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This Week in Remote Work - Nov. 13 Edition

November 13, 2020
By Robb Henshaw

Welcome to the November 13th edition of This Week in Remote Work, where we take a look at some of the week's most intriguing articles & reports about the future of work. Let's dig in. Image for Cameyo blog post on the top remote work articles of the week

1) The 2020 Duo Trusted Access Report (Duo Security)

Every week there are plenty of new reports and surveys about remote work, but surprisingly few are focused solely on the security implications of remote work. This new report from Duo Security (part of Cisco) stood out not only because it dives deep on the security topic, but because of the quality of the data. The Duo Data Science team analyzed data from more than 26 million devices, more than 500,000 unique applications and roughly 700 million monthly authentications from across our customer base, spanning North America, Western Europe and Asia-Pacific. And the depth of the data is fantastic. 

Despite it's depth it does a really good job of telling a visual story that is very easy to get through, so I highly recommend downloading the free report here. A few interesting quotes:

“As the pandemic began, the priority for many organizations was keeping the lights on and accepting risk in order to accomplish this end,” said Dave Lewis, Global Advisory CISO, Duo Security at Cisco.

“Many companies had to scramble to acquire the requisite assets they needed to be able to supply their employees with laptops for remote work. Some workarounds occurred where companies had to rely on the use of personal devices or BYOD in order to shore up for the near term. The priority for many organizations was in keeping the lights on and accepting risks in order to accomplish this end.”

“Attention has now turned towards lessening risk by implementing a more mature and modern security approach that accounts for a traditional corporate perimeter that has been completely upended.”

This is very much in line with what we've been seeing. In the early days of the pandemic, organizations had to do whatever they could to keep things moving and to protect business continuity, even if that meant some security compromises. Now that remote work is here to stay (in one capacity or another), organizations have shifted to investing in their new, long term remote work strategies. And the smart ones are putting security at the forefornt of that strategy. 

2) Mastering the Remote Work Surge: Your Best Moves Now (CIO)

This article for CIO was written by Mark Wayt of HP Enterprise, and it does a great job of identifying the "old ways" of work that needed to change, how orgs have adapted thus far, and then provides a very smart look at where things could be headed next. 

And sticking with the security theme from the previous report, this article drives home the point that many organizations simply had to accept bandaid fixes in the early days of the pandemic, even though they were very aware of the security risks. 

But adding a license and maybe increasing capacity often provided a short-term solution. You may have put the Remote PC client on your workstations and allowed people to work from home securely. You may have even allowed them to VPN in via their untrusted devices (even if that was a huge security risk) as it “allowed them to work.”

He then explores how organizations can dig themselves out of this hole and use this as an opportunity to invest in solutions that not only fortify your security posture, but also make people more productive:

And with Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), you could even adopt the full zero-trust model, enabling you to make clever decisions about how end users can access secure applications and be fully productive without compromising security. That could mean, for example, provisioning a VDI session instead of allowing a user to run a local application, so you ensure that data never leaves your controlled devices. 

Check out the full article here

3) You can forget your fancy ERP customisations because that's not how it works in the cloud, SAP's Oliver Betz tells users (The Register)

This article perfectly summarizes why it is so critical to have a solution in place to enable your legacy Windows applications to run in a browser. The article talks about comments made by SAP's CEO, essentially telling customers that they need to abandon the legacy versions of SAP and migrate to the cloud-based versions. 

But as we covered in a post earlier this week, even if the ERP, CRM, EHR, etc. that your organization relies on does have a cloud-based version as well, many organizations have spent years and millions of dollars customizing their on-premise software to fit the specific needs of their businesses. In those cases, making the move to a cloud-based version would mean giving up those customizations to in exchange for a standardized SaaS version of the software.

That trade-off simply does not work for organizations who depend on customized software to run their business. This quote from The Register sums it up:

"But for many customers, it will be anything but a simple technical migration. Those who have made modifications to the software to fit their business will be in for a rude awakening as they consider the leap to the cloud, where standard – if configurable – systems are the name of the game."

This is one of the many reasons that independent software vendors (ISVs) utilize Cameyo to cloud-enable their legacy applications. Rather than spending years and millions of dollars redeveloping their applications for the cloud, only to provide something that many of their customers simply will not be willing to switch to due to decades of customizations - ISVs can instead deliver their legacy desktop software to any device, from the browser, with Cameyo. 

Read the full article here

4) With COVID-19 hanging on, migration to the cloud accelerates (Network World)

IDC has been on a roll recently (we featured two pieces of their research last week, too), and this Network World article digs in deeper on what IDC's 2021 predictions mean when it comes to cloud adoption. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic showing no signs of abating, migration to the cloud is expected to accelerate as enterprises choose to let someone else worry about their server gear.

The research firm expects that by the end of 2021, 80% of enterprises will put a mechanism in place to shift to cloud-centric infrastructure and applications twice as fast as before the pandemic. CIOs must accelerate the transition to a cloud-centric IT model to maintain competitive parity and to make the organization more digitally resilient, the firm said.

These fundamental shifts are driving rapid adoption of digital workspace solutions that can enable employees to be productive from anywhere and on any device with secure access to all of their business critical Windows applications from the browser.  

The intelligent digital workspace: By 2023, 75% of global 2000 companies will commit to providing technical parity to a workforce that is hybrid by design rather than by circumstance, enabling them to work together separately and in real time.

Read the full article here

5) Would You Change Jobs To Ensure Permanent Remote Working? Over Half Say Yes. (Forbes)

And now for the obligatory weekly survey that reveals all kinds of fun stats about how people feel about remote work and what this might mean for the future of work. I will say, this one had an unexpected twist that I didn't see coming (see the last stat listed below):

  • 97% said they had taken necessary steps to remain equally focused during this period of remote work
  • 85% of full-time workers expressed interest in becoming a digital nomad
  • 56% saying they planned to switch jobs if their employers did not permit remote working after this pandemic

The fact that more than 50% of all people said they would be willing to leave their jobs if they were not allowed to work remotely moving forward is a powerful statement about the future of work. There's a lot of debate about what percentage of companies will let their people work remotely, or how often people will be allowed to work remotely, after the pandemic. But these survey suggests that organizations may end up having less choice in the matter than they plan. If their employees demand to maintain the flexibility of remote work even after the pandemic - and are willing to quit if the company doesn't agree - orgs may have their hands forced when it comes to defining remote work policies moving forward. 

Filed Under: Remote Work, Working From Home, Digital Workspaces, Future of Work, This Week in Remote Work