Streamlining and ensuring operations from cloud to (home) desktop

Before the events of 2020 overtook the business world, two trends had already begun in workplace technology. The first was the move from technology being a useful toolset for most businesses, to become an all-pervasive element of every organization’s operations. And the second was a change in the mindset and expectations of many workers: a new approach was developing to work-life balance, centred around remote working and, therefore, the intermingling of domestic and professional technologies.

Any company that approached the changes with any attitude even approaching positive were better-prepared as 2020’s events unfurled. As companies now transition to the “new un-normal”, successful mid-sized businesses realize they have to entwine technology’s possibilities with the widely dispersed workforce. In every sense, the new workforce is operating on a very distributed network. That has finance, security and operational-effectiveness implications.

This article aims to look at four providers of the technology and associated frameworks that allow medium-sized to enterprise-grade organizations to adapt and prosper. In some ways, larger businesses’ flexibility has to mimic the agility of the small, startup organization, yet at scale.

At Tech Wire Asia, we believe that to get best results from digital transformation efforts in this new business arena, an organic and malleable approach needs to be on the tables of boardrooms across the ANZ region. This willingness to alter direction and strategy on the fly needs to extend to three key areas:

The integration of tools with one another to produce unified working environments. Today’s users, especially those of Generation Z, are digital natives, fluent in app use. That creates certain expectations of seamless, integrated experiences that might belie the disparate nature of the underpinning solutions.

An emphasis, therefore, on API interactions between discrete applications must be apparent, and at least aim for seamlessness in everyday operations. Today’s workers may be digital natives, but that doesn’t translate into hacking between different apps, tools and services to get a job done.

Work more collaboratively with others in every aspect of the business. Solutions here may range from document sharing via cloud repositories, through to VOIP, teleconferencing and messaging applications on different platforms. Instead of face-to-face meetings, encounters have to be achieved online in real-time, with less time spent in meeting rooms.

Placing cybersecurity as a central tenet of all operations and solutions. The intermingling of home, remote workstation, and domestic kitchen table “office” means that multiple devices will get used for personal and professional lives. Protecting these endpoints as they communicate with the broadest range of cloud and local services imaginable is a fact of life, today. As business leaders, we have to accept this, and act accordingly: without physical oversight of work practices, we have to embrace this situation for its advantages yet protect better than ever before.

With these three areas foremost, Tech Wire Asia has selected four vendors capable of rising to the medium-sized organization’s unique challenges. While there are specialists among those below, each also can create the necessary frameworks for efficient operations, safe practices, and collaboration going forward.

DELL

Few companies have the broad-reaching capabilities of Dell Technologies. Its portfolio of hardware, software, and services enables bespoke business solutions, which it provides to many organizations in the APAC region, giving them the leverage they need to meet the needs and demands of an evolving workforce model.

The unique hardware and secure services combination that Dell offers means they can provide organizations with end-to-end solutions from end-users’ devices through to Edge and Cloud Computing Solutions, so that staff, regardless of where they are, can be productive and collaborative.

Dell offers a range of financing options for its hardware, including innovative rent-to-buy plans designed explicitly for the medium-size enterprise to help reduce TCO, such as their latest PC-as-a-Service offering.

Security, Data Protection, business continuity, and cyber safety underpin all Dell Technologies’ offerings, from safe container deployments in the cloud to uninterrupted power processing at the edge supporting mobile demand and ultimately end point solutions.

You can read more about the business-focus that Dell brings to the new working paradigm in 2021 here on the pages of Tech Wire Asia.

VERIZON

As you might expect, Verizon’s offerings focus strongly around connectivity and communications. However, the company’s capabilities also extend firmly into security — security layers in mobile communications act invisibly and silently protecting billions of users worldwide, after all.

Every connection between a user to another, or an employee to a remote service, extends the attack surface presented to bad actors. Verizon provides companies with ways to negotiate this minefield of risk with best practice.

Integrating end-to-end security in a distributed workforce is a demanding quandary, and the company can either provide security-as-service or add weight, experience and technical acuity to existing cybersecurity teams.

In terms of communication, as 5G rolls out, Verizon’s network will connect remote workplaces and employers alike, letting organizations from manufacturing, utilities and minding through to high finance connect better, faster, and more securely.

Verizon operates multiple SOCs (security operations centres) worldwide, analyzing billions of real-time events on behalf of its many customers. Daily, the intel team examines an average of 345,000 incidents, and its detection capabilities are matched by its abilities to address ongoing breaches before they have critical impact.

You can learn more about Verizon’s offerings and its abilities to help organizations better connect and transform digitally here.

MIMECAST

At the core of every business are several applications whose ubiquity almost places them in the same bracket as office furniture. Office applications and email form the basis of just about every digital organization today and are the areas of specialization of this 17-year-old industry stalwart.

Mimecast has specialist teams dedicated to the medium-to-large-scale organization, offering email and Office 365 solutions that ensure both efficient and safe working.

Regulatory complexity in worldwide networks adds to the mix of multiple online applications and services in daily use by millions of companies. The company knows that this puzzle is actively targeted by malware writers, first-time coders, and hacking gangs alike.

Although the Office 365 platform is inherently secure, human error remains (as any cybersecurity expert will attest) the most significant and most numerous cause of cybersecurity breaches.

Therefore as well as protecting the network traffic representing Office 365 traffic and Microsoft Exchange email, Mimecast also offers training for personnel at all levels: from highly-advanced, technical learnings for dedicated cyber protection professions (including training-the-trainers), to end-user online hygiene courses that can be run from any desktop.

Mimecast’s long experience means that it has a pro-active stance on cyber-threats from having seen most attack vectors before. This knowledge and the power to ameliorate are the reason why this provider is the go-to protective layer that many turn to.

You can read more about Mimecast right here.

NUTANIX

As a pure-play technology company, Nutanix is uniquely positioned to empower organizations of any size via digital transformation. It is perhaps best known as the earliest pioneer of hyperconvergence, the technology that abstracts all parts of the computing stack (compute, store, network) so that resources can be leveraged not according to physical or technical necessity, but according to business need.

From its early days as offering HCI — hyperconverged infrastructure — in the data centre, it now offers similar layers of business-oriented abstraction technologies for both small and medium-sized enterprises.

Its acquisitions have also allowed Nutanix to offer VDI services (virtual desktops), which means companies can now use Desktop computing from the cloud. As well as removing the overheads of security and operational integrity monitoring that are required at scale, companies can now leverage very high-end cloud-based computers via so-called “thin clients” which require little more than a network connection.

For remote workers, and companies transitioning to using many more remote workers, combining VDI with hyperconvergence’s many abstraction options creates a safe, malleable and business-focused computing environment that’s ready for growth and scale.

To learn more about Nutanix, you can read more here on the pages of Tech Wire Asia.

*Some of the companies featured on this article are commercial partners of Tech Wire Asia

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