Protecting Your Business and Employees in a Remote Working World
A major effect of the pandemic has been to increase organisations’ dependence on remote access to systems and data. This could range from a full-blown e-commerce environment replacing bricks and mortar to employees working from home, or a simple opening up of corporate systems to remote access. This fundamental change to the working world will continue and deepen as organisations see the financial and organisational benefits of the remote working world.
What does it mean for IT?
For IT, it has meant a sea change in the organisation of the services it provides, with Remote IT Support becoming a critical service. To be sure, we have always some element of remote it support, but remote staff members using a variety of access methods, and often from different locations means that they will call on support more often with a different set of problems.
In short, Remote IT support has become increasingly important in the remote working world, where employees are dispersed and working from various locations.
What does It need?
Providing effective remote IT support requires a combination of tools, processes, and communication methods to address technical issues and maintain the productivity of remote teams.
Here are some key considerations for remote IT support:
- Remote Access Tools: IT support teams should have reliable remote access tools that allow them to access and troubleshoot employees’ devices and systems remotely.
- Security: Remote access usually means remote staff using their own equipment and third-party networks to access corporate systems and data. This can bring problems with remote support because of the variety of equipment and configurations in use.A further issue is that personal networks and some public networks are generally less secure than corporate systems and can potentially act as conduits into the corporate network for hackers and malware.The remote support tool must be capable of evaluating the security status of the end-user equipment, and if necessary, enforcing minimum connectivity standards.
- Help Desk Software: Implementing a help desk ticketing system streamlines the IT support process. Employees can submit support requests, and IT staff can track, prioritize, and resolve issues efficiently.A large organisation may need a corporate-style solution that can run from simple help desk management to a fully functional case management system operating in a workflow automation environment.
- Secure Communication Channels: Use secure communication channels for IT support interactions. Encrypted messaging apps, virtual meeting platforms, and collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams or Slack can facilitate effective communication between IT support personnel and employees.
- 24/7 Support Availability: Depending on your organization’s needs, consider providing round-the-clock IT support, especially if your employees work across different time zones. Outsourcing after-hours support to third-party providers may be an option for smaller businesses.
- IT Knowledge Base and Self-Service Resources: Create an IT knowledge base or self-service portal that contains frequently asked questions, troubleshooting guides, and step-by-step tutorials. Empowering employees to resolve common issues on their own can reduce the support team’s workload and improve efficiency.
- Video Tutorials and Screen Recordings: In addition to written documentation, consider creating video tutorials or screen recordings that demonstrate how to resolve specific technical problems. Visual aids can be highly effective in guiding employees through troubleshooting processes.
- Regular Training and Updates: Provide ongoing training for IT support staff to stay updated with the latest technologies, security best practices, and remote support tools. Continuous learning helps support teams to tackle new challenges effectively.
- Security and Compliance: Ensure that your remote IT support processes comply with data security and privacy regulations. Use encrypted communication channels, protect sensitive data, and follow industry best practices to maintain a secure IT environment.
- User Education: Have a programme of IT security training and educate staff about common security threats, such as phishing and malware. Proactive user education can prevent security incidents and enhance overall cybersecurity.
- Feedback and Improvement: Gather feedback from employees about their IT support experiences regularly. Use this feedback to identify areas for improvement and refine your remote IT support services continuously.
Providing robust and efficient remote IT support is essential for maintaining business continuity and empowering remote teams to work effectively. By leveraging the right tools, communication methods, and security practices, organizations can deliver high-quality support and enhance the overall remote work experience for employees.