If staff are going to be more mobile, how can we ensure data remains safe? How are staff supported if they have an issue? This blog post looks at some of the immediate technology questions facing any flexible working project: devices, software and security.
First we need to think about devices. Many firms have moved away from the old world of work with its dependence on fixed working days, showing up at the office and working from an allotted desk, PC and phone. As organisations are instead considering which devices will best suit the needs of their increasingly mobile workforce, the technology industry has responded by creating a huge range of great devices and form factors. For example, the Business Collection, recently launched by Microsoft in conjunction with a number of leading hardware manufacturers, showcases various categories of devices including laptops, ultrabooks (super thin and lightweight laptops) and tablets.
No matter which device staff are using, they also need the right tools for the job. They may have the smartest, fastest model in town, but it’s the software that will enable true flexible working. One solution could be to consider Office 365 which enables users to access the full Office suite of productivity tools simply, quickly and securely through a web browser. Indeed, many organisations are finding ‘cloud computing’ is right for them, since storing and sharing information over the internet means that any device with a browser and connectivity can provide access and users are no longer tethered to machines or places.
Next to take into consideration is security. It’s important to know that the sensitive data that never normally leaves the office remains secure and protected. Some of the devices in the Business Collection include hardware that, when combined with the Windows Operating System, enable the encryption of data on hard drives and external USB devices. This eliminates the risk of sensitive data falling into the wrong hands if users lose their laptop or USB sticks while out of the office – as human error inevitably happens.
Protection from viruses and malware is also important, along with ensuring that the latest security updates have been installed. Windows Intune is a great way to provide organisations with a way to manage and secure devices. It’s easily deployed and – like Office 365 – just requires an internet connection and a web browser to work. The technology enables you to proactively manage your employees’ PCs, provide reliable anti-virus and anti-malware, offer remote assistance and deploy software – from security updates through to most applications – so users don’t necessarily have to be in the office to get a new application installed on their PC.
Anywhere working is possible today and there are many ways that organisations can achieve it. Informed decisions on devices, software and security are the foundations of any flexible working project. With these foundations in place companies can start building towards the future.
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