We think it’s fair to say that none of us could have seen COVID-19 coming or the impact it would have on our lives, both personally and professionally. If you own a business or are responsible for managing its IT/technology, you’ve no doubt wondered if your current computer support is up to par and pandemic ready. Here are some key areas where you’ll want to make sure you have solid computer support.
Supporting the Work from Home Model
Without a doubt, the biggest challenge for many organizations was and continues to be shifting all or most of their workforce to an at-home model (practically overnight!). This requires new computer support to make sure employees have connectivity, security and technical help to do their jobs effectively. The best way to approach this is to have a standard set-up for every employee, including company-provided laptops pre-setup, and the computer support in terms of IT help on-hand when technical challenges arise. Another critical component is company-wide access to data and information, which we’ll explore shortly.
Computer Support for Organization-Wide Virtual Collaboration
Within a few short weeks, or even days in some cases, entire staff were moved to a work-from-home model, which requires computer support for organization-wide virtual collaboration. Platforms that we’ve written about extensively before like Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Teams, a virtual hub for collaboration are essential computer support tools needed to stay connected, satisfied and productive. Best of all, they are cloud-based, which minimizes costs and the need for physical IT infrastructure. It also makes them more secure in a remote work model.
While these platforms and tool are a “must have,” they also require training for employees so that they can be used correctly and to their fullest advantage to support organization-wide collaboration.
Computer support tools like Teams can also provide a path to keeping up employee morale virtually. The pandemic crisis has taken a toll on everyone, including your employees. The right tools – and training everyone organization-wide on how to use them – can be a great pathway to keeping everyone connected, engaged and spirits up during a challenging time.
IT Security to Protect Your Data in a Remote Work Model
Without a doubt, IT security is at the forefront of leaders’ minds amidst COVID-19. Already a problem and threat to companies, including small and mid-sized businesses, we’ve seen a rise in security hacks since COVID-19.
According to an article in the Business Journal, “cyberattacks are on the rise and new cybersecurity risks are emerging due to the unprecedented changes in the way companies and their employees are currently forced to do business.” The article goes on to note that in the last two months, cyberattacks are specifically exploiting the challenges that businesses face with teleworking, including hacking, video- and teleconference hijacking, data breaches and fraud.
Options like standard technology set-up, as already mentioned, and cloud hosting, can go a long way to make sure you minimize risk with the proper computer support for IT security in a model where employees are all working from different locations. Cloud hosting offered from a reputable and experienced cloud host provider will ensure that your data is safely hosted in the cloud with redundant backups and securities measures in place to protect it. Furthermore, cloud hosting will save you money and make data storage and security across the organization a fixed operating cost, as well as one that you can scale up or down according to business needs.