Remote work’s here to stay. IT, VARs and MSPs need the right tools to effectively support and secure user devices in this new workplace reality.
Businesses are adapting to a new workplace reality – one where some employees are working from home and others are in the office. If that weren’t challenging enough, on-site customer meetings are returning so we now have people working in even more places, all needing IT support.
While IT managers and operations adapted well to the rapid shift to remote work when the pandemic hit, we’re all realizing a full-time, return to the office isn’t in the cards.
By all accounts, hybrid working is here to stay. According to the Future of Work 2021 Report, business expect that 58% of their remote workforce will be fully remote in five years. The BDC reports 74% of Canadian entrepreneurs plan to keep offering their employees the ability to work remotely after it is safe to return to the office.
Tools for the New Reality
We need to ensure the teams we support have the right tools to remain productive, and we need to help ensure our teams can keep them supported and secure no matter where they are working.
In this new reality, there are some important considerations for IT staff, VARS and integrators.
- Mobile Made Better
Now more than ever, workers aren’t tied to one location. The need for a mobile performance has never been greater. As employees move from home offices to customer sites to the office, finding a place to plug in or waiting for a computer boot up so they can start a presentation can be annoying.
Longer battery life, faster recharge, and rapid wake up can reduce device frustration, which will make our employees happier and more productive. Laptops designed with the Intel® EvoTM vPro® platform combine these features with category-leading performance on business productivity apps. These devices are Stylish, thin and light, delivering remarkable responsiveness, instant wake and long real-world battery life.
- Make Collaboration Easy
Video conferencing and online meetings will remain an important way for workers to connect and collaborate.
Decisions about the devices remote workers need to include technology that makes collaboration through cloud applications and video conferencing smooth and easy.
Look for Intel® Wi-Fi 6/6E (Gig+) for faster speeds¹, and lower latency than standard Wi-Fi 5 products², which when coupled with other technologies included in the Intel vPro platform like advanced graphics, high performance and AI acceleration help improve the experience. For video calls, Intel vPro platform devices with built-in AV1 Codec provide highest level video encoding at half the bandwidth, which can help to reduce video conferencing fatigue and a more natural collaboration experience. And don’t ignore the importance of displays.
- Remote Repair Woes
One of the biggest challenges facing IT, VARs and integrators now tasked with supporting a permanent hybrid workplace is providing support and updates when you can’t get your hands physically on a device. That challenge escalates when a computer won’t boot. Having workers ship their PCs back for work isn’t an option and would have a major impact on productivity.
One of the advantages built into the Intel vPro platform is its remote management capabilities. As long a there’s a working internet connection, IT can conduct testing, troubleshoot issues and monitor a device even when the operating system isn’t working.
- Get Proactive on Threat Protection
Cybersecurity threats increased during the pandemic and while managing security inside a firewall is challenging enough, the risks are heightened in a hybrid workplace.
2021 had the highest average data breach cost in 17 years. according to IBM’s 2021 Cost of a Data Breach Report. Where remote work was cited as a factor, the cost of the breach was $1.07 million USD higher.
The average total cost of a data breach in Canada increased from $4.5 million (USD) in 2020 to $5.4 million (USD) in 2021.
Security software is just one piece of the puzzle. For added defense, look for devices with hardware-based security features. Intel® Hardware Shield adds protection to every layer of the computing stack with three groups of security capabilities:
- Advanced Threat Protection,
- Below-the-OS Security, and
- Application and Data Protection.
Security in the new hybrid world is especially difficult. To help partners keep pace with the technologies and security solutions that can help protect company data, Intel Partner Alliance and Intel Partner University has skills and training programs to support our partners. There are also specialized training paths called competencies to build deeper expertise in more than 10 topic areas including the Intel vPro Platform.
Powering up Hybrid Work
There can be no doubt that these are challenging times for IT and the organizations that support businesses faced with adapting to a future where the hybrid workplace is the norm. We’ve compiled the top questions IT have about managing remote work in this article to help you find answers you need, and details about new features that can help you in this tricky environment.
Selecting the right tools for remote and hybrid workers will help boost their productivity and device satisfaction, but the right devices can also help IT manage their hybrid environment.
¹ Based on IEEE 802.11ax specification legacy 5 GHz vs. new 6 GHz Wi-Fi spectrum. With more large channels in 6 GHz, technology advantages of Wi-Fi 6E networks enable higher maximum theoretical PC client speeds vs. 5 GHz Wi-Fi 5.
² Based on IEEE 802.11ax specification Intel Engineering simulation. 160 MHz channels and Wi-Fi 6/6E technology advantages related to network managed traffic enable lower latencies, more efficient operation, and higher reliability vs. random contention-based traffic of standard Wi-Fi 5 networks. For more information visit www.Intel.com/PerformanceIndex > Connectivity > Wireless.
Intel does not control or audit third-party data. You should consult other sources to evaluate accuracy.
Performance varies by use, configuration and other factors. Learn more at www.Intel.com/PerformanceIndex. No product or component can be absolutely secure. Your costs and results may vary. Intel technologies may require enabled hardware, software or service activation. © Intel Corporation. Intel, the Intel logo, and other Intel marks are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.