Remote and flexible working has been around for a while, but the last year has seen it burst into the mainstream in grand style. The COVID-19 pandemic has acted as a catalyst for remote work, forcing companies to adapt to a staff that predominantly works from home. As a result, organizations that might have been resistant to remote working in the past have seen the light and accepted it wholeheartedly.
Remote work has forever changed the way we work. It has transformed almost every aspect of how a business functions, from how teams collaborate to how HR finds new talent, but most importantly, it has changed your IT department.
IT departments are fundamental to the success of remote working and have been most fundamentally changed in return. IT’s role in successful companies has been growing in importance as organizations increasingly embrace digital transformation, but moving to remote work promises a whole new horizon for IT.
Read on, and we’ll explore how remote work has forever changed the world of IT.
Remote working presents unique, unusual security challenges for IT departments and organizations. Stepping outside the relatively secure boundaries of an office removes an important firewall in a company’s cybersecurity. It is staggeringly unlikely that most home workers will be up-to-speed with their home network’s necessary security measures. This creates a large number of new vulnerabilities for an organization’s network.
As remote working expands, IT departments have to step up and provide training and staff awareness and find ways to maintain network security with multiple satellite networks.
One of the main aspects that IT departments have had to change is their level of network monitoring. They only had to monitor in-house networks in the past, but now essential network tasks have to be performed without physically repairing problems at the source.
To cope with the boom in remote working, IT teams now need to monitor remote networks as well. This can be done using agents installed on home networks, but it has required a rethink of priorities when it comes to network operations. Homeworkers use both their own network and the company’s network and need both to be working smoothly. Network monitoring, therefore, is more important than ever before.
IT support for remote workers can be a challenge, but it is absolutely vital. In 2019, 75% of remote workers said their companies don't cover internet costs, and 71% said their employers don't pay for coworking spaces. But IT support and remote provisioning is the only way to make remote work a success.
IT departments need to plan for provisioning desktops and devices, securing endpoints and data, gaining insights and reporting, and providing ongoing remote support. Troubleshooting can be hard and takes time even in the same building and is doubly complicated when IT staff don’t have physical access to hardware. Taking a more comprehensive approach and ensuring that everyone has the right tools is critical and can save time, money, and effort.
Automation and automated workflows are IT departments’ secret weapons for making remote working, well, work. By automating repetitive, manual tasks, you can keep processes ticking over, removing much of the disruption from the shift to distance working. Automation can help remote teams be even more productive by prioritizing emails and work tasks and tracking project progress. And it can help with all of the IT issues that come with remote working, from security to support.
Creating a digital working environment is a must for IT departments faced with a significant increase in remote workers. Whether through collaboration tools, communication apps, file-sharing platforms, or video conferencing software, building the right custom environment for your remote team is vital. Cloud computing will be a huge part of any remote workforce, and setting up VPN solutions is crucial as well.
Remote working offers massive benefits for companies and workers. It is likely to be essential for any organization wanting to grow and take advantage of all opportunities of the digital age. While it does present new challenges for IT teams, it is also chock-full of opportunities, and there are several to take the load off.
At VC3, we are experts at enabling remote working environments, and our managed services give you everything you need to succeed. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you grow and thrive now and in the future!