Businesses across all industries have rapidly adapted their processes and network infrastructure in various ways over the past few years as they’ve adapted to new ways of working. For many, this includes embracing hybrid and remote working environments more than ever, as the number of Australians reportedly working remotely has grown from eight per cent to 40 per cent in less than two years [1] and almost half of the New Zealand workforce now having a choice about working from home [2].  

However, the growing adoption of work from anywhere has complicated the role of IT service support in the workplace, making it more difficult for IT administrators to maintain disparate infrastructure and deliver seamless support to an increasingly geographically diverse workforce. This creates significant risk for organisations, especially if they fail to adapt to overcome the challenges to deliver effective levels of support to workers.

Workplaces across Australia and New Zealand are increasingly adopting the ‘work from anywhere’ model to bring more flexibility and agility to workforces. However, this creates an ever-expanding, ecosystem of assorted devices that needs to be carefully managed by IT administrators, as increasing numbers of legacy devices and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) solutions are continually added to the network. Organisations must establish effective ways of working with their IT teams to deliver seamless service support to all employees, regardless of location.

To establish a successful remote work service support model, there are four challenges that organisations must overcome.

  1. Complexity: The growing number of connected devices in a hybrid and work-from-anywhere environment introduces significant challenges for businesses. Many disparate devices, systems, and solutions need to be carefully managed to ensure seamless delivery without compromising on security or efficacy.  
  2. Scalability: Scalability is essential for organisations, particularly if their operational footprint continues to expand with the adoption of remote and hybrid working styles, that empowers employees to work wherever they have a Wi-Fi connection. Part of this means that core processes must also be able to scale and flex alongside the company, including IT operations.  
  3. Agility: Remote or hybrid working provides great flexibility for employees; however, it can create new, unforeseen challenges for workers when IT challenges arise, and they can no longer receive physical support from team members onsite. Without this immediate access to IT staff, workers can experience delays in receiving essential support for their devices and applications, which results in productivity and effectivity losses down the line.
  4. Security: One of the biggest challenges organisations face is the need to secure their operations against ever evolving cyberthreats. As operational networks continue to expand with the adoption of hybrid work environments and new devices join the network, the potential attack surface expands alongside it. This leaves organisations exposed and at risk of new and as-yet-unidentified vulnerabilities being exploited, especially as the frequency and sophistication of attacks continues to evolve.  

To mitigate these risks and better prepare operations for a future world of work where employees can access systems from any device, at any time, from anywhere, organisations need to invest in solutions that empower their IT service teams to deliver seamless support. To achieve this, businesses should consider solutions that let them centralise service support and maintain devices and network infrastructure.

Solutions that let IT teams mass deploy system and device updates or to access, troubleshoot, and fix systems and devices remotely can go a long way towards improving the service support delivery for an anywhere workforce. A carefully integrated, centralised approach will also empower IT teams to centrally provision and deactivate user accounts. It will also deliver the scalability needed to help IT teams automatically enforce security policies globally.

As the world of work evolves, the delivery of IT service support needs to change with it to ensure business continuity. To achieve this, organisations must address the key issues of complexity, scalability, agility, and security across their operations. However, this can be a daunting task for organisations, and especially those with under resourced IT teams, as Australia’s cyber skills gap threatens to still be 3,000 workers short by 2026 [3] and ICT specialists continue to appear on New Zealand’s skills shortage list [4].  

The growing skills and talent shortage across industries further complicates the issues many businesses face and threatens to create vast knowledge gaps and vulnerabilities in under resourced IT teams. Partnering with a service provider that delivers essential service support can help under resourced teams to deliver the appropriate level of support to their organisation that they need to, without compromising on security or agility.

Emad Afghani is vice president of sales for TeamViewer ANZ.