IT Best Practices

10 Key Items for Successful Remote Office Support

The remote office is a strange and troublesome beast. There are many assets to having one, yet the managing challenges that arise from the uncertainty of whether or not IT assets are being handled efficiently gives it an air of notoriety. TechRepublic’s Mary Shacklett offers ten tips for handling that faraway, risk-posing fortune-maker.

1 & 2. Security through Automation

IT resources, by their very nature, are usually linked. Therefore, “out of sight, out of mind” should not apply here. Remote security threats must be managed as if they were proximal threats. This can be achieved through centralized corporate software, through automation, and through in-network communications.

3 & 4. Maintenance & Upgrades

And though it may be cheaper to employ on-site staff for regular maintenance, double up by sending a corporate support specialist on at least an annual basis. Additionally, geographical distance makes self-help a tempting option, so be sure to enforce a policy that stipulates company-sponsored upgrades.

5 & 6. Communications

The value of these distant data hubs resides in the lifeline they share with the central business. Information must flow back to the parent company. Hence, SLAs and communications providers are critical players. Of course, having a veritable “point guard,” a person on-site for the bulk of communications, eliminates redundancy and streamlines interactions.

7 & 8. Administer & Audit

Administratively speaking, there should be someone on-site to oversee implementation of policies and best practices. There should also be audits to nip policy gaps in the bud.

9 & 10. Equipment

Repair of devices ought to be outsourced for obvious reasons. A company in Seattle has no business shipping a new laptop to its regional headquarters in Kyoto, Japan, where a local, pre-certified support contractor will do. And last of all, don’t let your remote office turn into a ‘spare bedroom’ full of obsolete equipment. Regular inventories are needed to clear house and to stay efficient.

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