The number of mobile and remote office workers is on the rise around the globe. And, along with them, remote working solutions are growing in popularity too.
From executives and consultants to sales and field professionals, the number of remote workers was already growing in 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic hit. The last year has only seen the trend to remote working accelerate.
Your workers rely on their connected laptops, tablets and mobile devices to get work done. Connectivity is pervasive. Data volumes continue to rise. And keeping business secure, in and outside of the physical office, is a top priority for businesses. However, outdated or obsolete IT limits their ability to meet the demands of today’s digital world, from engaging customers and empowering employees, to optimising operations and transforming products.
Today’s business leaders need to keep their teams productive by designing a workplace that securely supports mobile teamwork and work from home initiatives to improve employee experiences with solutions that:
- Enable safe access business data from anywhere.
- Enable teams to work together across locations.
- Share business insights to be more productive.
- Keep employees productive using a wide range of devices.
- Keep business data secure outside of the physical office.
Mobile workforce trends
Whether we know it or not, we’re all mobile workers in today’s anytime, anywhere culture. You may be riding a train to work and editing a document. You might check your emails while you’re in the queue for lunch. Or you take advantage of the free Wi-Fi on the train, grabbing one last look at your messages to make sure all is fine at the office before you (hopefully) unplug for the rest of your holiday.
International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasted that the mobile workforce in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) would see a healthy compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.6% as it expanded from 186.2 million in 2010 to 244.6 million mobile workers in 2015.ii With recent legislation making it a right to access flexible working,iii it’s safe to assume that tomorrow’s workers won’t be checking into a corporate office to get work done. Ultimately, mobile workforce support won’t really be an option—it’ll be a requirement.
Key market drivers
According to the same IDC report, key drivers behind the growth of the mobile worker population include:
- Increasing affordability of smartphones and tablets.
- Increasing acceptance of company bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programmes.
- Innovations in mobile technology that help workers in new ways, increasing productivity by enhancing communications and business workflows.
- From contact information to account data, 55% of workers in midmarket firms require mobile access to company data.iv
- Mobility security is the second top IT challenge for small businesses and the fourth top IT challenge for midmarket businesses.v
- The average cost of a data breach increased by 23% between 2013 and 2015, with an average price tag of nearly £2.9 million ($3.8 million USD) per breach.vi
- Of surveyed SMBs, only 13% said that they were fully prepared and confident to handle security challenges, especially mobility security. The remaining 87% were partially prepared, unprepared or unsure.vii
The results: Lower costs, improved productivity
The IDC report noted a recent survey that ‘69.1% of enterprise mobility stakeholders polled saw a reduction in opex or capex costs as a result of implementing BYOD programs’. A global survey by Techaisle indicated that productivity improved 46% in small businesses whose employees worked away from the office. viii
Benefits of an up-to-date, flexible, secure workplace
Imagine some of the ways your business can leverage Microsoft products to empower your employees to work better together, get anywhere access to business information and protect your data wherever it goes. Couple these benefits with cloud computing, and you’ll see that you can reduce headaches and time maintaining hardware, improve data storage safety and increase employee productivity, allowing you to spend less time on software updates and more time building your business.
Work better together
Support team communication and collaboration across your business, from anywhere.
- Users can share and edit documents as a team in real-time, with documents saved in the cloud with Office 365.
- Users can meet online across locations via Skype for Business in Office 365. They can use HD video, voice meetings and content sharing on the device of their choice—Android, iOS and Windows.
- PSTN calling is an add-on telephone service that, when combined with Skype for Business Cloud PBX, can become your phone system. PSTN calling provides the people in your business with a primary phone number, and lets them make and receive phone calls outside of your organization.
- Office 365 Enterprise E5 includes new features, such as Skype for Business Dial-in Conferencing and Meeting Broadcast, Delve Analytics and advanced security features, such as Advanced eDiscovery, Customer Lockbox and Advanced Threat Protection.
- To increase team efficiency, users can leverage Office 365 to share data insights and business intelligence from anywhere.
Provide anywhere access to business information
Make it possible for your team to get things done effectively from anywhere, no matter the device.
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM lets users access, share and update customer information in real time.
- Users can work in familiar Office apps in Office 365 on the device they prefer—Android, iOS and Windows.
- Give your team Windows 10 Pro devices for the natural experiences they’re used to, like touch, Windows Ink or voice, across a range of compelling, productive devices.
- Users can retrieve and share their latest files and work, which is always up to date, online or off, using OneDrive for Business, which is included in Office 365.
Protect your data wherever it goes
Prevent and protect business data from unauthorised access and modern threats, with enterprise-grade security built in at every level of IT (PC, mobile and cloud).
- Get better protection and security management across devices and apps using Enterprise Mobility + Security, which is simple to set up and always up to date. It safeguards and manages Android, iOS and Windows—and protects Windows, Office email, files, apps and thousands of SaaS apps.
- Help protect users from identity theft with multi-factor authentication in Windows 10 Pro, using two credentials. Users can use a PIN code or device as the first factor. With Windows Hello for Business on devices with biometrics sensors, users can use their fingerprint, face or even iris as the second factor.
- Protect information with Windows 10 Pro using BitLocker and BitLocker-to-Go, which encrypts data on devices and USB drives.
- Together, Windows 10 Pro and Office 365 help protect user data. Windows Information Protection in Windows 10 Pro, plus Rights Management Services in Office 365, strengthens leak protection.
More about Microsoft Products
Windows 10 Enterprise E3: the most secure version of Windows.
- Safeguard your business and get greater levels of control: Windows 10 Enterprise E3 offers enhanced features that take the next step to help secure your data, devices, and user identities.
