Managing the Remote and Mobile Workforce

By | September 7, 2006

An effective management solution must offer more than this; it must also have the ability to deploy scheduled packages to offline systems the next time they connect. In addition, the solution needs to take into account the different circumstances that mobile and remote clients face. Thus it should offer optimization features such as package compression, checkpoint restart capabilities, and automated offline completion of software installs.

Asset management This is another significant concern for remote or mobile clients. Whether it´s to adhere to government regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act or to avoid fines resulting from noncompliance with software licensing agreements, organizations must be able to track and monitor all of their systems. Solutions that perform asset management tasks need to be able to recognize when mobile or remote clients connect to the network and then execute the necessary inventory scans as needed. They must also be able to perform inventory scans offline to deal with the issue of slow, unreliable, and limited connections.

Antivirus protection Most IT organizations go to great lengths to safeguard their digital assets from outside threats. Unfortunately, when mobile systems move outside the relative safety of their corporate defenses, their vulnerability to attack rises dramatically unless appropriate measures are taken. As part of an effective management solution, the security policy for mobile clients needs to be able to sense when a system connects from outside the corporate network and automatically adjust security protections accordingly. Organizations can also require that all remote access occur through the corporate virtual private network (VPN), which will block any traffic that doesn´t come from within the secure walls of the corporate infrastructure.

Disaster recovery As a recent article demonstrated, it´s essential to ensure that mobile workers´ data is backed up. Unfortunately, intermittent connections make it difficult for these systems to be included in regularly scheduled enterprise backups. Organizations need to take advantage of disaster recovery solutions that not only enable automated data backup upon connection, but that allow users to work unimpeded while that backup process runs. Disk-to-disk disaster recovery solutions can completely automate the backup process, drastically reducing the need for human intervention. Remote control can also play a critical role in disaster recovery efforts.

Putting it all together

As the above issues make clear, the challenges of managing remote and mobile clients touch upon the different disciplines of systems, security, and storage management. That´s why Symantec believes a well-managed infrastructure is one that can effectively converge these management efforts. As organizations unify their systems, security, and storage management efforts, they will have the agility to respond more quickly and effectively to the challenges they face. They will also have the ability to ensure improved business operations and continuity.

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