In today’s uncertain climate, remote working has become the new norm – but how can you make sure that your business still runs smoothly?
It’s fair to say that 2020 has taken an unexpected turn. The spread of the coronavirus has turned daily life on its head for us all, impacting every aspect of modern society from healthcare and leisure to family life and, of course, work.
Businesses all over the world have had to adapt to the new situation with very little warning. This has meant operating with fewer employees, putting projects on hold, changing up marketing strategies and making remote working the new norm.
Remote working: challenges, changes and seeking support
Because of the ongoing Government guidelines regarding lockdown, anyone who can work from home has been instructed to do so, and those who cant either aren’t working at all or are classed as key workers – such as healthcare staff, supermarket workers and delivery drivers.
For those of us in the first category, the switch to remote working can take some getting used to, and this can be true of the employers behind the decision too. If you run your own business, chances are you’ve found the past few weeks challenging in a number of unexpected ways.
Modern technology has thankfully made remote working more possible than ever before, but there are still many different factors to consider in terms of communication and security.
With these unprecedented times taking place, these challenges can all too easy feel overwhelming for businesses trying to operate as close to normality as possible. Thankfully, there are still IT support teams in place to help businesses manage the switch to remote working as effectively and smoothly as possible.
One such team is Syntax IT Support London, whose experts are still working as usual and helping companies adjust to the changes these uncertain times have presented us with.
We’ve roped in some help from the experts at Syntax to share their advice on how best to make sure remote working actually works for your business. From communication and connectivity to security and smooth operations, here are some of the simplest yet smartest remote working solutions for your business to take advantage of right now. Let’s take a look.
Microsoft and Azure cloud infrastructure
Having the right software in place is key right now for organizations trying to stay as close to ‘business as usual’ as possible. This should include cloud computing, which can make it easy for employees and employers alike to store data, share documents, work collaboratively and stay in touch without the need for long email chains or USBs.
The cloud is something Syntax really recommends, especially established software from brands you can trust, like Microsoft and Azure. Microsoft and Azure cloud computing offer complete and secure remote working solutions that support businesses of all sizes.
One of the main benefits of the cloud is its scalability. Instead of investing in a wide range of storage hardware you may or may not need right off the bat, the cloud lets your storage grow with your business. At a monthly or annual cost, this makes storing your data a much more manageable feet.
The likes of Microsoft and Azure come with a range of services when delivered by the right IT support team. Syntax holds a pedigree for supporting customers with both Microsoft Modern Desktop and Mobile Device Management. The range of services and options businesses can enjoy through such Remote Working Solutions include:
Windows Virtual Desktop
To put it simply, this involves the ability to have standard desktops and applications securely accessible from any device from a browser, with access to centralised corporate data in Azure, Share or OneDrive for Business – all esteemed cloud-based storage software.
This makes working collaboratively and sharing information a much smoother process when your team is working remotely, as well as a much more secure one.
It’s important for businesses to keep in mind that the security of their organisation is made more vulnerable when remote working is standard. With a range of devices working from a range of locations and connected to a range of networks, there a more opportunities for hackers to bypass weaker areas of security and access business data. As such, bolstering your business defences with the right storage and sharing software is key.
Application migration is likely to be a key factor in your switch to remote working, and oftentimes it can be more of a headache than it needs to be. Getting assistance from an IT support team of experts can help to make this process as simple as it should be.
The migration of server-based applications, such as accounting systems and bespoke business applications among others, to the cloud is key to remote working, and you need to ensure that this is completed correctly and – most importantly – secure. Chances are you’re going to be transferring some very sensitive data through these applications, such as payment information and customer details, so you don’t want to leave corporate data up for grabs by cybercriminals.
Migrating applications will be one of the biggest boxes on your remote working checklist, so getting in done in the right way will help your business operate more smoothly and safely in the long run.
IaaS (infrastructure as a service)
Making the switch to remote working might sound simplistic on paper (you just delegate jobs as usual while people work from home instead of the office, right?) but this experience may have taught you that there are many more factors to think about. And one of these factors will be how well your usual infrastructure tailors itself to the change in circumstances.
Unlike remote working itself, creating a completely new IT infrastructure to suit your business during remote working probably sounds like a hugely complex and time-consuming task, but it doesn’t have to be — not if you have the right support on hand.
Programs such as Microsoft Azure can make creating a complete IT infrastructure smooth and reliable. With options such as backup, replication and disaster recovery as part of the package, this will help to boost the security of your organization as your team works from home.
Implementing Microsoft Teams
One of the biggest changes we’ve seen to business culture in the past few weeks is the rise of video teleconferencing as an absolute staple of the daily routine. Platforms like Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams are making it easy to replicate the workplace environment by putting workers face-to-face with each other as they share information and documents, work on projects and put forth ideas.
But with so many platforms to choose from, how do you know which one is best? The experts at Syntax recommend Microsoft Teams, or alternatively Skype for Business. These are considered the most secure options for helping your workforce communicate effectively and efficiently, compared to the likes of Zoom which has recently been under fire for security issues.
There are many different options out there for businesses looking to boost their security while working remotely – such as protecting business data on any device, supporting business data usage and managing compliance. Exploring these options with the help of IT experts will help your business stand in good stead for the future, whatever it throws your way.