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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 VPNs can also be out of date and pose potential data security risks.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.

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