Improving Collaboration to Improve Productivity

Team collaboration has never faced more challenges than the present day. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses closed their doors. Others were required to move online and rely on remote capabilities. It’s easy for employees to feel disconnected when they’re anywhere from six feet to thousands of miles apart. 

Businesses can keep their workforce closely connected by maximizing the latest technologies, tools and applications to enhance collaboration between team members. Let’s discuss the impact that new technologies can have on organizational productivity in 2020. 

What’s Zoom? 

A year ago, you may have asked this question, but today, you’re probably familiar with Zoom. Businesses have moved to virtual conference rooms offered by Zoom and Skype because they allow their entire staff to collaborate like never before. Video conferencing software not only personalizes the virtual meeting experience with live video chats, but it also enables instant messaging between team members, screen-share and recording capabilities, among other helpful features. When people can’t sit in the same conference room, video conferencing technology givecolleagues an outlet to connect, collaborate and improve their work culture. 

My Apps Can Do That? 

Most people are extremely familiar with Microsoft Office products. What they may not know is that they can take these applications to the next level through integration with a cloud-based system. Microsoft Office 365 offers a convenient, easy-to-use workspace that can be accessed anywhere. Employees can seamlessly access shared worksheets, utilize online storage space and get the most out of productivity applications that enable simultaneous collaboration. With Microsoft Office 365, your team can work smarter, more efficiently and stay connected thanks to innovative collaborative tools. 

Why Do I Need a Chat Room? 

You may think that a workplace chatroom would pose as a distraction to your team. The truth is that group chatrooms can increase productivity. When the physical workspace is compromised during a pandemic, businesses can move their communication and collaborative efforts to a centralized, virtual workspace where employees can connect in seconds. Business communication applications like Microsoft Teams and Slack allow employees to share files, communicate through group chats or video conferencing tools and collaborate easier. You can connect your favorite apps, create automated workflows, schedule calendar events and work together more efficiently.   

Although businesses in every industry have faced many challenges in 2020, one lesson we have all learned is that business-related technology is no longer a luxury — it’s a necessity. With the “new normal,” companies that adapt and evolve through innovative communication tools will continue to thrive in the future. The newest technologies can increase collaboration, which in turn, will increase operational productivity. Contact our team of experts today to get IT support that can connect your team from anywhere. 

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Conquering Compliance: The Essential Checklist

When you think of data breaches, the first thing that comes to mind might be personal privacy concerns: Has my data been leaked? Did someone get my credit card number? My Social Security number? My medical records? But if you’re a small to medium-sized business, cybercrimes can wreak havoc on your compliance standing, ruin your finances and even force you to close your doors for good. To avoid expensive fines and lost time, it’s important to start thinking through compliance and taking proactive steps to see where you stand.

Getting compliance in order is easier when you consider a few key things. Addressing noncompliant behavior within your workforce is a good place to begin, but the next step is to get everything tech in check to secure your network and system. Doing so is the only way to protect data, prepare for a compliance audit, avoid hefty penalties — and protect your good reputation.

“Changes in the regulatory environment and risk landscape are constant and unpredictable, while businesses are making big bets on digital transformation and renewing focus on innovation. As a result, the consequences of poor risk management strategies are no longer confined to just settlements and fines, but include damage to brand and business growth.” - Gartner

Get a handle on compliance. Contact us today.

A Recipe for Compliance Success:

  • Read Up on New Regulations – If you know anything about HIPAA, PCI or SOX, you know regulations are always evolving. Being aware of critical changes to privacy policies is essential to compliance, so pay attention and skim tech blogs regularly.
  • Invest in Security Awareness Training (SAT) – If human error is responsible for the majority of data breaches, then training employees about cybersecurity and cyberthreats is paramount. Avert disaster by taking time to talk about technology and best practices.
  • Consider Mobile Device Management (MDM) – If you’re managing a remote workforce and using technology to support mobile employees, a large number of personal devices, such as laptops, smartphones and tablets will need to be protected. Secure them now.
  • Tighten Up Privacy Settings – If your chief concern is concealing personal identifying information from hackers and cybercriminals, secure your network with two-step authentication, restricted user access, strengthened firewalls and more.
  • Think About the Consequences – If all of this sounds overwhelming, take a moment to visualize the consequences you’d suffer if you’re caught breaking the rules. Nothing ruins your bottom line like costly fines that stem from ignoring regulations.
  • Seek Out Professional Guidance – After taking these factors into consideration, you should have a better idea about your risk for noncompliance and what you need to do next. At this point, businesses often find that a professional assessment is in order.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, know that you’re not alone. Regardless of how long you’ve been in business, how big your organization is and how much data it handles, it’s never a bad idea to prioritize compliance concerns now and avoid trouble down the road. You don’t need an entire IT department to get the job done, but staying compliant is definitely easier with a trusted tech partner in your corner.

Need Some Help?

If you’re ready to get serious about compliance, partnering with IT professionals who can step in and provide expert IT support is always a responsible decision. Every business is unique, which is why you’ll want to work with someone who possesses in-depth knowledge of your industry and understands what it takes for your business to stay compliant. Contact us to learn more about how we help businesses like yours conquer compliance and cybersecurity concerns for good.