There is no doubt the coronavirus has reshaped the world we once knew, especially in the workplace. The number of employees working from home has risen tremendously, and what was once a sought-after perk is now the new normal.
Some businesses were able to quickly and effectively transition to remote work at the onset of COVID-19. SHRM reports that 67% of employers surveyed from March 12 to March 16 were taking steps to allow employees to work from home who don’t normally do so.
However, some companies were vastly underprepared to transition to a remote workforce, and they saw the negative repercussions in their businesses.
Some of that lack of preparation was likely due to a company’s lack of a strong business continuity plan. But a large responsibility for getting businesses ready for remote work fell to IT companies. Your IT service provider should have been proactive in giving you the tools to succeed; but unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case for every organization.
Here are three ways your IT company may have failed to prepare you for COVID-19:
Not Ramping Up Security
Generally, security has gotten worse during the coronavirus due to workers dispersing to less secure locations and networks. And cyber criminals are capitalizing on this weakness to multiply their attacks.
The US has seen a spike in phishing attacks since stay-at-home orders have been put in place. Cyber criminals are taking advantage of the pandemic, seeing it as an opportunity to swindle individuals and companies out of thousands of dollars. Overworked systems and lax remote IT care have left many organizations and individuals vulnerable to cyber threats.
Prior to your remote transition, your IT provider should have helped teams employ solutions such as firewalls, spam filtering, and anti-malware for devices and networks that would be in use. IT companies should also have prepared their clients by instructing them on safe password and internet use, setting them up with multi-factor authentication and other safety measures.
Not Giving You Easy Access to Tools and Files
With the transition away from physical offices and servers, new solutions are needed to provide teams with file access and collaboration tools. Without such tools, some employees may have found themselves frustrated with an inability to access information essential to their jobs.
Cloud solutions can provide instant access to data from remote locations without overloading VPNs. Remote Desktop Services can even allow you to access high-powered programs from less capable devices through the cloud. However, there are a variety of services and providers to choose from. An experienced Managed Service Provider can recommend cloud solutions that fit your business’s specific needs, goals, and budget, and they should have done so to give you easy access to data during your transition to remote work.
Another important feature IT companies should equip their clients with is collaboration and communication tools like Google Suite, Slack, and Zoom. These tools allow employees to work at the same level or higher using the same information they would have access to in the office, as well as quickly communicate with team members.
If your IT team didn’t prepare you for pandemic conditions by setting you up with the right tools to allow you to continue uninterrupted, productive work, then they dropped the ball and likely frustrated your workflow.
Not Assessing Your Technology Capabilities and Remote Readiness
Businesses need an IT assessment of their capabilities before attempting to go remote or they may find themselves unprepared. Teams need fast, reliable internet access, as well as access to other programs and files, in order to thrive remotely. A great IT provider will have made sure your business’s hardware and software are updated before going remote, especially when some employees may be working from personal devices.
Endpoint security software can filter and manage what, when, and how a device can access business servers and files. Patching and installing software updates, device permissions and controls, and web security are common features that allow system administrators and IT security teams to manage endpoint security in real time.
In lieu of working in the office and having leaders keep track of progress on projects, companies can deploy task management software. This type of software can help employees stay on task and provide visibility on productivity by allowing team members and managers to assign tasks, set due dates and update statuses.
If your IT provider failed to adequately equip you for remote work, they aren’t doing their jobs. Your IT company should make your life easier, not harder, especially during times of transition and upheaval.
If any of the above sounded like your situation, it might be time to think about switching IT providers. When you get Total IT’s managed IT services, you receive proactive, comprehensive care. Contact us today for a free quote and consultation!