Over the last couple of decades, the emergence of remote work has unfolded gradually and then suddenly with the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, and now it appears it is here to stay. However, this way of working has created new challenges for ensuring that workers remain productive and secure while operating from home.
In this piece, we will give you an introduction to the cloud infrastructure that makes remote work possible and its benefits, alongside giving you five strategies for creating and maintaining an excellent IT support function for remote workers.
The Cloud And Why It Should Be Embraced
While cloud technologies are not strictly essential for supporting remote work, they have become an effective go-to solution that offers many benefits, including cost savings and enhanced productivity. So what is the cloud and what does it do?
The cloud enables businesses to access and deliver services through an internet connection, this includes storing and exchanging data, running and hosting applications, and accessing computing power without requiring physical hardware on your premises, which contrasts with traditional IT solutions, where on-premises servers are used to host and run a company’s systems.
Today, embracing the cloud has become essential for creating a seamless but comprehensive remote work environment. Here are some key benefits and reasons why cloud-based solutions are valuable for remote work:
- Accessibility – Cloud-based solutions provide easy access to files, applications and data from anywhere with an internet connection. This is well exemplified by virtual workspace solutions such as Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace. This flexibility allows remote workers to collaborate effectively and work from any location with an internet connection.
- File Storage and Collaboration – Cloud storage platforms like Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive enable live file sharing, collaboration, whilst offering a storage solution that updates in real time and saves version histories. This means that multiple users can work on the same document simultaneously, eliminating version control issues and increasing efficiency.
- Scalability – Cloud-based services can easily scale to meet the evolving needs of remote teams. Whether you need to add new users, increase storage capacity, or expand computing resources, the cloud offers flexibility and agility without requiring big hardware investments.
- Enhanced Security – Cloud service providers invest heavily in security measures to protect data stored on their platforms. They implement encryption, authentication protocols, and advanced access controls to safeguard sensitive information. This can be particularly beneficial for remote work, as it reduces the risk of data breaches or unauthorised access.
- Disaster Recovery – Cloud services typically include disaster recovery options, allowing businesses to quickly recover their data in the event of a catastrophe. Remote teams can have peace of mind knowing that their work and data are securely backed up and can be restored if needed.
Overall, embracing the cloud empowers remote workers by providing easy access to essential tools, promoting collaboration, improving data security and streamlining IT support. It’s a powerful solution for the modern era of remote work.
Establish Clear Communication Channels
A key starting point to providing effective IT support to remote workers, is creating clear and responsive communication channels. These channels, such as a dedicated helpdesk system, emails, phone lines, or instant messaging, act as access points for resolving technical issues promptly.
Often communication can be a challenge especially if its about technical issues. So tailor these channels to complement troubleshooting procedures. For example, many technical issues can be addressed more effectively if the employee is able to upload a screen capture or video of the issue, enabling IT support teams to resolve the issue more quickly. Another great tool to use for IT support is remote viewing software, which enable IT support professionals to directly access and troubleshoot problems in real time via a user’s device.
Another key aspect is tracking and prioritizing support requests. To do this, a ticketing solution can be implemented that enables remote workers to submit and track support requests. These solutions also help you to make data-driven decisions for improving your IT support function, based on response time data, user feedback, and query categories. This enables IT support to deliver more value with more efficiency over time.
Implement Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) Tools
RMM tools give you oversight and access to management tools across your remote network, enabling you to enhance the reliability, performance and security of your remote network.
Remote Monitoring and Management tools enable IT teams to proactively monitor remote devices and networks, identify issues, and to deploy updates and patches remotely. RMM enables you to gain oversight over your remote networks’ performance and to detect anomalies and potential problems ahead of them becoming issues that effect productivity and security.
RMM tools also provide real-time insights into the health of remote devices, network connectivity, and software installations. These insights can be invaluable for finding ways to create a smoother, faster and more secure remote working experience for your teams.
Provide Comprehensive Remote Support
Taking the time to plan and implement a comprehensive remote support function can help your teams to get the best from their remote working experience more seamlessly.
A remote worker IT support function should have the ability to address a wide range of technical issues effectively. These issues range from software glitches and network connectivity problems to password recovery processes and maintaining remote cybersecurity measures. Planning how to offer a full coverage of support can help you to effectively implement tools and systems that allow your remote teams to work securely and productively.
With the help of remote access tools, you can also bridge the spatial gap between your IT team and remote working teams. With remote access, direct support can be provided quickly and enhance issue resolution speeds and onboarding processes.
Remote work amplifies a range of cybersecurity risks that can arise from many sources, such as remote workers accessing your organization’s network through personal devices or using personal routers with relatively low cybersecurity capabilities.
Remote work environments can be vulnerable to security breaches that seep into your wider network and systems, which can lead to data breaches and malware attacks on your network, amongst other threats.
Some measures you can implement include enforcing multi-factor authentication (MFA) for remote access to company systems and enforcing strong password policies. Encourage remote workers to use virtual private networks (VPNs) to secure data transmission when they operate on your systems and networks. Regularly update security software and educate remote workers about the latest cybersecurity threats and best practices with user awareness training.
Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions offer a range of protective features if your organization offers mobile devices to remote teams; these solutions enable firewalling access to certain applications and sites, encryption abilities and the ability to roll out updates across your corporate mobile devices.
Offer Remote Training and Onboarding
A quality remote training and onboarding experience will enable your remote teams to get the best from their remote working experience from the start. Offer full remote training and onboarding for users that acquaints them with workflows, software and cybersecurity policies in your organization.
Additionally, consider investing in a self-help portal or resources suite that enables your remote workers to resolve issues promptly on their own, saving time and resources. Encourage continuous learning and provide ongoing support to ensure remote employees feel confident and productive in their remote work environment, especially when changes are being made across your IT systems that may impact your remote teams.
Overall, investing into a comprehensive remote IT support function will pay off large dividends for your remote workers, enabling them to do their best work securely and seamlessly.
By establishing clear communication channels, implementing remote monitoring and management tools, providing comprehensive remote support, prioritizing cybersecurity, and offering remote training and onboarding, you can create a robust IT support framework for their remote workforce that empowers productivity and security.
For remote workers, comprehensive IT support also offers a boost to morale and fosters a sense of connection and support in the organization. With great remote IT support, you can lower turnover, improve employee satisfaction, and drive productivity across the board.
Coastal IT Support in Georgia, Brunswick
Are you prepared to revolutionize your business in Southeast Georgia, particularly in Brunswick? Look no further! Contact Coastal Computing today and embark on a transformative journey towards streamlined efficiency and accelerated growth in Southeast Georgia.
We understand that managing IT infrastructure can be complex and time-consuming, distracting you from core business objectives. That is where Coastal Computing’s expertise in Brunswick, Georgia, comes in. With extensive experience and cutting-edge solutions tailored to the needs of the Brunswick area, we seamlessly handle all your IT needs, allowing you to focus on your business’s success.