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Remote working, the hybrid model is here to stay

It is largely accepted that whilst attendance in the work place will increase, working from home continue indefinitely

This BBC article provides an interesting insight into how UK working practices may have changed for good due to the recent pandemic and the expectation that lock down measures may return in the months and years to come.

21st June 2021, Will we Won’t we?

Whilst the 21st June ‘El dorado’ date is expected to see more staff ‘back in the office,’ there are still guidelines that employers are expected to follow, regarding a duty of care to all their staff and reasonable and fair treatment.

Indeed, many businesses have discovered that having fewer people on site at any one time has proven to be beneficial.

  • Social distancing measures are achieved more easily.
  • Staff numbers can be increased without the relative increase in overheads in ‘desk’ space.

What does this mean for business systems?

Whilst most businesses have been able to facilitate access to central systems for remote workers, this has been achieved with varying levels of success and efficiency.

Software solutions that must exist on an on-premise server will require a remote desktop solution (which can be expensive) or will be accessed via a VPN (which is often frustratingly slow and ‘clunky’).

Common VPN issues

  • A slower internet connection.
  • Illegal use of VPNs
  • Not knowing how strong the encryption provided by your VPN
  • The logging and potential reselling of your internet habits to third parties.
  • Connection breaks.

Alternatively, a private cloud server can be deployed.  A private cloud server has the advantage of being set up and configured to suit your business but also carries some distinct disadvantages:

Cost

The cost of deploying a private Cloud server is more expensive than other easy to remote access, models such as SaaS.

Maintenance

Your private Cloud server will require maintenance and monitoring much as an on-site server does.  This attracts additional expenses not encountered with SaaS software.

Deployment

A private Cloud server must be deployed as an on-site server does and requires software to be installed.  Another expense

Scalability

When specifying a private Cloud server, businesses must consider what the demands on the server will be.  If there is an increase in demand the size of the cloud server may have to be increased which in turn increases the cost of the server.

Remote Access

Increased security in Private cloud means that that remote access can be limited, and further tools are required to ensure you can access your Cloud server from your mobile phone.

 

Why consider a SaaS solution? (Software as a Service)

Cost

Software does not have to be installed.  Your tenant is provisioned within the vendors’ environment.  The software is already there, you just sign up to access it.

Each user subscription covers the cost of the software application, updates AND the hosting.

Access

One of the key differences between a SaaS solution and a solution that is installed on a private cloud server is the way you access it.

SaaS solutions are accessed via your internet web browser using your user credentials.  If you have internet access, you can log on to your central system.

Scalability

Unlike a solution hosted on a private cloud server where you must consider the user numbers for your solutions and the capacity of your server, a SaaS solution simplifies matters.

Flexibility

SaaS subscriptions can be changed monthly, up, or down.

Security

As an example, a Microsoft SaaS solution such as Dynamics 365 Business Central  is protected by security protocols most businesses can only dream of and for additional ‘belt and braces’ third party backup solutions are available.

Performance & Reliability

As SaaS ERP solutions have increased their market share over the last 3 years, the statistics show that uptime is 99.5% ++

Clearly downtime for on premise servers will depend on a multitude of factors but with a SaaS solution – those factors are no longer your problem.

Returning to the original point of a permanent shift in working practices businesses may need to review how they make central systems available to their staff and in some instances, the central systems themselves.

Thought for the day.

Whilst a review of your IT infrastructure takes time and effort, if one hasn’t been affected within the last 18 months, now is the time.

Call Qi to discuss:

  • The merits of a remote desktop service
  • Is a private cloud server the right choice for you?
  • Do I need to move from my current Sage application to a SaaS model?

Qi are business partners for Sage, Cim50, Microsoft Azure, Dynamics 365 ERP, Microsoft 365, Sophos, and Datto.  We have the experience to talk you through your options to support your IT infrastructure review.  Qi is proud to hold Microsoft Gold Partner status.