Lessons Learned from Remote Workforces During COVID-19
Lessons Learned from Remote Workforces During COVID-19
In early March, we started fielding questions from customers related to what would ultimately evolve into a health crisis on a scale we haven’t seen in our lifetime. With so much uncertainty at the time, the most common questions included:
- How do we ensure our employees can work from home efficiently and productively?
- How do we handle all of the technology we have on premises?
- What about backup and recovery – how do I ensure my data stays current in my backup and recovery systems?
- Is my data protected against cyber-attacks or other threats while employees work from home?
For companies who had disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity plans in place, they quickly enacted those policies and attempted to move to ‘business as usual.’ For some, this included human displacement and preparing the workforce to go remote. For others, it meant essential employees were to stay onsite and ensure on-premises equipment remained operational.
Now that we have survived many uncertainties, and as many organizations begin to reopen and slowly reintroduce employees back into offices, we are taking stock of the lessons we learned in supporting our clients throughout the crisis.
The Rise in Remote Workers
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many enterprises were already experiencing a rise in remote workforce, enabled by the increased use of mobile technology and cloud computing. The health crisis made working from home the norm, and for many companies this might be long term, if not permanent.
According to a recent report from the National Bureau of Economic Research, more than 35% of firms interviewed think that 40% or more of their workforce will remain as remote workers. It’s also been well documented that some of the largest tech companies including Google, Facebook and Twitter have all said they will operate around 30% of office capacity well into 2021.
We are working with clients that are planning to greatly reduce their physical footprint in traditional office buildings. In fact, some are evaluating the cost savings and determining how they will invest that money into technology to provide a better experience for their remote employees, and for their customers.
Remote Hybrid Cloud Management
Providing safe working conditions for the teams that are managing your IT infrastructure was top of mind for IPR Secure. We proactively enacted a handful of emergency procedures to protect both IPR Secure employees and our clients’ employees, including restricting access to data centers to essential employees only and following all government and healthcare guidelines.
Through Wrklōdz, the IPR Professional Services team and customers alike were able to manage their hybrid cloud environment remotely through the single pane of glass application. With ease, users provisioned services and balanced workloads across multiple cloud installments including the private cloud they house with IPR as well as their public cloud offerings.
Backing Up and Protecting Your Data
At the onset of the pandemic, companies approached us concerned that their backup and DR efforts were not up to this test. Fortunately, with over two decades of experience supporting clients with continuous uptime through a multitude of disasters, we were able to assist and provide the assurance they required.
For companies who utilize IPR Desktop as a Service (DaaS), a cloud-based offering that allows IT departments or the IPR Professional Services Team to manage and maintain their users’ virtual desktop infrastructure, it proved to be business as usual. This service ensures that data on their devices remain protected and accessible at all times. Additionally, IPR Secure can monitor what each program is doing on a users’ machine to identify potential threats in real-time. For employees moving to remote work environments, they welcomed the transition with open arms.
Eliminating Concerns About Cyber-Attacks
Another area where we noticed inquiries from both clients and prospects centered around data security. Companies were concerned with ensuring that they were protected from cyber-attacks or other threats while employees were working from home networks. For many of the small to mid-sized businesses that we support, these attacks can lead to complete business shutdown due to the devastating costs associated with recovering data, notifying customers, and lost time dedicated to day-to-day business. With 24×7 remote support from IPR Professional Services, CIOs and IT managers had one less thing to worry about.
In March 2020, VMWare reported that ransomware attacks increased 148% over baseline levels from February, and projected that trend to continue as attackers target vulnerable organizations.
According to CRN, the victims of 2020’s 11 biggest ransomware attacks have spent at least $144.2 million on costs ranging from investigating attacks and rebuilding networks to restoring backups and paying hackers’ ransom.
We have all witnessed first-hand how this pandemic crippled business operations worldwide. A big takeaway — if businesses want to survive and ensure a smooth recovery process and continuity of their operations, it is critical that they do a risk assessment and develop robust disaster recovery and business continuity plans.
As you continue to re-evaluate plans for your business, IPR Secure can be your trusted partner helping you make these critical decisions. Our team is ready to help you along the way.