Five essential features of a great remote IT support solution

A person working at a laptop.
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The rise of the remote workforce is a durable trend. While it had started prior to the COVID-19 pandemic with 6% of workers remote, an Upwork study indicates that by 2025, a staggering 22% of the US workforce will be fully remote. There is also the rise of the ‘Compromise model,’ better known as the ‘Hybrid model,’ where employees do a combination of on site and remote days. 

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Equipping these remote workers requires solid remote solutions. After all, in a worse case scenario, no business can sustain paying its workforce for downtime. Alternatively, a business needs its workers to be just as productive when working outside of the office from home, as they would be in-house at the office.

When choosing a remote IT support solution, here are the features to look for to choose a great one for your needs.

1. Communication 

Fostering collaboration between the team members are communications tools built into the remote IT solution. Here users need options, and the more the better with ways to communicate both synchronously for direct communication such as with a chat, as well as asynchronously for situations where the workers are in different time zones or not immediately available to each other.

On the synchronous side, the pinnacle of this is video conferencing, which fosters relationships via direct face to face contact. Other options include a text chat, along with voice calls. All of these options help to create real-time communication that is effective. In general, direct communication is often the preferred option between team members, so look for a remote IT support solution that provides these options.

Given a worldwide workforce in many organizations, the reality is that additional options need to be provided for asynchronous communication as well on the platform. Therefore, look for a remote IT support solution that offers places for a remote team to do some collaboration, such as channels for discussion, as in public and private forums or their equivalent. Also, some type of virtual bulletin board for team and company announcements can be a valued asset as well.

2. Analytics reports 

While workers often demand to work from home for the flexibility offered, the reality is that it is an adjustment from working at an office. A recent study from the University of Chicago indicates that compared to on site workers, the remote ones were less productive even though they put in longer hours, particularly when the worker has children at home.

In order to make sure there is productivity given these challenges, companies are turning to remote IT support to provide tools to monitor what this distributed workforce is doing. In some cases, a worker may be balancing priorities, working on multiple projects simultaneously. Having the analytics baked into the software solution can be reassuring to the employer.

Tracking the amount of time spent by the employees can also be useful in other ways beyond productivity metrics. For example, this can automatically track the time, which can then turn into billable hours to charge the client for industries that charge this way.

3. The cloud 

Any modern remote support app is going to be cloud-based, so that the workers all have a stable platform to work from. However, this includes more than just the software.

One plus of this is the ability to log in from a browser, anywhere. This gives cross platform support, and allows the remote workers to log in from any internet connection.

The other benefit of this approach is the ability to share files, and work on them simultaneously. This allows the team to all have access to the info on a shared platform. It is ideal to have the files directly on the platform with all of the tools, and not to need to share them on a separate platform. This also ensures that the entire team is working on the latest version of the file, and not allow it to branch into different, competing versions.

4. Security 

Inherent in any type of access is the concern for security, as a poorly done remote IT support solution can turn into a ‘Backdoor’ into the organization’s network. Therefore, a remote team, with all of the data stored in a cloud solution needs a high level of security to keep the data safe from any prying eyes.

Therefore look for a solution that offers industry accepted security practices. These should include components to ensure password complexity and length recommendations are adhered to, along with password expirations and the requirements that a new password is made on a schedule, again adhering to the guidelines. Beyond that, the solution needs to offer a mechanism for automated password recovery so that IT does not get bogged down with lost passwords. Also, as even the most secure can be guessed, there needs to be the additional layer of Two Factor Authentication (2FA), with a second verification of the user via an SMS, email, security token, biometric or authentication app.

5. Visual Online Collaboration Tools 

Teams in business often get work done together in front of a whiteboard, with team members sharing information on a laptop or smartphone. Taking this online, analogs of this process need to be offered.

One tool that is offered is called whiteboarding. Here, a team gets to share a virtual whiteboard online, and everyone gets to contribute. This can be done with the often entertaining freehand drawings, but also text as sticky notes, shapes, lines and even comments. Combined with audio, the experience can be very close to a session in the conference room.

Another option to collaborate is screen sharing. Here, instead of showing your co-worker what is on your mobile browser, you can share it virtually to the remote audience. This then allows everyone to take in the content together. This can also be combined with screen recording to have a record of it, for what happened during the session, and also for anyone that did not attend. 


The distributed workforce is a durable trend. Looking for these five essential features when you choose a platform is important to have the best remote IT support solution to get the most productivity from these remote workers. 

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Jonas P. DeMuro

Jonas P. DeMuro is a freelance reviewer covering wireless networking hardware.