As discussed in our last blog post, joint engagement of different stakeholders including HR, HRD and IT Security is mandatory for the successful establishment of a Work From Home.
As explained, justifying the investment of a Work from Home program would be a challenge for most organizations. However, the ongoing pandemic has made all C-level executives rethink the adoption of technology as working from home became a key parameter. The traditional mindset was a comparison between the cost of a PC vs a Cost of Virtual Desktop. As a long-standing Citrix partner, we have had many discussions regarding justifying the TCO of a VDI project. Often these discussions ended up with conclusions such as “VDI is expensive”.
However, many other factors would also contribute to the cost related decisions today. Covid-19 has made working from home a new reality where information security requirements become very important.
Below are some key points to compare:
||Equipment Cost – Depending on the program E.g. Corporate Owned, Employee Owned this cost may vary.
|OS Patch Updates
||IT Support Costs
||IT Infrastructure Cost
|Data Loss Prevention / Encryption
||DaaS License Costs
||* – Electricity – In a work from home context users will bear this cost. The typical equipment such as Chromebooks consume less electricity.
||Cloud Based Firewall
|IT Support Cost
||IT Support Cost
What is most interesting is that there are some benefits which are not tangible such as:
- Ability to align the entire organization on IT standards such as ISO 27001 – We can implement data security controls such as encryption and control data leaks by restricting critical data to servers. Users will only view and consume such data. Furthermore, we can easily implement Multi factor authentication and a single sign on for users.
- Ability to quickly distribute patch updates to users including Security and Software patches
- Ability to perform user analytics and user monitoring – this would help HR and security teams to identify user behavior patterns
- Improving application performance – reducing latency and increasing application performance
- Reducing CAPEX and transferring the costs to OPEX – Desktop as a Service programs can be consumed as a service and companies have the flexibilities of scaling up or down based on organizational needs.
- Ease of Rolling out field users or mobile users – Roll out Windows applications on the Mobile devices which would traditionally not support such access.
- Employee Satisfaction
- Saving the time to commute
- Using a device of the user’s choice
- Flexible work
The VS Group has helped many organizations to get significant benefits through Virtual Workspace solutions. For instance, we did a proof of concept for a local bank in Sri Lanka which helped them to significantly reduce the time taken to perform core banking transactions. In this case the Virtual workspace benefits went beyond the employees and benefited the customers as well. Sometimes an organization may have to perform a significant infrastructure upgrade or a WAN link upgrade to achieve such benefits. However, we were able to provide significant benefits to the customer by simply changing the way users accessed the applications.
In another example we virtualized one of our Subsidiaries ERP system. Before this new setup, users accessed this application via a VPN, albeit the application performance was not user friendly. However, with the Virtual Workspace coming in, we are now able to access this application and the virtual desktops anytime, anywhere in a very user-friendly manner.
Another interesting trend we have observed in the Covid-19 era is supply chain constraints. Many companies wanted to roll out work from home and they were impacted by supply chain constraints in PC and Server manufacturing. Our DaaS Solution stack can be run on Cloud or on prem where we can also allow users to use an existing device such as their personal PC in order to run the VDI environment. Therefore, we can mitigate the risk of such constraints using a combination of Cloud and VDI.
So are all the organizations who scaled up their VPNs after Covid-19 wrong? Not necessarily. Many IT managers found this to be a good way to react to the situation. However, aspects such as overall security, IT Help Desk Call volumes as well as the overall performance and user experience are important elements of an effective WFH program. Now experts warn that Covid-19 may continue for a longer time and may require a more resilient response in terms of Work from home.
Doing a justification of a Work From Home project? We are keen to have a chat and share our experience with you.