Updated: May 5
What happened?! The year 2020 catapulted working remotely from a convenience to—without hyperbole—a new reality. Working remotely has been a thing for a long time but now it's a much different landscape. We've seen companies permanently close their offices in favor of WFH and we've helped many accomplish the transition.
When it comes to WFH, a company may keep a classic office premises with many employees working remotely at least doing so on a part-time basis. Sometimes this includes the complexity of employees rotating in and out of the office. With regard to companies deciding to temporarily or permanently work from home, IT equipment becomes the first question.
Will remote workers use company-issued equipment? If so, is mobile device management (MDM) in place so that physical assets are controlled and efficiently managed? Is sensitive data protected? Are sufficient security measures in place? What happens when someone leaves their job? Is there a policy for prompt return of company-issued equipment and proper off-boarding?
If an office is maintained where servers and other resources exist but are now remotely accessed, there are a number of ways that companies achieve this. A quick but not ideal way is to provide remote workers with a consumer-based remote control option such as LogMeIn or GoToMyPC. This often means they're using their home computers to access their work computers so this option has security and performance concerns.
Even so, a more secure option is to provide users with a VPN and then perhaps mapped network drives to server resources or Remote Desktop connectivity to a Terminal Server. This has it's issues as well because if there are more than a few remote workers and limited Internet bandwidth at the office, they can "crush the pipe" as it were, causing performance issues.
With this in mind, we've worked with many organizations to discover and implement the right WFH strategy. For example, we've successfully migrated companies to the cloud; e.g., Box, Egnyte, Dropbox, etc. In some cases, it's a great idea to combine cloud storage with an appropriate security design, MDM, hosted email and other services, in order to de-centralize IT.
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