August 20, 2021
By Rhia Prajes
In the year to come, the businesses that will thrive the most are the ones able to best adapt to remote working and distributed groups. With the challenges and roadblocks involved with such work, however, it is important to consider the best practices and tools that empower users and help shape a company culture that fits for a decentralized workforce.
In such uncertain times, it is hard to plan for work resuming as normal or know if new waves of infection will prompt additional lock-downs or restrictions. As such, the best course of action is for businesses to implement technology solutions that can enable flexible communication and collaboration options among teams, as well as secure, anywhere access to key company resources, like servers, apps and data.
By embracing this mentality, however, there may be many concerns held by company decision makers over the impact this may have on staff and the company as a whole with respect to communication, productivity and security. While such concerns may hold weight, with the right approach they can be surmounted and result in a better experience for employees and employers alike.
Thanks to innovations in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Virtual Desktop, and Cloud Networking, digital technology offers ease to facilitate remote work and enables organizations to collaborate, create, and function as a team even if employees are not in a same location,
Below, see some of the key steps businesses can take to better support and empower a remote workforce:
Migrate Workloads to the Cloud.
To start hybrid work, your company must have an “office in the cloud”. It serves as your productivity platform to centralize all communications into a single location that can be accessed from anywhere. Microsoft’s Office 365, for example, offers a web based platform for communicating via email and chat, as well as co-authoring documents in real-time.
This also enables some key advantages, such as allowing collaboration within the organization and even the people outside the company. Imagine a day when you have an important workflow to approve but you are mobile or on a business trip. An exclusively offline setup won’t allow you to do so, but the cloud facilitates such work from anywhere. This comfort also applies for a sales deck that needs to be redesigned, an invoice that needs to be reviewed real-time, for sales meetings that involve people on the field, and for nearly any other activities that require seamless processes and communication.
Cloud networking can be used to monitor incoming and outgoing traffic in your network and grant access via a set of defined security rules based on IP address or geography. The Cisco Meraki Firewall, for instance, provides extensive visibility and control over users, content, and applications that help command evasive applications that cannot be run by a traditional firewall. When your workforce is working remotely, such technloogy will offer greater insight into how your resources are being accessed and ensure that only approved individuals have the capability to do so.
Lockdown User Accounts
When working with a distributed workforce, your employees, customers, and other stakeholder accounts must receive the same attention to security as your infrastructure. Identity Management Solutions, such as Azure Active Directory or Okta, can help to connect staff to the apps, devices, and data they use everyday and better validate their rights to view your data. Having a multi-factor authentication to secure account access, for example, will help secure adaptive access and seamless user experiences. Visibility and control are key factors to managing identities in the cloud — and for successfully establishing a hybrid workplace.
Adopt Digital Communication Tools
With the shift to remote work and more flexible work policies, it is important to select an effective tool for facilitating communication among colleagues. Thankfully, there are many solutions available to easily enable such capability, such as Teams, Slack or Zoom. As the need for video conferencing and webinars increased throughout the pandemic, people can now more easily schedule and host meetings on a large-scale format, share screens, give product demos online, and even just spend time catching up with co-workers over lunch. Such tools give more room for social conversation, learning, and coaching — and are a great way to empower your people even if you are not physically together.
With all these items to consider, it can be a challenge to determine how you can effectively deploy them within your organization. As an expert in Microsoft cloud technology, Metro CSG can help you to navigate the complexity of establishing a hybrid workplace and help you make informed IT decisions.