3 Ways Remote Workers Are Changing Technology

By | Small Business

The way people work is changing more rapidly than perhaps any other time in history. Shared workspaces, cloud technology and collaborative web applications have enabled an increasing number of employees to work remotely. Likewise, a different view of the workplace is propelling even greater transformation of technology.

According to a Regus survey completed earlier this year, 84 percent of workers said they used at least one tool to enable remote working in the past month. Moreover, 85 percent of respondent believe it is the remote worker who is driving the need of cloud-based technologies to provide them with cost-effective access to essential enterprise tools from anywhere at any time.

Work is no longer a place to go from 9-to-5 and globally flexible work environments are being embraced. Sixty-six percent of workers reported telecommuting is positively viewed within their organization, a PGi study reported.

The relationship between technology and the workforce is stronger than ever. Let’s look at some examples where remote workers are demanding more of technology.

Anytime, anywhere, any device access

It’s the cornerstone of remote work – the ability to get work done from anywhere (a home office, coffee shop or the beach) and at any time. Cloud-based technologies have enabled information to be shared and available across multiple devices. Mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) are more powerful with each passing year. From investing in collaborative tools and applications, enterprises need to respond to these trends by giving their employees the tools they need to do their job well.

It’s about more than tools, though, it’s essential to have the right infrastructure that supports a flexible workplace. Traditional network structures were not designed to support a workforce accessing information from diverse global locations and on different devices.

For example, a hardware-based WAN was not intended to be used for relaying the data-rich Web 2.0 tools used in today’s workplace to varied locations. That’s where cloud-based acceleration solutions (i.e. application delivery networks) come in.  They provide a more flexible infrastructure that aligns with how people work today.

Cloud-based web applications

A McKinsey & Company survey evaluating the use of Web 2.0 tools in the workplace found 73 percent of companies are leveraging social technologies internally and 74 percent of companies are using Web 2.0 applications to communicate with customers.

Collaboration tools are allowing companies to seek out and hire top talent no matter their geographic location. Having these applications available is not enough to support employees. Performance and uptime is equally important. Consider this: The federal government, a recent study found, is struggling with the performance of critical applications. Nearly 45 percent of respondents cited the increasing network complexity as the greatest network management challenge. When applications go down, over 50 percent said it takes a day or more to detect and fix application performance issues. That downtime translates to a tremendous loss in employee productivity.

When work is dependent on these critical web applications, it’s essential to have a network that consistently delivers. Technology like an application delivery network harness a global network to handle the high bandwidth requirements of many web applications and provide uptime regardless of the number of users.

Secure access

As the remote workforce grows, so do concerns about security in the enterprise. Providing a secure access point to company data and applications is essential. In that same vein, security is one of the primary reasons for slow adoption of the cloud. A Cloud Security Alliance survey found 73 percent of IT professionals named security of the data in the cloud as the top challenge for cloud project.

A VPN is a traditional solution for secure access to network servers, but newer solutions exist particularly for the cloud-based applications that have become indispensable for modern workers.

An enterprise application security solution creates layered application security and a secure cloudlet-based environment for employees and other authorized users to access enterprise applications. Users are authenticated outside the infrastructure reducing unauthorized access and protecting critical applications. Partnered with a global content delivery network, this security solution can improve the performance of enterprise application. With powerful, secure tools at their disposal, employees can be more productive.

Final thoughts

A flexible work environment, one not defined by set hours or a cubicle, is the trend of the future. Technology has made it possible for workers to achieve a greater work-life balance and in turn the modern worker has driven the development of powerful tools to do their job better.

This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: 3 Ways Remote Workers Are Changing Technology

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