By Alex Smith, Director of Sales Engineering at Intermedia EMEA,
Earlier this month, major strikes on the London Underground left tens of thousands of workers stranded.
Many employees were late or couldn’t even make it to work which severely cost London based businesses both financially, and in terms of lost productivity.
Although many towns and cities don’t rely on underground trains, they do depend on the accuracy and reliability of a transport system in some form, making the workforce vulnerable to disruption of normal service.
If you’re responsible for IT it’s critical that you are prepared for the worst-case scenario. While on premise systems might be all you’re familiar with they rarely match cloud offerings for worker mobility.
One of the key benefits of the cloud is that it offers an office without boundaries. Employees just need an internet connection and they can access company data and systems whilst on the move and from anywhere in the world.
The benefits of cloud computing shone through for businesses in the tube disruptions. But what are the ten things businesses should consider to create a more fluid, flexible workforce?
1. Simple setup - no IT assistance required
Setting up your device to access your business email should be no more complicated than putting in an email address and password.
2. Device-to-desktop syncing for email, calendars and contacts
When you delete a message on your phone, it should disappear from Outlook on your PC. Your calendar should be in sync no matter which device you view it on. And when a new employee joins your company, their contact information should appear in every other employee’s phone instantly.
3. Email archiving, encryption and compliance on mobile devices
Many companies protect against legal threats and compliance risks by using email archiving, encrypted email or data loss protection tools. All of these services should treat emails sent from mobile devices in the same way as those sent via the desktop.
4. Office phone access via your mobile device
As a minimum, your phones should offer call forwarding and voicemail-to-email, but true mobility requires a “softphone” app for making and receiving calls on your device, and using your office number, all without wasting personal minutes.
5. Remote wipe for when devices go missing
You should be able to remotely erase corporate data on a lost or stolen phone. Additionally, IT departments should be able to require employees to have a passcode on any device that can access your email system.
6. World-class protection from spam and viruses
Most people don’t install virus protection on their mobile devices. Make sure your provider intercepts spam and viruses at the data centre level, before messages are allowed to reach the device.
7. Secure mobile chat for on-the-go employees
Employees should be able to use their phones for instant messaging just as easily as when they’re on computers.
8. Shared files should have integrated access control
People love Dropbox and Box because they make mobile file access so easy. But your sharing service should also be integrated with your email system. That’s the best way to be sure that when an employee leaves your company, they lose access to your files instantly.
9. Single sign-on for mobile devices
The most secure passwords are long and complicated which means they’re a pain to type into a phone. Your provider should offer a mobile single sign-on tool for secure, password-free access to apps like SalesForce, QuickBooks, and corporate Twitter accounts.
10. Mobile administration for your IT people
Whoever runs your IT should be just as mobile as the users. They should be able to manage every user, office and device through a single, mobile-friendly point of control.