April 5, 2021
IT Philosophy / Security / Technology

Remote Work Isn’t Going Away: Long-Term Trends Impacting Small Business IT

Written by Jeff Gaines

Work from Home Tiles

If you’re like me, you’ve probably been wishing for a return to normalcy. However, we should acknowledge that some business aspects have fundamentally changed forever. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated an unprecedented shift in the workplace. In many cases, these changes are for the better. WFH, previously thought of as a temporary safety measure, is now a permanent fixture in the American workplace.

First, let’s dive into how devices are stored, provisioned, and managed in the new normal.

Mobile Device Management and Device Inventory Management are more critical now than ever.

First, companies are having to figure out new ways to manage their fleet of devices. Mobile Device Management (MDM), is the process of remotely managing devices. Addigy, an emerging leader in Apple Device Management, describes MDM in three parts. First, MDM helps companies with device inventory and visibility into their fleet of devices. Second, MDM helps companies with device deployment and enrollment. Lastly, MDM helps companies monitor and remediate their devices. Of course, MDM has some serious applications in compliance and security. This powerful tool is becoming ever more relevant with the shift to remote teams.

Second, companies are having to work through challenges with their device inventory. When everyone is at home, where do you keep your spare computer stock? When new employees conduct their first day at home, how do you get them a computer? Information Technology Service Providers are having to rethink how they fulfill this critical service for their clients. 

But, physical office space is still in the mix…

While the headlines are full of companies abandoning their office space, most businesses will continue to operate an HQ or other space. Many industries, including BioTech and Health Care, companies are still operating in their original physical location. In many other industries, including eCommerce, Software, SaaS, and Nonprofits, most employees are working from home. A blended WFH/work-in-office model presents a few challenges. First, physical infrastructure such as networks and servers need to be remotely managed, monitored and accessed. Second, access to spaces is complicated (for example: how do you let in vendors when you are at home). Third, troubleshooting IT hardware is complicated when employees simply cannot walk their devices to the IT department.  

Several innovative companies are helping to solve these issues. OpenPath, is emerging as a leader in the mobile access control space. Solutions such as OpenPath help employees utilize their mobile device as a key to access physical space. This is particularly important when granting temporary access to an office for vendors, delivery companies, or subcontractors.  

Separately, many modern network and server companies, most notably Cisco Meraki, have features that allow for remote monitoring and access to on-premises infrastructure while employees are working from home. 

How do you handle IT employee onboarding while your employees are working from home?

What does day one IT onboarding look like for new employees while working from home for your company? Remote user onboarding doesn’t have to be a poor user experience. Modern remote access tools used by IT Managed Service Providers, such as Team Viewer, help technicians remotely connect with employees.  At Interlaced, we pride ourselves on giving employees a great first-day experience. We view this as a core benefit of our IT services. With some structure and process, remote employee onboarding can be a great experience for new employees.

IT security and compliance programs need to be updated to account for WFH

Most companies have not reevaluated their IT Security and Compliance programs since making a shift to WFH. With employees connecting from outside their company’s firewall, and with various levels of security on their home networks, reevaluating your security program is a smart investment. Luckily, there are inexpensive and easy to deploy tools that account for this distributed way of working.

For more information about how Interlaced.io can help your small business with MDM, IT Employee Onboarding, or to schedule a free assessment, email us at business@interlaced.io or visit us at www.interlaced.io/contact.

Jeff Gaines

Jeff Gaines

Jeff has served as an operating executive at Interlaced since 2016. He is deeply passionate about driving impact for Interlaced, for his community, and for his loved ones. In his spare time, Jeff loves spending time with his wife and son at the world famous San Diego Zoo, enjoying tacos on the beach in Baja, cheering on the San Diego Padres, adventuring outdoors and playing music with friends. Jeff’s top 3 films of all time are Point Break (the original), Road House and Field of Dreams.