Evolving your distributed workforce (Part 2): Cost-effective collaboration and data security

With ‘new ways of working’ not feeling so new anymore, businesses are facing the challenge of moving from arrangements that may have been thought of as temporary to those that now feel more permanent.

A key part of this is having the right technology in place. It needs many businesses to mature their tech solutions in order to move from the ‘getting by’ phase to a situation that’s right for the longer term.

In our previous blog, we looked at what this means for employee connectivity and the management of device costs. Now, we’ll examine how businesses can develop in the fields of communication, collaboration and data management, and how they can deal with the security issues that can accompany them.

Short-term solutions

Collaboration relies on communication – and both have been huge considerations for businesses over recent months. As workers decamped to work remotely, employers implemented short-term solutions to cope with the new situation.

At the beginning of March, Zoom’s CEO predicted that we could be about to see a “fundamental, permanent shift in how people work.” The early stages of this shift saw communication solutions such as Google Hangouts and Zoom itself being embraced, partly as they were free.

But there were limitations, including widely documented security issues, questions about data storage, time limits on calls and differences in geographical coverage.

Additional short-term solutions have included using office-based Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) to establish call-forwarding to remote workers. This system can become more a more permanent fix if hosted on the employee’s own phone – but for significant, long lasting advantages, you should look to the next level.

The power of Unified Communications

The real deal for businesses looking to enhance tech maturity is a Unified Communications (UC) suite. Rather than having people on mobile devices and using various conferencing tools, a UC suite has everything built in – a single platform for multi-channel communication, with employees able to use the same numbers wherever they are. It includes voice and video conferencing tools and can be built especially for your business.

For instance, if you’re using Microsoft Teams, you can benefit from the ability to make and receive external calls, enabling Teams as a full UC solution with enterprise grade telephony. As it’s a cloud-based solution, there’s no need to spend on traditional hardware, while there are also significant cost savings per user when compared to Microsoft’s calling plans. At Adam Phones, we offer this Direct Routing for Teams solution as an end-to-end service.

Storage and security

Aside from communication and collaboration, one of the key issues for businesses shifting to remote working is data storage.

After all, changes in working patterns and locations haven’t stopped an ever-increasing amount of data being collected and stored. But what may have changed is how it’s accessed, shared and kept from falling into the wrong hands. Employees working remotely on public WiFi pose more of a risk than when they’re working in an office.

These challenges can be tackled with a Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) service, which provides  a comprehensive platform for all mobile assets, from smartphones to tablets and laptops, including personal and corporate owned devices. An effective UEM will incorporate security measures including secure access to mobile content, and defence against advanced mobile threats.

Go beyond VPN

Separately, many organisations will have turned to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) as the mainstay of data management and storage in a remote working environment. The problem is that cyber criminals have also chosen VPNs to focus their attentions on.

For example, earlier this year a previously unknown vulnerability in an enterprise VPN software was exploited to compromise over 200 VPN servers and infiltrate the organisations that used the service.

As a result, solution providers such as Wandera are offering simple, fast, cloud-based ‘Private Access’ that puts data and apps out of the reach of those who shouldn’t have access to it, dramatically increases visibility for admins and still maintains productivity.

Find out more

To find out more about how Adam Phones can help your business move to a more permanent remote working solution, call us on freephone 0800 123 000, or for more information on how your business can adapt to suit a distributed workforce, download our recent whitepaper here

Posted on: 29th September 2020

Posted in: Blog

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,