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Buying the best tools for Remote Working

Working in The Cloud

Jeff Remote Working December 4, 2020

As we have previously explored, the world has been turned on its head by the Covid-19 pandemic. The sudden move to remote working forced businesses to panic buy tools that do not serve a purpose, they cannot use effectively, or that they do not understand.


The increase in remote working has accentuated the already rapid increase in the use of IT and cloud infrastructure; both are gradually becoming the most integral part of most businesses worldwide. Adopting these techniques is the logical thing to do, especially in the world of today. The cloud allows remote working to be possible, and for you to create a business infrastructure that has the power to produce advanced levels of productivity compared to the original limited methods of pen and paper.


Cloud infrastructure is not easy to understand. Let us explore some ways to be sure you know what you are buying.



Questions are important. Asking yourself some questions regarding your cloud infrastructure can be beneficial to your business now and into the future.


Where is my data stored?

A key question, and one of the most important questions of all. Knowing where your data is stored is a must, as data transferred outside of the country of origin can be illegal unless sufficient legal protection is in place.


How difficult is the migration?

Long lengthy migrations can have a serious effect on production, perhaps even causing you considerable downtime. Find out from the provider how difficult a transition to the new infrastructure could be. It can pose problems such as staff training not being cost-effective, or the time it takes to finish migration impacting workflow is too much compared to other providers’ options – check first.


Is it familiar?

Familiarity is key. Everyone gets used to a certain way of doing things – that is not to say that change is not necessary but keeping those changes as gradual as possible is of the utmost importance when it comes to business. Remote working can be hard enough to adjust to without added stress and change to work-processes all happening at once. It can also be a very time-consuming exercise to train staff in the new systems, especially from a remote work setting.


Does it allow for integrations?

Integration has the power to dramatically improve the productivity you produce on the average workday, especially within a remote work setting. Applications like Microsoft Teams offers a way to find all your work needs in one easy to use place.


It can be difficult to know what you are buying in the world of IT – some of the language used is solely directed at a certain demographic that already has knowledge of the matter and speaks the same language. Here is an example of four main cloud infrastructures that are subscription-based.


Four cloud infrastructure acronyms

  • SaaS – Software as a Service
  • IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service
  • PaaS – Platform as a Service
  • HaaS – Hardware as a Service

Let us take a further look at the acronyms and their meanings.



SaaS is where a third-party provider hosts applications whilst making them available to customers over the internet – all on a subscription-based model. Your agreed payment plan includes the latest software upgrades and a secure environment for storage and collaboration, all with constant monitoring.



IaaS is a computing infrastructure that is managed over the internet. Your agreement puts the responsibility of the infrastructure in the hands of your provider whilst you provide and purchase your own software – software that must be monitored and maintained by you. Your provider has no responsibilities surrounding your software or its condition.



HaaS is a business model where your provider will supply you with your hardware within your agreed monthly fee, which could range from printers to fax machines to phones. Your provider will be responsible for the maintenance of this hardware.



PaaS is a type of cloud computing that offers a platform to clients, giving them the free reign to manage certain applications of their own without any responsibility of maintaining the infrastructure behind it.


This terminology will put you in good stead in your quest to buying the correct tools to utilise your remote working. Still unsure what you need? Think you still need some help? We can help you.


Elixis Technology is here to help

At Elixis Technology have the expertise to guide you in a personally tailored direction that best suits your business. We can ensure you buy the correct tools to support a remote work setting, thereby helping your employees to thrive – whatever the setting. Contact us to find out more today.


For more information, feel free to send us a message.

Identifying the tools you need for Remote Working

Jeff Remote Working December 4, 2020

As we previously mentioned, the pandemic has forced a change in work practices. Some businesses have been had to close their doors, others have reduced working hours and staff teams, but most have converted to a remote work setting at an impressive speed


This pace meant that most did not have time to research the tools that would be best for the way they run their business. It can be difficult to search for them – there are thousands of companies claiming to offer ‘the best service’ – making it all too easy to be wooed by a company that doesn’t quite fit your individual needs or offer the correct tools for you.


There are many parts of your business you will need a tool for – appointment taking, for example, or a time management application. Arguably most important is a tool to allow communication between not only yourself and your staff force but for your employees to converse with each other too.


Communication tools – their importance to a good remote working infrastructure

Without a workforce that communicates fluently and effectively with one another there is no way a business can survive; whether it be a small local firm or an international corporation the same rule applies.


Flexibility when remote working is one of the main positives for employees. Finding a tool that is easy to access and supports mobile device platforms is essential.


Communicate with your employees by setting up a channel to inform them of any business changes, get feedback from them to improve the IT, and simply check-in and see how they are doing.


Tools that encourage communication between different sectors of your business are beneficial to a workflow. In some cases, employees converse more with other departments when working remotely than when in-office. Project management tools are also a major asset and can help you manage your team, and work structure, much more easily.


Through the tools you choose to build your remote work infrastructure around you should appoint a trusted leader in charge of employee queries and welfare – they should make it their mission to keep staff happy and feeling productive in the remote work setting.


Identify a trusted team leader

Remote working poses different problems than the ‘normal’ work setting – because of this, it is important to ensure that your staff are supported to perhaps an even greater extent than before. Technical aspects of home working can cause stress and have consequences regarding employee welfare; this makes it imperative that your workforce has a point of contact to voice concerns, queries, or sometimes even just have a conversation.


