With remote work becoming a more and more popular option throughout the world, IT teams have to adapt to deal with the unique challenges associated with this shift. As many as 66% of U.S. employees work remotely at least part of the time, and 16% of companies are fully remote. It’s clear that IT departments need to tailor their strategies to this new trend.
In this article, we will aim to provide you with a robust understanding of the IT challenges that come with managing a remote team and offer coping strategies to help you overcome them. By the end of this post, we hope that you will feel empowered to take on specific challenges related to managing remote teams and be equipped with practical strategies to address them.
Different Types of IT Challenges in Remote Management
Let’s dive into the topic of remote monitoring and management, also called RMM. We will cover the challenges associated with these topics and elaborate on specific issues that remote teams may struggle with, including connectivity issues, software and hardware compatibility, and security risks.
Challenges in Managing a Remote Team From an IT Perspective
Remote work comes with all kinds of challenges and considerations, including employee engagement, retention, company culture, and team collaboration. In the world of IT, however, there are a number of specific challenges that are worth a second look.
Some of the most common challenges when it comes to remote team management include…
- Endpoint security
- Efficient deployment of changes, including patch management
- Secure access
- Security concerns related to personal devices
- Quick solution implementation
- Cost management
- Prevention of data loss
Using a robust RMM system can help your organization resolve these issues and make sure that you have proven strategies in place should a problem arise. This will help you maintain a strong security posture and ensure a positive employee experience.
IT Challenges in Remote Team Management
In this section, we’ll dive into some of the largest challenges that IT teams face when working with remote teams and the plethora of devices that come with them.
One of the biggest problems that IT departments and organizations will need to overcome is the hurdle of providing reliable internet access for all employees. If an employee isn’t able to connect to the web, their productivity and output will almost certainly be affected.
Software and Hardware Compatibility
When it comes to IT, compatibility refers to the ability of software and hardware that comes from different sources to work together – ideally without having to be altered in order to do so. With that in mind, it’s important that programs, devices, and systems can interact with each other without issues. As more and more workplaces embrace bring-your-own-device policies, this becomes a more serious concern to watch out for.
With remote work comes plenty of security risks. Personal devices and the growing number of endpoints on a network lead to expanded attack surfaces that increase cybersecurity concerns. Plus, remote work can correspond to less oversight by security staff, unsecured and vulnerable hardware or networks, and a lack of education about safe data practices.
Coping Strategies for IT Challenges in Remote Team Management
In order to address these concerns, it’s important that IT departments adapt to the changing world of remote work and ensure that their support offerings and vulnerability management strategies are keeping up with current needs.
Providing Reliable Internet Access
It’s important that employees are able to access the internet when they’re working, but it’s also crucial that they’re not just using any network – that can seriously compromise security and enable malicious actors to access your organization’s files and data.
One solution to this is to employ a VPN, or virtual private network. A VPN allows you to restrict access so that employees have to connect directly through the system, providing them with an encrypted connection between their remote device(s) and the office’s main server.
Standardizing Software and Hardware
There are many good reasons to standardize your hardware and software – not the least of which is lower support and maintenance costs. Standardization helps your IT department technicians become experts on the hardware and software that’s relevant, meaning they’ll be able to provide more comprehensive and effective support.
It’s also important to consider that maintaining multiple software programs or hardware components comes with a significant price tag. Maintaining compliance with each application can be difficult and pricey. By standardizing the hardware and software your company’s employees are using, you’ll be able to perform your IT duties more effectively.
Implementing IT Security Measures
Remote workers are much more likely to access the corporate network from multiple different devices – for instance, they might use smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops all in one day. This increase in the use of personal, unvetted devices creates vulnerabilities that must be addressed in order to protect your company’s data and remain compliant.
In order to combat this issue, it’s worth considering implementing a strong RMM solution that will allow you to engage in robust network discovery and keep track of the devices used to access company information. You may also want to think about implementing policies that require remote employees to install an IT-approved security solution on their devices.
The world of remote work comes with a plethora of unique challenges and considerations for every IT department out there. That’s why it’s important for organizations to stay up-to-date on the solutions to these problems and employ strong RMM strategies in order to mitigate the security, connectivity, and productivity effects of remote work.
How can I ensure that remote employees have access to reliable internet?
One solution to the problem of remote employees struggling to get internet access is to employ a VPN, or virtual private network. A VPN allows you to restrict access so that employees have to connect directly through the system, providing them with an encrypted connection between their remote device(s) and the office’s main server.
What are some effective ways to standardize software and hardware across a remote team?
There are many different ways to standardize software and hardware, one of which is to provide company computers that have already been updated with the most recent versions of each relevant software program. This will allow IT technicians to become experts on the hardware and software that’s relevant, meaning they’ll be able to provide more comprehensive and effective support.
What are some common security risks to remote team management, and how can I prevent them?
Remote team management leads to many common security risks, including a growing number of endpoints that create expanded attack surfaces and increase cybersecurity concerns. Plus, remote work can correspond to less oversight by security staff, unsecured and vulnerable hardware or networks, and a lack of education about safe data practices. A strong RMM solution can help you combat this issue.
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