Technology may change at a rapid pace, but so does everyday life, particularly when unanticipated disasters strike. As the recent COVID-19 lockdowns have amply demonstrated, businesses must have systems and tools that will let them keep getting their work done under a wide range of circumstances.
If your organization found itself struggling to support its everyday activities during this period, you may need to make some changes to your IT system. Consider making the following four changes to help your employees keep working and protect your business’s future.
1. Embrace Cloud Collaboration Software
When your employees must work from home due to a pandemic lockdown or other unexpected reversal, they may find even simple project collaboration extraordinarily challenging. The need for entire teams to communicate and share information in real time requires online solutions that can substitute for in-person interaction.
Cloud collaboration programs can make these interactions much easier, not only during lockdown situations but also for normal in-office work. These online platforms allow registered users to log on and view their current project workloads, calendars, messages from co-workers, and drafts of work in progress.
Videoconferencing platforms also make real-time group collaboration a simple matter, even among team members confined to different parts of the world. Zoom, Google Meet, and other popular options allow participants to combine streaming audio and video with slide presentations, text-based chat, and other collaborative options.
2. Make Use of Remote Desktop Capabilities
No matter how easily and productively employees can work via cloud computing services, some housebound employees may need direct access to specific programs, applications, or files on their office workstations. You can remove this obstacle to effective work by setting your team up with remote desktop capabilities.
A remote desktop consists of a program that allows an authorized individual to access one computer from another computer. The program may already come bundled with the computers’ operating systems, or it may exist as a separate, downloadable app.
This access can enable employees to operate their office workstations with complete ease, from modifying and saving files to commanding peripherals. Some IT providers combine remote desktop services for employees with remote desktop troubleshooting and other services for the ultimate in hands-free assistance.
3. Protect Your Hardware Against Catastrophe
Disasters that render your workplace useless can impact your productivity just as surely as the need to shelter in place. While your insurer might reimburse you for material losses from a natural disaster or burglary, you may also lose precious data or find your team completely unable to work.
Follow the 3-2-1 rule of redundant data backup. In addition to the production copy of the data kept on a local internal drive, make a second copy on an independent media device (such as an external hard drive). It’s not overkill to have a third copy going to an off-site location such as a cloud-based server.
Don’t let a lighting storm or other weather crisis cause a total shutdown of your IT system before you can rescue unsaved data. Equip your hardware with a universal power supply (UPS). This device provides necessary electricity in the event of a sudden power loss, allowing workers to shut computers down safely.
4. Guard Against Malicious Attacks
Some threats to IT systems stem from malicious efforts to steal data, commandeer computers by remote control, or even holding critical data for ransom. Criminal hackers can easily accomplish these objectives by taking advantage of lax security setups or workers who don’t recognize unscrupulous efforts to steal information.
One simple, sensible way to protect your businesses against these dangers involves keeping up with all critical security patches and operating system updates. An IT managed services provider can stay on top of these changes for you. Ask this provider whether you also need more powerful firewall hardware.
Smart employee technology practices can also help you keep your IT system safe. Invest in training so employees can recognize malicious attempts to extract information or plant dangerous downloads on their computers. Adopt smart password and encryption practices such as twofactor authentication.
The right IT provider can help you safeguard your business against the unexpected. Browse our directory for technical expertise in your area.