The very rapid rise of COVID19 is causing companies worldwide to explore their options when it comes to remote working. In a way, this crisis is an eye-opener for companies: businesses are forced to think about different ways of working, with as much flexibility as possible. Companies that didn’t enable remote working before out of fear that employees would feel less involved with the company or that they would not be able to do their work at home, are now making changes rapidly to safeguard business continuity. All around me this has proven to work well for many companies, if the solution is set up in the right way.
This increase in homeworking is not temporary. Now that many companies recognize the benefits of remote working and no longer fear any negative impact on employee effectiveness, it’s time to look at sustainable, IT-friendly and cost-efficient solutions for the long term, where the number of users can go up and down if needed.
To enable users to work from home, companies often opt for VPN (Virtual Private Network) or VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure). Both solutions have their pros and cons, but especially now that companies are looking for quick solutions for an unplanned (and often numerous) number of homeworkers, I believe VDI is the best pick in many cases.
When a large number of users suddenly want to use a VPN, which allows users to log on to the company network with their own device with their own software, this can have negative consequences for the accessibility of that network. Furthermore, the necessary software must be installed and updated for each device – something that is impossible for IT to do in times of 100% homeworking. Besides, costs also increase with the number of licenses required. When using VDI, users log into a virtual desktop interface with their own device, which is located on top of the datacenter. In this way, users all log into the same environment, and have the same access to the same applications, which can be managed and updated centrally.
A major advantage of such a VDI solution is the rapid scalability of the solution: no additional devices need to be prepared for use, because employees can all log into the online environment on the device of their choice via their browser. A user that normally uses a desktop at the office can use the same software at home, on his laptop. The user does not notice any difference between his device at home and the device he would normally use at the office.
For many companies, implementing such a remote working solution doesn’t have to be complicated – the digital foundation is often already in place. Companies that work with Office365 can let their employees work centrally in the cloud with Windows Virtual Desktop. A workspace management solution such as Liquit Workspace can be added, providing employees with an easy-to-use interface and providing IT with one easy-to-use environment where applications, both legacy and cloud-based, can be added, managed and updated centrally. This way, users don’t experience connectivity issues that could occur with a VPN (as the local computing power of their own device is deployed) while they can access all the required applications. Moreover, this solution is very cost effective, because connecting new users is pay-per-use on a subscription basis. Companies temporarily pay more when connecting more employees, while they can just as easily get this number down when most of the employees are back in the office.
What I’d like to say to these companies is that they don’t have to go at it alone. Normally, when implementing a homeworking solution, you can take all the time you need to compare solutions and compare pros and cons. Right now, it may feel like you must decide on the spot. That can be challenging. By contacting a supplier and/or partner, you can get a quick debrief on what might be the best solution for you. Our experts are eager to think about your case, diving into your IT architecture and checking what’s possible. They then come up with a solution that seamlessly meets your short and long-term needs.
The biggest issue (will my employees be as efficient at home as they are in the office) has already been removed because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Now that the technical and financial aspects no longer seem to be an obstacle, I would like to say to all companies: what are you waiting for? Keep employees safe and healthy by giving them the opportunities at home that they would otherwise have at the office, and make sure that your organization will get through these rough times.
Want to know more about working from home with WVD and Liquit? Check out https://www.liquit.com/wvd/
A version of this blog was published earlier on www.computable.nl