07 Sep The Complete Guide to Remote IT Support for Small Businesses
If you’re running a small business in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s the ideal time to organise the right remote IT help for your employees.
As we all face the challenges of working from home, organisations must be prepared for the new hybrid working environment. Eighty percent of Australian companies predict that remote work is here to stay, even when offices open.
This strengthens the case to have robust remote IT support systems in your workplace.
Below, we’ll outline a complete guide on how you, as a small business owner, can ensure your company has the remote IT help necessary to keep your operations running smoothly and profitably.
Ensure your employees have (decent) internet and cloud productivity tools
It is dangerous, yet common, to assume that employees have a robust and reliable internet connection. Unreliable broadband connectivity at home is a principal challenge faced by workers and companies today.
Make sure your employees’ connection can adequately handle all your business’ workload and traffic. Your employees should have access to all relevant cloud-based tools your business relies on. This is so they can share files, communicate easily and collaborate smoothly.
If your employees’ internet is not up to scratch, consider providing them with alternatives like a smartphone from which they can remotely connect via a ‘hot spot’.
Ensure employees’ devices are updated and secure
In the modern age of daily cybersecurity threats, your employees will need desktops, laptops and/or mobile phones with state-of-the-art technology.
If a computer is outdated in any respect, you run the risk of relying on hampered productivity and possible data security breaches.
You may, for example, provide employees with VoIP business phones that can access business lines or a virtual desktop allowing them to connect to their work computers.
Understand the tasks that can be handled remotely (and those that can’t)
It is important to know exactly what tasks can and cannot be completed remotely.
The bulk of your work might be able to be completed simply on a virtual desktop. But consider some of the other jobs that might need doing.
For example, if some of your work requires printed documents, do your employees have printers and photocopiers in their home? If not, you will need to accommodate for this and understand any other limitations your small company may face.
Audit all technology
Once again, do not assume that all technology you are relying on remotely is completely up to scratch.
It may be wise to obtain an overview of all hardware and software available, and if there is a need to buy or upgrade further resources. This may include an updated internet package or higher quality productivity tools.
Get your cybersecurity in order
Always make sure you are equipped with the most robust and up-to-date cybersecurity software to protect your data.
There is an abundance of overlooked risks to digital infrastructure in this era of remote work. Some of these risks include:
- Poor email security training to employees
- Lack of data sharing policies
- Outdated technology and software
- Lack of privacy in video meetings
- Incredibly easy access to commercially sensitive (and even personally sensitive) information
We have seen many times instances of cybercriminals taking advantage of untrained employees by enticing them to click harmful links. Make sure your employees receive the proper security training so they do not fall victim to these attacks.
We’ve also seen the ability of unauthenticated employees able to access vital business data when they really should not be able to do so.
Companies must strengthen their cybersecurity if they are to thrive in the remote work age.
Clarify all communication procedures
Your business should put in place a clear protocol specifying how regularly, and through what means, your employees should communicate with one another.
This may include scheduling times for:
- Team meetings
- Breakout sessions
- Project updates
- Technology tests
It is always good practice to have a meeting facilitator and to also send follow up emails summarising discussions and outcomes of meetings you have.
These communications should be encrypted and can include having a Data Loss Prevention (DLP) to prevent confidential data being exposed.
Prepare the helpdesk
Having a 24/7 helpdesk to provide constant remote IT assistance will help your employees fix any technical issue they are facing on the spot.
This is so the business can keep running smoothly.
IT support in Melbourne: available at the ready
Don’t try to provide all the remote IT help your small business needs all by yourself.
Here at Total Computer Technology, we’ll be your very own IT department – managed externally.
We’ll provide you with tailored remote IT advice to accommodate the unique needs for your business and deliver a tailored solution your business can rely upon to thrive during this challenging period and beyond.