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Workforce Continuity: Enabling Uninterrupted Access to Resources

Val King
Posted by Val King on Nov 3, 2020 9:00:00 AM

High availability infrastructure design between on-premises and cloud can keep IT operations up and running—but what if people have been displaced from their usual workplace, or have lost access to their usual devices or systems? A complete and effective business continuity program has to encompass not only the data center, but the workforce as well. If people can’t do their jobs, the business can’t function.

While business continuity has traditionally revolved around a designated alternate workplace or recovery unit, organizations increasingly use business mobility tools to enable people to work wherever it’s most convenient and effective. People who need to work at the disaster site itself, such as business continuity team members, emergency response workers, critical service workers, and others such as insurance adjusters, can be housed in any available structure or mobile unit, without the need for special infrastructure or complex connectivity.

At Citrix, the same secure digital workspace technology lets people connect with apps and data in both routine operations and emergency situations, using any device, network, or cloud. This makes it simple for people to do whatever their priorities dictate—whether to continue working normally, perform new tasks required by the event, or focus on the needs of their families and themselves, then resume work as circumstances allow. Instead of having to get PCs that meet certain specifications, configure them, provide access to the applications, we are able to shut down an office, move people to another location and get them back to work in the same familiar 8 environment quickly. This allows for the exact same user experience. IT doesn’t have to worry about imaging dozens or hundreds of machines, then guide people through a long list of changed processes.

This approach yields important benefits, including:

Efficiency and cost savings. Making mobility and remote access core elements of business continuity planning lets you increase the value of these investments while eliminating many separate business continuity processes and costs.

A seamless experience for people. Because people access and use their resources the same way they always have, with the same secure digital workspace experience in any scenario, there is no need for alternate procedures to be learned or remembered.

Security and compliance. During a business continuity event, data and apps are delivered using the same infrastructure as for routine operations, with the same inherent security. Windows applications remain under IT controlled hybrid cloud infrastructure, where automation and centralized management enhance policy enforcement, regulatory compliance, and antivirus protection. Similarly, users can securely access sensitive business apps and data from any device in any location while enabling IT to maintain complete control, tracking, reporting, and auditability to aid security and compliance. Data delivered to mobile devices is secured and controlled through mobile device management (MDM), while applications are secured and controlled through mobile application management (MAM). End-toend encryption provides an additional layer of protection as people access business apps and data over any network, from any location.

More practical, lower-risk execution. Organizations can invoke their business continuity plan with less disruption to users and the business. As a result, the organization is often more willing to take this measure proactively—to move people offsite in advance of a hurricane or snowstorm, to have them work at home during an epidemic, or even to evacuate to a different city in the case of an especially large-scale impending disruption—rather than taking its chances and hoping the disaster will pass without impacting the business. The plan becomes much more effective when it is seen as an acceptable adjustment to circumstances rather than a last resort to be invoked only in the most desperate times, or at the last possible moment.

Headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Citrix has ample firsthand experience with business continuity events. Citrix has relocated individuals to hotel conference rooms, shifted workloads around the world based on closed facilities, and rapidly increased capacity in other areas based on potential disasters. Citrix has done this it many times, especially during the Florida hurricane season. The services provided both internally and 9 externally to customers have never been affected due to the workforce flexibility enabled by Citrix technologies.

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Topics: Research and Strategy, IT Strategy