your business can stay
safe – and take off
How to provide the right technology so your
employees can safely work where, when
and how they want to help you grow
Stay safe +
While companies recognise the value of keeping their employees
engaged, it isn’t always achieved. A survey carried out by
professional services firm JLL in 2017 found that only half of UK
workers said their workspace environment allowed them to work
One important way to keep employees engaged and productive,
creating their best work, is with the right technology, and the right
working culture to support that. Your employees are used to
consumer technology that works without hiccups. If they have an
issue, they just download a different app instead. But at work, they
need to communicate and collaborate easily and seamlessly, all with
the same toolkit, whether they’re in the office or working remotely
– and they need devices that are designed to maximise the benefits
of their technology toolsets. Otherwise, they may face unsynced or
inaccessible files, siloed data, or applications that don’t work as well
on mobile devices. Technology woes like these don’t just frustrate
employees. They impede their ability to collaborate, share opinions
and ideas, and perform high-quality work. The result can be, for
example, different people struggling with different versions of the
same proposal, countless emails flying back and forth, and
information that isn’t available at critical times.
In a 2017 Forrester report, when asked about the specific impact of
16 common collaboration tools, most workers surveyed cited only
two – email and instant messaging – as helping them to be more
effective at their jobs.2
This may be why many employees take technology into their own
hands: at least one in four seek out their own mobile and cloud-
based apps. But when your employees use unsanctioned tools,
it makes it nearly impossible to safeguard your business’s data.
Your business will never possess a more
powerful competitive advantage than your
employees. Are you making the right choices
to take full advantage of the value they
represent – or even to hang on to it? And are
you providing a secure environment in which
they are free to make a real contribution?
JLL, Workplace Powered by Human Experience, quoted at http://www.personneltoday.com/
Forrester Research, The Way We Work: A Mobile, Collaborative Workforce Needs an Accessible
and Flexible Toolkit, January 2017.
In this e-book, we’ll first of all show how important it is for you to know your data and
information are secured. It’s only when you and your employees have this peace of mind
that everyone will then have the freedom and confidence to tackle the problems people
may be facing with their daily technology, to think big, and to work together to help
your organisation achieve its ambitions.
Only half of UK workers said their
workspace environment allowed
them to work “completely
If you’re looking to build a dynamic and successful business
– a business with a future – it needs to have firm foundations.
And the best base on which you can do this includes robust
data and device security.
Data breaches and other security incidents can affect
employee engagement and performance, taking time
away from productive tasks and undermining employee
confidence in your business if they lose important data, files,
or even access to their devices. That’s especially true when
dealing with lost and stolen mobile devices. This common
problem can be either a momentary inconvenience or major
setback, depending on your business’s mobile device
location and remote-wipe options.
Small and medium businesses (SMBs) are particularly
vulnerable. Indeed, 43% of cyber-attacks target companies in
Why? Because many SMBs tend to be less secure
than larger enterprises, and also because automation makes
it easier for criminals to attack them in volume.4
Put your business
on a solid base with
43% of cyber-attacks
Small Business Trends: 43 Percent of Cyber Attacks Target Small Business, April 2016
CSO, Why criminals pick on small business, January 2015.
Perform a business data-security audit
This can be completed with a few common-sense questions. Where is your business data
stored, and how is it backed up? How do employees currently share access to files and data?
How can your business control access to sensitive data? And how does your business back
up and otherwise secure data on employees’ mobile devices?
Consider your compliance obligations
Depending on the industry that you work in you will need to be compliant to industry
standards. In addition the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into
force in May 2018. It’s the biggest shake-up in data protection legislation in over 20 years,
and gives increased rights to EU-based individuals over the information you hold on them
(whether your company is in the EU or not). Failure to respect those rights or to show due
diligence in your data protection practices could result in substantial fines or affect your
ability to do the right thing for your customers – which is why you need to be ready.5
It may make sense to make someone responsible for meeting your GDPR obligations
and data security in general. Many SMBs lack the time, budget and expertise to implement
comprehensive security defences.6
Look separately at device management
Consider how many employees have devices holding business data; how those devices
are updated for new security threats; and whether any special considerations (such as
regulatory compliance issues) apply to your business. As you shop for new devices for
employees, look for those designed with best-in-class security in mind, and that will
work well with the productivity tools you select.
EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) portal. http://www.eugdpr.org/eugdpr.org.html
CSO, Why criminals pick on small business, January 2015. https://www.csoonline.com/article/2866911/
2 Most employees understand the importance of working
together: according to research by Forrester, 56% believe
improved collaboration benefits their customers.7
a Dimensional Research survey of 300 SMB information
technology professionals, 97% said that anytime,
anywhere access to data and applications makes
employees more effective.8
Social technologies can make a particular difference at
work. Many organisations that use them see a distinct
improvement in project collaboration, and users themselves
agree that social technology improves collaboration across
Choose tools that
together – no matter
where they work
97% said that anytime,
anywhere access to
data and applications
Forrester Research, The Way We Work: A Mobile, Collaborative Workforce Needs an Accessible
and Flexible Toolkit, January 2017.
Dimensional Research, March 2014, quoted in Microsoft, 7 Ways to Work Smarter in the Cloud.
Assess your current technology
How well do your business’s technology tools and devices help your employees
create, connect, and collaborate with people inside and outside your company?
Can they share and collaborate on documents on any device without versioning issues?
Are online meetings quick and easy to set up?
Get insights into your collaboration needs
Ask your employees to discuss how they work together and which tools – whether you
currently provide them or not – they like to use. Your goal should be to uncover features
they consider important, but that your business isn’t delivering.
Achieving equilibrium between work and home
commitments is hugely important for you and your
employees today, especially given the diverse demographics
of the modern workforce. Indeed, work/life balance is second
only to compensation when people decide whether to seek
One key to addressing work/life balance issues is to give
your workers control over their schedules and tasks, allowing
them to work on the go and remotely, using the devices
It’s something to which they’re accustomed and which they
even expect. Gartner reported in 2015 that employees use an
average of three different devices throughout their daily
routine. The study also found that a large majority of
employees move routinely between devices just to complete
a single task10
– and a recent online article published by CIO
stated that 94% of millennials say collaboration is “critically
important” to their work.11
Take work/life balance
seriously – and take
steps to back up your
A large majority of
devices just to
complete a single task.10
Society for Human Resource Management, Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement:
The Doors of Opportunity Are Open, 2017.
mobile-workforce.html quoting Gartner
Set clear, consistent, and fairly applied policies
It’s up to you how to set policies that reflect your company’s culture for flex time,
remote work, and other scheduling options. What matters most to employees is that
they know the rules and see them being applied fairly.
Provide a remote-work toolset
Determine the types of technology you’ll need in order to make working remotely as
effective as working in the office. This can include easily accessible document and data
storage; collaboration tools, such as shared calendars and team sites; and a variety of
communication tools, including email, an intranet, video conferencing, and instant
messaging. Also consider devices, whether they’re ones you can supply or ones that
employees use under a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, to make sure they allow
mobility without compromising security and that they perform seamlessly with the other
work-related applications and tools you select.
A connected, synchronised ecosystem of apps, devices, and data can enable your team
to gain access to whatever they need from anywhere in the world.
When selecting employee collaboration and remote-work
tools, you have a choice. Should you rely on a collection of
single-purpose applications, or seek out an integrated set
of solutions from one vendor?
In many cases, the answer comes down to one key point.
Choosing multiple apps from many different vendors does
little to resolve common employee complaints about
coordinating schedules, finding the right people or resources
to do a job, working from the same version of a document,
or simply enjoying the same seamless experience
Your success depends on your employees. They need to be
enabled to dream big and do their best work. An integrated
solution not only meets this need but offers better long-term
value, leaving you to focus on business-critical tasks instead
of dealing with multiple systems.
