The Work From Home “Tsunami”: 3 Ways to Ensure Your Technical Infrastructure Can Survive It
2 Min Read
“Shelter in Place”
Those three little magical words turned the world on its ear. The shockwaves from the COVID-19 pandemic have rocked businesses across many sectors in a variety of ways, and one of the biggest pivots in response has been the shift to working from home.
Of course, working from home (WFH), AKA teleworking or working remotely, isn’t a brand-new model. Information-based job types such as sales, agents, developers and coders have leveraged the concept for some time. The demand of suddenly standing up an enterprise-wide work-from-home model, however, is adding an overwhelming strain to the security, bandwidth, devices and tools of both businesses and government. One might compare it to trying to manage a fast-approaching tsunami of immense scale.
How much so, exactly?
An April 2020 report had some interesting insights:
- 57.1% of respondents who previously worked full-time and non-remote have now recently started working from home due to the COVID-19/Coronavirus outbreak.
- Only 25.2%, however, said they’re actually getting more work done. Meanwhile, 33.9% are reporting reduced productivity now that they work from home.
- 37.7% have had Internet connectivity issues either daily or weekly.
The challenges don’t stop there. Your IT help desk teams now have to support virtual collaboration platforms and VPN, enrolling personal devices and scaling up corporate-owned device usage. Beyond the headaches of managing this for an entire organization at once, the abundance of new touchpoints means you now have a lot more security vulnerabilities as well. Perhaps no security vulnerability is more prevalent than plain old bad judgment. Google has reported a whopping 350% spike in phishing websites in the past three months.
It’s no wonder your internal IT resources are so taxed and organizational productivity is in peril! The struggle doesn’t have to be so real, however. There are some concrete steps you can take to help you rapidly scale your efforts to stand up and sustain enterprise-wide WFH.
Take a Closer Look at Your Hardware
One stress point you’re likely seeing as your workforce goes remote is how disruptive it is to continually address hardware issues from outdated and obsolete devices. Employees who were used to elaborate multi-monitor desk setups and modern headsets for conference calls in the office are struggling to adjust to getting by with ancient displays and older headsets they may have hanging around at home. Furthermore, older unsupported desktop and mobile operating systems are security calamities waiting to happen. Be sure you have adequate resources to help you procure, provision and deploy devices and accessories (e.g. monitors, headsets, etc.) to the locations of your choice.
Make the Most of Your Newly Limited Budget Resources
Hardware refreshes for a remote workforce are appealing on paper, but perhaps less so when you are balancing tightening budgets and shifting priorities amidst unexpected disruptions like a dangerous global pandemic. Large capital expenditures, however, aren’t the only means of getting the equipment your remote workforce needs to succeed. Explore resources and providers who can facilitate short-term device lease and rental programs from leading OEMs like Samsung and Apple. Beyond the devices themselves, you can better integrate security and mobile device management options to allow you to remote access, update and secure devices to reduce support issues.
Give Your Internal IT Resources a Shot in the Arm
Your internal IT support/help desk team is well-positioned to address a lot of your everyday support challenges including configuration, security updates and more. When you suddenly disperse virtually your entire corporate workforce, however, the scale of the situation combined with the additional support needs to keep mobile devices, apps, VPN and other services up and running that scale required overwhelms traditional IT support teams. It’s a good time to augment them with dedicated support to relieve the pressure. Seek out specialized third-party on-shore support solutions that can quickly integrate with your existing operations and offer support 24x7x365.
These measures will go a long way toward making the “Work-From Home Tsunami” manageable for your business in both the short and long term. If your enterprise isn’t positioned to immediately execute, consider partnering with a managed services provider who can create an integrated solution that addresses these challenges and more.
Your struggles with the WFH “tsunami” aren’t unique, but that doesn’t make them any less pressing. It’s paramount that you consider the practical limits of your in-house resources and augment them accordingly. This critical choice can be one of calamity or opportunity for your business.
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