- Managed by your trusted partner: Small IT team or no IT team at all? No problem. You can rely on your Microsoft partner for comprehensive management and support related to implementation, users, subscription ordering and configuration of services and devices. Your partner will be your single point of contact so you can focus on more strategic priorities, like growing your business.
- A small business price of £4.40 RRP per user/per month: When you make the hassle-free upgrade from Windows 10 Pro, you’ll take advantage of the latest security, management and deployment features, while saving on capital expenses and lowering up-front costs with subscription-based access. Plus, you’ll spend less time managing devices with a simple, flexible subscription licensing process.
Microsoft Dynamics 365
Use digital intelligence to reimagine what’s possible for your business. Dynamics 365 unifies CRM and ERP capabilities into applications that work seamlessly together across sales, customer service, field service, operations, financials, marketing, and project service automation. Start with what you need, add applications as your business grows.
- Start with what you need and grow at your own pace
- Use familiar tools in the context of your business processes
- Use built-in intelligence to proactively guide to optimal outcomes
- Grow and transform with a modern, extensible platform
Keep your employees productive on their favourite apps and devices—and your company data protected with enterprise mobility solutions from Microsoft.
- Identity: Single sign-on to thousands of popular SaaS apps like Concur, Salesforce and Workday. Self-service employee tools that save money.
- Devices: Be ready for whatever employees bring to work—and manage their mobile devices and Windows 10 devices from a single console.
- Apps: Help employees be more productive, and keep corporate and personal apps and data separated.
- Security: Encrypt important files and data to ensure only the right people have access. Identify advanced persistent threats before they cause damage to your organization.
Microsoft Azure is a growing collection of integrated cloud services – analytics, computing, database, mobile, networking, storage and web – for moving faster, achieving more and saving money.
- Get More Done: Integrated tools, pre-built templates and managed services make it easier to build and manage enterprise, mobile, web and IOT apps, faster.
- Open and Flexible cloud service platform: Azure supports the broadest selection of operating systems programing languages, frameworks, tools databases and devices that millions of developers and IT professionals already rely on and trust.
- Extend your existing IT: Easily integrate Azure with your existing IT environment through the largest network of secure private connections, hybrid database and storage solutions and data residency and encryption features – so your assets stay right where you need them. Azure hybrid cloud solutions give you the best of both worlds: more IT options, less complexity and cost.
- Scale as you need; pay as you go: Azure’s pay-as-you –go services can quickly scale up or down to match demand, so you only pay for what you use.
- Run your apps anywhere: Azure runs on a worldwide network of Microsoft managed data centres across 26 regions. This fast-growing global footprint gives you lots of options for running applications and ensuring great customer performance.
With Office 365, make documents and presentations that shine—anytime, anywhere—no matter what device you’re on, including Apple and Android phones and tablets. It includes the most recent version of Office, which is currently Office 2016. Office 365 comes with the applications you’re familiar with, like Word, PowerPoint and Excel, plus extra online storage, ongoing tech support at no extra cost, and more. Available on a monthly or annual subscription basis.
- Teamwork, redefined: Empower your people to do great work, together, using powerful collaboration technology such as co-authoring, online meetings and smart attachments.
- More control, better performance: Simple installation and management mean that you can stay focused on the business.
- Storage: With 1 TB of storage per user, you’ll have plenty of space for all your files—and the ability to share them easily from all your devices.
- Security: Built-in security plus compliance and privacy controls can help keep your data safe.
- Always on, Office 365 works: You’ll get peace of mind with a financially backed, 99.9% uptime guarantee.
Windows 10 Pro
With Windows 10 Pro, you've got a great business partner. It includes important business functionality for encryption, remote log-in, creating virtual machines and more. Get fast start-ups, a familiar, yet expanded Start menu, and great new ways to get stuff done, plus innovative features like an all-new browser built for online action and Cortana, the more personal digital assistant. The best Windows ever brings you innovative tools to get things done, fast.
- More secure: Windows 10 Pro delivers more built-in security features and safer authentication than ever. Always-enabled updates help keep your security current for the supported lifetime of your device.
- More productive: Double-down on your productivity with more innovative tools that help you stay organised, capture ideas, do things online and quickly get stuff done.
- Personal: Windows fits into the life you live. Enjoy a more personal digital assistant, the best Windows ever for gaming, and features that keep your device and your phone in sync.
- Powerful devices: Windows leads the way in innovation with devices that work in new and better ways, including 2-in-1 tablets that can replace laptops and phones you can use like a PC.
Remote working solutions: Get the help you need
Chalkline is a born in the cloud Managed Service Provider. We work with leading technology providers to transform businesses by leveraging the power of the cloud to accelerate capability and make them more competitive. Our core areas of focus are the Microsoft Cloud stack be it Office 365, Enterprise Mobility Suite, Microsoft Azure as well as complimentary technology solutions such as Dropbox and ESET security. Together, Chalkline and Microsoft can help you design a workplace that helps you and your employees work better together, gain anywhere-access to business information and protect your data wherever it goes.
Schedule a consultation
Learn more about the solution that’s right for you. Fill in our form to schedule a consultation with our Cloud Team at Chalkline. Or reach them directly at 02038193300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find out more about how we found the shift to remote working by watching our webinar here.
- Strategy Analytics, Global Mobile Workforce Forecast, 2015-2020.
- Enterprise Integration News, Mobile Worker Trends Show Strong Growth, Wider Choices, Studies Say.
- Gov.uk. Flexible Working.
- Techaisle Blog, SMB & Midmarket IT challenges in supporting mobile workforce.
- Techaisle Blog, SMB and Midmarket mobility security risk sources.
- Deloitte, Disruption in the mid-market. How technology is fueling growth.
- Techaisle Blog, IT security framework for SMBS.
- Techaisle April 2016 Global Small Business Study.