By Steve Cerocke
With the economy improving, many companies are working on growth plans that include expanding to new markets and hiring remote workers. If a geographic expansion is part of your strategy, take a close look at the technologies you use and make sure your planning incorporates advances in communication, cloud services and remote collaboration tools.
Implementing the right technology in a business expansion is critical as organizations consider hiring remote workers or setting up field offices. It is important for branch offices and off site workers to feel connected and for managers to maintain accountability and drive communication. However, technology is often overlooked or improperly implemented when setting up operations away from your headquarters.
In the past, small and midsize businesses had to build and manage complex and costly remote data access solutions and robust communication infrastructures. These solutions involved expensive hardware and software as well as highly technical staff to make them work. Today there are a number of new technology services available that make deploying and managing remote worker and remote office solutions easier and less expensive than ever before.
We are in the middle of an expansion to Las Vegas that is being driven by a growing base of clients with offices in both northern Nevada and southern Nevada. Even though the majority of our clients are in northern Nevada, we are finding that hiring employees in the south gives access to a larger pool of prospective employees that can work remotely on our northern clients while we expand our southern operations.
Since we have moved most of our computing services to cloud providers or to colocation facilities, it is simple to open a remote office and provide staff with access to the same tools we use up here. Our biggest challenges have been around setting up a seamless voice solution for routing helpdesk calls and implementing remote training for new employees.
With more of our clients expanding north and south we are also designing technologies for them that utilize these geographically diverse locations for disaster recovery and business continuity solutions.
Another exciting development is the expansion of Switch’s datacenter footprint to northern Nevada. This will open up even more technology and colocation options for statewide firms as well as for California companies that want computing resources located in a different geography.
These are just a few examples of how the latest technologies can help you stay competitive, increase productivity and deploy remote workers. With a little planning, it is possible to design solutions that will allow remote workers and offices to function as if they were local without investing a lot of money on the technology side.
Steve Cerocke, founder/president of IQ Systems Inc. of Reno, can be reached at 775-352-2301, ext. 1001, or firstname.lastname@example.org.