Remote working or home working is definitely the IT hot topic for 2020. For some clients the transition from office to home has been seamless; they have the IT and systems already in place to work remotely as this has been planned as part of their wider business strategy. For others it has been more complicated, but we’re pleased that all Conformedia clients are now up and running and working remotely.
In theory, all businesses would have a robust IT strategy to cover every eventuality, including a worldwide pandemic. The reality is that some do but many do not.
Here are two clients with two very different IT strategies. Conformedia has helped ensure their businesses have been able to continue trading by ensuring their employees can work effectively and securely from home.
Enjoy Digital – All that’s changed is the view from the office
A robust IT strategy has allowed Leeds based digital agency, Enjoy Digital, to grow without compromising on creativity or productivity. Workstations are standardised and users are centrally managed through Active Directory. An integral aspect of Enjoy Digital’s IT strategy is to encourage flexible working. A Firewall/VPN server, implementing RADIUS providing Two Factor Authentication is an established route that employees working remotely can access resources and work, just as they would if they were in the office. So, when remote working became a must rather than a nice to have, the Enjoy Digital simply logged on from home and continued to work as usual.
"Following the need for social distancing, our team has been successfully working from their homes. Before the measures were introduced, we conducted test days where colleagues who had not worked from home previously were able to check they had access to everything they needed. We are continuing our daily meetings, which we run virtually, and we are regularly checking in with one another to make sure everyone is feeling supported. Overall, our operations have changed very little, other than the views from the office window.”
Ian Fiddler, Head of Business Operations, Enjoy Digital
PFK, Penrith Farmers and Kidds – A different way of working
Before the COVID-19 crisis PFK employees were predominantly office based. When home working became necessary the business took a two-pronged approach. They purchased new laptops for key members of staff and allowed the remaining staff to take office desktop computers home.
PFK have implemented Sophos Central, together with Sophos XG firewalls. With this in place, it was a straightforward and efficient approach to provide remote working. All users were given a login to the Sophos Connect console, where the Sophos Connect VPN could be downloaded, allowing instant access to the office and all required resources.
The Sophos Central allows all the remote workers to remain secure, regardless of location. Taking office workstations home therefore was no issue as all as necessary security policies were in place and PFK staff were able to continue working, assured of robust security and continued IT support.
David Rayner, Conformedia’s MD, explains why it was essential to have centrally managed security policies in place to enable this quick transition to home working. “Remote working will only work if your business has the right security in place. Even though very few users were set up to work from home pre-crisis, the business was already using Sophos Central with Sophos XG Firewalls. It was a relatively simple and quick process to have all users up and running from home. The strict policies already in place were rolled out to remote users, ensuring that business security continued to be maintained at the highest level. The beauty of a centrally managed system is that we can deploy updates and manage the IT, regardless of location.”
“In light of recent events we found ourselves in a position of having to enable staff to work from home within a very short timescale. Conformedia were immediately on hand to allow our team to do this which in essence allowed us to continue to offer our customers the best service possible.”
Lynne Lancaster, Head of Estate Agency, PFK