A myriad of new technologies including mobile devices, cloud-based applications, and non-traditional computing platforms have made offices more digitally connected than ever before. Businesses of all sizes face the similar challenges when it comes to managing networks for a wide variety of devices, and providing technology support for employees that are increasingly computing on the go.
These are 4 of the most common technology challenges that digitally-connected offices face today:
1. Connecting a Diverse Range of Devices
Modern office networks today need to support users on a diverse range of devices including workstations, desktops, notebooks, tablets and smartphones; so managing moves/add-ons/ or changes for a wide range of devices (and device operating systems), is a key challenge for many businesses. By using managed service auditing software, your IT provider will already know your individual hardware configuration before visiting your new site, which saves heaps on the costs of ongoing visits.
Since a lot of BYOD (bring your own device) policies allow employees to bring personal mobile devices to the workplace, and to access company data remotely, securing business data is now a major concern among many organizations. Securing access to data can be handled multiple ways – depending on the requirements of the business; onsite servers or private cloud servers can utilize access control lists to provide staff with access to only the files that their job requires, while businesses making a move to the public cloud can store documents securely using Microsoft’s Sharepoint Online – which is also a fantastic way to reduce the number of servers required in the business. If mobile devices are used for accessing important information, technologies such as mobile device management (MDM) can be used – to allow the business to enforce password policies and provide remote wipe functionality if the device becomes lost.
3. Data Backup and Disaster Recovery
Implementing and managing a data backup and disaster recovery mechanism is already complex and expensive for small to medium sized businesses, and it becomes even more complicated when you include the range of devices that hold important data. By implementing a managed offsite backup strategy, the business is assured that their backups are being taken care of. This also free’s up staff time for changing backup media, and provides business owners with peace of mind when it comes to data security.
4. Network Monitoring and Management
The diversity of interconnected devices and keeping on top of important software updates can complicate network management, and if not done properly, there is a higher chance of the network crashing – which could lead to prolonged and costly periods of lost productivity. Choosing to have your business devices managed by third party managed service providers, many of whom have invested resources in automated systems for keeping computers up to date for their Windows patches and antivirus updates; as well as software that automatically detects any possible issues – means that you can have a fixed cost IT budget and a network system that is less likely to crash. A fully managed system allows you the flexibility to change your IT as you see fit, without being hit with an “unknown quantity” at the end of the month.