How the cloud improves mobility

Give your employees the freedom to work from anywhere at any time

Technology increases mobility. Tablets, laptops and smartphones all offer the possibility of working in places other than the traditional office. But it’s not always obvious how to take advantage of this freedom.

For example, let’s say your employees spend much of their time visiting clients or travelling between appointments. It would be great if they could get some of their work done while sitting on a train or waiting in an airport lounge.

They can, of course: they can answer emails, write or edit draft documents and perhaps update a spreadsheet or two. But that’s not the same as actually being in the office. Once they get back, they’ll have to ‘sync’ their changed files with those on the office file-server, and move draft documents into the right folders.

This wastes time. It would be much better if your roving employees could access everything while on the move. In other words, if they could log into the office server remotely and have instant access to all applications, documents, emails and files.

This has been possible in the past, but only by using a VPN (Virtual Private Network), which can be complicated to configure and a hassle to maintain for large numbers of employees.

Now things are much easier. If you use cloud services, your employees can log into their work applications and access their work data at any time and from anywhere (where they have internet access). They will have the same level of access as they would if they were sitting at their desks.

This is possible because cloud services are hosted on the cloud company’s servers. Microsoft Azure services, and apps such as Office 365, are hosted remotely on Microsoft’s own secure servers. So you and your employees have the same access to the same files, apps and emails, whether logging in from the office or from an airport lounge halfway around the world.

There’s no need to sync data when back in the office. No need to copy changes from draft documents back to the server. Everything is updated instantly. Whether your staff are working from the office, from home, from a seminar, an airport or a train, it makes no difference. As long as there’s an internet connection, they can work from anywhere.

Naturally this requires strong passwords and preferably two-factor authentication to ensure the security of your business data. But with those in place, it’s a secure method of working.

If you trust your employees (and if you didn’t, you wouldn’t have hired them) you can give them more freedom and greater mobility. For example, if they finish a client meeting at 2pm and it would take them an hour to get back to the office, tell them to go home instead. They can finish their working day remotely, getting just as much done – if not more.

This empowers your employees and improves staff loyalty. Trust is a big factor in employee satisfaction, and cloud mobility helps you demonstrate your trust. Signing up for cloud services with Microsoft Azure lets you increase productivity and employee satisfaction.

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