An IT asset management plan for remote workers using company laptops is more critical now than ever. The modern workplace outstretches the confines of the company network and the firewalls and security appliances protecting everything on it.
Employees working from the road, and companies looking to save overhead on office space by inviting work from home, is driving this trend.
Remote workers present a new challenge for IT. No two situations are the same, but there are common pain points for laptop management outside of the network.
- Tracking laptop inventory
- Optimizing user productivity
- Enabling collaboration
- Ensuring secure access to company data
- Extending security features to devices located offsite
- Protecting against data theft for a lost or stolen laptop
- Providing users tools and accessories for proper care
The points here apply to organizations of any size. The infrastructure a company uses for its domain—the server hardware, server operating system, and networking equipment—determine how best practices are implemented. The principles and end goals are the same.
Windows laptops tend to work best with Windows Server infrastructure, though mixed OS environments have become more common. Interoperability between Chrome, OS X, Windows, and open source software continues to improve, but as a rule, homogenous environments gives IT the most straightforward way to manage remote laptops.
There is a lot to remember prior to deployment. Set up a VPN so that users may access company network securely. Use remote desktop software so that IT can help with technical problems they encounter. Make sure that systems are updated in a timely fashion, and applications are kept uniform throughout the workforce. Provide an easy way to backup offline data to the company servers. That’s just the beginning.
Here is a checklist for making laptops for remote workers as secure and productive as possible.