How Executives Can Prepare for Long-Term Distributed Work

Some business shifts happen suddenly. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent government stay-at-home directives forced organizations across the globe to make a rapid transition to remote work. Keeping employees connected and productive as they worked from home was an imperative for sustaining business continuity.

Many organizations succeeded. They quickly implemented new technologies and processes that helped address immediate challenges, allowing employees to effectively communicate, collaborate and complete tasks without setting foot in corporate offices.

This sudden workforce change of 2020 could be a catalyst for a long-term transformation that benefits both organizations and their employees. By building a robust distributed work model, organizations can recruit new employees from a wider geographic pool, help facilitate a better work/life balance for employees, and potentially reduce office real estate costs.

Neither organizations nor their employees are eager to return to “business as usual.” According to a recent VMware survey, 61 percent of respondents agree that their organisation is experiencing the benefits of remote work and can’t return to how things were before. Approximately 90 percent of respondents agree that it is an employer’s responsibility to ensure employees can access the digital tools they need for remote work.

The VMware Anywhere Workspace includes the tools your organization needs to empower a distributed workforce. By implementing digital work spaces, high-performance remote access, united endpoint management and intrinsic security from VMware, you can create a true “work-from-anywhere” organization.

Facing the challenges of sustaining distributed work

The distributed-work model thrust upon us in 2020 offers important opportunities for businesses and their employees. But to maintain the success of distributed work for the long term, your organization will likely have to address several key challenges.

Operational complexity. Too many organizations piece together their distributed-work strategy, adopting multiple point solutions from different vendors. Attempts to integrate those solutions are not always successful. As a result, administrators are left with multiple tools and siloed teams. You need ways to unify endpoint management, simplifying administration even as you support a growing variety of device types and platforms.

Implementing scalable solutions will be key. Existing virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), digital workspace and security solutions might have allowed employees to start working from home quickly during the pandemic or another period of business disruption. But can those solutions scale for the long term, as a growing number of employees expect seamless remote-work experiences? If your solutions can’t scale, distributed workers could be plagued with productivity-sapping availability issues while IT administrators become overwhelmed with complexity.

Fragmented security. As you implement and expand your distributed-workforce strategy, security must be a top priority. Look beyond traditional, perimeter-based security models. With remote employees frequently using personal devices to access apps and data, far away from company offices, you need to protect a significantly expanded attack surface.

Your organization might have relaxed security policies when stay-at-home directives were first issued. But you now need solutions that extend security policies to new endpoints scattered across a broad array of locations. And you need sufficient visibility into all of your distributed apps, data, devices and networks so you can identify threats from wherever they emerge.

Adding individual point solutions introduces both complexity and risk. Many organizations struggle to manage numerous distinct products, agents and interfaces. Beyond creating administrative complexity, this kind of fragmented approach leaves gaps that hackers will be eager to exploit. Your organization needs a singular, integrated approach to security that safeguards all assets and streamlines management—without negatively affecting user productivity.

Sub-optimal user experience. For many organizations, the pandemic did not halt hiring. Yet on boarding distributed employees can be slow and frustrating for new hires. You need ways to speed the on boarding process without requiring people to be physically present at headquarters. For employees to be productive on day one, your IT group must be able to give them secure, frictionless access to essential apps and data.

Once employees are ready to work, many need ways to overcome challenging home Wi-Fi networks. Poor network connectivity and slow virtual private network performance can seriously hamper distributed-work productivity. To make sure employees can continue to get their work done, wherever they are located, you need to provide performance and bandwidth at levels that at least approach what employees experience at the company office.

Adapting to new ways of working with the VMware Anywhere Workspace

To help organizations navigate immediate challenges and prepare for the future, VMware has created the VMware Anywhere Workspace. This integrated solution can help your organization overcome pressing remote-work obstacles and maximize benefits well into the future. You can embrace a sustainable distributed work strategy through a secure, scalable and unified digital infrastructure.

The VMware Anywhere Workspace addresses the challenges of distributed work by enabling you to automate the workspace, secure the edge, and deliver high-quality, multi-modal experiences.

Automate the workspace. The VMware Anywhere Workspace helps simplify operations and centralize endpoint management by automating the workspace. VMware Workspace ONE digital workspaces, for example, help remove complexities with automated enrollment across all platforms.

Over-the-air management helps ensure that your IT group can reach every endpoint with policies, patches and updates. Intelligence-driven, management for Windows 10 devices streamlines processes while avoiding infrastructure costs. In addition, VMware Edge Network Intelligence provides IT with actionable and automated insights on network health and app delivery. Your administrators can concentrate on defining and delivering a consistent workspace experience.

The VMware Anywhere Workspace can be scaled rapidly so your organisation can accommodate a short-term influx in remote workers or prepare for long-term expansion of the remote-work model. With the VMware Horizon VDI solution, you can take advantage of hybrid- and multi-cloud deployment models to scale users. A single cloud console lets you reduce management complexity.

Secure the edge. The VMware Anywhere Workspace enables you to safeguard remote endpoints and data, shrinking your attack surface while unifying security. For example, VMware Carbon Black Cloud is a cloud-native platform that provides layered endpoint protection backed by machine learning and behavior analytics to thwart malware attacks. You can also adopt the VMware SASE Platform, an integrated secure access service edge (SASE) solution that combines the power of software-defined WAN gateways, Zero Trust secure access, secure web gateways, cloud security access brokers and next-generation firewalls.

Deliver high-quality, multi-modal experiences. The VMware Anywhere Workspace puts employees first by accelerating on boarding and providing consistent, high-quality experiences across personal and company-owned devices. Distributed workers have everything they need on day one. Using the Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub, employees have immediate access to a full set of business applications through a single sign-on process, whether they are using a personally owned or company-owned device. Zero Trust capabilities help ensure that only authorized people are granted access to apps. Self-serve resources and notifications help workers stay engaged and supported.

The VMware Anywhere Workspace also helps overcome the networking limitations of remote work. VMware SD-WAN gives remote workers the reliable remote access and robust performance they need for using critical business applications when working from home. It also helps safeguard network traffic while giving IT a choice of using built-in firewall capabilities, deploying security software as a virtual network function, or directing traffic to a third-party cloud-based firewall-as-a-service solution.

Preparing for a future of more flexible work

VMware is in a unique position to provide an integrated solution to holistically address the challenges of distributed work. By bringing together digital work spaces, high-performance edge networking, unified endpoint management and intrinsic security, the VMware Anywhere Workspace enables you to adapt to the present and prepare for the future of distributed work. You can scale to support a growing distributed workforce and maximize employee productivity while maintaining robust security.

By VMware

Source: How Executives Can Prepare for Long-Term Distributed Work

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