It is the technical elements involved in remote working that are the real difference between success and failure. It’s all well and good having a trusted team leader and the best of intentions, but if this aim isn’t mirrored in your choice of the digital solution you provide then you will find that staff consider Shadow IT a more attractive solution. (See the previous blog in series for details on Shadow IT).


The best digital solutions

There are different digital options on the market claiming to solve the problems of communication, collaboration and productivity – all, I am sure you will agree, are integral to a business being successful. Microsoft 365 offers all three in abundance.


Microsoft 365 is one of the most well-known digital solutions on the market, with its range of well-known and widely used applications tailored around these essential functions, all within a secure environment. 365 offers a feature called ‘Teams’, with 115 million daily active users, Teams is at the peak of its powers and is the fastest growing business app of all time. Let us see some features of Teams that earned it this illustrious title.


Features that make Teams the go-to digital solution for remote working

  • Real-time alerts and communication capabilities
  • Full integration with Microsoft 365
  • Ability to implement granular access control
  • Automation capabilities
  • Version control features
  • Ease of use
  • Project management, scheduling, and extensive event management features
  • Shared access to resources
  • Secured authentication support
  • Co-authoring capabilities


These are just some of the features it can offer. Teams has all the tools essential to assist you in ensuring your remote team is as equipped as possible to enable them to work effectively. Teams will alleviate any worries you may have about remote working.


Cannot find the correct tools for your remote working? We’re here to help!

Elixis Technology can assist you in finding the correct tools for a successful remote working culture within your business. We take the strain of your IT, so you do not have to. Contact us now if you want to be rid of the stress and worry that comes with IT.


For more information, feel free to send us a message.

Avoid Shadow IT!

Jeff Remote Working December 4, 2020

This year has forced a hasty transition to unfamiliar work practices. Employers have had to be creative in their approach to making the workplace safe for all employees – unfortunately for some this has not been possible. Others have adapted to an at least partial homeworking team to enable them to continue working at something at least resembling the same levels of performance as pre-Covid-19.


Ensuring you do not invest in inadequate tools for your staff working from home can be challenging. The need for a good quality of remote working tools has never been more important – they are essential to the success of your team. Without the correct software, your staff cannot be expected to achieve a good standard of work and thrive.


A problem for employers has been the adoption of ‘Shadow IT’ by their employees. What is Shadow IT? Why is it so bad? How will it affect my business? All valid questions. During this blog, we will answer these questions and guide you toward solutions that are beneficial for both you and your employees if adopted correctly.


Shadow IT

“In big organisations, shadow IT (also known as embedded IT, fake IT, stealth IT, rogue IT, feral IT, or client IT) refers to information technology (IT) systems deployed by departments other than the central IT department, to work around the shortcomings of the central information systems.”¹


We take for granted that in the office setting all software, hardware and network services are monitored consistently and are protected and licensed with specific authorisation protocols to ensure access only to authorised employees. With remote working becoming more and more common employees are increasingly making up their own minds which tools they use to work with. This can be dangerous. The company data is usually stored in a secure place, but, with the introduction of Shadow IT, you will find that employees have started storing data in non-IT company services instead (WhatsApp, WeTransfer, or Dropbox), which can mean trouble for their employers.


The security concerns of Shadow IT

The examples above are being used out of the remit of control of the business if management has not authorised and/or provided such systems. They may be insecure, potentially leaving sensitive data vulnerable. Any tools used without the control of the business are also being held out of the organisation’s regulatory obligations – meaning potential legal ramifications if a data loss/theft is suffered.


Why do employees choose Shadow IT?

There is a multitude of reasons as to why an employee may choose to use Shadow IT. Most common is that the employee feels they don’t have the tools they deem necessary to complete their daily tasks to an acceptable standard, leaving them no choice but to go out and look for a tool that can achieve it. For others, it can be as simple as not having the education to understand the problems that Shadow IT can cause to a business.


Sometimes it is a familiarity that tempts an employee. You may have provided them with an extensive collection of tools that you deem perfect for their job role, but they may not have the technical aptitude to use them properly when in a remote setting. Therefore, they find using a familiar tool eradicates the need for this knowledge of new IT. Perhaps the remote work setting posed more challenges than you anticipated – you need to communicate with your employees to find out what these challenges are and how to solve them in a secure and cost-effective way.


How to approach Shadow IT

Where you have employees preferring Shadow IT, take their feedback and implement a strategy that best suits their needs. Approach Shadow IT by asking yourself some questions surrounding its use:


  1. What apps have our team sourced and are using outside of the company remit?
  2. How did they have IT permissions to install or use paid apps in the first place? Do we need to make changes or review security policies?
  3. What functions do these apps serve that could be solved with what you have already? Does the team simply require IT education, or are the apps perhaps better aligned to your requirements, meaning you should take ownership and permit the services to be used?


The Shadow IT used by employees needs to be in a shareable format and compatible with what is already provided by the company.

If you offer the correct tools you know the answer to these and other operational questions before even starting.


Finding a mutually beneficial answer to these questions will allow your remote work infrastructure to be stronger and more secure; employees will feel more productive using tools that work for them, your business will thrive and remote working can become a positive change rather than a necessary one.


Is Shadow IT a problem for you?

Elixis Technology will help you buy the best tools to ensure a productive, secure and legal remote work environment. We are here to ensure you get the technology that actually works for your business to help you achieve the results that your customers demand of you. Contact us and find out how we can help you.


For more information, feel free to send us a message.¹