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3 Top Tips for Improving Office Connectivity in 2017

January 16 2017

Technology moves on quickly these days. The start of a new year is a great time to reassess how you use technology within your business, what can be changed for improved results and what is available that’s not currently being utilised, but may be beneficial.

This article will look at different ways in which businesses can utilise technology to improve their office connectivity, with the aim of improving business processes and boosting productivity.

1. Increase Secure Remote Access

The modern workforce is characterised by increasing mobility.

Organisations now largely recognise the benefits of offering flexible working conditions, which include streamlined processes and a happier, more productive workforce.  Increasing remote access is a great way to improve your office connectivity this year, enabling employees to work from home and on-the-go.

However, businesses must ensure that remote access is secure if they want to reduce the additional risks that inevitably come with this way of working.

One of the best things businesses can implement to ensure secure remote access is multi-factor authentication, or two-step verification processes.

As opposed to traditional passwords, these technologies use a layered approach to authentication, which include multiple verification methods for gaining access to systems, data and applications. This may include a combination of passwords, biometrics and one-time authentication codes sent to a separate, trusted device such as the user’s mobile phone.
Multi-factor authentication presents a significant challenge for attackers because it prevents them from being able to access a network simply by learning the password.

2. Collaboration Tools & Technologies

Thanks, in large part, to cloud technology, businesses now have access to a wide range of collaboration tools and technologies which are designed to improve team working capabilities, boost productivity and facilitate new ways of working.

By investing in these technologies, which tend to be relatively inexpensive, businesses can improve office connectivity and integrate employees – wherever they may be physically located – for more efficient and productive collaboration on projects.

A great example of a collaboration tool that’s designed to boost productivity and improve team working capabilities is Microsoft’s SharePoint.

SharePoint allows businesses to create websites, team sites and portals for employees to create, share, discover and collaborate on content with colleagues in real time on any device. Tools like SharePoint can significantly reduce the time currently spent on tasks, whilst also providing intelligent features and insights to improve working processes and allow for new, more efficient ways of getting jobs done.

3. Update Hardware

In order to reap the maximum benefits of a fully connected office, it may be time to invest in new hardware with improved capabilities.

You may have older hardware that has stood the test of time and still functions, but outdated technology could be hindering productivity within your organisation. Technology is constantly improving, becoming faster and more efficient. Businesses that invest in technology upgrades can, therefore, also become more efficient.

As well as the performance-enhancing benefits of modern technology, businesses can also benefit from improved security features. The latest servers, for example, are much better equipped to protect against modern cyber threats than older models. They provide businesses with new capabilities which help to detect suspicious activity and prevent attacks.

You may want to consider investing in additional company devices, such as mobiles, laptops and smartphones for employee use. This will enable employees to work remotely, whilst providing the advantage of company ownership which allows greater control and device management compared with Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) devices.

Additional considerations

There are many benefits to improved office connectivity including the facilitation of mobile and remote working as well as enhanced efficiency, productivity and collaboration. Ultimately, these things make businesses more competitive and profitable.

However, companies should exercise caution when seeking to improve connectivity in their organisations. Whilst it is a worthwhile endeavour, it also inevitably brings additional concerns. But, these can be mitigated with careful consideration and planning as well as the implementation of effective controls.

Security is the major issue to consider when increasing connectivity. It’s important to ensure that access to your company network is always secure, including when users are connecting from remote locations.

When selecting tools and applications for connectivity and collaboration, be sure to choose products and services that offer business-grade security features and protections.

Additional things to consider include the provision of staff training for any new technologies and processes as well as the revision or creation of any relevant company policies relating to usage.

 

If you’re keen to improve your office connectivity in 2017, but are unsure where to start, perhaps consider an appraisal audit of your current IT infrastructure.

This will help you to determine what is working effectively as well as potential areas for improvement. You may even discover that significant business savings could be made by switching to newer technologies.

 

Image source: Freerange Stock

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