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With the announcement last month from Google and Facebook that the majority of their employees will probably be working from home until 2021, it would seem that companies across the globe are making long term plans for the uninterrupted continuation of their business. Whilst the large US tech giants may be leading the way, small and large companies will now also need to start planning for long term remote working in order to protect their staff and clients and adhere to social distancing rules.
When the UK lockdown was declared in March, many organisations were forced to quickly cobble together a remote IT system so that their employees could carry on working at home. With different options to choose from, and with differing price points, some companies will have found this easier than others depending on what they had in place already. The overarching questions to ask now are firstly, will those remote systems be secure and sustainable over the next 6 to 12 months and beyond? And secondly, will the workers who were forced to work at home, ever want to come back to work in the office at all? Here we outline the points that all employers should now have on their agendas to talk through with their IT managers in order to prepare for the remote working revolution.
Plan for change
What is becoming apparent with every news bulletin is that we are heading for a year or more of social distancing. It is likely to be the case, especially for the larger companies in larger offices, that they won’t be able to go back to the system of having everyone return to working in the office at once. It will probably have to be in shift patterns whilst maintaining a high level of remote workers until the coronavirus vaccine is freely and widely available.
Is it sustainable?
So now is the time to look at the remote IT solution that you have in place now and then consider if it is just adequate for now or if it will need to be upgraded or even redeveloped in order to support your remote workers and enable them to be productive for now and more importantly for the future too.
Is it secure?
If your solution was hastily prepared to get users logged in and up and working at short notice, there’s a strong possibility that it probably wasn’t well thought out. Your users may have had to change the way they work in order to adapt to the new set up and in all the haste, it’s likely that security and patching concerns were overlooked. For companies such as accountants or solicitors, who hold a large amount of client sensitive data, failure to ensure correct security protocols are met with the new remote IT system could lead to a data breach, which would be catastrophic to the business and the client.
Plan for the future
Your plan for the future will need to be well-thought out. If your employees decide that flexible working is the more productive way for them to work, you will need to put a robust system in place which allows them to share files and collaborate with their colleagues, communicate securely and have access to as much data as they need. With Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) at maximum capacity in the UK, firms here will have to consider the security implications of opting for WVD as all data on new accounts will have to go via servers in the US. A hosted desktop solution like Prism, provides for remote and mobile working on any device, anywhere in the world and allows uniform access to your desktop. This is a secure, agile and flexible working solution which will allow your company to continue to work at full productivity with the ability to scale up or down according to the needs of your business.
Lumina Technologies have taken the time to understand the requirements of our business and work as our strategic IT partner, enabling us to concentrate on delivering a high quality service to our clients and focus on our growth strategy. They have delivered a 100% cloud solution to our business with no underlying infrastructure costs or maintenance, which gives us scalability for our planned growth. It also means our business critical applications and data are securely accessible from virtually all our user devices. Lumina’s professional approach and strategic expertise is highly valued and their management of our IT – based on their in-depth knowledge, leaves us confident that our systems are available 24×7.
Luke Harrison, Keidan Harrison LLP
Lumina have supported us so well through the difficult circumstances of 2020. They worked extremely hard to ensure we were able to work remotely and continue to operate our business successfully.The support team are very friendly and knowledgeable, and have excellent response times.
The team have also enhanced our cyber security which is so important in the legal sector, and they continue to provide high quality advice to help us move forward with our IT goals.
Adams & Remers
The quality of IT Support provided by Lumina Technology is of the highest standard and is complemented by effective client liaison with impressive response times. Trap Oil Group plc has no hesitation in recommending Lumina as a dedicated and specialist group of IT professionals.
Technical Director, Trap Oil Group plc
Richard and his team are a real inspiration to anyone who meets them and I have watched Lumina’s growth over the last few years with interest and admiration. Richard has been an amazing supporter of the Hospice of St Francis, being a Gold member of the Corporate Partner Network for almost two years. He takes an active interest in the community and is passionate about his company and his town: nothing is too much trouble, he is always willing to help, to give up his time and to provide business advice when asked. Lumina is an inspiration to any company wanting to set up business in Hertfordshire.
