Do you wish your business trips were full of working instead of waiting? Do you need access to e-mail and documents at home? Do you often want to hide at Starbuck’s and get some work done? If you answer yes to any of these questions, it’s time to consider technology that moves with you. Not only can you increase individual productivity, but you can also maximize your company’s effectiveness and minimize travel costs by the efficient use of technology and smart mobility management.
Being out of the office doesn’t have to mean being out of touch. Today’s technology includes many easy and affordable wireless options for smaller businesses. A local technology consultant (or “solution provider”) can help decrease the stress of business mobility by helping you figure out what kind of access you need, setting it up and developing a wireless protocol to make sure you will always have access to essential information.
ITSPA’s Tips for Mobile Business People
- Cut that cord! If you have hesitated to bring your business into the wireless age, now is the perfect time to invest in an office mobility program or a business travel program. Going mobile will help ensure you have maximum flexibility. Whether you need to walk across the street or travel across the country, you can meet the needs of your business and be more responsive to your clients without being tethered to your desk by inefficient technology.
- Sync your technology. Get your PC, laptop and handheld wireless device on the same page. That way, you will have correct contact information and updated documents while you’re away from the office. Integrating all your devices will ensure seamless travel.
- Be secure. Although most wireless networks have some level of security, the more protection you have on your device, the better. Even a basic password can help protect your information if your laptop or other wireless device is lost or stolen. For more advanced solutions, consider multi-layered security. Antivirus and antispyware software combined with firewalls will decrease the likelihood that a hacker or identity thief will be able to access your information. You should also update your Web browsers and other software frequently, to make sure the latest security patches are installed.
- Make your mobile device work for you. When setting up your mobile office, install only the hardware, software, and programs you need. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the available options, so cater your travel program to your own work patterns and personal needs.
- Back up your data. In case your laptop battery dies or your smartphone gets lost, put essential files on a memory card or CD before you leave. Printing out your list of important contacts is also a great way to make sure you never miss deadlines or appointments just because you can’t get a wireless signal where you are.
- Prepare before you leave. Work with a solution provider to develop the most efficient, cost-effective and secure travel plan. This is especially important if you have complex applications or a need to protect confidential data, or if you are utilizing a virtual private network (VPN) for your mobile activity. A VPN provides additional data protection on common Internet-based transactions through virtually any terminal or network.
ITSPA can help you find a local service provider who understands all the various mobility options, knows your business, and can help get you on the road while still connecting to the office. Contact ITSPA’s partner locater to locate a qualified solution provider in your area and learn more about efficient, cost-effective business travel planning.
Russell Morgan is president of Information Technology Solution Providers Alliance (ITSPA), a group of consultants and resellers serving the small business community.