With the increasing prevalence of a pandemic, responses from enterprises have been reactive and most organizations have enabled corporate VPNs to allow their employees to work from home, with some even shipping employee workstations to their respective homes.
While these reactive steps have enabled business continuity, most organizations have not evaluated the business impact of these moves. This is especially the case when considering the impact working from home has on employee productivity and information security.
Although most organizations have SaaS or web based apps, they may still use many traditional client server applications which includes ERP and other line of business applications such as analytics tools. Additionally, most traditional client server applications have been designed to work on a local network. Therefore, when working on remote networks such as a VPN, the performance of these applications would degrade.
Furthermore, application performance degradation will have a significant impact on the success of Work from home projects and will have an immediate impact on the productivity of employees. Moreover, this will have a substantial impact on the trust employees receive from their management in terms of working from home. Winning over the end users is paramount to the success of any technology project, therefore, if the overall impression of the end users is negative, these projects are bound to fail.
CIOs and HR departments now have to imagine and visualize what a typical end user working from home is going through. They are working in different working conditions as not everyone has the luxury of a home office which is dedicated for work. They have variable internet connections, different work environments and application performance could easily cause frustration. This would cause a significant challenge with millennials who would demand all the applications to work similar to their mobile apps.
It is said that there is an opportunity inside every calamity which could prove to be true with regard to work-space transformation and this could be the ideal opportunity for CIOs to enable workspace transformation within their organizations.
So how can corporations take advantage of an opportunity for workspace transformation?
- Segmenting users – based on departments, business impact or distance to workplace
- Analyzing social distancing rules – establish the remote worker to office worker ratio for the different departments based on the local rules, regulations and the physical work space
- Analyzing and adjusting the physical workspace – determine whether the office space could be further optimized using approaches such as hot desking (we might have to evaluate the health and safety of this approach and will need to maintain a strict cleaning processes to maintain hot desking in a covid-19 world).
- Analyzing the application landscape – mapping application access requirements and data security aspects related to corporate applications, although it should be known that it is essential that different aspects of data security apply to each individual corporate application and should be evaluated as such.
- BYOD and WFH Policies – policies for Work from home and information security should be clearly defined.
VS ONE strongly believes that any workspace transformation initiative requires strong executive support including the support of HR departments. Therefore, companies should make workspace transformation a project belonging to HR and ICT departments ( which also includes information security). Additionally, justifying the costs of workspace transformation has to be done diligently (which will be covered in a future blog post).
In one successful implementation VS ONE helped a Sri Lankan bank to enable select employees to work from home. The bank conducted a process to identify the users and systems who require remote work. The information security department integrated their existing security tools including SIEM, Log Management, WAF and Anti-Virus into the platform where VS ONE assisted on implementing an integrated multi-factor authentication process in order to provide an additional layer of security. The bank achieved interesting business results from this project where they were able to offer a near LAN work experience to the users using the Virtual Workspace while at the same time freeing up an entire floor which helped them in achieving significant space savings on rent and utilities as well.
Contact us at email@example.com to find out how VS ONE can help your organisation effectively take advantage of the opportunity of working from home to ensure business continuity.