In many regards, 2022 has been wild so far. However, one pillar of stability seems to be how certain organizations have adopted a remote-work strategy. Initially, the move was a safety measure. But the verdict on remote working is in, and guess what… employees are embracing it.
While the buzz about working effectively at home is everywhere, you might not hear as much about how System Administrators can best manage and support remote workforces – especially when they’re also working remotely.
As a system administrator, you likely have several processes in place for managing your end users remotely from their homes from your home. Since Automox is a 100% remote company, we wanted to highlight our top tips on how to remain effective while you and your officemates work from home:
1. Move beyond legacy VPNs to “always-on” solutions
Supporting your remote users made life a lot more complex and risky, so simplify processes and secure where you can. Case in point, legacy appliances like VPNs have notorious performance challenges. They cannot centralize management of remote users and are extremely difficult to scale. Also, they may expose security threats from the lack of policy creation to third-party VPN access point vulnerabilities.
Replacing your VPN with cloud-native network access solutions – such as Netskope, Palo Alto Networks, and Zscalar – allows infrastructure and security teams to adopt cloud-delivered networking and security capabilities ideally suited for remote workforces.
2. Minimize your reliance on on-prem infrastructure
When all IT assets lived on-prem, a hardened perimeter and onsite security tools were often sufficient. However, the expansion of the remote workforce has demonstrated these traditional methods are no longer viable with endpoints, data, and workloads located outside of the data center.
Reducing reliance on on-prem infrastructure and investing in infrastructure-less tools helps to reduce software and database maintenance work. But it can also consolidate reporting.
Plus, you can expand integrations with other cloud-native tools and efficiently address all your users centrally. This will help save your IT team time and the aggravation of supporting disparate platforms.
3. Invest in a cloud patch management solution
Along the same lines of reducing reliance on on-prem infrastructure, shifting your patching and endpoint management solutions from on-prem to cloud-based solutions provides unparalleled visibility and control with continuous scanning of your endpoints. The measure also gives you the ability to take action without logging into another tool.
Security is also amplified here. Regardless of if your users are connected to the corporate network or not, they can still receive updates and patches to secure their devices.
As a cloud-hosted patching platform, you can also look forward to no maintenance or VPN requirements while eliminating unnecessary hardware investments and resources, freeing up your dollars and technicians’ cycles for more high-value work.
4. Get yourself a rock-solid software deployment solution
Now that everyone’s working remotely, it’s harder to troubleshoot software deployment issues. Look to leverage free use of workplace software.
Companies like Zoom, Microsoft, and Google offer software for free and “have taken pains to make sure they can accommodate the growing demand.”
5. Set your remote employees up for success
For some, working remotely is a dream come true. For others, not so much. Develop a remote onboarding process for new users that is intuitive, fast, and professional that can enable their productivity from Day 1.
Continuous education and support are also critical when users do not have the comfort of IT support down the hall. If you don’t already have a helpdesk system that was developed with remote users in mind, now’s a good time to get one.
IT Service Management solutions, such as Freshworks, also allow you to easily integrate other technologies, including Automox, within your tech stack to allow your IT to address a range of issues without ever leaving your console.
6. Set yourself up for success
As a SysAdmin or IT professional, redundancies and contingency plans are the keys to keeping your business online and operational. It’s no different at home. Have a backup plan if your Internet goes out and have an extra set of batteries for that wireless mouse or headset. One good tactic is to make sure your phone data plan has a tethering option. Also, set up a backup router in case your home hardware fails.
With thought and preparation, you can keep your users productive and your environment secure from known exploits and vulnerabilities while working remotely. Research and invest in modern, innovative technologies that effectively set your organization up for success. And, do all you can to keep all of your endpoints secure for the long haul — whether you’re in crisis or not.
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Automox for Easy IT Operations
Automox is the cloud-native IT operations platform for modern organizations. It makes it easy to keep every endpoint automatically configured, patched, and secured – anywhere in the world. With the push of a button, IT admins can fix critical vulnerabilities faster, slash cost and complexity, and win back hours in their day.
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