Preparing your technology for the post-lockdown world
As lockdown measures are easing in the UK, businesses are preparing to make the move back into the office. We’re taking a look at how your business can prepare its technology for post-lockdown – and whatever might follow.
A tale of two attitudes
An increasing number of people are slowly taking steps towards going back to work in the office and this will only rise following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s speech encouraging more people to return to the office if they can.
Having spoken to many of our customers this week, we’re finding that there appear to be two different trains of thought emerging towards returning to an office.
The first is those people who are predicting that there might be a second wave of lockdown measures which will necessitate a swift return to working from home.
The second opinion we’re hearing is from customers who have found that remote working is working for them and are now seriously considering not having an office at all after this pandemic has passed.
Whichever of these attitudes more closely matches yours, the way I see it is that this is the right time to review your technology.
So here are my top tips for your business technology, post lockdown:
Tip 1 – Rethink physical servers
If you have any physical servers housed somewhere within your office, you should consider getting rid of them.
Your business might be one of the lucky ones that doesn’t need a server at all or, if you really do need a server to run an application, you should look into moving it from your office to the cloud, using something like Microsoft Azure.
The cloud provides the flexibility and cost model to enable your business to have more freedom.
Tip 2 – Improve your file storage
You might have your files and folders stored on servers inside of your office, or worse still they might be stored on individual laptops because of the lockdown.
Now is the perfect time to look at moving these to a great cloud storage system which has collaboration capabilities, something like SharePoint - which is part of the Microsoft 365 subscription.
Tip 3 – Take another look at your telephone system
Could your telephone system be more flexible for your business?
If a return to lockdown means that we do all end up working from home again, or if your business decides that it no longer needs an office, it’s best to avoid employees using their personal mobile phones to communicate with customers or suppliers. This isn’t practical or professional.
The best option for this situation is a cloud-based telephone system. One option is to use Microsoft Teams as your business telephone system – it gives you the flexibility you need when it comes to speaking to customers and team members.
Tip 4 – Improve your IT security
This is a big one. When people are working from outside of the main company office, different security challenges are presented and it’s important that your business doesn’t end up with significantly weaker IT security because everyone is home working.
Often when people are remote working they are connecting to home internet connections. In this situation, you should always use a cloud-based VPN solution which means that critically the internet connection is encrypted.
Tip 5 – Make sure hard drives are encrypted
Another challenge that remote working can produce is that people are using portable devices like laptops. Laptops can be lost or stolen so it’s important that all of the laptops you give to your team have their hard drive encrypted.
This means that if a member of your team leaves their laptop in the back of a taxi, the data on it can’t be accessed and your business will avoid a fine for breaching GDPR.
Windows 10 has a feature called Bitlocker and this encrypts the laptop hard drive… And it’s free!
If you have any questions or would like to find out more about any aspect of technology as you return to your office, please get in touch.