Take a methodical approach to choosing your tools
Once you have your employees’ feedback on your current business technology, make a
list of the capabilities and the business problems it needs to solve – rather than specific
applications you need.
Seek out integrated, cloud-based solutions,
and consider their benefits.
Conduct research into solutions that provide these capabilities, along with shared data and
resources, so employees can enjoy a seamless experience without logging in and out of
multiple apps or hunting down information in disconnected systems.
If you simplify your business processes you’ll increase employee productivity. Easy-to-
manage, holistic cloud-based company settings allow you to configure features and
settings all in one place. This removes complexity, with single logins for all services and
devices – making working from anywhere easier.
Modern, cloud-based productivity tools have led to a radical
shift in thinking about where and when people work. That’s
hardly surprising, given that 88% of employees work from
two or more locations during a typical week – and 21% work
from three or more locations.12
Yet it’s important to assess how your business technology
performs when it’s literally on the move. Can your employees
switch from laptop to tablet to smartphone while working on
the same document, and have confidence they’re still seeing
the latest version of their work? Can they be sure everyone
on their work team will receive a critical document ahead of
a key deadline? Can they work offline and know their emails,
calendar, and documents will sync properly when they
reconnect? Do they have access to devices that are designed
well for the productivity tools on your shortlist? And can
they – and you – be confident that whatever they use and
wherever they are, the data they’re accessing and creating
Forrester Research, The Way We Work: A Mobile, Collaborative Workforce Needs
an Accessible and Flexible Toolkit, January 2017.
88% of employees
work from two or
more locations during
a typical week.12
Focus on quality
of output – no
Assess every business application in simple terms. Can its mobile experience match its
desktop capabilities? Does that experience extend to every mobile device that matters to
you and your employees? It makes sense to seek mobile devices that make the most of the
capabilities of those business applications.
Offline matters just as much as online
An application should be just as functional offline as it is online. Can employees still view
emails, contacts, and calendars? Can they access and edit documents? When a device goes
back online, does everything sync and update seamlessly – and when it does, can you and
your users be sure it’s secure?
With just one company providing your productivity apps, you’ll
have just one admin panel to manage security. With a cloud-based
solution, security updates can be rolled out immediately without
concern for testing patches and new software versions.
The right solution can help safeguard your company data across
all devices – even employees’ personal devices. Automated security
updates give your business an always-on security partner.
A centralised, cloud-based management approach makes it easier
and more seamless to keep devices up to date with the latest
security updates and feature innovations, at a pace that is right
for you. So you know it’s all in hand, while your employees
know they’re always working with the latest, best-in-class
As your business grows and adds more applications, this can lead
to more potential problems. Routine management tasks, such as
security patches, updates, tying into data sources, and answering
user questions can quickly eat up time and resources.
A simplified management system removes unnecessary complexity
from the equation with single logins for all services and devices –
making working from anywhere easier.
Flexible, scalable pricing
With an integrated cloud solution, you have a single cost per
user per month – and that cost easily scales up or down, depending
on your staffing needs. No more worries about over-investing
in on-premises technology that needs to be maintained, or
juggling monthly invoices for multiple tools.
Does your business feel safe –
so your people can think bold?
Running a successful small or medium business is a tough job. That’s why it’s so important
to uncover ways to simplify your business and support your employees through
technology. That way freeing up time and budget to support growth and opportunity –
safe in the knowledge that you’re building on a firm foundation of data and device security.
Making the right technology choices doesn’t just solve one problem. It solves a variety of
challenges related to effective collaboration, supporting a mobile workforce, and
protecting your business data. Better yet, solving these issues can have a direct impact on
how much your employees feel empowered and emboldened to do their very best work.
Consider Microsoft 365 Business to set your organisation up for success. Microsoft 365
Business brings together productivity, management, and security capabilities in a single
integrated solution that is cost-effective, easy to manage, and built especially for growing
businesses like yours.
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