Your business shouldn’t lose out just because people can’t meet in groups or can’t come to your office. Instead, you should have a business continuity plan in place with solid remote work policies and plans. We can help you develop this using tools you already own, adopting business policies form templates we can provide, and making sure your data is accessible. But it has to be done in advance of the need. If you wait until you need it, time (and money) will be lost.
Here are some places to start:
- First, re-read Amy’s blog post from last week. https://www.harborcomputerservices.net/covid-19-and-your-business/
- Then start by considering the following items in this post.
- Finally, let’s make the plan. Schedule a meeting with us and your management team to hash out your business continuity plan.
Let’s get started.
Using Your Current Technology
First, you will want to evaluate your current technology situation. A quick look at your available resources will help you prepare. Do you have spare laptops? Do your employees have their own laptops or desktops? Do you have company mobile phones? Are your users willing to use their own personal phones for a short time if need be? Are your company files in the cloud or on physical servers? Are your applications available through web interface? Knowing what your resources are will help you make a contingency plan.
Bring Your Own Device policies have been more and more frequent for companies who have workers outside of the office. There will be some business decisions about what you will and will not allow. There are settings in your Microsoft 365 Admin portals that allow you to control your organization’s data, even while using a personal device.
Microsoft 365 and Remote Work
Microsoft has been preparing for mobile workers for a long time. The apps, securities, and resources are there. With cloud storage, such as SharePoint and OneDrive and Collaboration tools, such as Teams and Yammer, Microsoft offers an array of tools for remote work. These all come with your Microsoft 365 subscriptions! Along with the policies that Harbor Computer Services have put in place and Microsoft’s secure sign-in services, tapping into your Microsoft account is easy-peasy from home.
Online Apps in Office 365
Most of the apps that come with your Microsoft 365 subscription are available through web browsers. This allows you to open your documents from your home computer without installing software.
Accessing Physical Networks
For organizations that still use physical servers, there are a few more steps that need to be taken. There has to be a connection to remote into the network. There are a few options out there, but we have a few that we prefer to use for security and cost reasons. We would be happy to consult with you about getting this set up.
Get Your Data Into the Cloud Now
A cloud migration will give you more options and will be more secure!
FREE Office Subscriptions!
If you need additional software licenses for people in your company that usually don’t need them. Good news! Microsoft will provide them for free for the next 6 months. From Microsoft: “New in March 2020, a free 6-month Office 365 E1 Trial, including Microsoft Teams, is now available. Microsoft is making this special E1 Trial license available in response to the increased need for employees to work from home (WFH) in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.”
Start preparing now. We can all prepare and then sit back later and say “Hey look, nothing happened!” But if you don’t then something will happen. Don’t wait. We are taking as many precautions as we can to make sure that you will have resources necessary, but you have to make that first step to prepare. Please give us a call to set up a consultation. Don’t miss out on important business because of a quarantine situation!
About Harbor Computer Services
Harbor Computer Services is an IT firm servicing Southeastern Michigan. We work exclusively under contract with our clients to provide technology direction and either become the IT department or provide assistance to the internal IT they already have. We have won many awards for our work over the years, including the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year in 2010. We’re the smallest firm to have ever won this most prestigious award. Most recently we were recognized as one of the top 20 visionaries in small business IT by ChannelPro Magazine (2015). And in 2016 as the top Michigan IT firm for Manufacturing. There are a few simple things that make Harbor Computer Services the best choice for your business. •We are Professionals •We are Responsible •We are Concerned About The Success of Your Business