Founded in 2008, Simon Shirley has grown his eponymous business to become one of Ireland’s leading expert financial advisory firms.
Their clients range from private individuals to domestic businesses and multinational corporations that operate in the software, telecommunications, financial services, aircraft leasing, medical devices, and hospitality sectors, among others.Due to their diverse and growing client list, they were keen to upgrade their IT capabilities and to fully outsource their IT needs.
‘Five years ago we were looking to change our IT processes and we heard about Enclave by word of mouth. Back then, we have some physical hardware on-premise such as a server, but due to increasing security concerns we wanted to implement a secure and robust IT system. Also, as we are a relatively small company, we didn’t require a full-time resource to work in-house. Therefore, we were actively looking to outsource our IT needs,’ explained Simon Shirley, Managing Director.
As financial advisors to a variety of clients, it was crucial that their client data was secure from a GDPR and a cyber-security perspective. As Simon Shirley Advisors grew, more and more clients joined from different backgrounds and it became clear that security, scalability and the ability to work remotely were key to any IT investment.
‘We have tech clients who are experts in cyber security, and some of whom are global leaders Artificial Intelligence (AI). Such clients require the highest levels of security and audited our systems before they worked with us. That was the initial business challenge,’ explained Simon.
After evaluating Simon Shirley Advisors’ requirements, Enclave suggested Microsoft Office 365 while removing any physical IT data storage infrastructure from their office space.
Office 365 is a cloud-based system, which does not require an IT administrator to perform many tasks such as setting up new email accounts and installing software, while employees can log on to Office 365 from any device to check emails, share files and, via Teams, hold meetings. It is also GDPR compliant while its device management and data protection controls work across your business network, including remote devices, to help keep data secure. Lastly, as the licences are paid per user, it is not a costly IT product, yet the best on the market.
‘We were obviously aware of Office 365 yet surprised by how good it is, and how much there is to it. Furthermore, Enclave made it very easy to transition from our old system to it. It was painless and there was very little, if any, business disruption while it happened,’ said Simon.
Benefits and Results
There have been many great results, both expected and also unexpected. For example, since the switchover to Office 365, working remotely has been a core part of their IT strategy and so when COVID-19 struck, their IT systems were in place and it was business as usual. ‘During the lockdown, we as essential workers, had no problem serving our clients without any IT issues whatsoever. Little did we know that when signing up to Office 365 we were future proofing our business, too,’ explains Simon.
‘I have great peace of mind, knowing that our systems and processes stand up to the scrutiny of global leaders in IT and cyber security. Also, if there is ever an issue, Enclave are always on hand to support us, whether that’s on the telephone, or by logging in remotely,’ said Simon.