For many Southern California businesses, a remote workforce has become the new norm thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
During March, many companies were scrambling to adhere to stay-at-home orders and try to make their new normal work. And while some states are beginning layered business reopenings, those in L.A. county and other areas in California still have a while before they can reopen.
This means it’s time to optimize your remote workforce to future-proof your business. Having a resilient cloud infrastructure can make it easier to keep some workers remote indefinitely if you choose to and it can protect you in the event of a future crisis.
Not all businesses chose the best or most integrated cloud solutions when they had to quickly transition to running their business remotely. Things were happening so fast, that companies were just trying to keep their operations running.
But working with a poor cloud infrastructure for your telecommuting workers can lead to negatives, such as:
- Workers feeling disconnected and unsupported
- Inability to properly secure all your data
- File loss and data leakage
- Paying too much for cloud solutions
- Workflows that aren’t integrated
Build a Remote-Friendly Cloud Infrastructure
In 2020, how well your business runs is a direct reflection of how good your digital technology adoption is. If you’re not fully optimized technology-wise, it means you can lose a competitive edge in your field.
Small businesses that fully optimize their use of technology have the following advantages over less optimized companies:
- They earn 2x as much revenue per employee
- They see year-over-year revenue growth nearly 4x higher
Cloud infrastructure is a big part of any company’s work processes and now more than ever, they’re vital to operations. Those companies optimizing for remote employees will have the advantage both in the near and long term.
Here are some of the most critical cloud solutions that you need to empower employees that are running your business remotely.
Team Communication Application
Video conferencing and instant messaging have become the new way to stay connected with colleagues, get work assignments, and report back.
It’s important to have a cloud platform that can give your team the ability to communicate in real time and have “on the fly” video meetings when needed. This helps mitigate feelings of isolation and keeps everyone on task and feeling like a cohesive unit.
A centralized communication platform also keeps your communication trails in a single place, so they’re easily accessible.
One of the most flexible and robust platforms is Microsoft Teams, which comes as a stand-alone or along with Microsoft 365. It allows users to:
- Message in real-time
- Use status updates (available, on phone, etc.)
- Video Conference
- Audio Call
- Share files
- Collaborate in Office apps
- Connect with others outside their organization through “guest user” feature
Cloud File Storage/Sharing
If you don’t have document management policies in place for a remote team, you can end up with major data loss, wasted time from recreating lost files, and a huge data security risk.
Cloud file storage and sharing platforms like OneDrive, Dropbox and Google Drive give your team a place to store all files so they can be secured, found by keyword search, and easily backed up and protected.
Any business that is still using a landline-based phone system has surely now seen the benefits of cloud-based VoIP. When you can’t access your phone lines easily, that’s a big part of your business communications structure that’s hampered.
VoIP phone systems have come a long way over the last 15 years, and have crystal clear quality, loads of features, plus the ability to be answered anywhere, from any device. This gives your callers a consistent, high-quality experience and allows you to use cloud unified communications.
Cloud CRM Program
Many companies use a customer relationship management (CRM) program, but not all of them use a cloud-based one.
To ensure your customer experience doesn’t suffer when your team is working remotely, it’s important that all customer communications are being captured into a single place that is easily accessible from anywhere.
Cloud CRM programs, like Zendesk, can capture website forms, chats, emails, and even phone calls, so all customer communications are easily accessible, and employees can help customers from computer, mobile, or tablet without skipping a beat.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Network security is a challenge when your business network now includes multiple residential wireless routers that are all located in different places.
One of the easiest ways to secure business data being transmitted through those home routers is to use a business VPN. This gives your employees a secure tunnel through which they can connect to the internet. It encrypts their data, so their connections are secure, even when using an unsecure Wi-Fi.
Cloud Application Security
With users remotely connecting to your cloud services, you need a way to keep out hackers and ensure your cloud accounts remain secure.
There are two main methods that you can use:
- Enable two-factor authentication on all cloud accounts; Or
- Use an application like Microsoft Cloud App Security to give you more visibility over app usage and control over security policies
Is Your Cloud Infrastructure Fully Optimized?
Inefficient technology processes can drag down your business productivity and frustrate your users. Let Neuron Computers help you build a cloud infrastructure that powers your forward motion.
Contact us today for a free cloud consultation. Call 1-833-4-NEURON or reach out online.