions that enable seamless business communication, but more about that later.

Protecting Our Customers Working from Home

Security is always a concern when working or storing data online. This became even more so for businesses once employees started to work from home, since the use of personal devices started to increase and with this, less protection from viruses and malware.

In fact, a study from 2020 found that 68% of the organisations surveyed did not deploy antivirus software for work-issued devices, with 44% of those saying they didn’t provide cybersecurity training to their staff on the threats of working from home.

With the sudden move to remote working in 2020, we can sympathise with business owners for not implementing the correct IT measures, due to the short period of time in which quick decisions had to be made. However, this doesn’t mean that security is less important. In fact, the security and protection of your data had become more paramount than before, which is why our customers at Citadel Technology were able to benefit from the protection of our Citadel Bubble.

The Citadel Bubble is essentially a safe space where our customers can work and share information, without increasing the risk of data loss or cyberattacks, no matter where they work. We implement various security measures, including two-factor authentication when logging into the hosted desktop, which assists in reducing the chances of a cyberattack or hack of an employee’s account.

You can find out more about how the Citadel Bubble minimises cyberattacks here: 

The Citadel Bubble has been a great benefit for our customers working from home, in which we are proud to say that none of our customers have experienced a cyberattack or hack whilst working remotely.



Learning and Accreditations

Getting in shape to come out of Covid-19 was for us, and I am sure for organisations across the world was a priority.

We were able to undertake the training and pass examinations with Microsoft putting us on track for the Microsoft Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions accreditation.

Not ones to rest on our laurels, we are now working on Gold in Cloud Productivity and Cloud Platform. We continue to study and stay updated on Azure and Microsoft 365 Administrator training



Expanding our Cloud-Based Solutions

I am proud that 2020 was a year of growth for Citadel Technology. We are happy to say that we have expanded our cloud-based solutions by introducing Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365 under our umbrella of services.

We have partnered with Microsoft to help customers to make the move to cloud.  Azure is a pay for what you use service which can mean that the pricing each month can fluctuate depending on the data usage. This cloud solution can be tricky to handle, which is why our cloud experts are stepping into the role of setting up, managing and monitoring our Azure accounts to ensure that our customers have the right solution for their business.

With Microsoft 365, formerly known as Office 365, we provide our customers with a modern workplace environment through the cloud, designed to help you achieve more with familiar Microsoft applications. With Microsoft 365 licenses, you will have access to popular applications such as Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, Outlook, Microsoft Word, SharePoint and much more. What Citadel Technology do is supply the subscription licenses, as well as setup several of these services and manage your licenses going forward. This allows for you to focus on your business, instead of your IT.

In addition to this if you want to run your Microsoft 365 services from the security of a Citadel Hosted Desktop, this is possible, using our popular ‘Hybrid model’ giving you the best of both worlds, with the knowledge that the Citadel Technology team are managing it all for you in the background!

If you want to find out more about Microsoft Azure or Microsoft 365, then please get in touch with our specialists on 0345 340 2120 today.

New AppHub Overhaul Look

Improving our solutions and quality of service is always a priority, hence why we have given our AppHub a refresh this year. The AppHub for Citadel Technology customers features regular updates from a company perspective, designed to keep our customers in the loop of industry news or changes that are coming to our services.

Furthermore, we wanted to integrate real-time features for our customers, hence our live status notifier to show any scheduled maintenances and updates on the desktop, email server, and support system. Alongside this, we have a new live chat function included within our helpdesk ticketing system, now having the ability to message or call our support desk prior to loading their hosted desktop.

Other features that are available to all of Citadel Technology’s customers are displayed within the AppHub, such as the spam management, admin portal and webmail, for ease of access and usability. Our developers are continuing to improve our AppHub for customers to improve user experience and accessibility to Citadel Technology’s services and knowledge base.

In the future, we are looking to introduce more features available from Citadel Technology, as well as company personalisation for employee AppHub’s.

New Product Coming Soon!

Finally, we are proud to say that we are launching a new product this year which is designed to replace entry-level PCs for our customers, which can be used solely to connect to our Citadel Hosted Desktop.

We have been developing and testing our new device for over 18 months, as we have been working on refining it to deliver what our customers want. The Citadel Connect Device will come as a package deal, with a desktop screen, keyboard and mouse included, along with a Citadel Hosted Desktop subscription.

The device will be included in a monthly subscription pricing model, with no additional fees, fully maintained and managed by the Citadel Technology team. The Citadel Connect will be launching in the next couple of months, so make sure that you keep an eye out for our pocket-sized device!

Looking Forward Together

Now fast forward nearly 16 months and “Freedom Day” is announced across England, meaning that all restrictions enforced since the first lockdown are now removed. Even though the road ahead still appears to be uncertain (and a rocky one at that!) we can only do our best to make sure that people remain safe during these difficult times, just like we have been doing since the start of the pandemic.

But coming out on the other side of the pandemic, what does it mean for businesses now? We are in a weird limbo which is almost back to normal life before the pandemic and what the new normal is, in which we don’t know which way life will go. Personally, we think that the adoption of hybrid working will be on the rise going forward, with more and more companies deciding to adopt a cloud-based solution. Making the working environment flexible is the key looking forward, giving staff the ability to function and deliver their work from anywhere, with a consistent experience is critical to success.

Whatever you choose, it must be what you think is right for your business going forward, evaluating your experiences over the last 16 months.

For us at Citadel Technology, we have been lucky enough to grow and expand our services and support throughout lockdown, due to the increasing demand in cloud solutions and we don’t take this for granted. As a business, we have learned a lot from the lockdown and have emerged with more knowledge and experience, taking steps towards a future with more innovation and advancements in digital transformation.

So, what is the next step for your business?

If you would like advice from one of our consultants who specialise in cloud-based solutions, then get in touch. We offer a free IT review of your current infrastructure, providing an honest opinion on which solutions we think would be best suited for your company. That is why we are here, to help your business to just work.