Corporate Fundraising Manager, The Hospice of St Francis
Lumina Technologies Prism Hosted Desktop has allowed our business to centralise our global corporate data, allowing much faster access for all our staff – regardless of their location. We have also been able to simplify and reduce our infrastructure and management overhead. With the new Prism Hosted Desktop solution all staff now have simple and secure access to corporate data using any device they choose. Prism Hosted Desktop has increased the productivity of our staff and given us a single, consistent and familiar experience for all users from any device, in any location, 24/7.
Chief Executive Officer, Wentworth Resources PLC
The commercially sensitive and regulated nature of Lambert Energy Advisory’s business requires an IT provider able to maintain the highest levels of integrity and confidentiality, Lumina Technologies has consistently been unimpeachable in this regard over the nine years we have employed them.
Lambert Energy Advisory
It has been a great pleasure working with Lumina Technologies over the past two years. They have fully committed to being involved in the local community with volunteering and with professional advice and commitment, helping many local charities along the way. As a growing company it proves that being involved in the local community is helping them attract and retain a talented workforce and I look forward to working with them well into the future.
Hawkstone Management Services Ltd is a small company for which IT Outsourcing is realistically the only viable option. Lumina Technologies have successfully performed this role for over fifteen years. They also provide innovative solutions to keep pace with technological progress. I would have no hesitation in recommending Lumina to similar sized businesses.
Hawkstone Management Services Ltd
Charles Douglas Solicitors LLP have been using Lumina Technologies for a number of years now and continue to be impressed by the technical know-how and contemporary knowledge of their senior management, who provide a timely, efficient and friendly service. Whether it is a small issue with one computer, or a strategic IT decision, they maintain a current knowledge of available technologies. Lumina are always at the other end of the phone to help resolve issues and minimise business interference. The technical knowledge of Richard and his senior team means that there has not been a problem that they can’t solve to date. I am sure we will continue to use them in the years to come.
Managing Partner, Charles Douglas Solicitors LLP
The team at Lumina Technologies have made the Amoun Travel & Tours office IT transition seamless and problem free. The office set-up has been vastly improved and the IT Support services are flawless. No issue goes unresolved, which is extremely reassuring.
Amoun Travel & Tours Ltd
Lumina Technologies has been Salamander Energy plc’s IT provider since start-up in 2005 and has supported us in London during our expansion across operational offices in SE Asia. Their professional approach, strategic advice and close co-operation have been essential in making this a success.
Group Technical Director, Salamander Energy plc
Richard and his team at Lumina have provided Perrett Laver Limited with high quality strategic and practical IT Services for over ten years. During this period, Perrett Laver has grown from 10+ colleagues based in London to nearly 100 colleagues located in six offices across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. Richard and the Lumina team have not just been responsive to our ‘everyday’ IT needs, but have proactively sought to work with us on developing an infrastructure suitable for the type of operation we are today, and are planning to be months and years down the line. I would not hesitate to recommend Richard, especially for small to medium size business with growth in mind.
COO, Perrett Laver Limited
Society Limited has been supported by Lumina Technologies since our earliest start-up phase. From large logistical challenges like an office move, through to smaller fiddly issues like fixing a faulty e-template, we know we can count on their support and advice. They’ve also been able to engage with us strategically on the challenge of scaling-up our infrastructure as the firm continues to grow and evolve. We always feel confident going to Lumina with a problem, since we know they genuinely care about sorting things out and helping us to get on with our core business.
Managing Director, Society Limited
The Vita Group HQ staff have worked with Richard McBarnet and Lumina Technologies for over 9 years, with Lumina providing all our PC, server, phone, and software support. The services have included C-level executives based in London, Manchester, the US, as well as supporting home office IT as well. The service provided and intellectual capabilities are outstanding and we would highly recommend Richard and his Lumina team.
CEO, The Vita Group
We worked with Lumina on a GDPR Audit. Richard was knowledgeable and professional throughout, and did the best he could to bring a dry topic to life through lots of real life examples and analogies. We were so impressed with the service Lumina provided and the value we got from partnering with them on this project – we couldn’t recommend them enough.
Holly Cottingham, Vintec Laboratories