March 3, 2021
IT Philosophy / Security / Technology

A ‘WFH IT Checklist’ for your small business for 2021 and beyond

Written by Jeff Gaines

Here are our top tips to ensure your organization has is safe and productive while working from home:

1. Mobile Device Management

Mobile device management (MDM) is not just used for managing mobile devices. MDM can be used to enforce policies, force updates, and remotely support your fleet of MacBooks and iMacs. MDM is a critical tool for any organization, whether its employees are working from home or working in the office (or something in between). Additionally, MDM can be used to lock and wipe a computer if it is lost or stolen. Furthermore, remote support capabilities provided by MDM get users back to work faster, and that increased efficiency can have a real impact on the bottom line.

2. A Cloud-based productivity suite

GSuite, which was recently rebranded as Google Workspaces, and Office 365 are two great options to ensure your teams can store, share, edit and collaborate on all kinds of documents, presentations, and spreadsheets. Furthermore, ensuring your team has the right versions and the right access permissions is critical for balancing productivity and security while working from home.

3. Backups: Endpoint and Cloud

While most cloud-based storage and productivity suites have some built-in backup storage, the data retention periods can often lead to organizations wishing they had additional backups. Additionally, endpoint backups can also ensure that the data that lives on devices is available even if a computer is lost, stolen, or crashes unexpectedly. Furthermore, both cloud and endpoint backups can reduce your vulnerability and help prevent you from having to pay if you are subject to a ransomware attack.

4. VPN and/or Cloud Security Gateways

With the majority of workers still working from home, your organization is now exposed to malicious attacks through unsecured networks. Many workers share home internet connections with their neighbors and roommates. Additionally, most Americans do not reset the passwords on their WiFi routers. Enforcing a VPN, or utilizing a cloud security gateway can ensure that your data is protected, regardless of where your workers are logging in from.

5. Remote device provisioning, inventory, and visibility

Having a method of setting up new devices remotely for your team is critical in the WFH world. There are many tools that can help. If you are considering hiring an outsourced IT contractor or a Managed Services Provider (MSP), ensure this is one of their capabilities. Additionally, MDM tools can help provide additional visibility into your fleet of computers and assist with tracking your inventory.

6. Critical business apps and data that live in the cloud

If you are still using on-premises infrastructure to house your tools, it may be time to finally make the jump. Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, among other providers, are more affordable than ever. Additionally, you should consider the costs (and risks) of maintaining, powering, and updating your on-premises infrastructure.

7. A plan and a budget for home office equipment and ergonomics

Do you know if your people have what they need to be effective while working from home? Standardizing equipment (peripherals, monitors, etc) and developing a procurement process for these necessary pieces of office equipment shows your employees that you care, and ensures they have what they need to be effective. Additionally, ensuring employees have adequate ergonomic support keeps employees happy and healthy.

Does your organization have a Work From Home IT Checklist? Stay tuned to the Interlaced blog for more discussion on what’s shaping small business IT in 2021.

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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.