Is IT Prepared for a Hybrid Remote Workplace Environment?
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed remote work squarely in the spotlight. As businesses began allowing employees to work from home (WFH) in early 2020, many IT leaders were left wondering whether remote workforces will become the long-term rule as opposed to the exception. In reality, the modern workplace has long been evolving toward a hybrid environment where employees can be productive anywhere and at any time they choose. Innovations in cloud technologies – including desktop as a service (DaaS) — have greatly accelerated this hybrid workplace capability. Let’s dig into why that is and how it can be used to better prepare your business for a hybrid work environment.
It starts with the access
At one time, corporate infrastructures were designed and built with the understanding that most employees would come into the office to perform their work duties. As such, application, network, and data security components were deployed to support this access model. While remote connectivity did exist in the form of remote access VPN, these components were designed to handle only a fraction of the overall employee headcount. Thus, major modifications were required to sufficiently support a much larger proportion of simultaneous WFH employee access.
Thanks to innovations such as IaaS and SaaS, however, infrastructure architects quickly realized that employees could directly connect to business applications and data anywhere they had internet access. The need to VPN into the corporate office has largely been eliminated as most apps and services now reside in the public cloud. This means that employees can perform their daily tasks in the office, at home, in a coffee shop or anywhere else they happen to be. This is the first step to a proper hybrid workplace experience.
Simplifying remote desktop management
While cloud computing allowed for ease of access regardless of physical location, an IT department’s desktop support team ran into other remote workforce issues. The desktop team found that they could quickly become overwhelmed when attempting to manage and/or troubleshoot corporate-deployed PC’s that were operating in WFH situations. Troubleshooting traditional desktops using remote management tools can be a time-consuming process compared to a technician having direct access to the hardware. Because of this, IT architects are beginning to leverage another cloud service – DaaS — to help them streamline desktop deployment, management and troubleshooting tasks. Not only do virtual desktops provide employees with an effective space to work within while at home or in the office – the ability to support virtual desktops in a remote or hybrid setting is also greatly enhanced thanks to DaaS.
Shared data requires centralized control
Using traditional desktop deployments, employees often can store important data and documents onto the local desktop hard drive. If a laptop is lost or stolen, this becomes a major security risk for the organization. With DaaS, however, all applications and data are kept within the service provider’s cloud infrastructure. Thus, employees can no longer save files to their local desktops. Not only does a virtual desktop architecture reduce risk from a data loss prevention (DLP) sense, but it also creates a much more uniform environment for data sharing across geographically distributed workforces. No longer will copies of files be made and splintered by remote employees. Instead, everyone is required to collaborate using a single set of stored data residing securely in the DaaS providers cloud infrastructure.
Achieving an effective hybrid workplace is closer than you think
Whether your business plans to continue WFH strategies or begin bringing employees back into the office, having a flexible workplace will be a critical part of your organization’s overall success. Fortunately, cloud computing services grant employees the ability to seamlessly move between the office, home and anyplace in-between. While cloud computing in the form of cloud-managed apps and data are a great start, a missing component of your hybrid workplace strategy may be the desktop itself. Traditional desktop deployment models simply don’t function well in hybrid workplaces. Stand-alone desktops are too cumbersome to manage and lack important data security protections. Instead, IT decision makers should plan to migrate to a DaaS solutions like Anunta’s Cloud Desktops. This modern approach to desktop deployment is the only way to truly provide the utmost in hybrid workplace flexibility, security, and productivity.