Updating Your Office IT and Technology in 2021

As we move forward into 2021, you may still be trying to catch up from the previous year. After all, 2020 saw many workplaces struggling to meet the challenges of creating digital offices, endless Zoom calls, and remote collaboration while still meeting the needs of clients. To help you be better prepared for what may be around the corner, we’re sharing some innovations in workplace IT and printing and how you can integrate them into your office to meet the trends and demands of the workplace in 2021. 

Transforming Top-Down Communication Channels

Today, business communication is much more flexible with a greater focus on collaboration than it has ever been before. Instead of completing a project, then emailing the data or reports and waiting for a response, there are several options that allow you and your team or you and your client collaborate and work together, making changes to documents in real time. This significantly cuts back on the down time of waiting on responses or approval and minimizes miscommunication. Cloud-based file sharing and communication tools such as SharePoint or Microsoft Exchange are ideal for today’s need for instant communication and collaboration. 

Improving Calls and Conferences for Remote Teams

As the workplace goes digital and more people are working from home, even as the threat from the pandemic decreases, it’s still important to have a way to properly and professionally communicate with your clients and staff. Having a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system allows you to streamline communications and save money even with a workforce that’s located across the United States and beyond. 

One option is Elevate, an application that can turn any computer, tablet, or smartphone into a functional business phone and communication management software tool. By providing this to your remote workers, customers can call office phone numbers or extensions and they can be routed to team members no matter where they are. Elevate also allows you to host video and audio conference calls and share screens while managing files, so if you want to do a fully remote presentation with your team, you can do so easily. 

Improving Network Security for Remote Workers

In a centralized office environment, you have more control over network security – installing firewalls, running regular device scans, and monitoring infrastructure for any threats can all be done easily. However, as your team is working from home or outside of the office, relying on mobile devices and public WiFi, how can you prevent cyberattacks and threats from affecting your data? 

The good news is that there are several tools that can protect your network, no matter where your network is! First, VPN (Virtual Private Network) masks an IP address so online behavior and activities aren’t traceable when someone is using a public WiFi network. For team members who rely on mobile devices when they are out of the office, consider mobile DNS-level protection. This option means that mobile users don’t have to rely on a VPN to ensure that malicious sites, phishing attacks, and malware are blocked from entering their phones or tablets and accessing your company data. 

How the Internet of Things Affects Printing Workflows

With the right printer and document management software, you can transform your device into an integral part of your workflow automation. Not only do most business printers have mobile apps and internet connectivity, allowing you to print from anywhere, but it also makes it possible to enable remote management, including automatic replenishment of supplies and remote diagnostics when there’s a problem. The data your printer gathers about usage can be used to improve operations and reduce costs.

In addition to managed print services, document management software can work in conjunction with your multifunction printer and your cloud-based file management to improve operational efficiency. Scan documents as PDFs that can be edited, making it easy to share forms with your team and surveys with your client with minimal steps. 

Contact Us for IT and Printing Solutions

At CEI, we offer a variety of printing and IT solutions for all types of businesses and organizations as well as pricing structures and equipment leasing plans that allow you to get high-quality services while keeping to your budget. To learn more about how we can help you with workplace technology trends to keep your office up to date, reach out to us today at 919-781-8885 or fill out the form below to schedule a consultation.