Supporting Your Remote Workforce with the Cloud

Working remotely isn’t a new concept, even if it’s been the word on everyone’s lips for the past year. While only a third of people in the United States were remote workers prior to March 2020, the number has dramatically increased since the pandemic. The overnight move to support a massive workforce overnight threw many companies for a loop, especially IT departments.

Whether looking to support a relatively lean team of remote employees or undertake a large move a cloud solution can bear the weight and scale to support the needs of the migration. There are many additional benefits that enterprises, regardless of industry, are finding when using the cloud to support their remote workforce.

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Cloud + Work from Anywhere

It’s difficult to recreate the feeling of working in an office for those who are accustomed to it. No longer can you chat with a neighbor at a nearby desk or hang around the company kitchen checking for new snacks. Collaborating with your team and reimagining the feel of being “together” is one of the places where the cloud truly shines.

Cloud-based collaboration has been keeping businesses moving (this past year especially). Collaborative applications like Zoom and Slack are critical to many of our workdays, but it’s more than that for an IT team. Proper infrastructure capacity planning and management is key to keep these business-critical applications up-and-running 24/7. Enabling the business with the agility to deploy and expand such applications on-demand the business can truly accelerate as well.

Benefits of Cloud Computing for Remote Work

Cloud computing can make that shift easier for current and future remote workers. This in one part is due the ease of scalability, flexibility, and low up-front costs. These are a few of the core benefits of utilizing the cloud, whether it’s a hybrid model, private, or public. Be sure to have your NetOps or IT team lead this challenge as this will add an additional layer of complexity to an already complex infrastructure. Regardless of difficulty, they will love the benefits they get in return from cloud computing such as:

  1. Scalability – One of the massive benefits of the cloud is that it’s easily scalable. Without needing access to a physical location, such as a server room or datacenter, an administrator can quickly increase space to accommodate additional remote workers. The cloud scales with you, without the equipment, whichever direction you’re going in size.
  2. Accessibility – Workers can have seamless information wherever they are and on whatever device they prefer (with an internet connection). Administrators are able to grant access and permission requirements to specific groups or individuals to control data throughout the organization.
  3. Reduced Cost – On-premises servers and hardware can be incredibly costly to purchase and maintain. Since the cloud is scalable, you only pay for what you use, this also allows for an opportunity to optimize hardware needs.
  4. Enhanced Security – The cloud was designed with cybersecurity in mind. The cloud operates on a shared responsibility model which means that there is an overall guarantee of safety, while allowing users to enact their own security measures. Public cloud platforms, such as AWS and Azure, allow users to designate security measures such as user permissions, to prevent cyber threats.

Additionally, the cloud can support the team by increasing productivity, agility, and collaboration. Promote productivity by empowering the employee with data to make the right decisions without lengthy meetings. Employees can collaborate in real-time with live documents and spreadsheets and view historical changes to documents with clear time stamps.

Tips to Enable Remote Workers

Moving to a cloud-enabled environment requires a fundamental change in your IT department. A thorough roadmap, budget, and well-trained team must lead this change in order to ensure success. Whether you’re shifting to the cloud to support the remote employees or looking to optimize your current setup, we’ve gathered some best practices to aid along the way:

  • Validate back-ups, redundancy, and continuity plans.
  • Ensure bandwidth capacities – and consider upping it.
  • Implement two-factor authentication (this can be done through mobile devices, smart cards, keys, etc.)
  • Confirm that employees have access to any and all cloud-based applications, desktops, etc. without going through the company network.
  • Provide clear documentation of technologies, processes, and instructions. Thorough (and visual) guides reduce endless calls to the IT team.
  • If using a VPN, ensure that all users have access and that you have the necessary amount of licenses.

Remote Workforce and Beyond

Cloud technologies has been essential to many enterprises during the pandemic as they found the majority of their employees working remotely. Considering that, according to a recent Hubspot survey, 99% of people would choose to work remotely, at least part of the time, for the rest of their careers, that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. As we move forward, technology leaders will be looking to do more with the cloud, outside of supporting their current remote workforce.

The future of how we work is here, is your enterprise ready? Ready to get ahead of the competition with cloud computing? LiveNX provides unmatched visibility into the cloud and if you’re ready to get behind the wheel, request a demo to see how it can innovate your network.