Building an IT Infrastructure to Support a Remote Workforce
The COVID-19 pandemic brought widespread experimentation of remote working, and in many cases, forced the hand of companies that were not previously open to a remote work setting. Now as business leaders plan for reopening post-pandemic, many are considering more permanent remote working arrangements, and after finding that the benefits—e.g. increased productivity, improved employee satisfaction and hard cost savings on office space and supplies—have far outweighed the challenges, employers are looking to sustain those perks in the long-term.
According to a recent survey by Gartner, 82% of business leaders plan to maintain a partial work from home structure even after COVID-19 is no longer a threat, and of that group, 47% plan to allow employees to do so permanently. If your organization is considering investing in a remote work strategy for the long-haul, follow these tips to build an IT strategy that can not only support your entire remote workforce, but also improve how your employees work from home.
The key to providing a seamless experience for remote workers is to have a solid infrastructure behind your organization that ensures system access is reliable and secure. The cloud’s high availability allows for remote access to critical data and business applications from anywhere and on any device. Furthermore, the scalability of a cloud-based infrastructure is what saved the day for organizations who were forced to quickly shift from an in-office operation to a 100% remote workforce. This is because the cloud gives the flexibility to scale up to the amount of resources needed to support your entire team, in a short amount of time.
You will also need to ensure you have the network capacity to handle the amount of employees who will need to connect remotely via a secure method such as a VPN. When a large number of users are connecting remotely, network traffic shifts from outbound to inbound, which can cause slow or poor connection without sufficient inbound bandwidth. To avoid network bottlenecks, consider partnering with a colocation or cloud provider for network services. You can take advantage of their multiple carrier options, larger inbound network connectivity and superior network performance so that your users have speedy and reliable connections to your systems for uninterrupted productivity.
Finally, it is critical to store and protect your data the same way you would in the office. Employees should store data securely on a designated network drive or cloud location. Ensure data is being backed up regularly by following the data backup best practice of keeping multiple copies with at least one copy being stored offsite. Choose a backup solution that is simple to use and enables rapid recovery so that if the worst happens, business continuity will be fast and seamless. We recommend a cloud-based backup solution, like Veeam Cloud Connect for its ease of use and cost-effectiveness.
Whether your remote work strategy is for the long-term or just until the team can shift back to the office, it’s important to have a secure, effective and reliable foundation for remote access. If you’re re-evaluating your work from home policy, Immedion has helped many organizations improve their remote working capabilities and achieve seamless business continuity. Just fill out our start a conversation form to receive guidance from our experienced experts.