As the demand for remote work solutions continues to increase, several options are becoming more prevalent on the market.
Two of the most common tools for managing remote work involve the storage, sharing and access to documents and files: Cloud Servers and Virtual Private Networks.
Each has its own pros and cons to consider, but you must look beyond the basics to figure out what you really want.
First, though, make sure you have a solid idea of what you’re getting into.
Plan and Prepare for Remote Work
Enabling workers to do their jobs remotely isn’t as easy as giving them a laptop and sending them home. When you consider opting into remote work solutions, prepare for a whole new way of working and managing people and projects.
Your team can still use all the same software and applications they would use in the office, but you will also need a new set of tools for security, collaboration, and communication. This is where cloud servers and VPNs come into play.
One of the best ways to prepare yourself and your team for remote work is to look into the basics of successful remote work.
Seasoned professionals who have set up remote work conditions are more than happy to share their successes and failures in the process.
They give you a unique opportunity to learn and understand the nuances of remote work while avoiding pitfalls and will cover all the topics and information you need to know.
Knowing the pros and cons of remote work will help you determine what type of remote setup you want to create and provide additional information on remote work management that might not have crossed your mind.
Cloud servers and VPNs are an integral part of any remote work setup, so keep reading to see what each can do for you.
Cloud servers refer to third-party businesses that host data and applications on a remote server. Users can access their stored data via the internet. Some examples of cloud servers include Google Drive and Dropbox.
These servers allow the administrator to add a private group of users for sharing files and communicating and then share documents and collaborate among themselves. This enables users to work anywhere as long as they have an internet connection.
It can also reduce a lot of costs compared to investing in your own private servers or IT infrastructure.
Cloud servers don’t have as much user customization as a VPNs. You can customize some things, but the provider is responsible for maintenance, security, upgrades, and backup processes.
Do some research to find the server that provides the right balance for your remote team.
The benefits of a cloud server include:
- Flexibility and easy capacity scaling
- Easy backup and recovery as everything is stored virtually in the cloud
- No expensive device upgrades or software investments to get remote workers on the same virtual systems
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a separate server that connects users to a private internet connection that changes the host device IP address for added security.
This protocol features a variety of encryption methods for protecting the information, providing a secure solution for connecting remote workers in a private network setting.
The best thing about VPNs, for many users, is that they provide a safe environment to connect to public networks and unsecured internet connections, which means remote workers can access privacy from anywhere.
All communication (incoming and outgoing) through the VPN is private and secure, including file sharing, communication, internet browsing, and more.
Unlike cloud servers, which often include tools and features for communication and collaboration, VPNs just provide private access to those kinds of online tools and programs.
In fact, many remote teams use cloud servers for communication and collaboration through a VPN for an extra layer of security.
How to Choose Your Best Option
Many cloud servers offer their own defense systems. However, they will not be 100% effective on an unsecured network. If your remote users don’t already have access to a secure internet connection, it might be in your best interest to invest in both.
A solid cloud server can provide a great capacity for file sharing and communication, and that VPN can give you peace of mind that all users are accessing their work from a secure connection.
If you already have a secure network in place, a VPN will not do much more for you. You can, however, find a cloud server application or applications that handle the needs of your remote team for file sharing and communication.
Sometimes, you might find a program that handles everything in one place. Some remote teams find they prefer one application for communication and another for file sharing and work management. It’s a matter of personal preference.
This is, again, where a guide to help you understand and prepare for remote work management can come in handy. You can find out what others are doing and learn more about the various tools available to give yourself a better chance at success.
Make sure you weigh the pros and cons of all of your options so you can find the right solution for your team.
The Bottom Line
Data storage and digital security are two of the biggest issues for any remote team. Users need to access work files and communicate but also need to do so over a secure network for the privacy of the business.
With the ever-changing nature of the internet and the increasing knowledge of hackers and spammers, protecting your remote team is more important than ever.
There are a lot of tools and resources available to help you along the way.
Just remember that it isn’t always about choosing one tool or the other. Creating a solid remote work management solution involves finding the right combination of tools and applications to fit the needs of your team.
Try things out before you fully commit to a single solution and get feedback from your team along the way.
VPNs and cloud servers both have a lot to offer, but it’s up to you to decide if they’re right for your remote management needs.