Remote access can mean different things to different companies. It could mean accessing a client database hosted on a server outside of your company’s network. It could mean accessing an application that’s critical to your business from anywhere at any time via a web browser. It could also mean having the ability to do your entire day’s work, while in the comfort of your home office, or maybe even a more scenic view than your cubicle.
Types of remote Access:
VPN – A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a secure point to point tunnel that essentially allows whatever device you’re using to access company resources. VPN’s, when configured correctly, allow for the secure access of data from anywhere with an internet connection. Depending on the VPN, dedicated hardware could be needed.
Application or Virtual Desktop Publishing – In this model, line of business applications may be published for company users to access remotely. An employee will typically visit a company webpage, login with their credentials and have access to any applications needed to complete their tasks (i.e. Microsoft Office, database applications, email, etc.)
Remote Desktop Applications- Access to your desktop remotely can be provided by services such as LogMeIn or GoToMyPC. These services are typically used by home users and some small businesses to remotely access their workstation via the web. While this method may be secure, many enterprise networks prefer remote access to the network be managed and administered through the company itself rather than a third-party.
How can our company benefit from remote access?
Remote access to company resources from outside the confines of its internal network can have a profound effect on company culture and productivity. It offers more flexibility to the company’s workforce. It allows for employees to essentially have all the IT resources available in their office, anywhere they go. Personnel can work from home, hotels or anywhere with internet access. Remote access provides easy access for employees to get important documents, emails, and even applications that reside on the company’s network.
Increased production and profitability:
With the ability to access company resources remotely, employees can respond to emails and customer requests quickly, regardless if they are traveling or not. This, as a result, can improve customer relations. The ability to have a remote workforce will also provide a better quality of life for employees who perhaps have a long commute. They would be able to maximize their efficiency and time by cutting out the time and frustration of a multi-hour commute, allowing them to focus on their tasks at hand and work under a better mind set.
Allowing for the ability to work remotely can also help attract talent from pools outside of the company’s local demographic. This enables a strategic advantage for a company that can employ the best of the best regardless of the employee’s location. This can also help company’s retain valued employees who need to move to a new area that may be too far from their office.
Enabling a remote workforce can help keep costs down when it comes to leasing office space. Companies can potentially use smaller offices than if all employees had to be in the office at the same time every day.
Pitfalls, risks and management of remote access:
With remote access comes a paradigm shift in management as well as risks associated with allowing your resources to be accessed outside of the walls of the office. Acceptable Use Policies and HR procedures need to be put into place to ensure data is being accessed responsibly and securely. It’s the responsibility of the company’s I.T. department and/or software vendor (depending on the type of remote access) to work with the administration and Human Resource departments to ensure the safety of sensitive information. Management of these systems can also be performed remotely by the I.T. team.
As for management of employees that work remotely, a plan should be put in place to ensure employees are staying engaged while working from their satellite location. Some employees may not like working from home as opposed to interacting in an office environment.
All in all, as with any technology, a plan of action should be created if your company is looking to implement or revise a remote access approach to daily work. Clear policies and procedures should be defined to keep the information safe and the employees productive.
Wondering how remote access can benefit your company? Right Click Computer Solutions offers a full line of comprehensive personalized remote access solutions to accommodate your business needs. Contact us with any questions or concerns about this transformative and enabling technology.