Remote WorkHow Managed IT Supports Remote Work

The Role of Managed IT Services in Supporting Remote Work

Digital technology is changing the way the world does business, which includes enabling a greater number of employees to remain productive while working remotely. The benefits of remote work are tremendous; it can eliminate arduous and expensive commutes, ensure greater work/life balance, allow workers to reside where the cost of living is lower, permit flexible scheduling, and save the company the expense of office space. But there are downsides, too. Employers complain that remote workers are more difficult to supervise, and remote workforces make it harder to build a company culture conducive to collaboration, cross-articulation, and synergy. There are also very real concerns about whether the company, especially a small business, can support the network requirements of a heavily remote staff. Fortunately, a managed IT services provider can facilitate remote work on a budget that most small businesses can readily afford.

Eliminating IT concerns over remote work

There are three major technology concerns for small businesses relying on remote workers:

  • Reliable connectivity — Business operations cannot happen if workers cannot access the network and perform their job tasks without delays and disruptions. Management must also be able to observe workflow and communicate with staff, sometimes en masse or in conference settings.
  • Cybersecurity — Remote work raises the risk of a security breach. The company must make a concerted effort to secure remote workstations and protect network access. Failure to do so exposes the company to liability and regulatory sanctions.
  • Data storage — People working remotely cannot simply save work productivity on their home devices. Business-related data must be stored in a secure location to prevent breaches and enable recovery in the event of a disaster.

So, let’s discuss how a Managed Services Provider (MSP) can address these IT issues.

Making your remote network reliable and secure for offsite workers

It should go without saying that remote workers should have reliable home Internet. An MSP can help ensure workers have the necessary bandwidth, speed, and reliability needed to support their work. But that’s hardly the end of the story. Security demands that home offices (and even devices like smartphones and tablets that workers use on the go) have secure virtual private networks (VPNs). An MPS can also provide network infrastructure solutions, such as firewalls, to secure remote workstations.

Remote workstations are vulnerable to malicious attacks. An MSP can help by monitoring the network for suspicious activities and performing regular security assessments. MSPs can advise the company on policies and procedures that ensure remote workers are following cybersecurity best practices. One such practice is multi-factor authentication to restrict unauthorized access. MSPs also provide training to workers to reduce the chances of human error allowing a hacker to gain access to the network. Finally, any remote workstations that process sensitive data must comply with a complex web of regulations. Your MSP can verify that your remote workstations are in compliance.

MSPs can help small businesses overcome the challenges to collaboration by providing effective tools for video conferencing, instant messaging, file sharing, and project management. With an appropriate suite of communication tools, a company can overcome the stagnation of “siloed” workers and facilitate the type of cross-articulation that drives innovation.

By now, you might be wondering about maintenance for a far-flung network. MSPs offer helpdesk support that provides technical assistance 24/7. Remote workers can receive help troubleshooting issues, installing software, updating programs, and configuring security settings. In-house IT employees simply cannot provide the breadth of services, while accommodating diverse work schedules, the way an MSP can.

As far as data storage is concerned, MSPs offer cloud services, so you can regularly and automatically back up your data. Because data is stored remotely at a secure facility, you have an effective disaster recovery plan.

If you are finding the remote work option to be challenging for your small business, the IT experts at KMF Technologies are ready to help. We tailor solutions to your specific needs, so you get every essential service without paying for what you don’t need. Give us a call today.