The New Role of IT and How It’ll Impact Your Company [webinar recap]
On Dec. 16, Minim co-hosted a webinar with leading technology news source TMCnet that explored the challenges presented by the shift to remote working and how IT personnel must evolve to confront them. Now that the webinar has concluded, we’ll outline the major takeaways in this blog in case you missed it. You can also watch the full recording of the webinar below.The webinar was presented by Minim’s Tyler Craig, VP of Channel & Business Development, and Thomas Moran, Chief Strategy Officer at Prodoscore, a leader in productivity intelligence software, and covered the three key areas IT is now responsible for:
- Securing the distributed network - protecting the new corporate edge, the employee home, requires new software security, hardware, and co-management solutions built for remote environments
- Retaining happy employees - providing HR and leadership with tools that enable social connection, the definition of work-life boundaries, protection of privacy, and employees' wellbeing
- Boosting productivity - expanding digital transformation to include tools for collaboration, preventing burnout, time management, and evaluating performance KPIs like productivity, innovation, and trust
Securing the distributed corporate network
As 82% of companies plan to allow remote working policies post-pandemic, it’s clear that work from home is here to stay. IT teams were already stretched thin, now they have the increased burden of a wider threatscape and limited visibility into employee networks and devices. With the proliferation of vulnerable smart home gadgets, consumer-grade WiFi systems, and listening devices, the home environment presents unprecedented threats to corporate data and systems.
To protect against these threats, companies often implement VPNs, endpoint security, and remote access tools as a solution. But these traditional enterprise technologies aren’t enough on their own—these tools were purpose-built for the office instead of the home.
Traditional corporate VPN and VPN to Firewall only protects PC traffic, is very expensive, and requires customization and Tier 3 IT support to maintain. Endpoint security such as antivirus software works well for laptops and mobile phones, but it leaves common WFH attack vectors unprotected like the home router and consumer IoT devices. And remote access solutions can be easily exploited and used to launch attacks.
In order to fully cover the home office environment, network-level security tuned for the home is needed. This is where Minim comes into play. Minim’s AI-driven cloud-controlled WiFi platform secures home networks from incoming threats including malware, phishing scams, and vulnerability exploits, providing insights to both employees and IT personnel via intuitive apps. Minim® Remote Assistant—a mobile app for LAN management and self-healing—empowers employees to view, manage, and secure their own networks, reducing the burden on IT teams.
Retaining employees and boosting productivity in the WFH era
Workplace stress costs U.S. businesses up to $300 billion per year, and according to Monster, 69% of employees are experiencing burnout symptoms while working from home. This presents a tough challenge for businesses that now must embrace remote work; balancing the increased time spent in front of a screen—for everything from brainstorming sessions to happy hours—with the vital need for employees to disconnect.
While many companies have embarked on or completed digital transformations, few of those strategies incorporate technological updates to long-standing in-person only activities such as employee onboarding. Nine months into this global remote working experiment, a plethora of technologies virtualizing collaboration, socialization, and productivity-measurement have emerged to fill this gap.
Another in-person staple that needs to be updated for WFH is office perks. Some companies are ahead of the curve, already rethinking these benefits: online textbook company Chegg pays for their remote employees’ home internet on top of $500 for home office furnishings. This can help to create a sense of balance between in-office and remote employees and boost morale.
To evaluate and encourage productivity, businesses should focus on building culture and processes that support a hybrid-remote work model, e.g. flexible work hours and training, digital detox, and performance measurement tools. On top of training their teams on how to work remotely, managers need to refine their own skills to ensure active engagement, open communication, and high growth.
Want in an in-depth look at the current state of WFH, key strategies and resources for building an effective distributed workforce, and the future of remote work? Click below to watch the full webinar recording!