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IT Team Burnout

A recent study, dubbed “State of Remote Support Market Trends ,” discovered:

65% of IT help desk teams throughout the U.S are reporting unsustainable levels of stress. With many employees working remotely on a regular basis, IT and help desk staff face higher ticket volumes, more diverse set of devices to support, and greater security challenges.

Although, it doesn’t come as a surprise.  IT teams find themselves playing a real-life game of Whack-a-Mole as they juggle a multitude of responsibilities: constantly combat various cyber threats, monitor networks, systems, and applications, deal with legacy systems and applications, and solve employees’ issues everyday.

Remote and hybrid work models introduced a previously unknown paradigm of convenience but also forced companies to accelerate and adapt their IT solutions to meet the demands of a distributed workforce. However, this transition to a remote work world has only amplified the complexities of managing access to applications and servers while ensuring security measures are in place.

Armed with a mallet of point solutions, that require extensive setup, maintenance and integrations (like VDIs, Daas, and other security solutions) IT teams are stuck in a relentless cycle, an unwinnable battle, slowing down productivity across the organization, at a time when the tech industry is at an all time high, and employees need more support of IT professionals than ever.  

The Trials of Remote IT Teams

Forced to do more with less, IT teams have 4 mammoth challenges to tackle:

Challenge 1: Setting up and managing remote workers

To set up workers with remote access to the web apps, desktop apps and servers they need to do their job, IT teams have a few different options, but all of the existing solutions are complex, expensive and time consuming.

Using VDI

Setting up and managing VDI can be a complex and challenging endeavor. The intricacies involved in configuring the underlying infrastructure, selecting suitable hardware, implementing virtualization technologies, and integrating with existing IT systems demand a high level of expertise. The process often requires collaboration among different IT teams, including network, storage, and security professionals. Furthermore, ensuring seamless user experiences and addressing performance issues add additional layers of complexity. VDI solutions demand meticulous planning and consideration of factors such as user requirements, application compatibility, and scalability. Managing virtual desktops involves ongoing tasks like patching, updates, and user support, which can strain IT resources. Security concerns, such as protecting sensitive data and enforcing access controls, further intensify the complexity. Despite the challenges, successful implementation and management of VDI can yield significant benefits in terms of centralized control, improved security, and enhanced flexibility for end-users.

Without VDI

Enabling remote work without VDI poses its own set of challenges. Many organizations leverage cloud-based applications and services to enable employees to access essential tools and data from anywhere with an internet connection. This approach often involves the adoption of SaaS solutions, such as cloud-based office suites and collaboration platforms, however many organizations are still using desktop apps that can’t be accessed easily through any device with internet connection. IT teams may implement VPN solutions to establish secure connections between remote devices and the corporate network, ensuring encrypted data transmission. Deploying remote desktop solutions or enabling access to on-premises applications through secure gateways are alternative methods used to extend the reach of critical resources. While these strategies provide flexibility, they require robust security measures, like endpoint protection, to safeguard against potential threats - additional point solutions that also need to be managed. Doing remote access without VDI means that point solutions need to be integrated, security might not be optimal, and IT teams are still stretched thin trying to manage all the different pieces of the remote access solution.

Challenge 2: Integrating Point Solutions

IT teams often face challenges and slowdowns when dealing with point solutions, or specialized software and tools designed to address specific tasks or issues. While these solutions may excel at solving particular problems, their standalone nature can lead to integration difficulties within the larger IT infrastructure.

Another challenge with using point solutions is the interoperability issue. Point solutions may not seamlessly communicate with each other or with existing systems. This lack of cohesion can result in a fragmented IT landscape, requiring additional time and effort to maintain, update, and troubleshoot. The adoption of multiple point solutions can lead to increased complexity, and hinder agility and innovation.

Ultimately, IT professionals spend more time navigating disparate systems rather than focusing on strategic initiatives. As organizations increasingly recognize the importance of holistic and integrated approaches to IT management, the drawbacks of point solutions become apparent, prompting a shift towards more comprehensive and unified solutions.

Challenge 3: Addressing Security Requirements

The present and future of work requires agility and security of the highest level, but current solutions like virtual desktop infrastructures (VDIs) are only partially useful.While VDIs have some security features built-in, many security features are only available on the most expensive plans, and still come up lacking when it comes to more advanced data-loss prevention capabilities like content inspection. IT teams are then faced with having to integrate additional point solutions (bringing about the challenges mentioned above), or having inadequate security solutions for their remote workforce. This becomes especially pertinent when the organization is leveraging contractors or temporary workers that need to be given access to sensitive data on a fast, short-term basis. IT teams are left with the challenge of providing fast, temporary access without compromising the security of the organization.

Read more about how VDIs are failing IT teams in the remote world here.

Challenge 4: Visibility

Monitoring remote work activity, while ensuring employee privacy is maintained, is a constant struggle. This is further complicated by the fact that your employees may be working from anywhere, making it difficult to identify and troubleshoot issues without 100% visibility. Being able to see exactly what actions a user took within an application can allow IT teams to quickly identify the cause of the problem, but without this they are often relying on user-reported actions that may not tell the full story. IT teams are also often burdened with managing applications that may or may not be used as intended.

With better visibility into app usage IT teams can move faster, identifying if there are licenses going unused for example, or seeing if there are certain user groups that seem to need additional training because they have a high rate of incidents compared to other user groups. Using data to help identify and prioritize issues that IT needs to deal with can help streamline IT operations.

Impact on Organizational Dynamics

When I talk about IT challenges there’s always one person who questions the gravity of these issues. Is it a problem worth solving?

In today’s digital world where businesses rely on technology to drive their growth and revenue, a lack of optimization in critical areas like IT and security negatively impacts the entire business and organizational dynamic of a company.

  • Delayed revenue realization. Without the proper tools to manage areas such as access management, security and visibility, companies are limiting their ability to scale quickly, hindering their top-line growth. Onboarding new workers, being able to leverage contract workers on-demand and giving partners necessary access to internal data is too slow with traditional solutions. Moreover, a violation of GDPR, CPRA, or the latest DPDP law can lead to financial loss, all due to the lack of proper security and observability measures.
  • Financial and brand damage from cyber attacks. A cyber attack can have profound and multifaceted impacts on a business, extending far beyond immediate financial losses. The breach of sensitive information, such as customer data or proprietary business secrets, can lead to a loss of trust among clients and partners. The resulting damage to the company's reputation might take years to repair. Operational disruptions, including system downtime and data loss, can impede regular business functions and productivity. Financial consequences are significant, with costs related to investigating the breach, implementing security measures, and potential legal actions.

Revolutionizing Remote IT Operations

I have delivered solutions for IT teams all my work life and have first hand experience with these issues in some way or form.

So, I tried to answer the question -  How can you enable your employees to access what they need, when they need it, without hindering productivity or compromising security?

The answer was Sonet.io, a remote access tool that enables IT teams to manage and monitor app access efficiently, and transform the way organizations operate their IT infrastructure remotely.

Sonet.io, a cloud-native platform that optimizes access, enhances security, and improves observability, helps you shift from point solutions to centralized control that enables them to manage the overall infrastructure at any time, from anywhere, and achieve better operational performance and enable remote IT operations to function more smoothly.

Check out more about my journey of building Sonet.io here