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IT Infrastructure Support Challenges in the Age of Hybrid Workplace

IT Infrastructure Support Challenges

 

Combining new technologies and the rise of a hybrid workforce have created several IT infrastructure support challenges for enterprises. IT leaders need to consider a wide range of technology solutions. This includes enterprise solutions for connectivity and collaboration.

Data-center infrastructure evolves quickly as enterprises embrace new technology innovations such as cloud computing, mobility, and mobile applications. Enterprises are also facing new challenges as they move toward a hybrid workforce with remote employees who work remotely from home offices or other locations. This trend has pushed organizations toward adopting more agile work processes that encourage collaboration among employees regardless of location. In addition, companies are adopting flexible work policies that allow employees to choose when they work best. Even if that means working from home during the evening or on weekends.

Unified Communications Systems

UC systems are becoming more prevalent in organizations as they seek to improve the user experience. UC applications allow users to access information from any device at any time. According to Forrester Research, this technology is one of the fastest-growing segments in the enterprise software sector, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6 percent between 2016 and 2021.

The demand for UC services is driven by several factors: companies’ desire to lower costs by merging many disparate systems into one platform; increasing workforce mobility; improving productivity through better collaboration among employees who work remotely; helping employees perform their jobs more efficiently, and providing better customer service.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is one of the most common ways for companies to offer a hybrid workforce. VDI allows employees to access their desktop environments via a remote connection over the Internet.

VDI costs more than traditional computing because it requires additional hardware and software licenses on-premises and in the cloud. You also need a high-speed network connection between your data center and branch offices or teleworkers’ homes.

Since all processing takes place in a central location, you have one spot for hackers to attack — making it easier for them to penetrate your entire system and compromise multiple systems. That’s why you need strong security policies to protect data from unauthorized access or theft while it’s being transmitted over public networks.

Cloud-based Infrastructure

Cloud Based Infrastructure

Cloud-based architectures can deliver the flexibility and agility that are needed to support a hybrid workforce. This includes supporting diverse application environments, with workloads running on-premises, in the cloud, or partly in each location. In addition, cloud-based infrastructure can provide elasticity and scalability to meet changing demands.

Cloud computing and virtualization have made it easy for companies to provide employees with remote access to their organization’s network. But this rapid increase in cloud-based applications can complicate the IT infrastructure and security. Particularly if there is a lack of integration between on-premises, cloud, and mobile environments

AI and ML

 

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning configurations are required for hybrid workers. The applications of AI and ML in IT include anomaly detection and predictive maintenance; alerting or notifying IT operations staff of an impending outage; predicting network traffic patterns; finding unstructured data to use in building new models; making informed decisions about the time to migrate an application to another platform; analyzing the risk of an application or business process; suggesting possible ways to mitigate that risk; creating a bot or automation scripts used by IT operations staff to perform routine tasks

The IT Challenges of Hybrid

The IT Challenges

The shifting of IT infrastructure across hybrid environments like on-premises and public and private clouds creates more complexities.

These infrastructure complexities can result in fragmented support, putting a lot of pressure on IT’s ability to monitor and support users. As if that weren’t enough, the increased adoption of SaaS apps has created additional challenges for IT admins who have no visibility or control over these applications.

According to Gartner, most organizations are not equipped to deal with this new wave of IT support challenges.

While your organization may have a well-established hybrid cloud strategy, the shift to remote work has introduced an additional IT infrastructure support challenge. Gartner estimates that 70% of organizations will have a hybrid workplace strategy by 2024.

Challenge #1: Managing security across multiple cloud environments.

Cyber Security Protection Firewall Interface Concept

A hybrid workplace brings heightened security challenges. Data is more valuable than ever, and data security is an increasing challenge for businesses. In the age of remote working, your business relies on the public cloud to provide the infrastructure required to support a hybrid workplace.

However, getting the best of both worlds has its price. The hybrid cloud environment brings unique challenges concerning protecting your systems and data. Maintaining consistent security across cloud platforms can be difficult as each platform has its own unique approach to managing permissions and protection mechanisms. Add in shared responsibility models, and keeping track of multiple accounts, logins and services becomes even more complex.

Challenge #2: Supporting remote workers successfully
Supporting remote workers is another challenge for hybrid IT teams, which need the right tools and skillsets to support various devices and user needs. The IT infrastructure also needs to be upgraded to handle the new normal of remote work.

Companies must provide IT support teams with the proper resources to align themselves with business goals while simultaneously training them to handle all the new challenges of a remote workforce. If you’re looking for more strategies, check out these 6 tips for building an IT team that can thrive in a hybrid workplace environment.

Challenge # 3: Ensuring business continuity despite changes in the work environment
Ensuring business continuity despite any change in the work environment is one of the biggest IT support challenges businesses face today. With the pandemic forcing many businesses to adopt remote working, maintaining business continuity has become more difficult.

Businesses need to ensure that their employees can seamlessly log into their applications and services from anywhere, at any time. This requires a combination of tools like firewalls, VPNs, endpoint management software, Wi-Fi, and cellular routers to ensure that users have access to company resources from outside your office network. In addition, you will also need a threat response plan to respond quickly if hackers target your organization.

Additionally, organizations must also have an effective disaster recovery (DR) strategy for recovering data and restoring applications quickly in case of a disaster or security breach. A proper DR strategy will help you define how you will recover files and data if they are lost due to an outage or cyber-attack by hackers.

