IT Industry News

Google using AI to come up with search answers in UK trial

April 2024

Google using AI to come up with search answers in UK trial

UK firms are failing miserably at data breach responses

April 2024

UK firms are failing miserably at data breach responses

Empowering Virtual Teams

Remote work remains prevalent, virtual teams collaborate across distances and time zones and while remote work offers flexibility and convenience, it also presents unique challenges, particularly when it comes to communication and collaboration. Fortunately, a wide range of collaboration tools are available to bridge the gap and empower virtual teams to work together seamlessly.

Effective Collaboration Tools for Virtual Teams

  • Microsoft Teams is a comprehensive collaboration platform that combines chat, video conferencing, file sharing, and project management capabilities in one unified interface. It integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft 365 applications, making it an ideal choice for teams already using the Microsoft ecosystem.
  • Slack is a popular instant messaging platform designed for team communication and collaboration. It offers channels for organising conversations by topic, direct messaging for one-on-one communication, and integrations with third-party apps and services for enhanced productivity.
  • Google Workspace offers a suite of productivity tools, including Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, and Google Meet, designed to facilitate collaboration and communication within virtual teams. Its cloud-based platform enables real-time co-editing of documents, seamless file sharing, and video conferencing capabilities.
  • Trello is a collaboration tool and project management system. It allows users to create boards, lists, custom workflows and assign tasks to team members. Its highly rated features that set it apart from other project management tools are the editorial calendar, brainstorming tool and CRM system. Not to mention the fact that it can fully integrate with several other tools mentioned here. 
  • allows hybrid teams to track their productivity and manage all timelines. Through one visual platform you can maintain and supervise all aspects of the business including project management, sales, customers, development, marketing, creative, HR and IT. 
  • Nectar is a platform which promotes core company values and implements a reward system for hybrid work cultures to receive recognition. Boosting morale and driving collaboration and engagement is harder for virtual teams. Birthdays, and work anniversaries often get missed when teams work remotely, these are automated with Nectar. Users can send 'shout outs' to provide recognition for hard work, and employees can trade reward points for gifts of their choosing.

The future of office workspaces

We have created an infographic based on our prediction for the office workspace,
we hope it might assist you with some IT purchasing decisions ...

End of life notices

If you are concerned about these EOL's please call or email to discuss. 

Windows 10

Windows 10 will not receive any more feature updates and will only have security updates until EOL in October 2025.

Windows Server 2016

Microsoft are ending support and critical security fixes for Windows Server 2016. Deadline is January 2027.

Office 2016 and 2019

Older versions of Office will need to be updated by October 2025 to Microsoft 365 applications.

Mac OS

Big Sur ended support and updates in September 2023, please ensure your device can support the newest release. 

Asking AI about its plans for the IT support industry

We decided to ask ChatGPT about how it thinks AI will improve the IT support industry, here is its response:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to revolutionize the IT support industry in various ways, offering new possibilities for efficiency, customer experience, and problem-solving. Here are some ways AI will advance the IT support industry:

  • Automated Ticketing and Triage: AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can handle the initial interaction with users, automatically generating support tickets based on user queries. This streamlines the ticketing process, reducing response times and allowing IT support staff to focus on more complex issues.
  • Faster Issue Resolution: AI can assist IT support agents by providing real-time information and suggested solutions based on past cases and knowledge bases. This speeds up the troubleshooting process, leading to faster issue resolution and higher customer satisfaction.
  • 24/7 Availability: AI-driven virtual assistants can offer round-the-clock support, enabling users to get assistance at any time of day, regardless of the support staff's availability. This ensures a better user experience and reduces downtime for businesses.
  • Remote Support and Troubleshooting: AI-driven remote support tools can diagnose and resolve issues remotely, even on unattended devices. This capability is especially useful for IoT devices and field-based operations, reducing the need for physical interventions.
  • Self-Healing Systems: AI can enable self-healing systems that automatically detect and fix common issues without human intervention. This self-correcting capability reduces the workload on support teams and minimizes service disruptions.
  • Predictive Maintenance: AI algorithms can analyse system performance data to predict potential hardware or software failures. By detecting issues before they escalate, IT support teams can perform proactive maintenance, minimizing disruptions and reducing downtime.
  • Knowledge Base Management: AI can enhance knowledge base management by automatically categorizing, tagging, and updating support articles. This ensures that users can access relevant information easily, reducing the need for repetitive queries.
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP): AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants equipped with NLP can understand and respond to user queries in natural language. This creates a more conversational and user-friendly support experience.
  • Sentiment Analysis: AI can analyse user feedback and sentiment to gauge customer satisfaction levels. This feedback loop helps IT support teams identify areas for improvement and enhance their services accordingly.
  • Continuous Learning and Improvement: AI algorithms can learn from historical support data, customer interactions, and successful issue resolutions. This continuous learning process allows AI systems to become more adept at providing accurate and relevant support over time.
  • Enhanced Security: AI can bolster cybersecurity efforts by detecting and mitigating potential security threats in real-time. AI-driven security tools can monitor network traffic, identify anomalies, and respond to cyber-attacks promptly.

