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With nearly an year full of lock-downs, business have gotten used to Work from home - but are your security and applications ready for long term remote use?
Every business has seen the impact of COVID-19 related lockdowns that we started to see from March 2020 in India. From businesse's adopting Video Conference tools such as Zoom to Overnight working on remote tools, there is a lot of progress we beleive your business would have made, but are you ready for the 3rd Wave of COVID-19?
We have often heard business owners say, if this lockdown (second lockdown) extends, I will face a lot of issues. My Business and team are not designed for remote work, my documents are not online - what can I do, and if there is a third wave, I would like to be ready for it.
Large Enterprises have the tools and the know how to go online, but can your business digitally tranform to keep working from anywhere?
Here are a Few Tips from us on how to Get Ready
Each business depends on knowlege and usually the knowledge is either with team leaders or management, decentralising this and putting this in a Wiki or a CMS is a great way to start. Content Management Systems such as GRAV are easy to use tools once deployed carefully and can be deployed on small Virtual Instances, they also integrate with Central Authentication such as Active Directory / LDAP thus giving you control on who gets to access and who does not. Depending on your needs you can even look at MODX or Plone CMS. Having a knowledge base makes it easier to share knowledge, steps, processes and policies by sending a link rather than an email each time you change something.
Two things that have gone mainstream with the lock down are Chat and Video calling. While the Vdeo conference busienss has been solved by companies such as Zoom amongst others, Chat amongst team members is another challenge. Yes tehre are many tools like Hip Chat / Slack out there, but each of them come with limits or cost a lot. A Privately hosted chat such as Rocket.chat or Mattermost, not only give you the Controls you need - such as enabling / disabling users, archiving their history or automatically adding users to groups, they also give you the Privacy today's organisations need. Add to this a Self Hosted Video Conference Solution and it is all integrated into one single channel for you to communicate with your team. You can even look at Cloud Based PBX so that you can answer office phones from anywhere, and even transfer them to another colleague, without even being in the same building.
Document Storage and Sharing
Not having access to a document can hamper your response time to a client. With cloud storage such as DropBox, One Drive etc freely available and Private Solutions available too, having Documents handy for the team is an essential way to get them working. A High Speed Document Scanner, such as the Brother 2400N not onlly scans your documents superfast, but creates OCR based PDF's so you can search them for the Text. Couple this with a Synology NAS and you have not only a document repository, but a DropBox like service available to your teams 24x7 from anywhere in the World.
Legacy Applications like Tally
Applications such as Tally are at the heart of an Indian business, and require a Windows PC and a local server to actually work. While you can always give access to Team Viewer Desktops for your team, but that means you will hvae to put one machine each for them in the office. Solutions such as the Apache Guacamole give you features like Enterprise Solutions from Citrix or Others, giving you access to your Applications in a Browser, whether they run locally on a Windows Machine, a Linux Machine or a Mac - Your team will be able to access them from anywhere, and have great flexibility being able to work.
They key criteria for anyone getting ready for the third wave is to have authentication in place. To be able to recognise your genuine users and to be able to stop access for users who are off-boarded. Today solutions such as LDAP / AD integrate easily with Platforms such as Duo / Jump Cloud giving you a central Authentication. Adding Time Based OTP is another great way of ensuring only the right people have access.
Much More, Much More than this
Tools such as Kan-Ban Lists, Task Managers, Push Messaging to Time Tracking are all that will help you get ready.
Sadly there is no one size fits all, as each business is unique. Find your pain areas and start implementing solutions so you can deliver the team a work from home environment, get ready so that the Third wave does not take you by surprise.