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How do you prepare to support a remote workforce?

The recent COVID-19 outbreak is uncharted territory for many IT pros who may need to quickly shift how they’ve traditionally provided support. IT teams who may have never had to consider a remote workforce are now preparing to implement tools to address this unprecedented shift.

Hundreds of organizations across the world are now limiting or cancelling non-essential travel, leaving the IT team with an inability to provide in-person support to distributed offices.  

With the COVID-19 situation continuing to develop and the ensuing workforce migration forecasted to increase, there are a few key considerations you need to ensure you provide your workforce the support needed regardless of where they’re located.

Three key factors you’ll want to consider with remote workforce are:

  • Ability to connect quickly and communicate effectively with end users
  • Secure and safe connections
  • Ability to support end users globally

The move to a remote workforce can cause a loss of productivity if end users need to wait for support. If your organization is inexperienced with a remote culture, the idea of setting up an employee remotely may require actions such as connecting to a VPN. Though simple actions such as this may seem second nature to many, they can easily present a challenge to employees who use them infrequently. In these situations, the ability to quickly connect to end users who need support using remote access software is invaluable and can substantially limit downtime that could affect the bottom line.

Security is also a big concern for IT pros servicing remote employees. When remotely supporting end users, it’s critical for connections to be secure and encrypted to limit the opportunities bad actors may have to access sensitive information or hijack login credentials and identities.  

Lastly, having the ability to evaluate, diagnose, and repair computer systems from a remote connection from anywhere in the world with an internet connection may save your organization money and ultimately provide a more efficient way to provide support.  

What are other best practices when supporting a remote work force?

  • To help track our external connections and health status of our edge apps (Lync, WAN circuit, Line of Business availability) we created a single view for leadership to have at a glance our current environment health leaving them free to continue with planning and messaging during this event.

    I think we'll see a huge approach shift in a lot of organizations after this is all over with. Likely an increase in VDI usage for desktops and a reduction in dependence on internal application servers being switched to the cloud just because of the impact to continuity of services.