Lastly, businesses should regularly test their DR plan as it’s critical for ensuring business continuity during unexpected events such as natural disasters or a cyber-attack by hackers.

Challenge #4: Maintaining compliance with data governance policies.

As more and more applications and data are moving to the cloud, it’s becoming difficult for organizations to comply with data governance policies. Multiple cloud environments now exist in most organizations, as do telecom connections.

Data protection and privacy issues have always been a concern for companies, but now that hybrid workforces are the norm, there’s even less control over where data is stored and accessed. With so much data residing in so many different locations, it’s become even more important for companies to ensure their infrastructure is prepared for future business growth.
While understanding the importance of managing all this information may seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be.

By taking a deep dive into your IT infrastructure and what you’re currently using, and how it can be improved, you can take steps toward implementing an efficient plan that allows your organization to maintain compliance with data governance standards while keeping costs down.
Nowadays, there’s no excuse not to focus on improving our operations by making informed decisions based on real-time analytics reports generated directly from our systems. We simply need to access these tools without worrying about breaching regulations!

There Is An Urgent Need to Investing in Robust Systems and Support

As traditional IT tools fail to support hybrid infrastructures, there is an urgent need to invest in robust systems and IT support to deliver business value simultaneously.

Hybrid changes—which are nothing short of seismic—require a new infrastructure management system and support that is powerful enough to assure service quality in complex, hybrid landscapes proactively. This kind of system must deliver business value at the same time.

Find the right remote IT infrastructure support.

New Network Infrastructure Deployment

Remote IT infrastructure support is now central to enabling organizations to deliver a service-centric experience to their employees and empower them to become productive from anywhere.

The right partner will allow your teams to respond faster to issues, saving time and effort while lowering the cost of ownership. It also enables organizations to be proactive in resolving issues before they impact end-users or business operations.

Risk-based support for a Hybrid Workforce

Hybrid workforces are all about collaboration and productivity. They need to be able to access information from anywhere, on-premise, or remotely.

This is where robust support is needed for your risk management framework. It needs to ensure data security in a hybrid workplace environment while ensuring business continuity and IT infrastructure support irrespective of the type of workforce – full-time or contract workers – or their location (onsite or remote).

Monitoring hybrid infrastructure

Monitoring Hybrid Work

The complexity of monitoring a hybrid infrastructure means that IT professionals log into multiple systems, use different dashboards, and look at different metrics to get an overall view of their environment. This is time-consuming and can lead to missed issues or blind spots in critical areas of the network.

To provide an optimal level of support for the hybrid workplace, IT teams need a solution that brings together performance data from all segments of the network in one unified dashboard. This includes physical and virtual servers, storage arrays, applications running on those servers, and more.

Enhancing data security in the hybrid workplace

Whether your organization is adopting the hybrid workplace model, you need to ensure that strong security practices are in place to protect your data. While some enterprises have been quick to adapt their policies and processes, others may be struggling to manage access control and data security for remote workers.

A lack of knowledge about IT infrastructure support and insufficient budgets can lead to hazardous practices that compromise an enterprise’s security posture.
When securing remote connections, organizations should consider using a zero-trust network access platform like Pulse Secure Zero Trust Access (ZTA). This solution allows customers to confidently deliver convenient yet secure digital workspace experiences from any device and any location.

Security awareness training

To promote a healthy security culture within your organization, all users must utilize common sense whenever accessing company data.

They must understand secure password management practices. In addition, they must know what type of content is appropriate for sharing over email or instant messaging platforms.

Most importantly, they should always keep business devices separate from personal ones. This makes sensitive information inaccessible for malicious purposes.

Why is white label onsite IT support so critical?

Troubleshooting remote workers: With people working from home, their local IT support often makes it impossible to fix issues. These employees could be located across town, the country, or even across the globe hence the need for white labeling to cut costs and improve service delivery.

1. Troubleshooting on-premises workers. On-premises workers still require assistance from time to time, and they need it quickly and reliably.
2. Monitoring network activity. After-hours monitoring is an essential component of any managed services solution. This pertains to networks being monitored and analyzed around the clock.
3. Service desk support. This plays an important role in handling tickets, assigning work to technicians out in the field, and managing those activities.
4. Remote device management. Another crucial aspect of managed services solutions is remote device management (RDM). RDM allows technicians to remotely manage devices—including PCs, notebooks, smartphones, tablets, printers, and more—without physical access.

The hybrid workforce is here to stay.

The Hybrid Workforce

Many companies see this as an opportunity to transform their IT department. It is also an opportunity to improve processes to continue delivering business value, increase productivity and reduce costs. Yet, the full scope of what enables a hybrid workforce is still unknown to many organizations. Organizations should consider adopting new technologies that can automate, orchestrate, and monitor hybrid workers’ wide variety of configurations.

These, along with new security services designed to protect all forms of applications and data, allow functionality. Automation across your IT infrastructure is an example. This allows you to create self-service capabilities such as instant resource provision for employees.
Orchestration tools help improve collaboration among your distributed teams by enabling them to securely share data in an automated manner. Monitoring tools can help keep tabs on everything from performance to security, so you know what’s happening at all times.

Understanding how a comprehensive IT support modernization strategy helps you meet business goals while laying the foundation for future success. Today, many businesses are struggling to make this shift. This is due to the complexities of connecting disparate technologies across multiple locations, cloud deployments, and security policies. But, a trusted IT partner can help streamline this process by providing a centralized point of management and guidance. We offer our clients a holistic approach that addresses IT needs while taking the guesswork out of managing your infrastructure.

 

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