image-island-shutterstock_121864228As the winter is in full swing, we’re all probably dreaming of warm and sunny islands and wishing we could work from there remotely. These days, the possibility exists, and the real question is how to do it best.

When clients tell us they want to work remotely, we always have to ask “What do you want to do?” There are many options out there and we strive to select the one that will best meet your needs. The options include cloud file sharing, VPN, in-house terminal servers, remote desktops, cloud servers and more. As you can see, with all these choices it’s important to select the solution or solutions that will deliver the most “bang for your buck.” Some solutions such as cloud file sharing may limit your capabilities; whereas, solutions such as cloud or terminal servers offer the ability to do anything you could do in the office with few limitations.

It’s also important to understand what resources will be available when you’re working remotely. For example, if you are always working from a remote office, fast Internet access and traditional desktop or laptop machines will likely be readily available. If you’re traveling via air a lot, you might prefer a tablet or ultra-book for remote access and use offline. Or, if you’re in a remote area with only dial-up (yes, dial up) as some of our clients actually experience, being able to work offline becomes critical.

Sometimes, a combination of solutions offers the most flexibility and ensures your greatest productivity. For example, I prefer to work on a laptop or a fully-functional tablet running Windows 8 when in transit. This solution offers me the most functionality in an offline situation such as on a plane. I can review and respond to email and/or create and edit files without Internet access. However, if I wish to generate a proposal, I need access to our quoting software which means, at a minimum, I need Internet access to use my remote desktop or terminal server.

Confused by all these choices and options? Give us a call and we’ll be happy to review your needs and recommend a solution to let you work remotely from an island in the Caribbean or from your home office.

First published in our March 2015 IT Radix Resource newsletter