Remote access guide

In the new world of work, organizations need to be prepared to work in a more dynamic way to meet the needs of a more diverse, fluid workforce.

Today’s workplace isn’t defined by cubical walls. An increasingly mobile workforce expects to be able to stay productive from anywhere, but supporting these evolving business needs can present challenges. IT teams must ensure that their remote access solution enables easy access to corporate desktops, apps and data while maintaining a user-friendly experience and keeping sensitive information safe.

What is remote access?

Remote access is the ability to access a computer or network from outside of the traditional office, and it’s quickly becoming a routine part of work for many people. From branch office employees to teleworkers, contract staff, traveling employees – even employees who may be working from home with a sick child or working from home due to inclement weather – the need for a remote access solution is essential.

There are several methods for enabling remote access for employees. Traditional options like remote desktop software or virtual private networks (VPNs) can solve some remote access needs, but they have limitations that make them unsuitable for the security and flexibility requirements of many organizations. Newer remote access solutions offer a more comprehensive approach, using technologies like virtual apps and desktops, file sharing and access gateways to deliver access to corporate resources from any location and any device.

Advanced remote access solutions provide easy-to-use access to everything users need to work and stay productive from anywhere, without opening security holes in the corporate network or introducing frustrating complexities for end users. IT teams can deliver true business mobility that meets the expectations of today’s always-connected workforce.

Why enable a remote access solution?

There may be several business drivers for a secure and seamless remote access solution, from providing access to users at home or in remote offices to ensuring data security across devices.

Employee demand for workplace flexibility

Creating a work-life balance is a priority for many employees, but this requires a secure and simple method for accessing corporate resources whenever and wherever is convenient for users. The flexibility of working from anywhere offers employees the opportunity to stay productive even when they can’t be in the office and helps organizations meet employee acquisition and retention goals.

Increased use of mobile and BYO devices

Employees no longer rely on corporate-owned desktop computers to complete their work. Today’s employees routinely use mobile devices or personally-owned devices for business tasks. Because these devices are more susceptible to security breaches, IT must ensure that remote access solutions confine business transactions to the corporate network, protected within the datacenter.

Increased data security concerns

In the age of mobility, ensuring corporate data security has become incredibly complex and increasingly critical. Unfortunately, most users do not understand the inherent security risks of different remote access scenarios, so it is up to IT to ensure that a secure solution is in place. With solutions like app and desktop virtualization, IT can meet security requirements by maintaining all apps and data in the corporate datacenter, rather than locally on workers’ devices.

Drawbacks of VPNs for everyday users

Virtual private networks (VPNs) offer a solution for accessing the corporate network from remote locations, but they often limit the types of endpoints that are supported and can restrict the user experience. To minimize frustration and downtime, employees should have a single, consistent way to work, regardless of their location or device.

Best practices for enabling remote access

The push to quickly implement remote access technology can cause challenges for some organizations. Failing to adequately consider and address a range of factors – from user experience across devices to access permissions for specific roles or tasks – may result in increased security risks, added IT complexities, reduced user adoption and other critical issues. To meet security requirements while ensuring that employees will be able to successfully complete their jobs, a remote access strategy should encompass:

  • A simple remote access method that offers a consistent experience for users, regardless of whether they connect on an internal or external network
  • A single point of access for all work apps and data across devices and locations
  • Secure data access with integrated file sync and share on any device in any location
  • Complete functionality for Windows applications and desktops on touch-screen devices
  • Centralized management of employee access and permissions, with granular control policies

Additional remote access resources

Enabling remote access can provide many advantages for organizations. Employees can enjoy a better work-life balance and stay productive from anywhere. IT teams can have greater control over data security while empowering users to work on the device of their choice. Businesses can increase agility and improve compliance. As the nature of work continues to evolve, more and more organizations are recognizing the need for comprehensive remote access solutions that deliver on these critical benefits.

Learn more about remote access technology

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