In these uncertain times, organizations, globally, are being forced to scramble for solutions that can support doing business with a mostly, if not entirely, remote workforce. Initially, many companies will function adequately by leveraging basic web conferencing solutions, messaging apps, email and office productivity platforms, but what will the future hold when it comes to long-term sustainability?
Considering remote work for the long-term
Beyond the first week or so, employees will need remote access to more complex applications like CRM, Oracle and SAP, and what is to be done about delivering such services seamlessly and securely? Organizations need a way to quickly and effectively implement a holistic solution that supports a growing body of remote workers while also maintaining IT support/control, minimizing disruption and delivering a positive user experience.
Determining the best approach in supporting this unexpected influx of remote workers doesn’t have to be a daunting experience. WWT’s experts are helping organizations understand available solutions. This includes providing insight on which tools and strategies are most critical to success, presenting quick and cost-efficient ways to navigate and sustain this transition, and showing how to avoid the costly pitfalls associated with implementing temporary and disparate band-aid solutions.
Below is a checklist put together by WWT experts to help facilitate an approach towards long-term preparedness and sustainability across various IT disciplines.
Meetings and communication capabilities
1. Real-time collaboration: calling, video conferencing, web conferencing, application sharing (Cisco Webex Teams, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, GoToMeeting, Blue Jeans)
2. Near time: chat and messaging, co-authoring documents (Slack, Jabber, Skype, WhatsApp)
3. Persistent: team messaging, shared documents (Slack, Webex Teams, MS Teams, Facebook for Work)
4. Key considerations:
- What are the number of licenses required? (inventory, gap and net new)
- How do users install the software/apps?
- Endpoint devices (PC, MAC, tablet, phone).
- Peripherals (cameras, headsets, speakers, mics, etc.).
Application availability and delivery
1. Apps: what applications are immediately available for your remote workers?
2. What apps are not available and how to close the gap?
3. How do your users need to connect to the applications (VPN, VDI, SaaS, RDH, etc.)?
4. How do apps perform differently when people are accessing outside of the office?
5. Are the applications available to remote workers compliant based on your current latency thresholds?
6. Could latency possibly be improved my migrating those applications to a cloud or colocation facility closer to remote workers?
7. What percentage of those applications are currently virtualized or containerized?
Network paths and bandwidth considerations
1. Enterprise networking: corporate bandwidth, load balancers, connectivity for cloud-based and on-premise applications and services
2. Remote worker guidelines for connectivity:
- Existing connectivity may not meet work-from-home requirements, especially in multi-worker and family environments.
- Asymmetrical network profiles of most ISPs are good for streaming but may cause bottlenecks for the more symmetrical bandwidth requirements for conferencing and virtual desktop and application delivery.
1. Data loss prevention:
- Knowing the who, what, where and why of accessing your data and ensuring governance rules are being followed
- Security of data across unknown networks when much more data is accessed from external
- Security of data when employees are using different apps, on different devices, in different locations than they’ve used before (think Google G-suite vs. MS Office)
2. Devices and device compliance:
- Managing corporate owned endpoints remotely
- Maintaining and patching
- Rapidly supporting remote work for workers who don’t have company devices at home; BYOD enrollment, app delivery, identity and access management
Providing technology to remote workers is only one part of the solution. Technology is only effective when end users know which tools are available and when and how to use them.
WWT offers training packages through our Adoption Services group. We are prepared to train your end users on the G-Suite, Zoom Meetings, MS Teams, Webex Teams, Webex Meetings and VMware’s Workspace ONE.