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Business Observer Friday, Nov. 27, 2020 1 year ago

Business agility: empower employees to be better remote workers

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Implementing mobility and flexibility is key.
by: Jake Spanberger

 

There are things that happen in life that require your business to change quickly. Disasters such as a hurricane or a pandemic are among these scenarios.

There are also the times when you’re having a couch delivered and need to take the afternoon off but still want to get some work done while you’re waiting. Or having to take care of a sick child at home. This is why organizations need to rely on business agility every day. You don’t have to be in the office for things to get done and your business doesn’t have to be negatively impacted if you’re not there.

Technology plays an important role in making this happen. In turn, having a flexible technology infrastructure plan in place is key and allows you to operate from anywhere —  and embrace remote work with minimal disruption.

Most large enterprises have a strategic plan around mobilizing their workforce, but this concept can also be adapted to small and medium-sized businesses. When we talk about mobilizing a workforce, we’re talking about mobilizing your business model, not just mobile devices. 

Six key components you should take into consideration to do this, and build a better business agility strategy include:

Ultra-mobility

If you want to make your employees’ jobs easier and more efficient, resulting in an increase of productivity, then you need to provide them an easy way to access information and make their work situation as flexible as possible. It’s the ability to access the same information no matter what device you’re on (laptop, tablet, phone, etc.), while making sure your information is ultra-protected.

Hosted email

Most businesses have progressed their email infrastructure into Microsoft 365 or Google’s cloud servers. The one thing most haven’t considered is readdressing the security of their email platform. Email is the gateway to your life (think bank passwords, flight confirmations, etc.), so it’s important to protect it. The simplest steps to add more protection to your email systems is enforcing stronger, longer passwords and implementing a two-factor authentication system. 

Centralized collaboration platform

Centralized collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams, Slack or Google Suite are crucial. It can be the one place where your team can communicate through video, voice or chat and collaborate on documents, all with a single click of the mouse. If you’re like most, you probably have an inbox full of messages, an office phone full of voicemails and a cell phone full of text messages. A properly configured collaboration platform can centralize all that for you and make your team far more efficient and productive.

Hosted applications

A hosted application is one that doesn’t require a program to be installed on your computer. You just go to a website.  QuickBooks Online, Salesforce and Dropbox are all examples of hosted applications. Most line of business applications in different industries likely have a version of a hosted application. All you need to do is adjust your business process to meet their functionality. By removing the burden of installing a program on your computer or on your server, it adds a tremendous amount of flexibility and scalability.

Cloud infrastructure

Any internal infrastructure can be moved to a cloud infrastructure if you do your due diligence. The beauty of a cloud infrastructure is it can be sized to your current needs.  You can scale it up or down quickly and not worry about having to replace an expensive piece of hardware every couple of years. You’re only paying for what you’re using.

Data protection

With every agility strategy security must be top of mind for every decision. The increase in flexibility of your workforce adds complexity to the risk profile of your data. A properly designed cybersecurity strategy can protect you. It just needs to be discussed every step of the way so your risk can be minimized.

Jake Spanberger is the President of Entech, an IT service provider with offices in Bradenton and Fort Myers.

 

 

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