Remote access technologies have been available for a while and they come in different shapes and forms. Commercial and free software, unattended and user-initiated remote control, and Web-based and desktop software are the most common.
It has many benefits. It is convenient for businesses and the employees (avoid driving back to work to print one email or get access to that one critical presentation while on a business trip). It also saves time and you can avoid emailing documents back and forth. Centralizing IT resources for branch offices is another plus. It also provides for business continuance [additional work options] during “difficult times” such as storms or transit strikes. Remote access can accommodate the virtual worker: it allows outsourced workers to perform their duties without coming to the office (bookkeeper, accountant, inside salesperson). However there are some challenges.
Remote access challenges:
- Security: Ensure the ease of use does not compromise the network security.
- Maintenance and Setup: Determine the process to provision and cut off users from remote access.
- Performance: Ensure the use of the right remote access platform as it can have significant impact on the network bandwidth and performance
Remote access platforms:
- Web based: The end user logs into a central website and controls his/her computer. This usually involves installing browser agents on both computers and is the best option as it allows the end user to connect from any online browser.
- Desktop Based: Software is installed on both ends. This option is less desirable as it does not give the end user the flexibility of connecting from anywhere. It is also less firewall friendly and might require higher technical knowledge to set up and maintain
Choosing the right remote access method/technology has a major impact on your business productivity and network security. Be sure to consult an IT expert on the platform that best fits your business.