How Universal Cloud and Wi-Fi Access Should Be Changing Your Business
Making sweeping generalizations is dangerous work. There's always an exception to the rule—there's even an exception to that rule. But, by and large, if your business is operating the way it was ten years ago or the way business school taught you ten years ago, something's wrong. The Wild West days of the Internet with spotty home Internet, limited bandwidth, next to no streaming, and (yes, even in 2009) little public wifi are over. So do a quick health check on your company to make sure everyone's taking advantage of communication trends and, at the same time, not being taken advantage of by communication trends.
Email has been and will continue to be a work staple. But it shouldn't be the primary mode of written communication between internal employees, anymore. The format pushes for inertia and thinking twice: there are intros, polite greetings, splintering email threads, and a dozen rereads that become part of the process, no matter how trivial the content.
Instead, switch internal communications to instant message tools. Slack channels give plenty of space for different groups to carry on a conversation or announce something to the whole group. Embedded chat tools in Salesforce keep the focus clear and the chain of communication public.
Save emails for official matters, rare communications that cross your company's usual teams or groups, and formal notices. Also, email should be a go-to part of how you communicate with clients and leads.
Work Outside of the Office
Working from home is here to stay. You're going to have lots of employees you'll never meet in person, and you'll have office regulars who need to work at home for a day because their kid is sick. Set up your team's workflows and tasks so everything can be done outside of the office. Also, build procedures to make it a regular option: offering flexibility gets you more applicants than even bumping up the salary.
On the flip side, you have to have a clear work culture. Some of your employees will take advantage of the freedom to do as little as possible. But many more of your employees will overdo their work, either by worrying that they need to "prove" their work from home status or because they're out of touch with everyone else's progress.
Maintaining an Online Connection
Wifi is everywhere, and that's good news for regularly traveling employees. The cloud can also be everywhere, which means you can allow tiered access to all of your company files from around the country. That would have been impossible even just ten years ago when remote employees had to have a desktop computer and hardline Internet connection.
At the same time, that ever-present access means hackers and automated malware can reach into your employees' devices. Even unlikely areas and seemingly safe locations are a risk. Make sure everyone has a VPN, no excuses.
Information Is the Product
Information has always been the product, but the Internet made that truer than ever before. The damage that can be done with mishandled data is also greater than ever before (and that's before you even consider Facebook's expected $5 billion fine). Universal internet access means your company is gathering a lot of data about your leads, visitors, and customers. Every site that your employees visit is doing the same thing, and that matters if your company has a BYOD policy or loans out work devices. Get that VPN (we mention it twice because it matters too much to ignore it) and have a network administrator that can clear out the devices before disaster strikes.
Business communications aren't just the information you mean to send. It's also the information your network and the sites your employees visit pick up along the way. Contact us to learn more about how to modernize your approach to wifi and the cloud.