Most companies have been forced to move to remote working for the very first time, whether they like it or not, meaning they now have to face and solve challenges that have arisen from this form of working.
Meanwhile, other organisations that might have already had an existing remote workforce model in place for some of their employees have had to scale up rapidly to accommodate many thousands of more workers.
Last week, I hosted a webcast discussion on behalf of ZDNet with Dell Technologies on how organisations can successfully deploy remote workforce solutions and the questions from our live audience came through thick and fast. Here are some of the key takeaways from the audience Q&A.
Getting it right means happier and more productive employees
The successful deployment of a remote workforce environment has led to happier and less distracted employees as it enables people to both live life on their own terms and integrate work into their personal life in a more seamless manner. The organisation's bottom line benefits too, with lower overhead and improved efficiency. It also gives organisations a key competitive advantage over their competitors by enabling them to attract and retain the best talent.
Rushed deployment of remote work capabilities is leading to optimisation
Organisations that have had to pivot to a remote workforce model very quickly are now revisiting how they can become better at it. In other words, companies are tailoring their technology tools and infrastructure more thoughtfully and deliberately to better optimise the way their employees work remotely.
VMWare's Workspace One supports devices already in the field
While there are various ways to deploy WorkSpace One, there are two aspects in particular that organisations need to consider, according to Robert Vinokurov, Dell Technologies General Manager of the Client Solutions Group for ANZ.
"Firstly, you need to think about provisioning the infrastructure or backoffice side of things to facilitate and host Workspace One. Once that's done, whether it is new equipment or existing equipment in the field, customers need to consider installing and configuring the agent on the client side so that it can interface into the infrastructure of the organisation," he says.
"Doing so will provide employees with all of the benefits and the software access, manageability and tools in the field."
What about small businesses?
While enterprise mobility management tools such as WorkSpace One are scalable from small businesses to large organisations, those with a larger number of workers in the field will be the ones that see the greatest total cost of ownership savings. However, Vinokurov says that smaller organisations will still see the benefit in terms of being able to deploy employee systems by using an enterprise solution like Workspace One.
"We can assist smaller organisations with key efficiencies such as factory provisioning and factory ready deployment in the field, "he says.
"One of the key benefits is that when you're deploying laptop and desktop systems using Workspace One, it's pretty much out of the box ready when it's a factory provisioned Dell system so that users are up and running in a matter of minutes," he adds.
Moving to a remote workforce model doesn't mean you need to throw out existing hardware
Deploying, securing, managing, and supporting employee devices with speed and efficiency in addition to simplifying the management and deployment of virtual desktops and on-premises applications will be critical for ensuring business continuity. As such, finding the balance on whether to invest in new hardware or updating existing hardware are questions organisations will need to consider when moving to a remote workforce model. While existing hardware can be transitioned to tools such as Workspace One, Vinokurov says that organisations will need to evaluate whether or not the cost of supporting ageing hardware outweighs the cost of investing in new hardware that can be factory provisioned.
"When you get down to the three year mark for hardware, that's when you need to start to think about whether it's worthwhile to continue to invest in that asset or is it time to let it go and invest in new hardware and reap all of the benefits," says Vinokurov.
Remote working will be the new normal, even after COVID-19
Before coronavirus, flexible working was starting to make headway with more than two-thirds of people around the world working away from the office at least once every week. These uncertain times have forced organisations to accelerate and actually enable the connected workplace at a much faster timeline than many would've originally planned on. However, Vinorkurov says that most organisations have been surprised by how effective moving to a full-time remote workforce has been.
"We believe the proof points that we're seeing now where organisations are achieving a very productive remote workforce through the technologies that are available will have pretty significant repercussions in how we go forward in a murky world," he says.
"More broadly, I think it's a marriage of cultural transformation and technology transformation that will force organisations to rethink how we go forward. It's very exciting."
Find out how your organisation can successfully deploy remote workforce solutions today.