Ready for the Long-Term Future of Remote Work?

Ready for the Long-Term Future of Remote Work?

If your organization is like most, the emergency shift to remote work was clumsy and forced. Implementing current business continuity plans may have gotten the job done for now. Near term needs have been met. Given more time to prepare, things would look different. Is the current solution ideal to support a long-term future that will need to be responsive and demands workforce flexibility?

It has become apparent that an increasing number of workers can be made productive simply with a computer and internet connection if properly enabled. Remote workers should not require VPN access to the internal network to meet basic needs. Many organizations have added Zoom or Slack subscriptions just to meet, chat, and collaborate with colleagues. A patchwork of tools can cost over $20 per month per user just to provide essential communication and collaboration tools that lack integration with each other and the rest of the enterprise.

There is a better long-term answer that is secure, cost effective, integrated, and that users will enjoy.

This is exactly where Microsoft 365 shines.

To keep employees productive from anywhere, at any time it is important that their tools are easy to use and well-integrated. The more familiar and consistent the user interface, the better. Tools that are built to work together and seamlessly share data and documents minimize redundancy and frustration for users. A mixed set of tools from different providers will increase complexity, inefficiency, and confusion with users and increase costs for the organization.

What keeps corporate leaders up at night? SECURITY. Security is paramount. Introducing consumer-centric tools into the enterprise brings risk and has led to high profile breaches. It’s much harder for internal information technology teams to control a variety of tools from different vendors that were not all built with enterprise use in mind. This also creates more passwords for users to remember and increases the threat since passwords are generally not protected by users the way they should be. Microsoft 365 security meets or exceeds enterprise requirements. Data centers and software services are secured by Microsoft. Business continuity and disaster recovery are already built in and don’t require extra costs to build and operate. Users have one password to remember that provides single-sign-on to all tools in the suite. Two factor authentication is ready to enable. A case in point, the US Department of Defense and its contractors are confidently using Microsoft 365. Re-creating this level of security at an individual corporate level would be cost prohibitive and risky at best.  

Cost always matters, but value often matters more. A secure, integrated, and familiar platform to keep employees productive from anywhere at any time via Microsoft 365 costs far less than assembling point solutions that provide less than half of its bundled capabilities. The foundation is generally set with email, the highly familiar Office apps (Word, Excel, etc.), and OneDrive for document storage and sharing in the cloud. From there, Teams and SharePoint enable online meetings, chat, and collaboration within teams and across the enterprise. A final layer of capability comes from the Power Platform: forms, workflow and analytics in the cloud to configure custom business applications and reporting. Costs are low and value is exponentially increased as more of the platform is leveraged. This is a true productivity platform that can support the future of work, which is particularly relevant since the future begins now.