point of sale machine

This is an edited version of an article originally published on Forbes: “Matching your business support tech to the pace of transformation”.

Al Kingsley is CEO of NetSupport, chair of a multi-academy trust in the UK, tech writer, speaker and author on EdTech.

Developments in the brave new post-pandemic world, such as the explosion in delivery work and the move toward a cashless society, mean that there are now millions of new tech devices outside of office spaces that need to be maintained and secured. If these go down, productivity plummets, targets are unmet, and transactions go uncompleted. It’s obvious that having the right technology to underpin a company’s IT infrastructure is critical. Technicians need secure, capable solutions that allow them to access and support any device immediately (whether attended or unattended), because downtime is one of the highest costs in any organization.  

3 essentials for supporting off-premise devices

Maintaining business technology has a new significance in 2023, especially with more remote staff and unattended devices to support and keep secure. If you are looking for solutions to help technicians do that quickly and easily, here are three things to consider.

  1. ‘Anytime’ and ‘just in time’ support. In a dispersed tech landscape, it is vital that IT support teams can connect to and access devices no matter where they are. It could be a point-of-sale device, a waiting room terminal, a manufacturing robot, an ATM––you get the picture. Alternatively, it might be a member of staff working remotely who needs on-demand help, so businesses need to have tried and tested tools ready to go to ensure they can jump in, fix the issue quickly, and minimize any downtime and associated costs, all while operating as securely as possible.
  2. Trust nothing and no one. Adopting a zero-trust approachto mitigate security risks is the sensible choice in the new flexible work landscape. Using technology that has excellent levels of security, encryption, and authentication between the support technician and members of staff or unattended devices ensures that bad actors are kept at bay and company data is protected.
  3. Training is key. Installing up-to-date technology that fits your organization’s needs is a no-brainer but beware of ‘cutting costs’ by not providing staff training; it’s counterproductive. Structured user training is a must, and the best practice is to factor it into any IT purchasing plan from the start. But even after training, there are things we all forget, so having the functionality from within your support tool to allow a technician to remote onto another person’s PC, walk them through the different steps is part and parcel of any integrated support plan.

Being future-ready

None of us can predict where the balance between in-person, hybrid, and remote work for employees will ultimately settle. But one thing is certain: there will now always be company technology operating outside of premises and, whether it is 1 yard or 1,000 miles away, that dictates the need for every company to deliver timely, effective, and secure support.