A few months in lockdown teach you a lot about yourself, and for business leaders, it can teach you a lot about your team. Over the past few months, even the most old-school manager who detests remote work requests has probably come around. In fact, despite a few early roadblocks, you may have realized that people have become more productive and less stressed.
But even if you were able to adapt your business processes to provide the access people needed, it does not mean that the setup was perfect. Many businesses rushed to set employees up with whatever tools they could find.
But now that the curve is flattening and most places are beginning to return to normal, a partial remote work strategy may be on the table. Knowing this, there’s a difference between the emergency setup you put in place and a long-term solution that delivers the reliable access without sacrificing security.
Moving from Emergency Remote Access to Viable, Long-Term Remote Access
After discussing last month how to easily to train and go live with software even during a pandemic, we would like to take a step back and look at how the cloud makes it easy to keep your data secure if you decide to implement a full or partial remote work strategy going forward.
One of the biggest problems that came with a quick pivot from local to remote was that it needed to be done seemingly overnight. Unfortunately, this resulted in a mishmash of tools, processes, and security protocols that would normally be ironed out if you had time to evaluate your options. Well, now you do have the time.
If you want to create a viable, long-term, and secure remote work program, you probably need to take a step back, look at the different systems, and understand how to protect them. Here are just a few ways that cloud ERP can deliver.
From VPN to Secure, Browser-Based Connection
As discussed in Cloud Computing News, a lot of access to software was VPN-based. While it did the job, it put a healthy strain on your IT team.
“Deploying large-scale VPN solutions for remote users requires enabling access, along with segmenting users and devices based on role, device type, or security profile. It also requires implementing role-based access control (RBAC) in order to maintain principles of least privilege and need to know. Effectively, limiting those users and devices only to the content and resources they require. IT teams also need to identify users that require special access to resources.”
This was fine for a limited time, but if you continue to offer remote offerings, the continued use will result in additional work for your IT department. However, with a move to true cloud-based system, you not only facilitate accessibility, you reduce the security management burden on your IT team.
The cloud has a whole host of security benefits that are often overlooked. From excellent and cost-effective back up and recovery solutions to smarter document management, moving to the cloud delivers easier security management.
From Patchwork Integration to Remote Access at Scale
Another thing you might have overlooked when shifting to remote work was integration. Yes, you were able to offer workers access to the tools you need, but was it a seamless process? Probably not. Workers probably had a couple more hoops to jump through to do their jobs—even if they had access to tools.
However, this isn’t sustainable—for your workers, your product stack, or your company. As you work to ramp back up to full capacity, the extra steps will be both a drag on productivity and a security risk. You may have been able to rely on email to share files, but this was only a crutch.
Long-term remote access will require you to iron out the wrinkles of integration so you don’t have to rely on insecure email or faulty integration.
From In-House Hardware to Top Tier Cloud Infrastructure
Throughout the work from home order, you likely relied on a variety of tools to access the solutions you needed—even if they were run on in-house hardware. The problem, especially if you continue to use the same strategy as you did in an emergency scenario, is that it will become harder and harder to keep the in-house hardware secure.
Your IT team can only do so much, and it’s a losing battle trying to fend off continued threats—too often, resources are limited, meaning it’s only a matter of time before one vulnerability leaves you in the dark.
However, cloud providers like Acumatica put their entire reputation on security, so they turn to the experts. For example, Acumatica SaaS is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS follows strict guidelines and uses state of the art architectural and engineering approaches to guard against physical and environmental threats.
It has extensive experience in designing, constructing, and operating large-scale datacenters. Physical access is strictly controlled, both at the perimeter and at ingress points by security staff and video surveillance. All staff members pass two-factor authentication to access the datacenter. All visitors and contractors are required to present identification and are escorted by authorized staff. There are also fire detection and suppression, power, climate and temperature, and electromechanical support systems in place.
Now is The Time to Think Long-Term: Get to Know MIBAR
If you’re like most companies, the last time you looked at ERP was likely six to ten years ago. Today’s cloud based options are built to be more secure, reliable, and technologically advanced than their legacy counterparts, empowering business leaders to connect and thrive.
As a leading implementation partner who serves a variety of ERP options, one of our favorites is Acumatica, a solution built for the growing business. Incredibly flexible and priced for growth, Acumatica can handle the needs of your business today and in the future. Learn more about this solution, our success delivering it for companies, and contact us for a free consultation.