With the current COVID-19 pandemic, businesses nationwide are faced with the same challenge: transitioning their workforce from office-based to home-based.
For some organizations, having employees who work remotely is nothing new or unusual. But for many businesses, this is unfamiliar territory. If you’re the CIO of a business that’s suddenly having to transition dozens (or hundreds, or even thousands) of employees to remote work, what should you do?
First off, take a deep breath. Remember that there are countless examples of successful, multinational companies who have had employees telecommuting for many years. In the end, you may decide that having some of your employees working from home is a good thing -- and you may even keep it up once this situation passes.
That said, we know that developing and executing a strategy to go remote can be complicated. To help you start the process, here are three essential tips.
Tip 1: Make the Switch to the Cloud
Is your business still using an Exchange server? Are you still dependent on physical in-house file servers? If so, it’s time to transition to the cloud.
If you’re using a network share, your employees have to be physically on premises in order to access important files and software systems. The only way around this is with some kind of VPN solution -- but getting hundreds of employees set up with a VPN takes a considerable amount of time and money, and can also create security concerns.
Rather than opting for a complicated workaround, the better option is to simply switch to the cloud with Microsoft Office 365. With a cloud setup, employees can access everything they need from home. There’s no need to be on premises and logged into the company network. You can also rest assured that employees will be accessing files and software in a completely secure environment, minimizing security risks.
Tip 2: Use Microsoft Azure for Legacy Client/Server Issues
In our experience at AKA, we’ve found that while many companies have upgraded the majority of their software to SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) and other modern solutions, it’s still common for businesses to rely on one or two legacy client/server applications. These apps are based around physical installs, often on desktop computers, which means that employees won’t be able to access them when working remotely.
Fortunately, there’s a relatively simple solution to this problem. With Microsoft Azure, it’s possible to set up a remote desktop that gives employees access to legacy client/server software from their home office. Thanks to the power and efficiency of Azure, developing this sort of solution can often be accomplished in just a few hours and for a minimal investment.
Tip 3: Enable Collaboration with Teams
Once you’re up and running in the cloud and have ensured that your employees can access what they need from home, there’s one other major consideration to account for: the ability to collaborate. Employees working from home will sometimes struggle with a lack of face-to-face interaction--an essential element of effective collaboration.
With Microsoft Teams, employees can keep in touch, work together on group projects, and monitor one another’s progress. With Teams running on an employee’s mobile phone and home computer, they’ll receive push notifications for upcoming meetings and ongoing chat conversations. Built-in video capability allows team members to interact more naturally during remote meetings. Sharing documents and files is easy, and Teams keeps all of your communication in one easy-to-access place.
The Time is Now: Modernize Your Organization’s Culture
Over the past few years, successful businesses have been transitioning to the cloud and setting their employees up to work remotely. And with tools on special trial offer like Microsoft Azure and Teams, it’s never been easier.
While the current situation brings with it certain challenges, it also presents businesses with an opportunity to modernize and update their company culture. AKA can help your business get started with Dynamics 365 CRM, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Teams, and other essential solutions for working remotely via the cloud.
ABOUT AKA ENTERPRISE SOLUTIONS AKA specializes in making it easier to do business, simplifying processes and reducing risks. With agility, expertise, and original industry solutions, we embrace projects other technology firms avoid—regardless of their complexity. As a true strategic partner, we help organizations slay the dragons that are keeping them from innovating their way to greatness. Call us at 212-502-3900!
Article by: Greg Inks | 212-502-3900
With two decades specializing in Microsoft and Azure platforms, Greg leads AKA's Cloud practice. He is a Cloud evangelist offering deep expertise in Cloud architectures and adoption strategy. Greg has developed subject-matter expertise and wide-ranging business acumen by working with some of the largest, most successful technology providers and client companies on the planet.
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