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Technology at Work: The IT Department

Each month, the Technology At Work Series will examine technology’s impact on a different functional area of the workplace.

In this day and age, most people in the working world are using some form of technology whether it be their brand new computer or their early 2000s flip phone. While we all appreciate and maybe even enjoy our business world technology because it makes our lives infinitely easier, our devices are constantly becoming more developed and technologically advanced. Some of us try to keep up with the latest gadgets and trends, whether it be for business or personal gain, but there is one group who has to keep up (quickly, at that) and become more knowledgeable than any other: the IT department.

Adapting to New Technology

Ten years ago, a few of the larger worries for an IT person or department was managing the office network, and more importantly, making sure no one could hack into the network from outside the company. That’s not to say that it was an easy job at that time. We didn’t have the anti-virus software that is available now. Today, with a multitude of companies adopting BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), the IT department has even more on their plates.

With numerous factors driving mobility in the workplace like BYOD and Unified Communications, the IT Department has more to focus on than just in office devices. According to The Mobile Workplace: How Businesses are Embracing Mobility to Improve Key Performance Indicators, “47% of companies with a work-from-home program currently implement a UC solution, and 84% of all companies without a UC solution are thinking about or are planning on implementing one in the next 1-3 years.” For the IT Department, that means working to keep all devices working with the company’s networks while still maintaining security.

The Gray Area

With BYOD and remote working becoming a widespread trend for companies, IT departments have to not only maintain the company’s online security, but the employees who are out of the office as well. According to the Mobile Workplace, “41% of IT professionals ranked mobility as one of their top three IT risks.”

Taking extra security precautions to ensure that all employees are not leaving themselves susceptible to security breaches comes with more than just having passwords on emails. Companies use VPNs to get into their systems and have to register their devices in order to use them outside of the office. Even within the office building measures are taken to not give too many people access to sensitive information. For some, in order to download certain applications they have to have approval via the username and password of the moderator/moderators.

It’s not all about the security of the devices though. Before getting to that point, IT has to make sure that the device can be integrated into the company’s network. With BYOD, your devices work with your system at home but using your devices with the workplace systems has to be set up and moderated to ensure it will work.

To the Future!

One thing we know for sure about technology is that it won’t stop changing anytime soon. This means that individuals and businesses alike will keep adapting and embracing changes to stay up-to-date. This also means that while you’re finding these new technologies, your IT department will be the ones implementing them, so take a minute right now to go thank your IT people!

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