10 Things Your IT Department Should Consider When Going Remote
At one time, the thought of allowing remote work may have been an idea for your company. A nice incentive to offer employees and something that could become a reality one day when the time is right. However, with the U.S. declaring a state of emergency due to coronavirus, companies everywhere are being left with no choice but to go remote.
As organizations begin to transition their operations remotely, there are several things to consider. Technology and tools play a big role in the day-to-day operations of many companies; therefore, you need to make sure each employee is set up for success at home.
When it comes to technology and tools, here are ten things to consider when going remote.
1. Collaboration Tools
Prior to going remote, it’s important that you set up collaboration tools to give team members the ability to seamlessly and effortlessly communicate from home. Whether it be an important meeting about a project or water cooler conversation, team members need chat/IM and video conferencing software to simulate all types of communication virtually.
You may not realize how much you need these tools until you start working remotely. This is why it’s so important to set up collaboration tools early on. Setting yourself up for success with the right collaboration tools will help team members to be productive while working remotely and social distancing.
2. Data and Applications
Do your employees have access to the data and applications they need from home? If not, this is one of the first things you should address. Depending on the type of business you run, your team members could be using one application to do their jobs or several. A sales organization may use Salesforce as its CRM, while a marketing company may use a project management application to build and track the progress of projects.
Some of the most common enterprise applications are used for the following purposes:
Customer relationship management (CRM)
Once you’re certain that all team members have access to essential applications at home, you can also make sure they have access to critical data. Making sure that employees are aware of the state of the business at this time is more important than ever. They are the ones who will be doing the work to ensure the company hits its goals, so provide reports and dashboards that keep them up-to-date on where things stand.
3. Remote Access Groups
Salesperson-to-prospect, colleague-to-colleague, leader-to-entire team, once you go 100% remote, every single conversation, meeting, and presentation is going to happen virtually. Make sure you have all of the technology in place to handle every virtual meeting across the company.
You might already utilize video conferencing software, but does it have the capability to handle a huge group of people in a video chat? Now that your entire company is remote, you may be holding some of the largest virtual meetings you’ve ever held. Make sure the platform(s) that you can handle all virtual meetings, no matter how large.
4. Printing and Processing Workflows
Do any special printing or processing workflows need to be set up at employees’ homes? For instance, check printing or check scanning. Certain team members in your organization may require printing and scanning capabilities to do their daily job. Make sure your internal IT department is ready to help those who may need additional workflows set up at home.
5. Network Security and Data Loss Protection (DLP)
Do you have any network security or data loss protection (DLP) concerns that need to be addressed now that employees are accessing data from outside of the office? DLP software detects potential data breaches/data ex-filtration transmissions and prevents them by monitoring, detecting, and blocking sensitive data.
Now that team members are accessing sensitive data from outside the office on their own at home network, it’s critical that you have DLP in place. It will monitor and protect your data so that users can’t accidentally (or maliciously) share data that could put your organization at risk.
6. VPN Usage
A virtual private network extends a private network across a public network, allowing users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their devices were directly connected to the private network. Essentially, it allows remote team members to access your private network from their homes.
Using a VPN will actually increase your data usage by a small percentage (around 5-15%). This is because of encryption used to protect data transferred by the VPN. Is your virtual private network (VPN) able to handle increased usage or does this need to be addressed? Make sure your VPN can handle the increased usage that will happen as team members move remote.
7. Phone Systems
From sales teams to customer service representatives to business executives, various types of employees need a reliable phone system to perform their job. When they vacate the office to work remotely, they’ll need to take their phone system with them. Have you set up your phone systems to appropriately route calls while the office is vacated? If your organization uses phone systems in any capacity, this will be important to address.
8. Security Systems and Monitoring
Are the proper security systems set up for your organization to feel comfortable working 100% remote? To protect your business-critical data, make sure you have installed security systems that can monitor activity while team members are away from the office.
9. Compliance Concerns
Do you have any compliance concerns that need to be addressed with a remote workforce? For example, you may need to look into multi-factor authentication. Multi-factor authentication grants users access to their account only after presenting two or more pieces of evidence. Taking this control measure will keep your organization fully compliant and protect you against remote attacks.
10. Cyber Security Training for Team Members
Now more than ever, providing cyber security training to team members is essential. While client work should remain a top priority, security should always be a concern as well. Encourage team members to take educational courses while at home so they are more prepared for a cyber attack if one presents itself.
Threat vectors are utilizing COVID-19 messaging and maps to hide computer viruses. At a time when hackers are using coronavirus concerns to trick people, team members need to be fully aware at all times. Warn your team of any potential threats and make sure they know what steps need to be taken if they do feel they’ve detected a cyber attack.
Even IT experts could use some extra help during this time of uncertainty and change. If you want to share these 10 tips and tricks with team members in your organization, download our flyer. Or, contact Abstrakt Marketing Group today for more information.