It’s already clear that executives are moving full-speed-ahead from crisis mode surrounding COVID-19 events to refocusing on strategic objectives and planning for the future. Preparing now can help organizations maintain a resilient mindset and successfully navigate uncertainties that may lie ahead. But, when it comes to your IT department, what should your recovery playbook look like? How can you make sure your company is set up for success to shift from being reactive to proactive? Let’s look at key questions to ask and other top considerations when it comes to evaluating and scaling your technology stack.
Moving from ad-hoc workarounds to long-term planning
Making sure employees can work productively from home means ensuring remote access to solutions and critical business applications such as email, document sharing and communication tools, CRM applications, and ERP systems. That means that after stay-at-home measures were announced in March, many companies had to rely on ad-hoc remote working plans built around BYOD practices.
Now, however, several months into this new ‘remote working’ paradigm, many organizations need to look beyond initial disaster recovery plans. As business leaders evaluate which employees will be returning to the office and which will be staying remote, teams should focus on building out their enterprise-grade remote working infrastructure. This type of environment is essential because it can support long-term remote working arrangements. Adjustments needed may include bumping up bandwidth to support remote network access and adding identity and access management (IAM) technology to your tech stack, for instance. Other tools that make remote working more effective are remote desktop solutions such as VMware Horizon Client or other virtual desktop infrastructures (VDIs). These remote access tools enable employees to access virtual desktops using a personal laptop or company-owned workstation. Effective virtual desktop solutions also involve setting up a virtual private network (VPN) connectivity and monitoring and managing access to any IP-whitelisted services.
Scaling work-from-home (WFH) policies
Part of the ‘where do we go from here’ conversation should also include a game plan for scaling WFH policies. Organizations should set up company “remote work’ policies built around ‘company-sponsored’ WFH tools, such as file storage, communication, and collaboration tools. This move is critical if businesses want to avoid a work-around mentality where people opt for less secure or weaker options to complete their work. For example, consider implementing applications like Office 365, OneDrive, or Google Drive to make it simple for workers to access files from anywhere, preferably using a VDI-type environment. Taking these steps reduces the likelihood that workers will use ‘unauthorized’ applications like Dropbox or YouSendIt to share files, which can put corporate resources at risk.
We have the perfect Work From Home Guide that will help you determine whether you are truly set up for long-term success.
Consider hosted VoIP or other cloud communication options
Other options for supporting in-office and remote workforce is using hosted VoIP or Unified Communication-as-a-Service (UCaaS) tools. Hosted VoIP services combine all communication tools into a single hub for productive working from anywhere. As a cloud-based service, UCaaS brings together voice calling, messaging, online meetings, team collaboration tools, document sharing, and video conferencing tools. Cloud-based communication tools let workers bring their ‘office phone’ with them. Users can take calls using a desk phone or using a softphone – plus, they can transfer calls to their mobile device seamlessly, without giving out their personal phone number. Hosted VoIP solutions like these can also integrate with business applications workers use every day. Business application integrations can improve employee productivity and simplify business workflows by connecting the cloud phone system with CRM and ERP applications, email clients, and other file sharing and communication software.
Plan smart and get help when you can
As we continue progressing through the recovery phases of the COVID-19 crisis, resilient organizations need to reinforce critical shifts moving from a ‘today’ mentality to a ‘tomorrow’ mindset. If you want help planning, you need project support, or you’re looking for cloud technologies like hosted VoIP, please give us a call. At CTG, we also offer critical managed IT services like SD-WAN or setting up VDIs for customers. We specialize in building long-term partnerships and giving our clients superior IT support and services. We won’t scrap all the planning you’ve already done or replace your current IT team – we’ll help make both BETTER! Count on our IT experts to free up your team to be more proactive and strategic, and more productive. We’re ready to jump in!