Millions of U.S. professionals have embraced hybrid work arrangements. However, the transition presents challenges for IT organizations that must provide these workers with a cohesive digital experience whether they are working in the office or at home. In a recent survey of IT decisions-makers at small and midsized enterprises (SMEs), two-thirds said they feel overwhelmed trying to manage this new environment.
To address these challenges, organizations are increasing their investments in a variety of technologies and processes that support consistent communication and collaboration among employees no matter where they are or what devices they are using. Digital workspaces, unified endpoint management and enhanced collaboration are among the top workforce enablement priorities.
The Flaws of Disconnected Remote Work Technologies
Few organizations had the time or expertise to craft a fully integrated technology framework when forced into remote operations in 2020. Most had to implement a variety of disconnected, tactical solutions to deliver network access and basic resources to remote workers. However, the flaws in this improvised approach began to show as employees used a variety of devices, applications and cloud services that weren’t always compatible with those being used by their colleagues.
Months later, IT organizations are now looking to clean up the environment to ensure a more consistent experience for remote and hybrid workers.
Here are a few of the key technologies for creating a more interconnected digital ecosystem:
Integrating distributed devices, applications and services with the company’s IT and communications infrastructure is one of the greatest challenges of the hybrid environment. Unified workspace solutions integrate multiple technologies in a single, user-friendly platform to enable organization-wide compatibility.
The workspace orchestrates a host of technologies including desktop virtualization, device management, application delivery, identity management and more into a single platform that allows users to access applications, content and services with any device. Desktop virtualization plays a particularly important role by allowing IT to centrally manage the entire desktop environment and deliver it to users as a service. This allows IT to reduce endpoint and platform dependence and facilitates user access to other applications and data.
Unified Endpoint Management
With the transition to remote work, IT teams are tasked with managing hundreds or even thousands of endpoint devices — each of which represents a potential entry point into the corporate network. Nearly two-thirds of IT professionals say they’ve experienced an increase in the frequency of endpoint attacks over the past year.
UEM combines multiple solutions to secure, manage and provision mobile devices, desktops, laptops, tablets, applications and content. With UEM, IT teams can manage and secure all endpoints from a single dashboard to create a consistent user experience.
When a device first connects to the corporate network, the user’s login triggers an onboarding process that automatically applies security policies and other relevant business rules and provides the user access to authorized apps and resources. In the event of suspicious activity, the endpoint can be automatically quarantined, locked or wiped. UEM can also push firmware updates and security patches and update encryption methods as needed.
Nearly three-quarters of companies are concerned about their employee collaboration capabilities, according to a recent Gartner survey. That’s largely due to the ad hoc employee adoption of multiple disconnected tools for file sharing, messaging, conferencing and communications.
Organizations are increasingly looking to standardize on a single, business-grade collaboration platform. Having videos, conversations, files, tasks, calendars, maps, images and more accessible through a common dashboard will improve workflow management, create continuity and eliminate information silos.
Overcome Operations Challenges of Hybrid Work Technologies
Hybrid work is becoming an operational standard in companies everywhere, but it does present some operational challenges. IPC’s engineering and implementation experts can help you leverage a variety of workforce enablement technologies to build a cohesive digital framework that allows employees to work from anywhere on any device.