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Updated: Oct 13, 2023

After a couple of false starts I was delighted to take delivery of a Volkswagen ID.3 electric car a few months ago.

I've been acutely aware of the impact that I.T. has on global warming for many years and have always looked for ways to minimise our contribution. The move to cloud has, on the whole, helped reduce emissions and each new generation of processors consumes less power than the previous one so new kit tends to reduce emissions on a like for like basis so our business model should be making a positive impact to global warming.

Mark with his new VW ID.3
Mark with his new VW ID.3

But the enormous amount of electrical waste generated by the industry doesn't get the attention it deserves and as a society we ought to be having a conversation about the billions of images taken every year that are stored and never looked at. Each photograph taken, each snapchat, each TikTok, each reel consumes energy and is warming the planet but none of us feel the impact of that as it appears to be free at the point of use. Little that Thompson Consultants Ltd can do against the like of TikTok although we actively try and recycle good kit to local charities.

Anyway, back to the car. I travel between client sites, often in urban areas, and spend too much time sat in traffic so with the ID.3 I now travel in silence and am not contributing to that urban pollution. We have a 100% green electric provider at home so hopefully I've reduced the businesses carbon impact by around 3 tonnes of CO2 a year.

I'm perfectly aware that electric cars have their own problems with a potentially short lifecycle and the embedded emissions in the manufacture but on the whole it seems like progress to not be burning dinosaur juice to travel between sites.

Next step solar panels for the office!

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Updated: May 3, 2023

We're delighted to have got another client through Cyber Essentials today.

This one was up against the deadline to complete before the 1st April changes and needed a couple of revisions with the assessor (and we'd taken over from another provider but that's another story) but all done now.

CE or CE Plus is an excellent baseline in cyber security for small and medium organizations to obtain. It is part policy driven - so the organisation has to buy into making changes into how they operate in order to achieve the certification - and part actual configuration of the IT so MFA/2FA is used everywhere, computers patched and updates in set timeframes, etc.

One of the main benefits of achieving Cyber Essentials certification is that it can help to protect your organization from a wide range of common cyber attacks. By following the Cyber Essentials framework, you can ensure that your organization has implemented basic security controls that are known to be effective at mitigating many common cyber threats.

Some specific benefits of Cyber Essentials certification may include:

1. Increased resilience against cyber attacks: By implementing the controls outlined in the Cyber Essentials framework, your organization can reduce the risk of cyber attacks and become more resilient to potential security incidents.

2. Improved customer confidence: Having Cyber Essentials certification can demonstrate to your customers that your organization takes cyber security seriously and has taken steps to protect their data and information.

3. Potential cost savings: Implementing the controls required for Cyber Essentials certification can help to prevent costly security incidents, such as data breaches or malware infections, which can save your organization money in the long run.

4. Compliance with regulations: In some industries, Cyber Essentials certification may be a requirement for doing business or complying with specific regulations. By achieving certification, your organization can ensure it is meeting these requirements.

Overall, Cyber Essentials certification can provide a range of benefits that help to protect your organization from cyber threats, build customer confidence, and potentially save money in the long run.

All very achievable for those organisations that wish to commit to demonstrating to their supply chain they take cyber security seriously.

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Please note that from 1st March 2022 there are price increases being applied to certain Microsoft 365 licences. There are also changes being applied the annual licence committments.

The table below shows the new monthly pricing for two of the most common M365 Business licences from March 1st 2022

Annual Commit, Annual Payment

Annual Commit, Monthly Payment

Monthly Commit, Monthly Payment

Product Name

Microsoft 365 Business Basic




Microsoft 365 Business Premium




Note: I’ve only shown the Business licences here – there are also similar increases for the Enterprise E1, E3 and E5 licences.

Enforced annual commitment on licences or 20% premium for monthly commitment

The other big change is that Microsoft are now enforcing the annual commitment to Microsoft 365 licences, i.e. if you take out a 1 year licence you cannot cancel that licence before the end of the term. You can pay for the licence either upfront in one payment or pay monthly but the commitment is for 1 year.

If you want to only have a month to month commitment, i.e. the ability to cancel a given licence on a monthly basis, you can do so but you will pay a 20% premium to have that right. This is the Monthly Commit, Monthly Payment column in the above table.

Microsoft are suggesting that businesses look at their current staff and licencing and start to think in terms of annual commitment licences for permanant staff and monthly commitment licences, with the 20% premium in cost, for temporary or seaonal licences.

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