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Benefits of the Virtual Office and Cloud Communications Far Outweigh the Challenges

November 11, 2016
By Laura Stotler - Virtual Office Resource Contributing Editor

Mobility, the cloud and a growing number of millennials in the workforce are heavily influencing how work is getting done in a variety of industries. Maintaining the infrastructure and upkeep associated with large physical office spaces and the often outdated desktops that go with them is simply not practical for businesses of any size any longer.

These factors have given rise to the virtual office, with a growing number of people working remotely through the device of their choice. The mobile internet is set to tackle traditional desktop usage by 2020, according to Cisco’s (News - Alert) Visual Networking Index, with mobility growing at around 48 percent per year. That uptake in mobility, combined with an application- and services-based technology landscape, is fundamentally changing how people communicate with each other and how they get their work done.

One of the cornerstones of the virtual office is cloud-based and hosted telephony systems and services. These solutions offer major flexibility and convenience, as well as support for mobility, at an affordable price point. And using a cloud provider removes the need to manage and maintain complex on-premises systems and networks, freeing up IT personnel to focus on more important tasks. Most cloud-based communications solutions also provide a central administration dashboard for simple configuration and management.

There are, of course, some concerns with the shift toward the virtual office and the mobile workplace. Security and management of a plethora of devices is probably the number one challenge for businesses with a remote workforce. Implementing comprehensive BYOD policies and applying stringent mobile device management (MDM) solutions to all virtual offices is a good strategy for a mobile business. Employee training on using company resources and devices remotely is also an excellent practice for combatting abuse and security issues.

Ultimately, the benefits of the virtual office far outweigh the challenges and concerns. Expect to see an increasing number of communication and collaboration platforms designed to support the virtual office, mobility and the cloud as more businesses embrace a remote worker model.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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