In summary, AI's integration into the IT support industry promises to optimize workflows, provide more efficient support, and enhance customer experiences. By automating routine tasks, predicting issues, and improving the overall support process, AI empowers IT support teams to deliver higher-quality services, leading to increased user satisfaction and improved operational efficiency. - Article / answer created by ChatGPT 

Overall we very much enjoyed this answer and as a team we have discussed, and will continue to discuss the real possibility of implementing some of these pointers in the next few years. As an SME, any efficiencies we can add that allows us to grow and enhance our customer service is something we welcome. Are we concerned about some of these points raised, and AI taking over the IT support industry? We are honestly in two minds, because while we advocate technology and we truly know how it can advance business and improve efficiencies, we also believe in balance. Humans add value to experiences too. While exciting, we register that not everything needs to be automated and efficient. If a customer wants to tell us about their bad day, we want to be there to listen and sympathise, not just shove a 'friendly' NLP based chatbot in their face to fix their IT requirements. Balance will always be how ABM approach AI, and other technological advancement. We would be interested to hear your take on things! How would you feel if your IT company were fully AI-centred? What are your concerns with AI? Lets start a discussion together.

Augmented / Virtual Reality Devices

Make sitting at your desk more comfortable

Adjustable monitor
Adjustable monitor

It is amazing how much difference it makes to your posture when your monitor is in the correct position. There are many options available, but the HP E24t has some great specifications for an office environment and we can confirm they are sturdy and long lasting. 

Supportive Chair
Supportive chair

Always make sure you have a comfortable chair. The best types are the ones scientifically proven to assist and protect your desk posture.  

Ergonomic Accessories
Ergonomic accessories

One of the most common sources of pain in a desk job is the wrists and hands. It is always best to invest in office accessories that reduce joint stress. This Logitech set is a great example. 

Innovative Technology Timeline

2000 - USB Sticks

The end of the 20th century and the start of a new age. USB's are invented, giving us the first convenient way to transport and share data.

2001 - iPod

Previously the amount of songs you could 'bring with you' was limited. In 2001 Steve Jobs presented a 5GB device able to store 1000 songs.

2002 - Encryption

As the technology age develops, security becomes more of a talking point. Unbreakable keys are created to ensure your data stays secure.

2004 - Facebook

What started off as a communication platform for college students, then becomes the biggest social media platform, available to all.

2005 - Google Maps

The first web application to make full use of satellite imagery and aerial photography to provide a location / mapping service.

2006 - Blu-ray

A way to store high definition video on to a disc. Allowing viewers to play games and watch their favourite films in a high - quality format.

2007 - iPhone

This was a massive step forward in the way of cellular devices. Not only did it remove the requirement of a physical button keyboard, but featured GPRS and Edge support (data transfer).

2009 - Windows 7

A personal computer operating system replacing the previous Windows Vista. This new system was fresh, clean and much easier to use. Featuring internet explorer 8, media player and more.

2010 - Kinect

Video games can now be played without a physical controller. Microsoft invent the 'body' controlled video game. Using cameras in a slimline free - standing device, placed under, or on your TV.

2011 - Siri

The virtual assistant that searches for answers and follows commands. The app adapts to the user's voice and language preferences, Making it the perfect portable PA.

2012 - Google Drive

Developed as a file storage and synchronisation service. You can now share information quickly and collaboratively edit. This develops further later on.

2014 - Windows 10

Released as a preview in 2014, people who previously used Windows 7 and 8 had the ability to upgrade for free. After some adjustment many then came to love the new upgrade.

2017 - Facial Recognition

Released with the iPhone X, your phone will unlock using your facial features. This technology follows touch ID, allowing biometric authentication to unlock your phone, make payments and track your expressions.

2019 - Robot Dexterity

With AI developing at a fast rate, it is no wonder robots are too. Robots are programmed to complete further tasks. They now have longer periods of control and a higher level of understanding.

2022 - Metaverse and Edge

There are lots of new developments to keep an eye on. But the most notable are the further pushes into virtual and cloud based technologies. 

