COVID-19 and the resulting stay-at-home orders have challenged the way businesses have traditionally operated. Suddenly, many companies had to adopt remote working arrangements and make other adjustments in order to stay operational. While lockdowns are already slowly being lifted, our experience of the pandemic highlights a very important lesson: organizations must make changes to build their resilience. Here are three tools that can help you do that:
1. Cloud-based productivity, communication, and collaboration apps
Leveraging cloud-based business tools enables staff to work wherever they are — at home, in the office, or even on the go. This means that should there be another crisis that would require people to hunker down, your employees would still be able to get work done.
There are plenty of cloud-based apps that you can use for work. For example, you can manage projects using Asana or Basecamp, which allow you to assign tasks, set deadlines and priorities, and track progress. There’s Zoom for holding video conferences and Slack for chatting. Given the sheer number of business apps out there, it’s easy to end up with a hodgepodge of cloud subscriptions.
To streamline your business apps and in turn, your work processes, it’s best to utilize a single, integrated workspace solution: Microsoft 365.
Related reading: Why your SMB should pick Microsoft 365 over Google Workspace
When you subscribe to Microsoft 365’s Business Standard or Premium plan, you gain access to all of these apps:
- Communication and collaboration – Teams
- Word processing – Word
- Spreadsheets – Excel
- Presentations – PowerPoint
- Email – Outlook, Exchange
- Cloud storage – OneDrive
- Document management – SharePoint
- Page layout and design – Publisher (available on PC only)
- Database management system – Access (available on PC only)
But you don’t have to jump from one app to another to be able to work. Instead, you can use Teams as your company’s central hub and open Office files such as Word documents and PowerPoint presentations right inside that hub. That is, if you're using Teams for one-on-one or group chat, voice, or video meetings and you suddenly have to discuss a spreadsheet, you don't have to have Excel open. Everyone can remain in Teams and work on the spreadsheet together in real time. With all your chat history, meeting notes, documents, photos, and other files in one place, working together is much easier.
You can even integrate Teams with third-party apps that your company may already be using, such as Trello, RingCentral, and Lucidchart. This means that you can keep using the apps you're used to using within one productivity platform.
2. Mobile device management (MDM) software
Aside from cloud-based apps, employees also need mobile devices, such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets to be able to work anywhere. To help you effectively manage these mobile devices, it’s best to use an MDM solution.
An MDM software allows you to monitor, manage, and secure all mobile devices that your employees use for work. More specifically, you can use it to do the following:
- Control and protect data and configuration settings of all mobile devices in a network
- Monitor and track equipment (e.g., location, status, ownership, activity)
- Diagnose and troubleshoot devices remotely
- Update devices, programs, functions, or policies
- Lock devices or remotely wipe sensitive business information in the event of device theft, loss, or end-user abuse
3. Cloud-based backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution
“The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data,” as said in an article published in The Economist. Data helps businesses improve their products and services, operate more efficiently, boost customer satisfaction, and maximize profitability, among many others. Its loss can lead to irreversible damage to your company, including revenue loss, decline in productivity, irate customers, damaged reputation, and even worse, permanent business closure. This is why companies must back up their data regularly and ensure that it can easily be retrieved in the event of a disaster.
A cloud-based BDR solution enables you to store your backed up data across multiple locations so that you always have a copy of your data even if one cloud data center fails. In case of a disaster, critical workloads can be failed over to a DR site so you can resume business operations right away. By leveraging the cloud, you can conduct BDR anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection.
These are just some of the IT tools that you can use to build your company’s resilience. To learn more, get in touch with the business technology specialists of SpectrumWise today.
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