Here’s how to enable your remote workforce in the new normal

As working remotely becomes the new normal, there are numerous things that a company can do in order to make the transition as smooth as possible. Picture: iStock/Gallo Images
As working remotely becomes the new normal, there are numerous things that a company can do in order to make the transition as smooth as possible. Picture: iStock/Gallo Images

The Covid-19 coronavirus has had a massive impact on the way businesses are operating but it will also affect the way in which they operate in future.Remote workforce enablement has been a huge challenge.

Companies have had to increase their bandwidth and offer alternative connectivity, provide laptops, and set up additional VPNs and security measures in order to facilitate a secure remote working environment that ensures business continuity.

Using the right tools and infrastructure, to enable multiple applications to support an efficient work-from-home environment, requires a skilled IT partner that can facilitate business operations, through the implementation and optimisation, of cloud-based infrastructure, services and solutions.

Work-from-home challenges

Not only have workers had to adjust to a new way of working from home, but teams have also had to deal with major disruptions in the way they communicate.

Having the right cloud-based software solutions is essential to improving communication between employees, employers and customers. This goes hand-in-hand with secure applications for hosting meetings, collaborating on projects, running workshops and training.

Workflow processes need to be streamlined with document management, digital signing, sharing, tracking and collaboration apps, all of which will help make the office paperless while keeping everyone on the same page, so to speak.

Read: Covid-19 is giving offices a makeover

A solution that includes business processes and methods to optimise the availability, flexibility, agility and efficiency of cloud services and IT infrastructure is critical to enable a remote workforce.

Legacy hardware, VPN access limitations, remote access to applications that are critical to business, legacy reporting and customer relationship management tools are but a few of the challenges that businesses have had to face.

These are not novel challenges when it comes to enabling a remote workforce, however, the scale and speed at which they need to be achieved has been accelerated by the impact of Covid-19.

IT teams have had their hands full managing these challenges, finding themselves with many balls in the air, as they juggle remote IT support provision with addressing the productivity and security demands of their remote workforce.

Ready or not, the cloud has its place

Cloud services can ease the transition from traditional on-premise networks to the new normal, by providing infrastructure and services anywhere they are required. However, to make the most of the cloud’s capabilities and benefits, manual workloads need to be assigned to the right cloud infrastructure in a manner that is scalable and automatable. With a distributed network cloud model, businesses can significantly reduce latency, network congestion and the risk of data loss.

Read: Tips for managing and motivating teams during Covid-19

Using a distributed network cloud provider that optimises edge networking, an organisation benefits from a cost-, space- and power-efficient solution that provides full network automation.

Further to this is automation through software-defined networking, a virtualised overlay fabric to bridge the gap between legacy technology and cloud, and network segmentation with comprehensive visibility and analytics capabilities.

In short, providing a work-from-home environment for employees necessitates optimised cloud services to better support the applications and business functionality that employees need to collaborate seamlessly.

What is CloudOps and how can it help?

Cloud operations work to provide the efficient management, delivery and optimisation of IT services and workloads for a business, running in either a private or public cloud.

Cloud optimisation is concerned with delivering business efficiency through cloud operations, reducing overall cloud and operational spend by identifying mismanaged resources, eliminating waste, reserving capacity for higher discounts and scaling computer services.

When workload performance, compliance and cost are correctly balanced against the best-fit infrastructure in real time, then efficiency is achieved.

It’s possible to gain the necessary agility and flexibility in terms of computing power and data storage required to meet the changing needs of the business.

This translates effectively into increased uptime and assured global access to information, especially for mobile workers and customers alike, providing the ability to work or engage from anywhere at any time.

Furthermore, cloud optimisation provides the capacity to rapidly develop, test and launch software applications crucial to business growth.

Smiling woman sitting at home with headphones and
Not only have workers had to adjust to a new way of working from home, but teams have also had to deal with major disruptions in the way they communicate. Picture: Getty Images

The future is uncertain

Will the way businesses currently operate become the new normal?

It’s possible.

Partnering with the right solutions provider will ensure an organisation with solutions that encompass the right technologies and processes, relevant to its unique business needs and giving stakeholders the necessary insights to make critical business decisions based on a road map, such as operation expenditure forecasts.

Yes, it can be the new normal, although it will have to be refined over time and according to regulations. Taking a multilayered approach to solutions is key, bearing in mind the scalability of each solution to cater for business operation downscaling or upscaling as and when needed.

There are solutions for all business sizes and budgets that address the practicalities of working remotely.

Meggersee is sales manager for software and Olivier is solutions consulting manager at First Technology National


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