In this age of digital transformation, cloud, and automation; has the human workforce’s relevancy diminished?
The answer is absolutely no, now more than ever the human workforce is a vital and critical component to the success of organizations.

Currently, concerns over the global pandemic are wreaking havoc on the global economy, and governments mandating social distancing and non-critical business closures has only emphasized the critical role of the human workforce in our organizations.

Sitting atop all of our technology layers, we find our organizations creativity, innovation, communication, and leadership represented in that human workforce. The current pandemic has unveiled the shortcomings and some of the issues in many business continuity approaches and the remote digital workforce. Leaders all around the world are struggling to regain access to the DNA of their organizations, their Human Workforce!

Native12’s Innovation Center is committed to creating impactful solutions that help our customers fulfill their digital workforce needs for remote, road warriors, and office staff. When you view all three as the same, just variations of “how” we consume the IT systems, then your focus shifts towards the “employee experience” and unifying it across all connectivity mediums.

Why have our existing remote workforce deployments failed to scale as needed during this pandemic?

Most disaster recovery and business continuity discussions, plans, processes, and procedures center around an short lived event. At the heart of these methodologies is the basic concept, something happened so we implement DR.

Exact narrative varies, but usually go like this: a) event occurs, b) implement DR procedures, c) event ends, d) fail-back or establish a new secondary site. These plans typically include immediate remote access for employee’s critical to the DR effort and possibly a shared office space contract for non-technical employees.

The sudden closure of non-essential businesses throughout much of the world has revealed a nefarious wrinkle for most organizations. Despite planning for placing your human capital in a suitable work environment post disaster, it’s hard now that an unforeseeable national shutdown has made much of this aspect of our planning unobtainable.

The humble truth is most organizations find themselves in a disaster recovery situation without a defined and tested mitigation to the government mandated operational changes we face today. Overnight, 100% work from home business operations are no longer optional, and are a requirement for many organizations to remain open, and for other organizations lives literally depend on it.

Do you expand your existing remote access technologies (VPNs and the like), do you deploy a cloud based virtual desktop solution, or Desktop as a Service, do you expand your cloud file share, the options are virtually limitless and some of the solutions in the market today are unbelievably easy to setup.

What is the right choice for your organization?

As we mentioned earlier, the creativity and innovation of the human workforce relies on access to the technology stack provided by the company. Inevitably when shifts like this occur, operational issues follow. The reality for most enterprise organizations is that their systems and architectures are extremely tightly integrated, creating an ecosystem that is tightly reliant on the sum of its components, making a change to one requires an impact assessment and probably assessments of these changes affecting other components.

An example of this that we witnessed a seemingly innocuous change, deploying a new network for the customer service team to utilize for new work from home VDI systems, broke one of our customers most critical call center applications. The cross discipline nature of the system contributed significantly to the outage duration, as a review of multiple systems was needed, but the answer to the problem was very simple. The application required a header rewrite that a network device performed in order to operate correctly. Simple, but overlooked by the teams attempting to cope on the fly with the chaos caused by the current pandemic.

The Remote Digital Workforce solution space is filled with great options. The right solution for your organization is going to be the one that integrates with your existing network, firewall configurations, traffic engineering policies, Application Access Policies, enforces your policies, and follows your enterprise operating standards and compliance requirements.

The Digital Workforce Experience

There are multiple areas of complications that arise when creating a remote workforce solution. The key is creating a “Digital Workforce Experience”.  What we mean by that, is that the workers experience interacting with the information systems required to fulfill their job duties, is consistent regardless of where they physically are, or what type of device they use to access these systems with.

In creating these consistent user experiences, we must consider all aspects of the user’s “journey” when consuming an application or software system and creating the value for the business.

The complications we see occur frequently relate to every aspect of the system journey. Starting at the network infrastructure all the way up the IT stack to the application microservices and communication between the various services that comprise an application.

Network constraints appear as organizations begin to saturate their existing ISP circuits with additional remote work activities.

Application delivery and security challenges come next, how to deliver and publish the required applications? How do you publish your internal only applications to a remote workforce securely?

Files are at the center of everything we do, we need fast, secure, and flexible access to these files. How are your users connecting to their files, if we’re deploying a Desktop as a Service solution, how is it enabling that file access?

The Native12 Team is here to help!

The Native12 Innovation Center has formulated a multi-phased approach to building a unified user experience for our customers and created strategic partnerships with innovating leaders in the high tech industry that provide the tools required for building these systems.

This approach enables us to define the various user journeys for each application and business requirements and build out those systems and integrations needed to provide a consistent unified experience.

Through a series of blogs we will be publishing the upcoming weeks, we will review each phase of our approach.

Native12 Innovation Center,
Trey Phillips, Director of Continuous Infrastructure

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