An unparalleled number of organizations are turning to remote work due to the global pandemic. And many of those businesses weren’t prepared for that shift. If we’re currently in the Great Resignation, maybe we should refer to the early phase of the pandemic as the “Great Pivot.”
Organizations already working with a managed IT services provider found themselves in a better position when it was time to shift to remote work. Why? Because MSPs already have the infrastructure in place to set organizations up for remote success.
Your organization may remain remote for the foreseeable future, or maybe your organization will be more of a hybrid set-up, with some employees working remotely and others in an office setting.
Regardless of your preferences, working with an MSP can help your remote team in everything from boosting connectivity to improving productivity and everything in between. This article will provide additional details on how MSPs can support your workforce.
Redundancy for IT support
MSPs are available to provide support at all times. No matter what time of day—or night—your employees are working, there will be someone there to help them.
This also extends to monitoring. MSPs constantly monitor endpoints for potential security breaches. And since the MSP is working remotely, they can still operate even if your network or server fails, allowing them to respond quickly and avoid downtime.
Unlike an in-house team with limited experience or expertise, an MSP provides a broader knowledge base. If an issue emerges, the MSP can successfully troubleshoot.
Remote Monitoring and Management
Remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools allow MSPs to see and support every endpoint—desktops, laptops, access points, printers, etc.—thus minimizing the importance of physical location.
Your MSP can also enforce company-wide security policies in one place. Some capabilities of RMM are
- Single-pane device monitoring. Enables the MSP to view critical information related to an endpoint like software patch versions, memory usage, users, and more.
- Role-based access control. Grants users the minimum level of access to data and systems required to perform their jobs.
- Endpoint remediation. Blocks vulnerable devices that are outdated, jailbroken, or connected to public WiFi hotspots.
- Application and patch management. Allows for transferring files and the rollout of patches from a single console.
- Remote troubleshooting. Allows technicians to access devices for troubleshooting and support.
Remote Virtual Private Network (VPN)
When employees are working remotely, they are not on the company’s network. Without the proper tools, employees may create vulnerabilities to your organization’s cybersecurity when they access company data. Cybercriminals exploit this opportunity to intercept the data as it moves between your company’s data center and your employee’s device.
A Remote Virtual Private Network (VPN) can mitigate this risk. VPNs create a secure tunnel to the organization’s internal network and the internet. Any data transmitted through this tunnel is fully encrypted, preventing hackers from stealing sensitive company information and tracking your employees’ web activities.
Some of the options with a remote VPN are
- Intrusion detection and prevention
- Additional filtering (content, application, DNS, etc.)
- SSL decryption and encryption
- Vulnerability scanning
- Additional antivirus
The main purpose of remote VPN is to allow employees to securely connect to company resources from a network that is not the network where the data lives.
Some VPNs can also route your connection through a remote server that visits websites for you, making it look like your device is in a different location. This is particularly important if your remote workers are unable to access company data or websites due to geo-restrictions.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
Voice of Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems are a great way for managing remote and hybrid workforces. Instead of an actual phone line, VoIP systems convert a caller’s voice into a digital signal and transmit it over internet connections.
VoIP allows employees to make and receive calls from anywhere as long as they have an internet-enabled computer, smartphone, or other mobile device, removing additional bills for long-distance and international calls.
The true benefit of VoIP is that all it takes is an internet connection. Whether an employee chooses to use a physical phone or use their computer as a soft phone, there is one phone number that never changes. This is crucial when maintaining consistency in the ever-changing location of your office.
VoIPs also have additional features that allow for call forwarding, “busy” and “unavailable” settings, which will automatically send a caller to voicemail or the next available user, and built-in call monitoring tools. Organizations can also access call stats to see call volumes, staff response times, and call resolutions giving you additional data on your team’s performance.
Cloud collaboration tools
Multiple cloud collaboration tools keep your team connected even from afar. Microsoft 365 is a popular option, giving your team a centralized platform to store and share files, collaborate on web-based documents, and share calendars.
There are also business messaging tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams so your company will have the capability to make video and audio calls, send documents, set reminders, create polls, and more.
As companies grow and the number of offsite devices flourishes, tracking and managing all that data becomes more complex. Unfortunately, government and industry compliance auditors don’t accept ignorance as an excuse.
Like a physical office, it is important to ensure that offsite employee data is properly stored and protected. An MSP can improve your backup solutions to find the right solution for your workforce.
Accessibility is imperative for remote work. If your employees can’t access the infrastructure due to equipment challenges or a larger issue, they won’t be able to work.
Working with an MSP can help you determine what tools your business needs and how to use them. Then, as they continue to learn your business, they identify pain points for your employees and assist you in revenue-driving initiatives to make remote work even more efficient.
It is important to note that not all MSPs work this way. In fact, there are plenty of MSPs that still operate under the break/fix mindset. If you’re looking for an MSP that will elevate your business practices through IT solutions, you’re going to want to work with a strategic partner.
If your organization isn’t remote or hybrid and you’re currently considering it, the migration can seem daunting. An MSP can help you with the transition, providing the knowledge to help you move through the transition quickly.
Working with an MSP allows for easy scalability if you're already remote. Bringing on a new employee as your business grows isn’t a large capital expenditure, but rather a predictable monthly cost.
How Anteris can help
In the end, managed IT services don’t look much different for a remote workforce than a traditional workforce. We’re already experts at implementing these tools, so when the pandemic struck, we were ahead of the curve.
Whether you have remote employees or a hybrid workforce, an MSP should be part of your remotework policy.
One of the benefits of having an MSP like Anteris is that you don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. A strategic provider can help you anticipate and react to those changes and remain agile, no matter what happens.
Let us make your technology freeing, not frustrating.