Remote Workforce Enablement

by | Sep 30, 2020 | IT Services

A few weeks ago, in my blog post, “The Shift in the Modern Day Workplace,” I discussed the many aspects of business operations that are undergoing a “shift” and causing business owners and executives to scramble to keep up with the changing times. I want to continue the dialog, expand on the different concepts, and give you more depth and understanding of each specific topic. So, over the next few weeks, I will tackle each topic individually, starting with Remote Workforce Enablement.

Remote Workforce Enablement can mean everything from allowing just a few select people to work remotely to enabling an entire workforce to work from home. Organizations have been doing this at various levels for some time, usually for mobile users such as sales representative using company laptops to remotely access company systems.

In the past 10 years the ubiquity of smartphones and personal laptops prompted organizations to create company-wide policies addressing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and home computer use by employees. This brought new challenges and questions regarding Security and Compliance, and some have been slow to make the switch or have not fully fleshed out their Work from Home (WFH) and BYOD policies.

But with the COVID-19 pandemic, companies didn’t have a choice. As a matter of survival, they had to make an immediate “Shift” to allow their workforce to utilize equipment outside of the business’ control on a larger scale and allow employees to work from almost anywhere. Some were more prepared and, therefore, more successful than others.

If your business is still struggling to keep your employees safely working remotely, or if you would just like to verify that you have your bases covered, this blog post is for you.

The Who, What and How of Remote Workforce Enablement

Let’s methodically review the problem and break the challenge of Remote Workforce Enablement into the basics: “Who, What, and How

Who – Who will be accessing the organizational Assets (Systems, Data, Applications)?

What – What organizational Assets (Systems, Data, Applications) will the “Who” be accessing?

How – How will the “Who” be accessing the “What”?

This, of course, is over-simplifying a complex concept and it may sound a bit like a Dr. Seuss book, but the intent is to show the basic questions that need to be asked. Going back to basics allows organizations to determine actions to move forward and to not to get paralyzed by the many decisions that need to be made.

What services (applications, data) need to be accessed? Once these basics are identified, then technology solutions can be selected. What is the overall architecture that is required? How will you make these solutions available? Will it be on–premise or cloud or a hybrid architecture? Which security and management tools are required? You might choose some combination of Identity & Access Management, Zero-Trust Framework, Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) among the many tools available.

Let’s not forget “Who.”

Remote Work is probably new to many of your employees as well, so organizations need to implement procedures for training on new collaboration tools, set policies on working hours and productivity, and potentially invent a whole new style and system of managing, reviewing, hiring and onboarding new employees in this newly expanded world of Remote Workforce Enablement.

As organizations make the “Shift” to Remote Workforce Enablement (check out our blog post), remember that it can mean a lot of things, but it is always best to start with the basics and build out from there.

Questions or comments? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at 614-212-1101 or [email protected].

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