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Doing business on the move6 August 2014

What does your office look like today? Four walls, a window and a desk jumbled with gadgets and paper? Or a car, travelling between client sites? Perhaps it’s in a holiday apartment or caravan, a tent or even on the beach.

Today’s mobile computing tools mean your office can be almost anywhere. Internet access, via wifi or mobile signal, is widely available using a laptop, smartphone or tablet. Cloud apps and storage make it really easy to hop between devices and locations. A wealth of communication channels, including email, social media and video, make it easy to stay in touch.

 

Your office in the Cloud

Until recently, one of the headaches associated with mobile computing was getting remote access to the same applications that run on your office desktop. Issues around software licensing and data synchronisation could be a real barrier to productivity.

One solution many firms are turning to is Microsoft Office 365. Familiar, industry-standard applications such as Word and Excel can either be downloaded to your computer or accessed online via a browser. Your email and schedule can be managed through Outlook.

The benefit of using a cloud-based system, such as Microsoft Office 365, is that you always have access to the latest version of the applications. Nor do you have to worry about maintenance and upgrades, can be managed for you. We help our clients set up and optimise Microsoft Office 365 across a variety of devices.

 

Keeping your mobile office secure

For all its convenience, mobile computing comes with some challenges, particularly in the area of security.

Tablets, smartphones and laptops can be easy to lose, either accidentally or by theft. While password protection can reduce the risk of unauthorised access to a device, it’s far from a universal solution. Today’s security tools include the ability to track location, remotely lock your device and even wipe it entirely.

USB sticks, also known as flash drives, are a really easy way to backup or transfer data between devices. They are also very easy to lose. A solution is the encrypted flash drive, a data stick with more than just password protection.

Wifi, which is hugely useful, also presents its own risks. While you may have the security turned up high on your office wifi, there’s no guarantee that publically accessible networks, such as in coffee shops and hotels, are equally safe. Any activity you conduct over an insecure network is potentially visible to others.

You might not think that someone would want to electronically eavesdrop on your work activities, but commercial information is valuable, particularly payment and banking details. Additionally, data protection rules mean you have an obligation to keep client data secure.

 

We help firms take commercial advantage of the mobile office

Having two offices and a mobile workforce means that we take full advantage of the new tools available. We’re also helping clients establish policies, protocols and the necessary security to allow their staff to work from virtually anywhere, anytime.

The areas where we provide assistance include:

  • •  Anti-virus for laptops, tablets and smartphones.
  • •  Secure data transfer, using encrypted flash drives and virtual private networks to protect wifi.
  • •  Full mobile device management, including employee-owned devices.
  • •  Control of data transfer costs.
  • •  Risk assessments and risk mitigation.

 

Using our mobile device management solutions, which include the appropriate security, we and our clients are doing business on the move while minimising risk.

If you’d like to know more about how to become more productive by making almost anywhere your office, get in touch. We look forward to sharing suggestions and tips that help you make better use of mobile technology in your business.