Although working remotely has been an increasing trend in companies for years, the current situation has accelerated the need and pushed companies that have had limited exposure to it, into making it a requirement for doing business. This has identified issues and deficiencies in infrastructure areas such as external network capacity, massive remote access, VPN capacity, etc. Solutions aimed at controlling access and enabling remote work can have pros and cons depending on the type of work being done. Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) can help but has its own limitations. Some programs and services do not work well with VDI, while some devices such as video cameras and headsets have problems working over VDI. Identifying the best solution from VDI to VPN and all the infrastructure support elements can be an overwhelming task.
Many organizations have invested in desktop infrastructure in their office location and are not set up for their employees to work remotely via company supplied laptops. One solution to avoid the huge expense and effort of buying massive amounts of equipment to supply workers with devices to access remotely is to allow them to use their personal devices on a “Bring Your Own Device” program. This can include laptops, home desktops, tablets or smartphones. Although this approach can have huge benefits in cost savings and time to deploy it does have its own considerations and issues that need to be considered. The starting point is a well-defined BYOD policy and a process to manage the associated risks and issues that come along with it.
A company’s operating and support costs for IT goes beyond the hardware and license costs associated with the equipment and the programs they use. The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of systems includes factors such as implementation, support and admin, leasing and licensing, depreciation, upgrades, data maintenance, etc. Arriving at the optimal infrastructure and operational plan should consider all factors that go into TCO and analyzing the options based on current best practices.
More and more mobile devices are becoming part of the mainstay of business activity in an organization. From laptops to smartphones to scanners mobile devices are critical to optimizing performance across the company and beyond to vendors and customers. Integrating these devices into a company’s network brings special challenges and considerations that are not in play with traditional platforms. From network design and optimization to integration with systems and support, mobile devices can require special attention in order to effectively enable their use. There is also special consideration for the risks they bring from a security perspective. Having a comprehensive mobile device strategy, policy and plan can translate to efficiencies that hit the bottom line directly.
The global environment is changing. Chances are if your infrastructure is more than a couple of years old there is an opportunity to analyze costs and optimize through upgrades, hosting or outsourcing. A comprehensive look at infrastructure from computing platforms to networks and end devices can yield significant savings for an organization. It is important to have a plan and roadmap so that infrastructure can be optimized as it is needed rather than reacting to situations with little lead time.
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