Remote working is here to stay. What began as a response to allow organisations to continue operating through the COVID-19 pandemic and the social distancing and lockdown requirements has proven its value to both employers and employees well beyond that.
A LogMeIn whitepaper has found that 72 per cent of people have saved time by working remotely, a further 56 per cent have spend more time with family, and 45 per cent have reported feeling happier. For the business, over a third (37 per cent) have increased their productivity.
In addition to the improved productivity, allowing remote work also means that businesses can reduce their office rent expenses by having fewer people in the office and therefore needing less space for the headcount. Furthermore, with teams working remotely it becomes easier to integrate new employees from interstate or overseas, giving the business access to a broader range of skills.
With such significant benefits all-around, it’s no surprise that a Gartner survey has found that 82 per cent of company leaders intend on allowing employees to work remotely some of the time going forwards.
Rethinking remote work
As workplaces transition beyond the “stop-gap” solution of remote work as a direct response to the pandemic, and start to look at remote work as a strategic opportunity, CIOs will be challenged to ensure that the IT environment allows for a truly seamless and productive remote working environment.
It is not just about providing employees with a laptop, mobile device, and access to the company network over the cloud. CIOs also need to consider:
- The security of the environment: One of the key reasons that enterprises were hesitant to adopt remote working in the first instance was concerns around security, once networks were opened to the Internet.
- The communications platform: For a remote working environment to be truly effective, the ability for teams to communicate needs to go beyond simple video chats, and should integrate messaging, voice, video, document sharing and presence.
- Support and helpdesk: CIOs will need to be able to answer the question regarding how employees can access IT support remotely, when the IT team cannot physically access the devices.
- Workflows: Finally, CIOs will need to ensure that workflows remain productive.
Achieving this requires a solutions approach to the IT and communications environment. As noted in the LogMeIn whitepaper, CIOs need to seek out solutions that:
- Empower business continuity in the face of disruption.
- Support flexibility in work options.
- Support business and customer services requirements.
- Compliment and support other digital transformation initiatives.
“Many will face challenges of scale and scope,” the report states. “They will need to implement solutions for large numbers of staff, and the technologies requires my be outside the scope of those they are familiar with in their normal ones.
The role (and opportunity) for the channel
The conditions of COVID-19 and new employee expectations may be driving enterprises to digital transformation, but the reality is that many such transformation exercises continue to fail to deliver on their expected value, and he haste in which organisations have been working is a root cause. As noted in a Forbes report: “This dramatic shift did not leave time for most companies to build the systems (human and digital) necessary to manage such a tremendous transformation. Unfortunately, this makes one prediction for 2021 painfully certain: Many digital transformation efforts started in 2020 will fail spectacularly in the year ahead.”
This is where the channel comes in. The transformation required to enable remote working environments needs to be driven through a holistic end-to-end solution, rather than through an investment into individual products. It also requires vendor consolidation, with tightly integrated platforms that link together seamlessly and involve minimal complexity to use.
LogMeIn’s solution features a suite of cloud-based tools aimed to assist the IT team in providing remote support and seamless access across the IT environment. In addition, it connects the remote workforce, with calls, meetings, webinars, training tools and audioconferencing powering a seamless experience for all remote workers, regardless of where they are located.
To facilitate the channel in taking these solutions to market, LogMeIn maintains a three-tier partnership channel program that is built around the strategic opportunities for LogMeIn solutions. At all levels partners access pre-sales, sales and post-sales services, helping the channel partner become the ongoing point of contact and value-adding provider to their customers.
As enterprises start to recover from the disruption of the past 18 months they will be looking to turn the IT investments, which has accelerated their digital adoption by a decade, into a strategic and forward-looking opportunity. The channel partners that can deliver on the potential for greater productivity and better efficiency will find themselves a valued ally to their customer’s CIO for many years to come.
For more information on LogMeIn’s productivity solutions and channel partner program, and to read the white paper on the opportunity for remote work, click here.