IT offerings are not - and should not - be the same as they were in the late 90s or even the early 2000s. There are many new technologies that have come into play since the early days of the computer revolution, some of which are practically demanded by employees rather than desired. Employees expect to be able to work anytime they need to in a secure manner that works quickly and effectively. Having a system in place where employees can only work in the office with company-mandated equipment alone simply doesnât make sense anymore.
In order to support employee devices and the desire to work at all hours of the day if needed, a shift to the cloud is needed. Most cloud applications can function entirely in an internet browser, so the application is completely agnostic as to what type of device is connecting. Provided that the correct credentials are used, employees can use an iPad, an Android mobile phone, or a traditional PC to access tools they need to perform their work. This might not work for all industries due to regulatory bodies, so be sure that you maintain compliance with any relevant agencies to your industry.
Of course, security is also an important part of the cocktail as well. Employees what to be able to work anywhere on the globe, but nobody wants to be the person who got hacked and almost destroyed the company - not providing security tools and a firewall to private data is absolutely negligent, even if you donât want to extend mobility solutions to employees. Two-factor authentication is a great addition to a solid password policy for internet-based applications such as CRM tools, and for anything regarding private data, the best way to defend the information is via VPN communications. Documents and other forms of data that employees pull while mobile should also be encrypted during transmission so that malicious entities that might be trying to intercept data are unable to do so.
Finally, a plan to handle the loss or theft of devices is a must. An employee who travels and is on the go with a mobile device such as a laptop or tablet is at risk to things that might not impact an employee based in the home office. Theft and simply losing devices become factors that canât be ignored because employee can and do use private data for legitimate purposes, meaning that a lost laptop is a data breach in the making. To reduce some of the pain, implementing a solution with mobile wipe software is a good way to keep that data safe from prying hands, especially if there is a backup solution in place to prevent all data from being destroyed. Using a solution such as virtual desktops is even better, as the employeeâs laptop would never have stored private data anyway; all data would be pulled via secure connection to a server in a data center.Of course, employee devices might not get lost or stolen. They might break - laptops can have hard drives fail, tablets can have shattered screens - and without a plan to get the data from those machines onto new devices, employees will have some problems getting back on their feet. Using virtual desktops alleviates that problem - the device never actually had the data anyway - but for every other case a backup plan is a must. The employee device should have a way to back up to a server that can result in a restore for the device in the event that the original device is damaged or destroyed.