The technology to help businesses deliver a secure and productive experience for employees as they work from home has been around for years. Businesses have implemented virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) to enable remote employees, but the technology has never broken through a relatively small percentage of the employee base or been used outside of specific use cases. ESG has spoken with numerous companies that invested in VDI or DaaS to help address local business continuity, but now companies are finding themselves having to maintain business continuity globally. Something they have not likely planned for.
I am seeing companies find themselves in one of these four situations:
- Those organizations that didn’t have a policy or technical support. They are starting from scratch in all areas and need to scale up quickly.
- Those that had policy/technology on a limited scale and not very mature. They need to mature current processes/technologies and then scale them.
- Those that had policy/technology on a limited basis (e.g., local business continuity) but good deal of maturity. They need to scale.
- Those that had policy/technology on an extensive basis. Maturity level can still vary but this is where they have to double down.
Each of these situations requires a different approach and level of investment. Unfortunately, companies that had to rush work from home (WFH) enablement took shortcuts that have left company information exposed and have raised a slew of security concerns.
The technology works. VDI and DaaS are proven and trusted technologies that can deliver an entire desktop operating system, applications, and data to an employee working from home. The security threat is greatly reduced since the user workspace is hosted in a data center or with a cloud service provider and projected to the user. I have been pushing the limits of this technology and can validate that I am a productive work from home employee that accesses a Windows 10 desktop that is hosted with a cloud provider, and I use a smartphone with an external keyboard, mouse, and monitor as my primary device. The technology works and can enable rapid scale for businesses without compromising security.
Nobody plans for an event like COVID-19. But we have the technology that can support the massive shift to WFH. The question now remains: Once we all work through these times, how will companies leverage the WFH experience to create new opportunities and empower their workforce?