Over the last several months, as we have all dealt with navigating the current business situation…something happened. Many companies who were never thinking about implementing a virtual workplace prior to the COVID-19 pandemic are now evaluating whether they should use it as a competitive advantage. We were forced to do things as part of the “Safer at Home” directives that we were not prepared to do. Do you know what management teams realized? Teams can be just as effective when the right policies, procedures, and infrastructure are put in place. In fact, sometimes, even more!
Every company is slightly different. Some organizations have been implementing teleworking as part of their business strategy for years, and have figured out how to make it work. For those who have not, being forced into it has identified opportunities and gaps that they can evaluate and address, in order to implement it more effectively going forward.
There is one area that many companies may not know how to address, though. Are the rates and terms of your contracts with your network providers structured to support your new remote workforce? Here are a few things to consider:
- Network Bandwidth: Can your staff work as efficiently at home, as they do in the office?
- Cost: Have you negotiated rates and terms based on the number of employees that need to access the network, and at what times of day?
- Cybersecurity: Do you have a VPN set up to ensure your network is secure?
- Support: Who handles these new “remote” technical issues and questions and at what cost?
Bandwidth and Service Costs
Remote workers will need to access company systems and resources, making network bandwidth the first challenge. Most organizations will require additional bandwidth to function. You will need to confirm that your network infrastructure has the capacity to accommodate increased remote workers. There are several considerations for determining how much network throughput you will need:
- How many employees do you have in the company?
- What is the differential between employees who were working remotely before and who are now?
- What will this new employee traffic look like?
- How many employees will be using the virtual private network (VPN) to gain access to the network?
- How many users are defined on the domain controller for remote access?
- Can your cloud vendors accommodate increased traffic workload?
- What costs will be associated with more bandwidth and your required cloud services?
- Does your internet service provider (ISP) allow for temporary increases over the configured bandwidth to cover any temporary traffic increases?
- What kinds of service distancing can we put in place so that current resources (e.g., VPN connections) won’t get overwhelmed until we expand available services?
If your bandwidth cannot accommodate the rise in traffic, you may need to review your contract terms. You need to ensure your company can work efficiently, while understanding the cost implications.
Enabling remote access for everyone comes with all sorts of cybersecurity concerns. If your organization supplies a device, you will need to ensure it has appropriate security protocols, such as antivirus software and firewall protections. If users will be connecting from their home device, you could potentially be opening your network to the security vulnerabilities inherent to the user’s device. If a home device — the family PC, for example – has been infected with malware, it may now act as a conduit, and a hacker can gain access to your entire company.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is what allows your employee’s device to behave as though it was plugged in at the office. In many cases, existing VPN solutions are not provisioned to accommodate every employee connecting all at the same time, or your VPN contract may have limitations on how many employees can be online at one time. Now would be a good time to have an experienced VMS specialist review that contract to ensure your terms and rates benefit your company, with an increase in usage of the VPN platform.
Limitless Technology has spent years focusing on managing complex variable expenses. Network infrastructure is one of our specialties. We understand how to structure contracts properly, and negotiate the best possible terms and rates, to ensure your company can operate efficiently in this “new normal” operating environment. Through our Billing Optimization and Vendor Management Solutions we improve our client’s efficiencies, effectiveness and bottom-line.
Limitless Technology manages your vendors, so you can manage and grow your business. For more information about our vendor management solutions contact us HERE to schedule a demo of our VMS-DM platform or speak to one of our cost reduction specialists.