What do 1.7 million Canadians have in common?
What do 1 in 5 university-graduate employees share today?
According to Statistics Canada and a 2008 survey, they work remotely from home. From 2000 to 2008, the number of Canadian workers working from a non-traditional office setting jumped dramatically. Some observers believe this trend was caused by various factors like advancements in IT and the Internet, and the business sector’s shift to out-sourcing work and down sizing the workforce.
Have you noticed recently that many workers, especially younger ones, are showing up in the workplace, or working from home, with their own IT devices like tablets and smartphones? This technology-enhanced wave of employees is prepared to carry out work-based tasks on their own machines, which during times of tight budgets and limited resources can appear as a major plus to the bottom line.
This trend also appears to have advantages for this new generation harnessing the power of handheld devices and telecommuting:
1.Flexible working conditions
3.In a globalized economy, synchronous communications with no lag times
The benefits to these newly emerging workplace practices are enticing; however, there are downsides too. The big question is how does your business maintain network security in a new climate of decentralized work?
Letting people work on their own equipment reduces your control or knowledge of your operating perimeter—where does your business end? From an IT perspective, this question is a major headache.
The perimeter of an organization is its weakest point. Don’t take the risk of managing your business’ security as if it was still 1999, before the telecommuting and personal, hand-held device trends gained traction.
Most businesses have two options: invest in updating current systems, or manage and secure hot spots and private networks via the cloud. There’s no denying it, the perimeter has moved and business needs to find reliable solutions that match the pace of current social and IT developments.
The growing challenge for business today is how to harvest the benefits of these emerging trends and ensure the security of computer networks.
Marc Arellano teaches communication at Okanagan College in British Columbia, Canada. He has worked as a technical writer, editor and copy writer.His current academic interests focus on computer-mediated communication and the effects of new media on culture.
Marc Arellano enseigne les communications au Collège de l'Okanagan en Colombie-Britannique. Il a travaillé en tant que rédacteur, éditeur et concepteur-rédacteur. Ses intérêts académiques actuels mettent l'emphase sur la communication au moyen d'un ordinateur et sur l'effet des nouveaux médias sur la culture.