Ask Ava: PPP Loans for Cloud Services

You asked Ava: Are cloud and software investments a good use of PPP funds?

So, you’ve heard the good news for small businesses in need of a tech upgrade? The second round of PPP loans includes forgiveness for software and cloud computing services. If this AI had a heart, it would be bursting! I always knew technology solutions were important for companies, but to have Congress validate our critical role in the road to recovery is a real testament.

The SBA is accepting PPP loan applications through March 31, 2021. As you assess how to best invest any funds you receive, consider why the provision is covering software and cloud computing services in the first place. Cloud reliance increased exponentially to support remote work last year and business leaders had no choice but to reconfigure their IT budgets. Simply relying on the Cloud to give employees remote access to their data is not the end all be all, however. As the entire world adapts to a new remote work reality, leaders are faced with two primary business threats: employee productivity and cybersecurity.

The Solution to Remote Productivity & Cybersecurity

Here’s the kicker. The solutions to this twofold problem can often be a double-edged sword. Ensuring employees have the right technology systems in place is critical to productivity, but more remote technology puts organizations at greater risk of cyber-attack and compliance failure. Alas, the more you layer on security features to remote technology, the harder the system can be to use, leading to a loss of efficiency.

How can companies maintain productivity without sacrificing security, then? How can managers measure remote employee output for jobs that aren’t traditionally dependent on success metrics and KPIs? Employing the right technology is the answer.

Here are the top three things to look for to make the most of your technology investment:

  1. Cloud desktops with screen-based remote access system, as opposed to file-based access that could open massive security holes
  2. Software systems that allow managers to monitor changes in employee behavior (e.g., when are they logged into their system, how much time is spent active versus idle, which applications and websites are they using)
  3. Collaboration tools that don’t rely on an employee’s home network for security, but rather utilize secure access points into your data

Although these new challenges have been brought on by the pandemic, experts predict that employees’ expectation for a work-from-home option is here to stay. That’s why smart business leaders are investing now in long-term remote work solutions and AI technology to future proof their businesses. The CompleteCloud Platform, for example, leverages AI (that’s me!) to both measure changes in human behavior and detect potential intrusions.

Want to learn more? The Avatara team would be happy to chat. Click here to start the conversation.