August 23, 2020
Topics: Azure NetApp Files AzureAdvanced5 minute read
A Technology Foundation That Supports a Sustainable Remote Work Force
Organizations across every industry and vertical have been challenged by the events of 2020 to rethink work environments. Remote work became a new normal as businesses sprang into action, empowering a global labor force who were suddenly compelled to work from home. Jobs previously locked into a brick-and-mortar building have now been freed, and, for many, will never be contained as rigidly again.
There has been, and will continue to be, a shift in where and how work is done. In 2020, approximately 75 million U.S. employees, which translates into 56% of the U.S. workforce, holds a job that is at least partially compatible with remote work. Prior to 2020, only 3.6% of the employee workforce worked remotely half-time or more.
Global Workplace Analytics estimates that 25-30% of the workforce will still be working remotely multiple days a week at the end of 2021. In fact, 70% of venture-backed company founders report that after their offices reopen they will let some (or all) of their employees continue to work remotely.
The Future of Work is Remote
This year’s work disruption will not soon be forgotten by enterprise leaders and stakeholders. Organizations that were not prepared for the upheaval will learn what worked and what didn’t and be forced—by shareholders and investors in particular—to close the technology and workflow gaps to ensure business continuity, from anywhere.
Employers and employees are seeing other significant benefits to enabling work from anywhere:
- Cost savings on the part of the employer (employers can save about $11,000/year for every person who works remotely half of the time)
- Cost savings on the part of the employee (employees can save between $2,500 and $4,000 a year working remotely half the time)
- Environmental sustainability (the quickest and easiest way to reduce your carbon footprint is by reducing commuter travel)
- Greater work/life balance (77% of employees working from home list flexibility and work/life balance as the top benefits).
But to fully realize these benefits, several challenges must be addressed – like how to ensure access to what employees need to do their jobs, in a secure and seamless manner. Overcoming that hurdle comes down to the technologies your enterprise chooses to employ.
The Right Technology Makes ‘Remote Work’ Work
In the Global Work-From-Home Experience Survey conducted in May 2020, the key enabler to remote work was access to effective technologies. To optimize the remote work experience, employees must have a strong technology foundation with reliable video, standard tools, and seamless remote collaboration capabilities.
In order to deliver the optimal work experience for employees, many companies have chosen, or are considering, Microsoft’s Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) as the go-to remote desktop solution. However, they’ve run into challenges adopting and implementing WVD.
WVD challenges include:
- Migrating persistent desktops and home directory data to Azure
- Managing virtual desktops in Azure
- Orchestrating virtual desktop deployments from region to region
With 65% of enterprise workloads still running on-premises, meeting the needs of a remote workforce is nearly impossible. Enterprise customers have been unable to move mission-critical workloads to the cloud without sacrificing performance, scale, and reliability. These workloads have long been considered impossible to migrate – until now.
NetApp Has Solutions to Take Your WVD Deployment to the Next Level
Un-migratable workloads will no longer hold enterprises back from deploying WVD everywhere to support every workload. With Azure NetApp Files, you get on-premises (or better) performance with the built-in high availability users need complete with a 99.99% SLA – all with sub-millisecond latency in the cloud. It’s built for big workloads. NetApp was recently honored by Microsoft on the global stage for helping 40 universities migrate to WVD on Azure NetApp Files to support high-performance applications that could not otherwise be accessed remotely.
NetApp Virtual Desktop Service (VDS) solves common WVD challenges by providing a simple, unified service that lets you automate, orchestrate, manage, and optimize your digital workplace in Azure. This can reduce infrastructure costs by up to 50%, as well as reducing complexity and risk.
The challenges of empowering remote business escalate the more dispersed your workforce (and data) becomes. Currently, 90% of enterprise data is accessed and stored across multiple environments, in multiple formats, in locations all over the world.
NetApp Global File Cache helps you create a globally accessible file system for your remote workforce, while NetApp Cloud Compliance ensures your enterprise is maintaining compliance with strict data privacy regulations, like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), no matter where those files reside.
We also have NetApp Cloud Insights which allows you to enhance your end-to-end management, because operating a global enterprise without access to the reporting and analytics necessary for true business insights means you are operating blind.
All this to say that remote work isn’t a vanishing trend. It’s been a long time coming, although the disruptions of 2020 advanced it far quicker than anticipated. Enterprises are now challenged to move beyond a “quick-fix” and into a sustainable business model that supports remote work and business continuity. NetApp has solutions to help your enterprise overcome the major obstacles you face.
NetApp solutions help you:
- increase performance and reduce risk with Azure NetApp Files
- create a globally accessible file system for your remote workforce with NetApp Global File Cache
- optimize your Azure digital workplace with NetApp Virtual Desktop Service
- enhance your end-to-end management with NetApp Cloud Insights
- ensure regulatory compliance of all your cloud-based personal and corporate data with NetApp Cloud Compliance
Discover how you can take your WVD deployment to the next level with Microsoft and NetApp. Watch this short video and register to be onboarded to the Microsoft whitelist for Azure NetApp Files today.