TECH SEP 06, 2022

Your guide to IT Solutioning for the new hybrid working model


Is your business fit for hybrid working?

What began as an outcome of being forced into lockdown quickly revolutionised the way we work. People enjoy the freedom of being able to work from anywhere. They want to customise their schedules, save time on commuting and reduce travel and office expenses.

Despite the plethora of benefits, the hybrid workforce is not without challenges. Businesses need to make adjustments to their business operations in catalysing an effective transition.

Many of the adjustments businesses need to make revolve around IT solutioning. Sturdy IT solutions need to be in place to enable collaboration, file accessibility and data security. A lack of IT solutioning can result in impaired communication, data leaks and even financial losses (in severe cases).

Effective IT solutions unlock the door to effective hybrid working.

Here’s our take on how you can build an effective hybrid workplace:

Cybersecurity: Minimising human error

Education on cybersecurity is just as (if not more) important than any tool or software. According to a 2021 Verizon report, 85% of data breaches stem from human error. A company could have the best technological mechanisms in place. But if their teams lack awareness around cybersecurity, company data could still be compromised.

Education around cybersecurity is essential. For almost all employees, daily operations involve needing to access data, sharing files and connecting to onsite IoT devices. To ensure data safety, conversations need to be had around human error - where it slips in and how it can be avoided.

The most common instances of human error around cybersecurity include:

  • forgetting to switch to a secure network when in public
  • discussing business sensitive information
  • leaving work-related devices unattended in public spaces
  • unfiltered website browsing
  • unknowingly downloading viruses.
  • Cybersecurity is as much a cultural issue as it is about technology. Cybersecurity education and training lay the foundations for a cybersafe business.

    Digital backbones for company data protection

    With people being spread across multiple locations, IT departments are needing to manage more computers and unique user access points. Being able to work anywhere at any time comes with tremendous flexibility. But it also increases the risk of possible data breaches if appropriate digital backbones aren’t in place.

    A virtual private network (VPN) helps create a secure and hidden network for every employee. For a business to succeed in the hybrid world, they need a dedicated company network for accessing resources via public and home-based networks. VPN access is essential for hybrid working as it allows teams to access all their server-based programs in a safe and efficient manner.

    Document management technology can also be customised in enabling businesses to control file access - who can see, edit and delete files within the organisation.

    Another core digital backbone companies should implement for data protection is endpoint security. This involves securing endpoints (or entry points) of user devices in preventing cyber criminals from accessing your company network.

    Businesses can take steps to secure their data by:

  • conducting audit trails
  • performing data encryption
  • enabling two-factor authentication
  • securing backup and storage mechanisms
  • securing the sharing of digital files.
  • IT departments should also implement cybersecurity solutions like antimalware software and have a data breach response plan in place. Protecting company data is vital.

    Hoteling software for smarter coordination

    In the hybrid world, people generally don’t have one fixed place where they work. People may alternate between their study at home, commuting to a physical office, working in cafes, public libraries or in parking lots as they drop their children off to school and/or other recreational commitments.

    With less regime and certainty around office attendance, you may need to do some extra planning before making a trip to the office. On the days you intend to be in the office, you want to be prepared so you can get the best value out of being there. Between companies looking to downsize their office resources and capacity limits that may still be in place, it’s not always a guarantee you’ll get to use the space you need.

    That’s why hybrid businesses should use hoteling software. Instead of operating according to a “first in, best served” mentality, hoteling software allows professionals to reserve desks, workstations and conference rooms ahead of time.

    When professionals have reserved the spaces they need ahead of time, they can readily perform the work that needs to be done at the office and avoid wasting valuable time.

    Join the cloud to enable collaboration

    Collaboration is the glue that keeps teams together. Thanks to laptops and the internet, you can work and collaborate from anywhere at any time. To fully leverage this modern convenience, businesses need to have technological mechanisms in place to allow teams to safely access important documents on demand.

    That’s why businesses need to transition to cloud environments. Modern secure access service edge (SASE) technology makes everything easier to manage in hybrid situations. This is because cloud productivity tools can be tailored to a decentralised workforce. They enable employees to log in from anywhere and work on their documents from where they left off, while maintaining overall company access and security.

    Many organisations mistakenly assume the provider is solely responsible for overseeing security in the cloud environment. While cloud service providers must provide systems and servers that are secure, it’s the business’ responsibility to ensure their data is safe.

    Businesses can ensure their data is safe by:

  • monitoring and limiting access to files
  • using strong passwords and encryption
  • having up-to-date network security.
  • Cloud technologies help facilitate seamless collaboration in and outside of the office.

    Real-time communication

    A successful hybrid workforce is underpinned by efficient communication touchpoints. When people are spread across multiple locations, communication between employees can’t be solely dependent on face-to-face interaction.

    Internal communication channels like Slack and Microsoft Teams enable you to communicate in real-time with your colleagues, regardless of your physical location. With internal communication channels, you can easily send and receive SMS messages, share files, set up video conferences and call fellow team members. Real-time communication bridges the gap between remote and in-office workers, enabling a fluid hybrid environment.

    Effective IT solutions are key to helping businesses succeed in the hybrid world. They help facilitate collaboration, file accessibility and data security.

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