Getting Remote Ready: Technology infrastructure makes the difference
We’ve said for a long time that the convenience and simplicity of managing and delivering workplace services from the cloud give you advantages you can realize every day with significant benefits during a crisis or catastrophe. As Coronavirus impacts nations around the globe, businesses in every industry are having to adapt to the new challenges and demands to keep servicing their customers and maintaining business continuity. Very quickly, remote “Work from Home” has become the new norm as employees shelter-in-place for personal safety and for work.
Enabled by today’s technologies, the modern digital workplace becomes more relevant than ever on a global scale. For the first time, employees are finding themselves working from their dining tables, breakfast bars, and common areas in their homes, requiring a new approach to accessibility and security for their data, applications, and communications.
The dilemma of current state technologies
Remote access technologies have been implemented by companies over the last few decades. Many of these are used by millions of employees worldwide, enabling fieldwork, permanent work-from-home scenarios, and a mobility culture for our workforces. However, these tools have shortcomings relative to delivering value, accessibility, and ease-of-use at scale.
Virtual Private Networks (VPN): Having the infrastructure to support remote access goes beyond that of VPNs. Virtual Private Networks provide the encryption, security, and access to business applications and resources for remote workers that many corporations require. However, as many companies send their workers home, they quickly see that a VPN can become overtaxed with hundreds ─ even thousands ─ of concurrent user sessions, shining a spotlight on the limitations of their VPNs.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI): Although many have implemented virtual desktops, these infrastructures are not always designed to scale for large organizations with thousands of users across the globe, and some still require access to the corporate network through the VPN. Although this may work for some organizations, this can be more costly as “Work from Home” grows due to the urgency in situations like COVID-19. There are many providers of virtual desktops available with as-a-service models, but many are finding this will not suffice for users that need more than just a standard vanilla flavor of a desktop.
Remote File/Jump Server Services: Some organizations have even gone so far as to create shared PCs with company applications and department-specific content pre-loaded. Users can connect to internal resources such as team file shares and applications that can’t be installed on personal and mobile devices. In practical application, the deployment of pre-loaded computers to hundreds or thousands of employees can be a logistical dilemma when shipping schedules and supply chains are hampered due to business closures and shelter-at-home guidelines.
Explore the potential of the modern workplace
Breaking away from these traditional scenarios allows you to consider the advances in technologies that enable users to have access to all their corporate applications, data and collaboration tools anytime and from anywhere. Some of these technologies and tools may already exist within your environment, but they may not be optimized to support your growing population of remote workers.
As you begin to explore your options, consider the following:
- Provide single sign-on with secure authentication and manage conditional access based on user context, whether applications and/or data are in the public or private cloud, or on-premise.
- Extend the implementation of cloud-native productivity, collaboration and file/folder solutions to all users. Go beyond telephony and teleconferencing to ensure that users have immersive methods to interact via voice, video, chat, and content collaboration.
- Understand the personas and work profiles inside your organization – consider whether a service you deliver can be more personalized to provide the right applications, devices and security context to the right users.
- Explore secure cloud device management options that integrate with Identity and Access Management, auto-enroll devices, and extend security and policies. This approach eliminates the delivery burden of device deployments while ramping up productivity more quickly.
- Consider switching from traditional device provisioning approaches to modern direct-fulfillment methods from device suppliers.
- Enable users with device choices that support and promote mobility and fit-for-purpose, aligned to their job functions and persona profile.
Meet today’s challenges and enable tomorrow’s opportunities
When building your modern workplace strategy, carefully assess the features and technologies best suited to support your “Work from Home” users. Look for opportunities to enhance user experience and empower your users as you change the way you deliver and manage your modern workplace.
You’ll find that by empowering your people with these capabilities, not only are you able to respond to changing workplace conditions, but you’ll also create new capabilities in your workplace delivery strategy that create flexibility in the office, in the field, and at home.