As we look towards a new normal of delivering IT services for hybrid workplaces in 2022, it’s a great opportunity to share our own experiences and insights and review the realities of managing IT services for remote workforces.
An Evolving Digital Roadmap
Every organisation needs to be ready for change and be able to support a distributed, work-anywhere model. Fortunately, some of our clients were already set up for this as it was part of the digital strategy we had developed for them. However, others had to catch up and roll out the required technology quickly. This meant they didn’t always get the full benefits they would have normally gotten, such as user onboarding and training, had it been a measured deployment. A reminder that an agile and evolving digital strategy for any business is vital.
Secure IT Systems and Services
It’s no surprise that lessons in IT security have been paramount. The switch to remote working proved what we already knew, that building intrinsic security into everything IT is a must. Whether it’s your network, cloud storage, or shared collaboration tools, security measures must be incorporated right from the start. These should include rigorous endpoint security measures such as next generation Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), data leak protection, and security incident and event management solutions (SIEM) solutions.
In addition to this, we’d always recommend MFA authentication implementation, as this provides an extra tier of protection for remote workers. As part of our service delivery, our security teams ensure all security logs are checked and managed. Our 24/7 SOC and integrated MDR service continuously screens for threats across your network, systems, data assets, and endpoints 24/7 so threats can be shut down before they can do any damage.
According to a recent Gartner survey, nearly 80% of workers used collaboration tools in 2021, up from just over half of workers in 2019. Our IT teams rose to the challenge of installing, updating, and reconciling entire suites of cloud-based collaboration tools so that our client’s remote employees could remain productive and connected.
organisations must ensure they can provide secure and reliable collaboration tools and resource access for all employees, regardless of location and device. This is where Microsoft’s W365 comes in as it can deliver a full PC experience via a cloud-based operating system, so users can securely access their PC apps, content, and data from any company-owned or personal device.
What proved imperative to business continuity was a company’s IT services availability and resilience. Almost overnight, companies became wholly dependent on how robust their IT infrastructure was and its ability to deliver IT services to their employees and customers.
Adoption of consumption-based cloud services such as IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS from leading cloud vendors such as Microsoft (Azure) and AWS, if implemented correctly, can provide agility, security, and resilience for all your needs to ensure your IT services are available wherever and whenever they are needed.
For the end user, device support is key. Our clients who already received technical support via our service desk were ahead of the game and for those who needed additional support for their remote workers, we were able to quickly install and/or update the latest operational systems and patch when required.
Many of our clients experienced the advantages of a secure virtual desktop using Microsoft’s Azure virtual desktop, Windows 365, AWS Workspaces, and Citrix, to securely manage access to business systems from anywhere and provide a consistent user experience. This removed the weak link between the use of older disparate and distributed end user devices and centralised controlled access via consistent access to key business systems. Management of and securing end user compute estates is becoming increasingly difficult, and these services can give you a distinct security and business differentiator.
As with any change management process, business and IT teams must also ensure there is a comprehensive adoption and testing program in place so that any technologies being exploited are being maximised. What we found important to ongoing IT service satisfaction was taking regular end-user surveys to check if IT services were meeting their requirements and where we could improve them.
On a practical level, it’s also important to remember to facilitate full health and safety workplace assessments at home. Sophisticated IT systems are nothing if your employees are having health issues due to working from home.
Technology was central to our clients’ adapting to remote work and for their business to remain operational. The challenges we all have experienced over the last 2 years have also been opportunities for CIOs and their teams to establish an agile digital transformation strategy for the future. Whatever that may bring.
If you would like to review your digital roadmap for 2022, please get in touch and we’ll be able to discuss your requirements. Contact us today!
Stuart Salt is the Director of Service for Transputec, an IT Services Company based in London. Stuart is responsible for all professional services and managed services delivered to Transputec’s clients and above all is passionate about the customer experience and digital transformation.