By Leon Gettler
EVERY BUSINESS is now engaged in remote work. But according to a survey by Riverbed Technology, many businesses find it challenging.
John Milionis, the channel director for Riverbed’s Asia-Pacific Japan network, said working from home thrust upon business by COVID-19 just exacerbated a trend that was already out there. All COVID did was make it mandatory for employees.
He said Riverbed, which has been around since 2004 and works with 92 percent of the world’s top 2000 organisations, had undertaken a global study on the future of work in response to the changes thrust upon business by COVID-19.
“Some of those challenges are really around ensuring that their workforce can be as productive at home as they were in the office,” Mr Milionis told Talking Business.
“Certainly another one of those challenges is around security. Networks and infrastructure were built around a certain landscape, most of us being at work, in the office, in our principle place of work and all of a sudden we’re now at home and potentially that outlines security risk.”
SORTING OUT PERFORMANCE
Mr Milionis said Riverbed identified issues around performance such as slow file downloads, buffering – and competing with one’s children when mum and dad are trying to work while the youngsters were home learning or ‘smashing’ YouTube.
The other interesting part of the Riverbed survey was that around 70 percent of companies had not prepared themselves to support employees working from home.
“In other words, their business wasn’t ready to allow everyone to be mobile and to perform at their optimum,” Mr Milionis said.
He said issues around poor quality of audio and video was also relevant to the way people work now.
“In modern day work places, there’s probably a couple of key things we do and one is we use a hell of a lot of video and the second is we collaborate and share a lot of things,” he said.
“The challenges around that have certainly been prevalent. It suggests that visibility of the IT infrastructure is really critically important for business leaders.
“When we are unable to perform at our optimum or when we do have issues around things like buffering, or slow videos, or slow files, it does impact on the economics of any business so having visibility as to why and being able to remediate that is really important.”
He said that also created a lot of stress for employees who have to work from home, impacting on employee productivity.
BUSINESS IMPACTS OF HOME WORK
Mr Milionis said the Riverbed survey had found that in excess of 20 percent of businesses now found their employees were working from home full time.
Mr Milionis said that affected a lot of dynamics like return on investment, barriers to success, and areas where the business needed to invest
“Some of those barriers involve the ability of giving their remote workers that office feel so they can work at their optimum, they can do their work and be as efficient as possible,” he said.
“So things like improving performance, improving file downloads.”
He said Riverbed could provide businesses with software that could sit on a business lap top and make key applications perform a lot better.”
Mr Milionis said if businesses were going to move to having virtual workforces, they needed to empower that talent for them to perform.
He said there were three variables that impacted the performance of that talent: where is the talent located, what are the applications they are trying to use and where are the application servers hosted?
“Once you triangulate that, you can start building your IT infrastructure,” he said.
Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at www.acast.com/talkingbusiness.