According to a Global Work-from-Home Experience Survey, it’s estimated that 25-30% of the nation’s workforce will be working from home on a multiple-days-a-week basis by the end of 2021. As businesses are adjusting to this new reality, it’s important to have a technology strategy that allows businesses to be agile while maintaining the high level of security you need in your network.
Below are five easy ways you can give your business work-from-home (WFH) flexibility that promotes productivity while keeping your important business data safe from cybersecurity risks:
Invest in True Cloud-Based Applications to Run Your Busines
Most businesses rely on at least one core application to run their business (such as accounting software like Quickbooks and customer relationship management applications like Salesforce). When choosing applications and digital tools, opt for the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model or applications that are truly web-based. Not only will this offload continual maintenance/support to the app provider, but it will simplify the environment and typically carry enhanced security features to safeguard your data.
Leverage Cloud-Based Platforms to Promote Communication and Collaboration for Teams
Solutions like Microsoft Office 365 and Google’s G Suite for Business allow users flexible access to shared calendars, contacts, task lists, and documents, promoting seamless collaboration and communication across teams. These platforms also carry uptime guarantees that ensure your team has access to the tools you need and the cloud-based subscription model makes it easy to ensure the latest versions of applications across devices.
Replace On-Premise Phone Systems with UCaaS Solutions
Elegantly communicating with customers/colleagues regardless of physical location is becoming more important and UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) platforms (RingCentral, Jive, Teams, etc.) enhances collaboration and ability to feel like a team, even when not physically together in the office. Traditional premise-based phone systems are less flexible to provide a platform for rich communication (talk/text/chat/video/presence/content sharing). Additionally, desk phones and traditional phone lines aren’t needed anymore permitting a decent internet connection.
Equip Teams with Flexible Endpoints
Laptops may be more expensive, but they are more flexible than desktops. As you evaluate your IT replacement cycle, replace desktop PCs with laptops to provide workforce flexibility.
Prioritize IT Security
Work with an expert who can help evaluate areas to enhance your business security posture. A layered approach to IT security is critical. Turn on 2-factor authentication on all critical apps (especially email), build a robust endpoint protection strategy (especially as users operate remotely, away from the company firewall).
While this is not a comprehensive list, taking these steps to secure email platforms, train users, and build a culture of IT security awareness to develop policy and procedure sets a minimum standard for WFH operation to yield a more flexible yet secure IT infrastructure.
For more information and support, contact Connecting Point at 970-356-7224.