Organizations operating today balance flexibility and time-to-market. They’re managing cyberattacks, COVID-19 shutdowns, and other threats to a business’s ability to function. Managing these issues and moving forward in a digital world requires a responsive and iterative infrastructure.
Businesses require hybrid work models offering the flexibility of home or the office. Making this happen seamlessly requires the right technology and resources in place to enable people to do their jobs regardless of their location or access device. There’s a need for a new model for business infrastructure, where digital tools, security tech, and connectivity all come together. Realizing this new modern infrastructure involves a host of strategies, including a more secure virtual desktop, hybrid clouds, and more available business applications.
Leverage Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
To manage security concerns for remote workers, many firms offer virtual desktop infrastructure, or VDI. With VDI, companies can offer virtual desktop PC environments. These are hosted on a server, and users can then access virtual desktop images that are running a central server. All the virtual machines are host based and managed through a virtual machine monitor which establish and run the various VMs running on the VDI.
It’s an efficient way to give organizations the workforce flexibility they and their workers need along with enhanced security. VDI centralizes the infrastructure, so information is never flowing outside of the data center where it stays under strict monitoring. If the device is compromised, the data is not at risk. It eliminates a core concern about virtual desktop usage, where employees open them on unsecured devices that aren’t under corporate control.
For firms handling large remote workforces, VDI’s are purpose built for scale. It reduces capital costs because there’s less hardware required, and the company does not need to provide laptops for the employee’s home usage. There’s also inexpensive deployment for firms that have server architectures in place, and there’s long-term cost benefits for firms that need a bigger initial investment.
VDI simplifies remote working, by allowing access through any device and location for maximum flexibility for today’s global teams. This boosts productivity and VDI’s reliability removes downtime issues, so workers can gain access with confidence. The centralized control means IT and management can provide seasonal workers, consultants, and other vendors with access without exposing the company’s data.
Use Containers for Applications
Remote workers utilize network resources throughout the day and night. With global teams and flexible hours, some staff need application access at midnight on a Saturday. Supporting this requires firms to transform their legacy applications so they function with a remote mobile device-based workforce. Pick some of the company’s applications accessed through mobile and introduce a container architecture, where code and dependencies come together, so IT can shift an application to a different server without needing any adjustments. This removes downtime caused by server maintenance because the application moves to another server, so there’s little to no downtime and reduced infrastructure costs.
These containerized applications also offer enhanced security, since they’re running as their own processes, independent of others. With this structure, a threat would not reach the centralized host system, giving IT more time and opportunity to remedy the situation. It improves application availability to enable productivity and reduces the costs of a potential breach.
Bring in a Qualified Vendor for Hybrid Cloud’s Capabilities
Developing a hybrid cloud strategy is an ideal way to add agility to an organization. It provides flexibility and security for remote workforces. Firms using this model can support both distributed and remote employees with instant data access that is not coming through a single central location. The firm can shift sensitive data to on-premises secure servers as it moves apps and various employee and partner-focused services to a public cloud. IT and senior leadership leveraging hybrid clouds also hedge against spikes in demand because they can simply pay for more cloud resources, instead of worrying about massive capital costs with growing their infrastructure.
Consider shifting applications to public clouds within a hybrid model to reduce latency. If some of the remote workforce lives within a narrow area, then pick cloud services close by for the optimal performance. Encourage IT to look at the most often used applications and those that receive more complaints and a poor user experience due to connectivity issues. Another tactic is using edge caching to reduce latency. Talk to IT about caching some content on your internal servers, such as static information like profile data or product documentation.
Leveraging a third-party firm for hybrid cloud implementation gives companies a guided hand and outside perspective. The best partners will utilize a DevOps-down approach that includes discussions with the development and application departments. They’ll propose cloud strategies that align with the client’s change management initiatives, operations, complementary technology choices, and conceptual architecture. It’s part of a new way of looking at business infrastructure that optimizes security, connectivity, and growth.
Written by Michael Norring.
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