A small business owner may find themselves in possession of three or more devices where they can access their business data. These devices could include a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Typically, all business data must be viewed through these devices - or another employee’s version of these devices.
If a device is lost, left at home, at the shop, or is being used by another employee, productivity can grind to a halt as a queue is formed waiting for the device to become free.
Many device operators view their device as their data, and as such are completely at the mercy of their device. If their device malfunctions, or is unusable for any reason, the operator often finds themselves in a place of confusion, wondering how to proceed. Packetworks is a leader in business network and communication services. Click here to contact us today.
Rethinking the Definition of a Device
A device such as a laptop is too often viewed as an employee’s holy grail. The employee bases their worth on the data stored on the laptop, and if anything were to happen to said laptop, a massive loss in productivity would occur. This is the wrong way to to approach devices in the business setting, and this approach can have catastrophic consequences when things go wrong.
A device should be nothing more than a conduit or portal to gain access to the desired data. As soon as a device starts embodying data itself, it has overstepped its bounds.
A Device Should be Expendable
The separation of device and data may be a difficult process for some (we will discuss how to perform this separation further down), but it is a process that yields massive gains in data security and productivity. The ideal situation to be in is one where a device could be destroyed this very second, and the loss in productivity is only the small portion of time it takes to get to a new device. If a device is lost, breaks or is stolen it should not represent a challenge to your productivity or your data security.
A brand new device for business purposes can typically be purchased for $500 at most, and this device will typically remain operational for 2-3 years.
A Device Should be Upgradable
Devices are constantly being updated with newer versions. These newer versions are faster, have better battery life, more detailed displays and have more advanced operating systems. This advance in hardware technology allows for gains in productivity as devices become faster and more intuitive to use.
Oftentimes business devices are used far beyond their recommended lifespan. It is a common sight to see an employee lugging around a 10 year old laptop that takes several minutes to start up, and is slow and frustrating to use. If a device is expendable (as mentioned in the above point), a business has the freedom to upgrade devices at their leisure. The upgrade process will quickly yield a positive return on investment, as the faster device allows for time savings that far outweigh the short time it takes to setup the new device.
How Can I Separate a Device and my Data?
The separation of device and data requires some sort of cloud service to be setup/utilized by a business. There are a multitude of cloud options available to businesses such as Google’s Apps for Business or Microsoft’s Office Online with SkyDrive. Both of these options allow for work to be done and stored via the internet - meaning that the only requirement for a device is that is has a stable internet connection.
Get into the habit of storing all essential information in the cloud (or on the business’s server) so it can be accessed from any other device that has the required login information. This allows for data to be accessed and work to be completed from any device.
Separating device and data is a rapid process - only requiring the time it takes to upload necessary data to the company server. Going forward some sort of syncing process should be setup. There are many cloud syncing options available. Click here to learn more about cloud syncing options.
Does Storing all of My Data in the Cloud Reduce Data Security?
No it does not. On the contrary it actually increases data security. The reason for this is that no data is stored locally to be stolen. If a malicious attacker is trying to access your sensitive information, they can only do so by logging into your secure account. This account is hopefully using proper password protection with a strong password. As such the likelihood of it being compromised is virtually 0. The only other option for the malicious hacker to access your data is to hack into the data center of Google/Microsoft or other data hosting providers.
Storing sensitive data on a local machine is similar to storing valued treasures in your home. Storing sensitive information in a data server managed by a top tier company is similar to storing valued treasures in a vault at a bank. One is much harder to gain access to then the other.
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