COVID19 and your IT Infrastructure
Covid-19 has had a major impact on IT networks and services. With the governmental requirements for employees to work from home, the challenge to keep your business growing during this time can be difficult. As the epidemic continues to grow, we have found many of our clientele have needed their IT infrastructure to change to handle the new business requirements. With this being said, here are a few solutions and measures you can take to help your company continue growing during this time.
Remote Employee Base (Work from home)
The current regulations in many states is to close up shop and/or require employees to work from home. This requirement poses a challenge to many companies since this technology may not be in place. The three things to keep in mind during this time are: PRICE , SECURITY and FLEXIBILITY. With these three aspects in focus, our recommendations are based on the number of employees as well as the budget for this feature:
Software VPN (subscription)
The quickest and easiest way to get a remote connection up and going is a software based VPN. The security and ease of use makes this a quick option for many companies. Options for software based remote connections are:
These options work well, but there is a cost associated with the services. As an example, Logmein works great, but comes with a price tag of $39 per user per month. If you purchase more than 10 users, the cost goes down, but you are still spending +$1500 a year for the service.
If this is a great option for you short term, we fully recommend these options
Hardware VPN (One Time)
Hardware based VPN is the best long-term solution for remote control since It can be used through the years. This technology requires a hardware application to be installed at your location, and requires some licensing based on the number of clients you have. Some of the benefits of hardware VPN are:
- One-time upfront cost
- Change security configuration as needed
- Customizable to fit business needs
- Integrates easily into business models
On average, we see the cost to setup hardware VPN range based on your IT infrastructure setup. If you already have a firewall installed and windows based servers, this can be accomplished for under $500. If you do not have the hardware in place, you can install a mid-grade firewall and licensing for $1400.
Overall, hardware VPN is the best option, but there can be some initial costs to set it up. This includes labor to install and setup, changes to your ISP gateway and client PC setup.
Collaboration and Accountability Tools
One of the main concerns we hear from small business owners is the ability to collaborate with employees remotely as well as monitor efficiency. This challenge is easily overcome, but it requires new technology and thought processes to make it a success. While there are MANY different tools out there for collaberation and accountability, we have a few examples of software and solutions that make this easier to achieve.
Migrating to office 365 is a must for many companies as it give you a host of tools to access emails, OFFICE suite, company files, video chatting, project tracking and more. Office 365 also gives you numerous apps and integrations that allows you to use outside features like Trello, Asana, Evernote and more! The cost for business ranges with the features needed, but the breakdown is as follows:
- Business Essentials – $5 per month per user
- Business Premium – $12.50 per month per user
- Business Enterprise – $20-$45 per month per user
Microsoft teams is a great tool to connect your employees, clients and data in once place. Included with office 365 subscriptions, this tool allows you to do the following:
- Voice and Video Chat
- Setup meetings with clients
- Integrate calendars with users
- Share files and folders
- Access company files and folders
- Stay up-to-date with company information (sharepoint)
Like Microsoft Teams, Sharepoint is a tool that allows users to view, edit and store company information in one place while giving them access to a single source of information via a sharepoint website. At first glance, the benefits of this software is not seen, but after using the integrated Office 365 version, the software has too many benefits to mention.
Trello is an amazing tool designed for communication and project management. This tool is free and can be setup in many different ways to keep your team on track.
This tool also integrates with Office 365 allowing you to track your projects while using Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Teams.
When it’s all said and done, COVID19 will go down in history as a pandemic that hit the economy of the world and impacted business, family and life in general. The positive note is that we will recover from it. The question is how long will it take?
In the IT realm, JDB Technology is dedicated to helping companies grow their business without having to worry about the technical details. Our focus and goal is to bring current and upcoming technologies to our clients with precision and expertise. This means our clients dont have the cost of an “in house” IT department while still benefiting from having a full IT department through JDB.
With that said, all of the challenges COVID19 has brought are easily resolved through the heart and focus of people. Whether that is doctors and nurses in the heath industry or JDB in the technology industry, we can overcome the challenges ahead and grow in the midst of chaos.
To get more information on any of these technologies, feel free to reach out to us 24/7!