The global pandemic has changed the way the world works. Working from home has become the new normal for a lot of businesses and it seems that it is here to stay. Being forced to make the change to work from home has helped businesses realize that many jobs can be done from home just as effectively. The only challenge is that you must have a solid work from home technology solutions that allows folks to stay productive. Here are our tips on choosing the best work from home solution for your business.
Start with your Applications
Perhaps the best place to start when you’re looking at solutions to work from home is the applications that you use daily. Where is that data stored? Do you have servers in your office that run those applications, or is it somewhere else? Is it a SaaS (Software as a Service) application that you can get to in a web browser? Once you know where your data lives it will help you know what folks need to do so they can work from home.
If you have servers in your building that house your data and applications, you need to know a little more about the app itself. Some on premise applications are built so that they are still fully functional outside the office network. Others are only accessible inside the office network. If your applications are the latter there’s still hope. Solutions like a terminal server can allow you to access those applications from anywhere. Many applications now offer web-based versions that you can migrate to as well. It makes sense to investigate your options and see what will fit your needs the best.
If you’re already using all your applications in a browser then you’re in luck. They should be completely accessible from anywhere. You’re already using the cloud and the transition to work from home should be a snap.
What about that data?
Even if you’re lucky enough that all your apps are cloud-based you may still need access to share files with those that you work with. It may be that when you were in the office previously this data was stored on a server in the office and accessed via a network share. There are numerous solutions that will give you access to this data. Here are a few ideas.
This is a solution that’s been around for a long time. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. Essentially this is a feature that IT can configure on the firewall in most cases, and then a client goes on all machines. The client allows users to secure authenticate with the network and gain access to the network file shares. This can be a great solution if you just need files off of an on-premises server.
Microsoft SharePoint is another good option for small businesses. You do need an office 365 subscription, but many businesses already have this for email and apps such as word, excel, and PowerPoint.
This is a great solution to be able to access files via a browser. You can put permissions on the files, and limit user access like what you can do on a local file share. We have found that this solution performs best for small businesses. It seems to have an upper cap on its functionality and gets bogged down when data sets and numbers of files get too large.
If you find yourself with a larger data set that needs to be moved to the cloud Azure files may be a great fit. It’s built to accommodate larger numbers of files. It still has great permissions, and you can map it like a network drive. This makes user experience great because it’s similar to what most users have experienced in the past.
For most businesses to be able to work from home successfully they must have easy access to applications and data. There are many solutions that may be a fit depending on your specific needs. MyTek can consult with you and help determine which solutions will allow you to work from anywhere and stay productive.