Page 37 - BusinessWest April 28, 2021
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even if only for collaboration and camaraderie.”
Because Zoom and other virtual platforms make it easy to meet with people anywhere, companies have begun to look more closely at their business travel budgets, too. CEO cli-
Charlie Christianson
ents have told Beaudry they will not eliminate business travel, but will look to reduce it to only what is necessary.
“One CEO who used to travel 40% of the year said he plans to move most of his meetings to virtual platforms,” he said. “He figures to be 10 times more efficient and save his energy from trav- eling all over the country.”
As much as Bean would like to
see some of the fatigue and expense of travel go away, he also admits that important interactions happen in per-
“We can do a lot more than we thought we could outside of the office. People are far more open to remote work, and there’s no mystery to it anymore.”
son that just don’t occur in a virtual setting. He gave an example of logging on to hear a keynote speaker versus attending the event in-person.
“Oftentimes, the person sitting at my table is more valuable to me than the keynote speaker,” he said. “That person might lead to a great network- ing opportunity where they need my services, or maybe they have a service I need.”
Safe at Home
While working at home can provide many benefits for employees and their companies, IT providers say it comes with a whole new array of challenges. Looking at a business with 30 employ- ees, Beaudry gave an example of how quickly technology issues change when
working remotely.
“If half the employees work from
home,” he said, “the company has gone from managing one network to dealing with the struggles of 15 home networks.”
Common issues when working at home include internet signal strength and the different types and capacities of home modems. Topping all those concerns, however, is the increased vulnerability to a company network getting hacked.
All it takes is one employee to click an attachment in a suspicious e-mail, and the whole network can be dam- aged by a cyberattack. When working
from home, Beaudry said, employees are less likely to ask the simple ques- tions when they confront something that looks suspect.
“You don’t have someone turning to their co-worker, saying, ‘hey, did you get this e-mail? It looks weird,’” he said, adding that he encourages his clients to call whenever they see anything sus- picious. “If you take 30 seconds to call and ask, it can save you a week of los- ing your computer.”
Christianson said cybersecurity is a never-ending battle. “Hackers are always looking for ways into your net- work. They only have to be right once; we have to be right all the time.”
That’s where IT service providers come in. While today’s technology tools are better than ever, Bean said IT pros can set up a company’s system to make it work best for its needs and stay cur- rent on all the security threats.
Beaudry compares his work to that of a plumber. “People need computers for business just like they need water in their home and business,” he said.
And, just like plumbing, if security on a computer network isn’t handled properly, you can have a real mess on your hands. u
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