Business agility is a strategy that any business can implement. To learn more, please watch Episode 1 of this series, where we explain the overall picture.
Don’t be fooled, you can’t get there overnight. It seems overwhelming, but the process will be much easier if you consider these six key elements: data protection, ultra-mobility, hosted email, centralized collaboration platforms, hosted applications, and cloud infrastructure. Most of these are interlaced with one another, so let’s dive into each one a little deeper to gain a better understanding.
As you can see, data protection sits at the center of the entire business agility framework, and rightfully so. Business agility is much needed in today’s world, but it comes with additional risks – cyber threats. Those risks can be mitigated, but they must also be understood. Cybersecurity is in it’s infancy stage and changes every day. It must be understood before moving in this direction because you have to evolve with the industry before it gets ahead of you.
Did you know that 95% of all cyber attacks are caused by human error? User education and training is one of the most important ways to keep your business secure.
Something else to consider is to develop the strategy before your team does it for you. If you don’t do it first, they are going to find a way to work remotely if you don’t provide them with the tools, methodologies, and policies to prevent them from taking unwanted action. For example, imagine if someone has to work from home. Without a structure in place, they might put important and private information into a platform that isn’t secure, not intentionally, but because they don’t know otherwise.
All in all, keep data protection at the forefront of each element that is discussed.
The first thing to think about when looking into ultra-mobility is finding out what gaps exist today in your business.
First, ask yourself this question: is it complicated to access my data when I’m out of the office? This could include being on the road, on site at a client location, at home, or any other location that you might work from. If the answer is yes, the next step is to think about the “why”. Could it be because you are normally using a desktop, and now you’re using a laptop or a mobile device? Or maybe it has nothing to do with the device, but it’s the software that isn’t optimized.
You should also think about certain applications that you’ve always used, like a VPN. While this might keep you safe, it won’t be the most efficient option from an agility perspective. There is no “one size fits all”, you have to think about exactly what you’re trying to accomplish.
Ultra-mobility is more than just making sure you have laptops; it’s a strategy. Think of it this way – your office is a place you go to work, but it shouldn’t be the only place that you can work from. Knowing that you’ll be able to access important data and applications is a huge aspect of being agile.
This means your email is hosted externally, not internally. About 80% of our clients have moved to a hosted email platform so that they never lose access to their email when working outside of their office.
While hosted email is the best option in terms of agility, something you have to take into consideration is making sure that it’s secure. There is a massive misconception that security features are already in place, but that is not the case. They need to be properly configured.
Unfortunately, criminals prey on people that are distracted by disasters. When you are focusing on getting your business back up and running, that may be the best time for a slip up to occur, and criminals will be waiting and ready. Multi-factor authentication is one of the great ways to combat this.
You cannot be ultra-mobile if you are locked out of your systems, like your email.
Centralized collaboration platforms
Being able to communicate and collaborate on one centralized platform is key to being agile.
It’s much more than just a simple way to chat. You can also collaborate on documents, make phone and video calls, share your screens, and more. It’s a game-changer for everything that we do.
This is similar to hosted email. Here, we’re talking about the back end of where your files and data are stored in the cloud, and not internally. The strategy behind this is trying to alleviate yourself beyond your office’s walls.
Think about all of the applications used in your business. Is there is a way for them to be stored externally? In today’s world, there isn’t really a need to store them in the office anymore.
Another thing to consider is making sure you don’t replicate what you’re doing in the office into the cloud without looking at it as an opportunity to leverage all aspects of it.
If you’ve noticed, everything that we’ve covered so far have components that leverage the cloud.
Many businesses have been using a certain application or software for a long time. A large scale move to the cloud is going to cause a bit of a disruption because it’s a huge change. But it’s worth it in order to achieve agility in your business.
Ask yourself which applications are cloud based. Odds are, your current application is, and if not, there is probably a better fit that will meet your needs and even save you money. There are very few applications that require an in-house server these days, and even so, there are cloud servers that you can purchase. It’s worth looking into to see what you can change from a process or application standpoint.
What can you do in the next 24 hours?
First things first. You need to decide if you want to be agile and if it’s important to you. You must focus on answering this question before we can help you get there.
Make a list of technical processes and any struggles that you have with them. There are tons of strategies and solutions that can be put in place, but it starts with identifying them.
Give Microsoft Teams a try. This application should be the center of your business’ communication and collaboration efforts.
How can we help?
We can help you adopt a business agility strategy into your business. If you see a need and have identified gaps in your processes, please reach out to us. If you are a client, you can reach out to your Client Success Manager. If you are not a client, feel free to contact us today.