Post 2 of 4 … Stay tuned for post 3 of 4 next Tuesday!
By: Tommy Stephens
To avoid overly complicating matters, simplicity makes sense in your mobile office. To achieve simplicity, seek to reduce the number of devices and operating systems you work with. For example, instead of a desktop at your traditional office and a separate laptop for use when away from that location, consider migrating to a “business-class” laptop so that you will not have to worry about maintaining multiple devices, and so that you will always have access to your data and applications. Examples of “business class” laptops to consider include: HP’s ProBook and EliteBook lines; Dell’s Latitude series; and Lenovo’s ThinkPad Edge series.
If you believe that a tablet computer such as an iPad could benefit you, instead of purchasing a tablet in addition to your computer, consider looking at the emerging class of “convertible” laptops. Units such as Microsoft’s Surface Pro, Lenovo’s ThinkPad X230t, and Dell’s XPS 12, combine the power of a Windows-based laptop with the convenience of a tablet. This class of computing device is growing on a daily basis, meaning that your options in this market continue to expand—always good news for purchasers!
While your computer will likely receive the lion’s share of attention, your mobile office will not be complete without other devices. External monitors, printers, and scanners will all likely be components of your hardware environment, so carefully consider which models will work best for you. Additionally, if you will frequently visit client/customer locations, you should likely buy a docking station for your laptop to make it easy to connect to all of your peripheral devices when you return to your fixed work location.
Lastly, consider how you will handle security threats, particularly the threat posed by potentially losing a laptop, smartphone, or tablet on which you have stored sensitive information. The legal issues related to such a breach are significant as are the client/customer relations issues. If you are carrying sensitive data on a portable device, ensure that you are using “long-and-strong” passwords on that device to minimize the chance that an external party could access it. Additionally, consider using a whole-disk encryption utility such as Windows BitLocker or PGP Whole Disk Encryption to provide additional security in the event your laptop is lost or stolen. While no security tool is perfect, using these types of tools, in addition to a healthy dose of common sense, will help to minimize data security threats.
To hear Tommy address more on the best practices of implementing a mobile office, as well as how it can help you maximize partner income, sign up at attend the TechFest Winter Conference today!
Mr. Stephens is a shareholder in K2 Enterprises, where he develops and presents continuing professional education programs to accounting, financial, and other business professionals across North America. You may contact him at [email protected].