Dell-ving into the pitfalls, practicalities and promise of remote working
08 July 2020 | Web Article Number: ME202019604
THE COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the decades-old conversation around remote working. It is no longer an interesting discussion but an essential part of doing business today.
That’s according to Bradley Pulford, Senior Director for Channel, Dell Technologies, South Africa, speaking at a recent webinar on the subject hosted by the PC maker.
“More than ever, deploying workspace capabilities with speed and efficiency is what is required in order to drive business continuity,” he added.
The virtual TechByte event explored measures that the company has implemented to help customers contend with the challenges they are facing. To that end the company explained that organisations can now pre-configure an employee’s device from the cloud, and have it delivered it to their household, with access to all the applications and data they need to begin working immediately.
While the rapid acceleration in the growth of remote workforces has placed a strain on networks, Dell Technologies has addressed potential bottlenecks by giving its customers access to clouds, software-as-a-service applications and private data centres using its SD-WAN solution. This ensures employees can work from home without network-related interruptions on their productivity.
Further highlighted during the event was how artificial intelligence tools can be used to make the lives of remote workers easier. One example given was Dell Optimiser, which operates in the background, and continuously learns from users’ work patterns in real time. It then optimises everything from a user’s system performance and responsiveness to their security and battery life. Doing so ensures that remote workers have a seamless and highly effective experience when working from home.
A key insight from the TechByte session was that, at the heart of any genuine effort to transform, is the need to create a frictionless business. Considering that it is technology that has removed friction from our lives, organisations need to understand where the difficulties lie in their business for their workforce as well as their customers. Then they can determine how to best use the technology available.
Speakers also highlighted the need for organisations to consider how they will empower their remote workforce, particularly as the number of online meetings has skyrocketed in the past few months.
Chris Buchanan, Director of End User Computing, Dell Technologies, South Africa said that even though the workforce are working harder, that does not automatically mean they are being more productive. Remote working presents a challenge in terms of getting one’s message across to a team with the same ease as being in the same room.
This can be addressed to an extent, by using applications like virtual whiteboards, where each member of a team can add notes, brainstorm, and work together on a single document in real time.
These are the kinds of applications that companies would benefit from leveraging to a greater extent as remote collaboration becomes more relevant. Even if training is required to help employees get to grips with the functionality, the payoff in productivity and team building would make it worthwhile.
“There are several actions that organisations can take to make remote working more comfortable for their workers. Providing a second screen, a comfortable ergonomic chair and improved sound from a quality headset all help streamline the remote worker’s experience,” Buchanan said.
He also warned that the greatest vulnerability in remote working comes from cybersecurity. “We now have to contend with a fragmented environment, with different people in an organisation dispersed across a variety of locations. IT support is no longer in the same building.
“At the same time, there are still ‘’bad actors’; cybercriminals that are seeking to steal data and cause havoc. Furthermore, from a cybersecurity point of view, multiple attack vectors that must be contained and malware threats continue to proliferate.”
Thus, said Buchanan, it is essential that organisations and their employees do all they can to ensure that sensitive data remains safeguarded, using encryption. Protecting the central network should still rank as an organisation’s highest priority.
Futurist and author Ryan Hogarth explained that there are three certainties of our time: that humanity will survive this pandemic, that the world is going to be different beyond it, and that it is technology that will facilitate a different world. – GeekWire.co.za