Admin Professionals

We thought it might be a good idea to put together a list of technology perfect for employees working in this sector.

Dual Adjustable Monitors

Dual screens are a must have for your desk. For people working with numbers, spreadsheets and calendars, 24” sized (and above) monitors are best. Height adjustable monitors are also a great idea. Sitting at a desk can really ruin your posture and cause lots of health issues. 

High Quality Printer

Lots of companies try and be as paperless as possible. This is fantastic; however, it is found that lots of administrative tasks, still require a paper trail. Having a high-quality laser printer and copier is a good idea. Not only does it reduce ink wastage, is more economical to run, it prints at high speeds.

Low Spec Machine

Administrative professionals generally do not require a very high specification machine. Generally, they have basic storage requirements, have low functioning software and use basic applications. Ensure you don’t pay extra for a high spec machine for job titles that don’t require it. 


Notably one of the most annoying sounds is a keyboard tap and mouse click. This can cause high levels of stress and aggravation, especially for someone constantly using these accessories. Invest in a high -quality soundless keyboard and mouse.

Quality Accessories

Notably one of the most annoying sounds is a keyboard tap and mouse click. This can cause high levels of stress and aggravation, especially for someone constantly using these accessories. Invest in a high -quality soundless keyboard and mouse.

Artsy Technology

Touchpad Keyboard
Touchpad Keyboard

Using touch screen keyboards have become more familiar than your typical keyboard, due to the use of smartphones and tablet devices. There are many benefits that have aided the move to this technology: they are less noisy to type on, water resistant, shatter resistant (slamming the keyboard around is not advised), they look tech savvy and they are programmable to your requirements.

Standing Desk
Standing Desks

Not so much technology focused, but these have been a huge trend in offices for a while now. 'They have so many health benefits including: reducing back pain, lowering the risk of weight gain, improving your mood, increasing energy levels and can lower the risk of heart disease.' (Source: Teeter) They also look fantastic, especially if you like a minimalist work area.

HP Portable Printer
Portable Printer

These have been huge, especially in creative industries.Those that rely heavily on social media seem to be investing. As a work tool it depends on how creative your role is. If you have imagery you need to prove, a portfolio to create or inspiration imagery projects, this is a great tool to represent your ideas. 

Smartphone Projector
Smartphone Projector

Definitely not an essential workplace tool, especially when we have a world full of connectivity. But to give presentations on the go, or to watch a video with a wider perspective (maybe with other co workers), this is pretty handy. You can simply plug in your smartphone or tablet and point it at a blank wall.

Top 3 Business Gadgets

As much as technology might frustrate people, you cannot deny most of the time it does make life easier. Running ABM smoothly is a challenge. As with any business you have to wear many 'hats' and coordinate with lots people. To help with this process here are Anthony's top 3 gadget suggestions.

Acer Monitors

I know as a company we go on and on about the importance of monitors. But it does improve efficiency and it doesn't have to be an expensive change. I have three 27" Acer monitors all lined up, and it drastically improves my workflow. 


There are other great phone options, but for me I find the iPhone seamless in the corporate world. I always choose the biggest screen possible, not just for typing but for my eyesight as well.

Microsoft Pro

This is essentially a tablet with an attachable keyboard. Because it is a
Microsoft device it has all of the functionality of my office - based PC. This is a really handy piece of kit. Designed solely for business people on the move.

Curved Monitors

With a variety of monitors available to the masses, ABM have used a fair few during our years in business (and of course as individuals). Watching how technology innovation has improved screen options, it is clear that curved screens are a popular choice for the business environment. But are they any good?

Eye Saving
Eye Saver

The deeper screen curve allows your eyes to follow motion fluidly on the screen, and therefore reduces strain on your eyes.

Superior image quality
Superior Image Quality

Allowing colours to be more vibrant and reduces light leakage to ensure black and white are more uniform.

Eco Feature
Eco Saving Feature

Allows instant screen adjustment depending on the luminescence of colour. You can also reduce brightness yourself.

Dual Screen
Dual Screen Capabilities & Ports

Having two by side is a popular choice as you can skip between tasks. HDMI, headphone and power port available.



When you are sat with the screen fully set up, and you adjust yourself perfectly in front of it, you can use your complete line of vision and peripherals to improve your work.


Amazing for occupations requiring lots of screen usage for design and colour work. The colours are vibrant and truly impressive.


When out of full screen in a window, some people find the curve distracting as it bends the view. More so than in full screen.


Less ports available than most people like to have, and the cost is still quite pricey compared to other high spec flat options.

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