With the global pandemic turning the working world on its head, many businesses had to immediately ramp up their working from home capabilities. Whether this meant deploying more devices or bolstering compute to support more cloud activity, IT teams across the globe were busy scaling out a way of working that would usually take years to budget, plan and deploy.
With lockdowns easing up around the globe, businesses have begun to make critical decisions about the “new normal”. Do they request everyone back into the office like before or do they continue supporting employees working from home indefinitely. Perhaps they look at providing a hybrid. No matter what the decision is, organizations are now reviewing how to manage technology post covid-19.
If your business is one of those looking to continue WFH, here are some key areas of your IT strategy that should be evaluated to improve employee efficiency for the “new normal”.
If your employees’ old PCs weren’t causing issues before the pandemic then you most certainly would’ve felt the burden trying to accommodate them to work from home by now. IT departments reported complaints ranging from incompatibly with imaging software to headphones not being compatible with old devices. Users also reported ongoing issues with modern finance and video applications because their devices lacked the processing power to support them.
Now would be a good time to refresh your device estate. IT teams should look to provide machines with high-quality displays, multiple types of ports and a variety of connectivity options.
A good start would be to audit the different types of user and what applications and peripherals they need and build your device strategy from there. For example, back office staff who rarely interact face to face with other members of staff or customers may not need high quality video conferencing capability.
VDI companies such as Citrix and VMWare announced a surge in enquiries when the pandemic took hold. There’s no surprise that VDI vendors reported a 3 to 4 fold increase in adoption over the past two months.
Is your organization using VDI? Is it something that you looked into in the past but decided (for whatever reason) not to proceed with the project? There is no time like the present to take another look at the options available to you.
One of the key benefits of VDI if you are supporting a fairly old PC estate is the emergence of PC as-a Service from HP Inc and Dell. Flexible finance plans mean that you can invest in basic devices that can support a VDI infrastructure or cloud based apps. All the processing is done within the VDI environment so users will simply need a simple device to view their apps and data.
Now is the time to move applications to the cloud
Its also the time to ask if your business really does need those legacy coded software packages that you’ve been using for years. Cloud based software needs minimal maintenance and licenses can be scaled instantaneously. Users can access the cloud based applications or SaaS packages from any device making their working streams a lot more efficient.
Does your legacy application suite offer real strategic value or is it time to deploy SaaS with a trusted vendor.
Security starts with the device
It’s near impossible to launch a sufficient security program during a pandemic. The colossal shift to remote working offered an incredible opportunity for hackers to exploit areas such as out-of-date operating systems software and unpatched VPNs.
Going forward, you must make it organizational best practice to implement a rock-hard security strategy from the device up. Equip PCs with security embedded into the lowest level of the hardware and BIOS. It’s also worth swatting up the users on best practices to avoid phishing and user-centric attacks.
Manage poor connectivity post Covid-19
A report from Waveform revealed 15.5% of its respondents were facing daily internet connectivity issues working from home. Although broadband may be limited in a particular area where a user lives, there are steps an organization can take to ensure they are well connected.
Offer advice on ensuring a high level connection and consider providing 4G/5G devices to improve their experience.
Embracing the “new normal”
2020 has certainly been a challenging year and many organizations have adapted quickly to a new way of working. Technology is now more important than ever in helping employees stay connected with customers and each other. At HostedBizz, we have been very busy ensuring that customers have everything they need to continue working with each other remotely. If you would like to discuss any of the points in this post, please get in touch and we’d be happy to advise on what your next steps can be.