COVID-19 Response: Top 6 tips to set up remote access by yesterday

Remote Working

COVID-19 Response: Top 6 tips to set up remote access by yesterday

COVID-19 has resulted in the largest and most rapid adoption of teleworking in history.

This unprecedented shift in workforce enablement has exposed major deficiencies in business continuity plans across numerous vectors. For example, remote access capabilities are nowhere near as resilient or robust as previously thought – having been exposed by the rapid volume of teleworking en masse.

Such deficiencies have amplified challenges in business serviceability, employee productivity and experience, security and compliance, and brand reputation. The opportunity to act quickly and cost-effectively to address such critical shortcomings is attainable today – start by factoring the 6 short tips below to effectively and rapidly service work-from-home operations.

Here’s our top 6 tips for immediately migrating your workforce online to work from home.

1. Conduct an audit of all end-users
Helping staff get immediate access to what they need during the current health crisis demands a methodical approach. Conduct a detailed audit of all staff roles and duties, and how they’re connected to each other.

Finance, sales, marketing, HR etc all have different requirements and need access to specific applications and data sets. Which company functions have priority over others and therefore should be provisioned first? Are there specific projects and objectives that need to be supported first?

2. Consider your options for managing critical applications
These are extraordinary circumstances but you want to ensure you don’t break something while trying to fix this problem. Nor do you want to fundamentally change how things operate.

One question you need to ask yourself is whether it’s viable to host your applications in the cloud and migrate them? Also, can I safely make changes in my firewall rules to allow people to access systems and information remotely?

3. Minimise disruption
The key to getting your staff up and working from home quickly and easily is ensuring you choose a system that won’t present integration or compatibility issues within your specific technology environment.

Ultimately you want a full turnkey solution that is easy to deploy while creating the least amount of disruption. Try to minimise the impact of the transition, which means avoid re-architecting your WAN / applications. In particular, ensure you choose a standards based solution that supports the operating systems used in your environment, as opposed to some vendor’s proprietary platform.

4. Choose a great network
In these times with network traffic at all-time highs and rising exponentially, you need to ensure that whatever remote access you choose connects you to a fast, reliable, flexible and secure network. Don’t just assume all communications providers are using the same or similar technologies and routes. Some have ownership and therefore complete control over their own infrastructure, while others are reliant on different operators and have very little visibility or control.

5. Carefully consider costs and contracts
It’s important during times of emergency not to make rash decisions that you might regret later.  In particular be sure not to get locked into long-term contracts in the rush to provision remote access for your staff. Ideally, you should steer towards arrangements that are renewed month-to-month that you easily terminate once things change.

Also, when it comes to cost don’t be drawn into buying solutions that might be conspicuously cheap. Chances are you might not have the expertise to successfully roll-out something off the shelf.

6. Ensure your solution is properly supported
Be careful to choose a provider that offers local 24/7 support. With something so critical and sensitive like VPNs, if there’s a problem you want to be able to quickly get hold of local support specialists in your time zone; people who understand your business, local market and the specific realities you’re trying to deal with.

Superloop is one of Australia’s youngest and most progressive providers of modern communications services. We currently offering a pfSense Managed Firewall to Superloop Managed IP WAN customers who are looking to allow more of their users to work from home in the face of increasing social distancing requirements. If you’re looking to provision remote access ‘yesterday’ for your workers, get in touch with one of our engineers for more information today.