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Cloud storage, BYOD and remote working have created a workforce that's increasingly mobile, whether that means toting a handful of mobile devices or keeping the majority of information in a place other than one’s hard drive.

What’s caused this dramatic shift in how people work? Anders Lofgren, director of mobility solutions at Acronis, points to consumer cloud services such as Dropbox and Box. By storing data in the cloud, employees can access information from anywhere with an Internet connection. Not only does the cloud increase the flexibility of when and where employees work, but it also boosts collaboration.

But with the good comes the bad. Increased cloud adoption means companies can lose control of where their data is shared and who has access to it, Lofgren writes in Wired Innovation Insights.

Dropbox, Box and other services can be breached, putting sensitive customer, financial and other data at risk. But the solution is not to tell employees that they can't use the services they know and love. Instead, companies need to provide secure alternatives that offer an equal (or better) user experience, according to Lofgren.

“Draconian anti-BYOD policies were never a good idea, but today they’re downright impossible to enforce,” Lofgren writes. “So instead of trying to shoehorn your employees into using yesterday’s outdated and ineffective tools and services, focus on creating a user experience and workflow built around popular tools that people will not just tolerate, but love using.”

Lofgren offers four tips to keep employees — and IT — happy: 

  1. Pick intuitive tools that don’t require time-consuming training
  2. Give employees access to any data they need wherever they are
  3. Accommodate all devices and platforms so employees can use what they like
  4. Maintain a seamless user experience while keeping security top of mind

Letting employees use the device of their choice to access data wherever they choose doesn’t mean IT has to compromise security. In fact, Lofgren makes a case that security and a positive user experience are complimentary.

“Giving employees secure solutions they’ll actually use is the best way to keep a secure, productive work environment,” he says.

h/t: Wired Innovation

Image via Can Stock Photo

About Acronis

A Swiss company founded in Singapore in 2003, Acronis has 15 offices worldwide and employees in 50+ countries. Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud is available in 26 languages in 150 countries and is used by over 20,000 service providers to protect over 750,000 businesses.