3 Ways Managed IT Services Can Support a Remote Work Environment:
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, many businesses were forced to transition their employees to a remote work environment quickly. For many companies, this was the first time that remote working had ever crossed their mind.
Having their employees working anywhere but in-office was never an option, and suddenly, remote work was their only option for the foreseeable future.
Not having planned for an event such as the pandemic left many companies in a panic. Many realized they were not equipped with the necessary tools and resources to work remotely.
Businesses began seeking out managed IT services to provide support and guidance during this transition. At Usherwood, we have always emphasized staying equipped with the latest technology to be prepared for whatever the future throws at us.
In this case, that was a pandemic. Luckily for our focus on advanced technology solutions, Usherwood already had the tools necessary to make remote work an easy transition for our clients and us.
Now, many businesses are considering making remote work a permanent option for employees. By partnering with a managed service provider, companies realized that they could work just as efficiently from anywhere with the right technology and support.
As a managed service provider, both our clients and our employees were able to work remotely by proactively implementing tools and strategies that would sustain a virtual work environment. Here are 3 ways that managed services can support your business and make remote work effortless.
Maintain a secure remote environment:
When switching to a remote work model, the most critical element is knowing that you are secure. Security was a significant concern for many businesses switching to a remote work environment.
A managed service provider will provide the tools necessary to keep your employees secure on their devices, no matter where they are working. Some of these tools include:
Firewalls monitor your network for suspicious activity and prevent people from attempting to gain access even if you are working remotely. This way, if a hacker is trying to access a user's device while they are on their home network, the additional layer of protection will detect the threat and ensure unauthorized remote access is not permitted.
MFA, also known as, Multi-factor authentication, is a method that requires two or more verification factors to gain access to a resource, device, or application. With MFA, a hacker would need to get through multiple layers of authorization before gaining access. This is a great tool to ensure employees are not at risk of a hacker gaining access to sensitive data or applications while working remotely.
A VPN is a virtual private network that gives your business online privacy by creating a private network from a public internet connection. This is essential if your business's employees are working from remote environments.
Suppose your employees are on the go accessing the web and cloud-based network. In that case, the VPN will provide security and privacy by encrypting data sent over the web, making you invisible. This type of encryption can stop hackers from accessing or stealing sensitive information from you.
VPN’s also allow your employees to bypass location-restricted content freely. The VPN maintains security over your business's private data while still giving your employees remote access when they need it.
Endpoint management allows your MSP to manage, monitor, and secure all endpoint devices in an environment from one single console. Endpoints consist of:
- Laptops, Desktops, servers
- Virtual Machines
- Mobile devices
- Cloud infrastructure
- Network devices
- Other IoT Devices
Many managed service providers use endpoint management. This tool will give your MSP complete visibility of your environment, even if they are not physically looking at the device. This makes it much easier and more efficient for an MSP to detect any suspicious activity from a remote environment.
Access to remote IT Engineers:
When you hire a managed IT provider, you will have an assigned team of engineers that will work with you on any implementations, changes, or issues you have in your environment.
Although you are not in the office, with remote work, you will still have full access to these engineers at all times. This ensures that all your employees can rely on a response at all times, regardless of location.
Having dealt with the pandemic for some time, many companies with in-house IT staff notice their employees taking sick leave, which risks leaving them with no IT technician on staff to solve an issue if one arises.
With an MSP, you will always have access to an entire staff of IT engineers. This way, there is never a time you will be left without someone to respond to IT issues.
Optimized Virtual Environment:
With an MSP, they will provide you with the tools necessary to communicate virtually with colleagues effectively. An example of software your MSP may provide you with to enhance virtual communication and collaboration is Microsoft 365.
Microsoft 365 allows you to access information to emails, documents, and a suite of tools from anywhere. Microsoft 365 also provides tools to make communicating and collaborating with your colleagues effortless. Through Microsoft Teams, you can virtually host meetings, live events, and audio conferencing.
Other collaboration features allow you to create, upload, share and save documents within the platform. This ensures employees can still work together on shared documents to maintain the same team relationships even if they are not face-to-face.
Can offering remote work options benefit your business?
Managed IT service providers have helped provide many companies with the support and resources necessary to continue working just as efficiently remotely as they did in the office. Managed IT services opened many companies' eyes to the idea that their employees don't need to be working in an office space to be productive and successful in their roles.
Likewise, it opened many employees' eyes to the benefits of remote work. Many people are now seeking jobs that offer either a remote or hybrid work environment. Employers realize that if their business doesn't have this option, many people would not consider working for them or even leave. By enabling a remote or hybrid model, many companies can stay competitive with hiring and retaining employees.
Interested in learning more about managed IT services?
Remote work is becoming the new model for many businesses. Having the ability to offer remote work as an option to employees is a great way to continue productivity just as usual no matter what may come up (an employee traveling, getting sick, etc).
As many businesses begin transitioning their current work model to remote work flexibility, it is becoming more critical that others follow suit to remain competitive. Hiring a managed service provider is an easy way to make a seamless transition to remote work, that will be sustainable for short or long-term success.
As a managed service provider, Usherwood constantly ensures that they are evolving their tools and solutions to stay current with any technology changes. This was a significant reason that Usherwood quickly transitioned clients to a remote work environment because they had long before equipped them with the latest tools to do so.
Choosing an MSP that can prepare your business for whatever gets thrown your way is critical. Technology is constantly evolving, and with that, so should your business. Whether you are in-office or working remotely, managed IT services can provide you with the necessary support and technology you need to stay secure and productive. To learn more about what you can expect from managed IT services, check out this article: What Is Fully Managed IT? (How it works and why you need it).