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Remote Working – Technology Perspective

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Remote Working – Technology Perspective

COVID-19
has changed the way we work now and into the future, the Remote worker is here
to stay. What does this mean for businesses from a technology viewpoint?

The key
question for a business is how to use technology effectively to ensure that
their business has a productive workforce with minimal disruption from
technology blips.

Strategically
it means a business needs to focus on the deploying the right technologies to
support the worker and the functions they undertake.

3 Key
Elements

What are
the 3 key elements to ensuring your workforce can continue working
remotely?  The starting issue is ensuring
Connectivity. Without connectivity you cannot
work remotely. The second element Communication is about ensuring
everybody stays in contact and has capacity to engage with each other and
clients. The final element of Collaboration is the ability to work
together on the same documents, having access to files etc. in a secure
environment

Office 365 – enables Collaboration

To enable
collaboration across the team requires having the right software platform.

Software
options such as Microsoft Office 365 or Googles G Suite are cloud solutions
at the core of enabling businesses to communicate, access documents,
collaborate with co- workers by sharing files, storing files, combined with an
integrated email.

These
technologies have a high adoption but there are many businesses yet to
understand the benefits of adopting these cloud-based programs. A
workforce working remotely from home is distributed far and wide, one benefit
of Office 365 is the comfort that everybody will be using the same version of
the software.

A secondary
advantage is that the fee is monthly charged by number of users which means you
only pay for what you are using. This allows businesses to scale up and down as
required. This provides businesses greater flexibility and control over its
cash flow. You are not paying for something that is not being used.

Microsoft Teams, Zoom, GoTo meeting – enable Communication

Many
choices are available for conducting virtual meetings each has its own specific
benefits. The key goal is to select and deploy the platform and then provide
people with the guidance on how to run effective virtual meetings.

This
technology also enables your team members to conduct informal meetings more of
a social interaction. Alternatively, they can use their normal social media
tools such as What’s app, Facebook Messenger etc. to create a sense of social
connection.

The
communication solution needs to cover voice and email solutions. Having a virtual PABX solution hosted
in the Cloud can ensure that phone calls can be directed to the right people
inside the business. The email solution is part Office 365 which includes capacity
to share and store files using One drive and SharePoint.

Just
putting the technology in place does not necessarily guarantee success there is
a need to build culture and create understanding between team members. A suggestion
is to create some tasks/projects that need completing by a team using the above
tools within a common framework.

Connectivity
– Remote Connections, Security, Support

The last
element connectivity means having an internet connection for the worker to
access the software and tools, so they can perform their work. It is as basic
as that. However, the internet connection needs to be stable and quick enough
for workers to complete tasks.

This means
considerations such as bandwidth and upload/download speeds. It may mean a
business upgrading/switching the internet plans of their workers to ensure they
can operate effectively.  Wi-Fi is so
predominant today there may be a need check the configuration make changes such
as adding Wi-Fi boosters to ensure stable and reliable performance across a
home environment.

With
connectivity comes some clear concerns for a business owner, such as how secure
is it in terms of being hacked, backing up data and email security. These questions
raise the question of what type of support is required to support a remote
worker?

With home
workers it is very important that a business ensures they have proactive management
of their equipment and networks. What does this mean? Simply put don’t run the
risk of anything breaking by ensuring you have your IT person/provider constantly
monitoring and maintaining each workers environment.

This means
ensuring all devices are regularly updated with the latest versions of the
software (patch management) ensuring that all security elements are operating,
and functional, ensuing data is backed up correctly in accordance with your
policies. That passwords are managed and updated regularly, that user access is
managed correctly as people come and go from the business and the list goes on.
This is called Managed Services

In addition
to Managed Services It is essential that employees can call someone if something unexpected happens (like
a disc failure, network connection failure, etc.) that is support.  The first step for your provider in the
current environment will be to complete the diagnosis remotely using a tool
such as TeamViewer or LogMeIn.

These tools
give your IT support person secure, full control and access to
your employee’s equipment. Its efficient and fast and means minimal disruption.
If the problem cannot be fixed remotely then an onsite visit will take place.
Note the IT provider must adhere to all COVID-19 social distancing and sanitisation
requirements.

Finally, consider
the option of a VPN (Virtual private network) which ensures your communication
is encrypted and protected from prying eyes.

This article is not exhaustive, but it explains why it is essential to work with an experienced IT group such as Computer Troubleshooters Milton

With a
national network of location’s, across Australia no matter where your team is
located, we can support them to ensure they maintain their productivity while
working from home.

Call 0468919399 or visit: www.ctmilton.com.au

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