When the world as we knew it took a sudden and drastic turn in March of 2020, organizations around the globe could not have imagined how unequipped they were for what was to come. Every headline began with the word unprecedented, yet none of us were prepared for what that truly meant. Between the coronavirus pandemic, the uproar surrounding racial injustice, wildfires destroying thousands of miles of property, and the unconventional presidential elections; unprecedented was an understatement.
The business realm was not immune to the social outcry that was 2020. Being adequately equipped for remote work is not an overnight process, yet millions of organizations were forced to make the transition without preparation or knowledge of what telecommuting entailed, nor the risks that go with it. We acknowledged early on that each one of our clients required different technological solutions in order to remain business productive remotely; taking initiative to implement our supporting technologies to suite those different requirements.
As we vastly approach the one-year anniversary of the mandatory stay-at-home order, and as the effects of the coronavirus still remain an impediment, we are now better positioned to predict potential IT issues businesses may face in 2021.
TOP 3 REMOTE CHALLENGES
Analyzing your cybersecurity practices
In 2020, we sent out 31 separate emails informing our clients about serious cyber hacks that affected our nation. And it comes to no surprise that cybersecurity is the first topic on our list. Ransomware, particularly, continues to be the biggest cyber threat growing amongst businesses in the wake of remote work. Cybercriminals have realized that most businesses would rather pay the ransom than risk losing their data. In fact, a recent survey conducted by IBM Security’s X-Force found that 70% of enterprise ransomware victims paid the ransom. It is a keen business strategy for IT leaders to take a proactive mindset towards cybersecurity to limit attackers from breaching their organization. That’s not to say any company can guarantee immunity against security breaches (think FireEye and SolarWinds). There are precautionary measures businesses should establish that go beyond the traditional legacy tools, which can leave you vulnerable to hackers. Active endpoint detection and response, mandatory multi-factor authentication, and policy and effective cyber training for your employees, are all key examples of solutions every organization should enforce.
Revisiting your overall IT strategy
To the organizations that think they can’t afford to modernize their IT infrastructure, well, the truth is that it can be far more expensive not to. In 2020 alone, small to mid-sized organizations across North America saw an average of $50, 000 in losses due to cyber attacks. The reality is, there is a range of tools available that can significantly ease the burden of remote device management and security; the key is to strategically examine your business structure to determine which tools will help you meet your goals. With limited resources, spending more in one area needs to be offset by spending less in other areas. In recent years, we’ve seen a massive growth of new technologies becoming valuable tools in the business world. As a result, these evolving technologies have caused businesses to face a shortfall between the supply of qualified IT professionals and the necessary IT skills. An MSP that promises cost-saving tactics and doesn’t provide you with the strategy behind why they are asking you to invest in certain tools, is not equipped to assist your organization in meeting its fullest potential. A trusted MSP will be able to work with your current IT support team to help manage your IT governance, preserve critical IT operations, and ensure value for your investments.
Ignoring cloud computing
What’s worse than being targeted by hackers is being targeted by hackers while depending solely on in-house servers. Whether you’re working hybrid or have a fully remote staff, focusing on a cloud-based ecosystem is the most efficient way to make the most out of your resources. Microsoft has done a great job as the leading global provider of cloud computing. Offering a plethora of trusted cloud solutions through Microsoft 365 for business. What are the benefits of moving forward with cloud solutions like Microsoft Azure? – it’s the tool Lloyd relies on to keep us future-ready; oh, and:
- High-speed deployment, because being responsive is embedded in our DNA, we value our clients’ time and refuse to waste any of it.
- Collaboration, because like so many of our clients, we’re working remotely and depend heavily on convenient and secure collaboration.
- Automatic back-up & software integration, because life should be simple – your data is seamlessly backed-up and managing applications should never be a headache.
- Scalability, because we will always require more memory and storage, and no one wants to deal with the hassles of hardware replacement.
- Efficient Investments, because getting the most out of your applications ensures that you’re providing better service to your clients.
PREPARATION IS VITAL
It’s clear that organizations that were already equipped to work remotely inevitably had a smoother transition, less down-time, and higher employee engagement than those that were unprepared for remote working. Well, now it’s a new year which means we all have the capabilities to surpass the struggles we withstood in 2020. A recent study indicates that 72% of U.S. knowledge workers currently prefer a hybrid remote-office model. As this has become the contemporary way to operate, legacy habits must be broken to allow for new ways of working to emerge. Effectively implementing the right technological solutions is what will facilitate the competitive edge your business needs to thrive moving forward.
Have questions about which IT solutions are right for your business? – Let’s chat!