True remote access means that not only can your employees gain entry to their work email accounts from home or while on the road, but they also can access a work computer or network server. Although remote access isn’t suitable for every business, benefits such as improved technical support, disaster recovery response times, increased productivity and potential cost savings provide compelling reasons for businesses interested in a mobile workforce to incorporate it into their business plans.
Improved Technical Support
In an October 2010 article in PC Today, Rod Scher, an author, editor and cybersecurity coordinator, said that remote access capabilities can help your business avoid an “IT nightmare.” Because remote access allows IT personnel to perform updates, security patches and software upgrades without having to go to each machine, the more computers that your business uses, the more you and your IT department can benefit from implementing remote access.
Improved Disaster Recovery Response Times
Remote access allows for faster response times when end users experience technical problems. Technical support personnel can access the machine, diagnose and complete repairs or make alternate arrangements to keep the end user working in a much shorter time frame. Even more importantly, remote access allows for lights-out server management, which can shorten recovery time in the event of a disaster. An LOM system allows a systems administrator to troubleshoot, make repairs and reboot or shut down the computer system from a remote location. This capability is especially useful for after-hours disasters and for businesses that operate network servers from more than one location.
Increased Operational Productivity
Using a remote access tool such as a virtual private network often increases productivity. For example, permitting your employees to access the network server from home enables people to work without many of the interruptions present in an on-site environment. According to Cisco, a network company, you can also set up a VPN to allow limited access to a business partner, such as a supplier or vendor. This could set the stage for real-time inventory management, which decreases the chances for stock-outs and back orders, which in turn may result in greater customer satisfaction.
Potential Cost Savings
A business that implements remote access can realize both direct and indirect cost savings. With more employees working either part or full time from home, the business can see direct savings from reduced facilities costs such as decreased square footage requirements and utility expenses. Many businesses realize indirect savings and increased profitability through decreased turnover rates and higher employee morale. In addition, remote access capabilities can widen the labor pool and be a hiring incentive, both of which may allow a business to attract greater number of qualified candidates.
Based in Green Bay, Wisc., Jackie Lohrey has been writing professionally since 2009. In addition to writing web content and training manuals for small business clients and nonprofit organizations, including ERA Realtors and the Bay Area Humane Society, Lohrey also works as a finance data analyst for a global business outsourcing company.