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The Big Pivot: Technologies to Support a Fully Remote Workforce

In Uncategorized on June 26, 2020 at 10:21 am

ImageQuestIn this day and age, people expect to be able to work from anywhere. This requires an easy and secure way to access their files and accomplish their jobs. Moreover, remote working will be the norm for at least as long as COVID-19 remains a threat, or even longer. A Gartner survey of Chief Financial Officers revealed that 74 percent expect to shift some of their employees to permanent remote work.

VPN may soon be a technology of the past

Often defined as private gateways to the Internet, organizations have long relied on Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to access their in-house network from remote locations. VPNs encrypt and decrypt data traveling between two endpoints, such as an employee’s laptop at home to a server in the office.

The increased amount of people working remotely has brought to light the limitations of this 30-year old technology. Files don’t load as fast as needed when there are a lot of users connecting to it, creating frustration and workflow breakdowns. VPNs can also be out of date and pose potential data security risks. 

The time has come for organizations to explore new solutions.

Ensuring remote work productivity with DaaS and Microsoft Cloud

Cloud-based solutions offer more secure ways to access networks remotely: Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) and Microsoft Cloud. Access to servers is provisioned per worker and is not controlled by a VPN bottleneck.

With DaaS, all business applications, data, processing, and storage are hosted in the Cloud. There are no on-premise servers; these reside in a secure data center. Nashville-based Cloud computing service provider ImageQuest recommends DaaS for companies with massive data processing requirements such as insurance companies or healthcare institutions. A remote worker logs on to a data center through a laptop with DaaS access software. All functions take place at the data center and not on the device. Because files and software are in the same location as the data center, data processing is just as fast as when a corporate desktop is used.

Ideal for companies accessing software via the internet, Microsoft Cloud stores all documents and data on the Cloud. Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations, for example, are stored securely in Microsoft data centers spread across the United States and are constantly updated. Workers can download files to their devices and collaborate in real-time using Microsoft’s Cloud tools.

Communication and collaboration tools essential for remote work

The prevalence of remote work has led to the popularity of video technology, which is now the go-to for meetings and webinars; and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which provides remote workers with an office number that routes calls to their mobile phones, delivers voicemails over email, and keeps them connected wherever they are. Additionally, collaboration tools like Teams, Trello, and Slack enable teams to communicate internally and stay on top of ongoing projects.

Cloud-based solutions optimize business operations

Cloud data centers provide automatic patching and software updates – teams can be sure that they are using the most updated version. 

Storing data on the Cloud is an effective business continuity strategy. Measures such as Multi-Factor Authentication, system-wide updates, regular security patching, and stringent access controls reduce the threat of hacking, malware, and cyber attacks that could wipe out company and client data. In the event of a disaster, businesses can easily access and restore all data from any device with little or no downtime.

A Cloud data center can help meet regulatory data compliance requirements. Located in Nashville, Cloud computing service expert ImageQuest uses data centers with a SOC 2 Type 2 attestation, which means their data practices and policies are audited annually to ensure they follow best practices in data security and data privacy compliance.

Moreover, Cloud usage can be reduced or expanded depending on current operational requirements. This gives businesses the agility to adapt to changes in the economic landscape as they are not burdened with unnecessary equipment or outdated (and taxable) legacy systems. The Cloud offers on-demand IT capability at a lower cost compared to investing in an in-house IT infrastructure.

Bear in mind that the implementation of these solutions requires thorough assessment and planning. Remote workers must have access to broadband internet, which is currently defined by the Federal Communications Commission as 25 Mbps download annd 3 Mbps upload. Internet speeds slower than that will hamper productivity and defeat the purpose of the intended technological upgrades.

Businesses also need to consider the worker’s home internet security. What devices are used for work? Are these devices shared among family members? What security apps are installed on these devices? Teams might have to be provided with company-issued devices to ensure data security.

Being on the Cloud will be just as essential as having a business website. This will ultimately help grow your bottom line and keep you a step ahead of the competition.

If you are looking for a Managed IT company that’s in the best position to provide counsel on Cloud computing services in Nashville, Louisville, or Bowling Green, visit ImageQuest online or call 888.979.2679 for more information.

ImageQuest Clients Seamlessly Transition to Remote Work Amidst COVID-19 With DaaS

In Cybersecurity on April 17, 2020 at 12:26 pm

ImageQuest

Nashville-based cybersecurity service provider ImageQuest shares that remote work technology systems such as Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) have helped nearly 3,200 workers transition to a remote working environment amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The new virtual desktop environment is working great,” says Tom Richardson, Director of Information Technology for Houchens Insurance Group. 

“Our employees have been able to transition to working from home seamlessly during the social distancing situation. We have received a lot of positive feedback and have quite a few working from home today.

“This situation would have been a nightmare if we hadn’t have migrated to the virtual desktops. Thank you and your team for getting us here!”

Another client writes, “Thankfully we implemented the DaaS last year which is allowing us to have a portion of our teamwork remote to hopefully prevent contagion.”

DaaS is a cloud-based model that allows users to work from anywhere using any laptop or device. Multiple users can access files and software applications, all of which are hosted on a third-party cloud provider. DaaS providers manage virtual desktop infrastructure deployment, maintenance, security, upgrades, data backup, and storage. 

More enterprises are adopting DaaS solutions because of the following benefits:

It is flexible. Workers can access desktops and applications from virtually anywhere, ensuring productivity.

It is scalable. Businesses can scale up or down depending on their requirements, and they can augment their workforce during peak seasons or when deploying satellite offices.

It reduces business disruptions. Enterprises can stay up and running even in the event of a natural disaster since there are no hardware dependencies.

It is cost-efficient. DaaS providers offer monthly or annual subscription models; businesses only pay for what they use.

It is secure. DaaS offers secure user access points and simplifies desktop and app management processes.

For organizations working with proprietary information such as intellectual property, personal and health information, and trade secrets, it might take some time to deploy DaaS since it requires more in-depth preparation and planning than Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). While VPNs allow users to download data to their devices so that the user can work without an Internet connection, there is a higher risk of data theft, and businesses would be dependent on their workforce to keep devices updated and secure.

DaaS ultimately empowers teams to work safely from anywhere, even at home. Data remains in the cloud, away from unauthorized downloads, duplications, and transfers – providing the same level of protection as a corporate environment.

Servicing Nashville, Louisville, and Bowling Green, ImageQuest’s curated suite of technology solutions include managed IT, cybersecurity, IT compliance, and IT consultancy.

Why Is Audi So Special? We Asked And Got The Answer

In Automotive on February 11, 2020 at 10:49 am

GPO TuningDriving down the road a few weeks ago, one of our staffers noticed that the logos on the cars next to him weren’t all just Ford, Nissan, and GMC. He took special notice of the number of Audis that passed as he waited to turn at a red light. This raised a question about why, suddenly, were there so many German imports gracing the streets of his hometown. Living in Nashville, our correspondent reached out the Audi repair shop GPO Tuning to find out.

This is what the Audi service professionals in Nashville had to say.

Q: Why are Audis all of a sudden so prevalent in Nashville? As an Audi repair shop, you must have noticed an influx of imports. 

GPO Tuning: We have been providing service and repairs for Audis here in Nashville since 2003. Over the last 17 years, we have noticed more and more of these cars coming through the shop bays for oil changes, scheduled maintenance, and service. The reason is likely quality and an influx of people from other parts of the country, where Audi vehicles have been historically more popular.