The last few months have meant a complete change in how many California businesses function and look at asset management.
With a transition to a remote workforce, companies have relied on cloud services to keep their teams connected to each other and the tools they need to do their work.
Another aspect of efficient operations is being able to manage data. Which means ability to track how it’s used, classify content according to sensitivity, and just ensure all work content ends up where it needs to be.
The challenge with managing data for people working from multiple locations is that files can end up in a variety of places as workers try to transition their workflow to a new environment.
Poor data management can lead to:
- Data loss
- Compromised information
- Compliance penalties
- Documents not being available to everyone that needs them
- Information trails being incohesive
- Unnecessary rework because employees can’t find files
83% of employees end up recreating existing documents because they can’t find the original.
Even through states are beginning to reopen slowly, a good number of employees will stay remote workers permanently. This is due to things like cost savings that companies have realized with telecommuting and the ability to be just as (if not more) efficient working from home.
Putting a structure in place for secure and efficient data management for a remote workforce can help reduce data loss risk and make your entire organization more productive.
How to Efficiently Manage Data When Employees Are Working in Different Locations
Here are several tips you can use to implement smart data management for a telecommuting and mobile workforce.
Use Cloud-Based Email
Using a cloud-based email program ensures that all messages are stored securely and available if needed for document trails in the future.
A program like Exchange online makes email easily available to employees on any device, while also giving you the ability to apply company security policies to email content to help keep sensitive data secure.
Consolidate Communication in Teams
Microsoft Teams is a powerful platform that allows you to capture multiple communication types.
Without consolidation, you could end up with a disjointed customer order trail that’s spread over multiple places. For example, an initial PO might be in a staff member’s email, an order change could be in a text on a personal cell phone, and the payment confirmation in a CRM program through a customer ticket. This makes it very difficult to provide good customer support because team members don’t have the entire information trail.
Teams is easily accessible from any device, any location and can capture all of the following communication types in one easily searchable place:
- Voice calls
- Video conferences
- Files that are shared
- Emails, by forwarding them to a Teams channel
Keep Documents in Company Cloud Storage
Having employees save files to their individual computers, is just asking for trouble when it comes to security and file management.
Use a centralized cloud storage system, like OneDrive or Dropbox, where remote employees can all save documents they create or handle according to your designated file structure.
This allows data to be easily searchable later, reducing he chance of “lost” files and wasteful recreation.
Use Security Policies to Protect Data Across Platforms
If you use Office 365 or Microsoft 365, then you have a powerful document security tool you can use called sensitivity labels.
These are labels that can be applied to documents as they’re created that tell your system how to handle their security.
For example, you could set up a label up to automatically encrypt emails that contain sensitive company information. You could also prevent any document containing a credit card number from being copied or shared.
Sensitivity labels follow a document through different Microsoft cloud apps, allowing you to automatically secure information as its created, even if your employees are working from different locations.
Device Backup & Recovery
One safeguard against any type of data loss is to have all employee devices backed up to a cloud backup and recovery system.
This ensures that in the event they have important company files on their device and the hard drive crashes, your data will be safe and easily restorable, mitigating downtime and document loss.
If employees use their personal devices when telecommuting, you can simply have the backup system only backup the pertinent work related folders.
Use eSigning Software
When contracts or other documents need to be signed, the file can end up being printed out, leaving the protection of your document management system.
Another problem with manual signatures is that with everyone quarantined, including customers, waiting on a signature can slow down your business processes and delay things like purchase order approvals and new vendor contracts.
eSigning software gives you the ability to digitally sign documents in a way that is legally binding. This significantly speeds up the document process, reduces bottlenecks, and keeps your documents digital so they can be protected by document handling policies.
Empower Your Remote Team to Be More Effective!
Unity IT can assist your company with data and document management solutions that streamline your workflows both in the office and while telecommuting.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation at 559-297-1007 or reach out online.