Ian Snow, CT’s Managing Director takes a look at how technology can help your business work smarter
The number of people working remotely or from home has rocketed in the last 10 years to over 4.2million, according to the Office for National Statistics. This number is expected to continue to rise, with half of the UK workforce expected to be working remotely by next year. This provides enormous opportunities for business but also challenges them to find smart ways to help those in the office work effectively with colleagues who are working remotely.
Many businesses with remote workers have benefitted from moving complete or partial workloads to the cloud. Could this help your business work more efficiently? Here are some ways technology can help:
Working in the cloud offers flexibility when on the go or working from home. It’s simple for businesses to store information in one location that is updated in real-time, so everyone is up to date no matter where they are in the world. Data storage is almost unlimited – allowing businesses to instantly scale up depending on their needs.
Collaborate with Teams
Businesses are increasingly moving away from email as the default method of communication and are adopting cloud-based communication and collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams. Built for today’s way of working, Teams allows workers in and out of the office to edit, share and have discussions around the same piece of work – saving the back and forth of sending documents by email.
It’s also fully integrated with Office 365 meaning files, emails, calendars and more can be shared. Teams offers hundreds of add-in applications from both Microsoft and third parties allowing businesses to tailor it to suit their needs – Google analytics, To-Do, Smartsheet, Planner and Trello are a few of my favourites.
Improve data security
A challenge employers face is maintaining security whilst working remotely. People logging in from unsecure networks such as a café or coffee shop or accessing work files from a mobile device can present risks that threaten your business. A move to the cloud shouldn’t mean a move away from your basic IT principles, in particular access control and data backup.
Cloud solutions such as Microsoft Teams are built to reduce the chance of sensitive data leaks occurring, but I highly recommend the use of multi-factor authentication (MFA), and Microsoft’s single-sign on (SSO) and automatic encryption of data to ensure access is controlled.
Most cloud providers work on a shared responsibility model meaning they take responsibility for the infrastructure but the responsibility for the data remains with YOU. Most will have a data retention policy but will not backup your data and therefore failure to consider a data backup solution as part of your move to the cloud can be a backward step in your IT process. There are some great solutions coming to the market – at CT we have CT secure cloud back-up, powered by Veeam, which is a fully managed service that provides comprehensive back-up for your entire Office 365 suite.
Scale to fit
Working in the cloud can accommodate for a large increase in a remote workforce quickly without adding additional costs. It’s also ideal when office space becomes restricted due to rapid growth and some employees have to start working remotely.
A cloud-based solution can offer a great way of collaborative working whilst providing a high flexibility, security and scalability. We are helping more and more customers take advantage of these opportunities by migrating part or all of their systems to a cloud-based workspace.
To find out how we can help you move your business to the cloud, get in touch with one of our team today.