The success of work from home (WFH) during this trying time of the global coronavirus pandemic has quickly changed the beliefs of many long-time WFH skeptics. A Gartner survey of 317 CFOs and business finance leaders found that 74% plan to move their previously onsite workforce to permanently remote positions post-COVID-19. The biggest impetus cited for this long-term shift was the cost-saving benefits of working from home. This comes from the reduction of both onsite technologies spend, as well as reduced costs in real estate expenses. Many global enterprises and local businesses around the world have also publicly announced that a higher percentage of their workforce will continue to remain remote, or at least have that option part-time, even after COVID-19 is long behind us.
More than ever, organizations are relying on remote access technologies and cloud applications to enable productivity for their dispersed workforces. For IT organizations, the most significant change to normal workflows has generally been a new focus on remote access to centralized IT resources and corporate networks for employees outside the office. A remote team can reap many benefits if the adequate technology, resources, support, and processes are in place.
Assessing your IT Support Tools & Processes
The transition for the IT service desk to supporting remote employees has required different approaches to endpoint security and troubleshooting for IT service desk pros. In some cases, supporting this shift has required reallocation of IT spend. Unfortunately, during the scramble to go remote during the initial days of social distancing guidelines and rules, many organizations deployed remote access and other tools in a rush, lacking the time to perform proper vetting.
While almost no one would characterize current times as “normal”, the dust has at least settled a bit. If your organization was forced to make consequential IT decisions in a rush, now may be a good time to conduct a more thorough assessment of the tools and process that you have in place. The ultimate goal should be to have the right tools and processes going forward to support secure remote access for the IT Service desk, well into the future.
1. Ease of Set up / Onboarding
Perceptions around onboarding costs have traditionally been a major obstacle preventing small to mid-sized IT companies from pushing forward with remote working initiatives. In the initial stages of the pandemic, some organizations relied on de-centralized, stop-gap approaches to support remote work, rather than adopting something more fit for the long-term needs of the enterprise.
Many companies make the mistake of purchasing standalone client-installed Help Desk apps. This “solution” means every new remote worker needs a separate app that requires installation and maintenance. This de-centralized approach results in higher costs, increased technical problems, and presents barriers to scalability.
2. Employee Satisfaction & Retention
The daily experience of your employees can affect many things, including the level of happiness of the IT team members. Equipping your IT service desk with tools that allows them to do their job faster and more efficiently, contributes directly to the performance of your employees and their satisfaction. Ultimately, this all also translates into excellent customer satisfaction.
Enterprise-class remote support tools, such as the one offered by BeyondTrust, allow users to provide remote assistance securely through firewalls to any remote desktop, server, POS system, or mobile device. BeyondTrust Remote Support excels at delivering ease of use, reliability, integration options, and unmatched security, making it one of the absolute best tools you can rely on to help keep your organization running and your employees happy.
3. Service Desk Automation
How often are tickets sent to the wrong IT personnel? How much time do employees spend each day triaging new tickets? This is a waste of time for support teams and negatively impacts the customer experience. Efficient support depends on matching incoming support requests with the right resources. However, putting seasoned staff in first tier – or sending them onsite – can monopolize their time and eat up productivity.
The right remote support tool can make it possible for your IT support organization to define escalation paths to skilled resources in a cost-effective manner. Leveraging BeyondTrust’s solution, skilled staff can engage with critical support requests instantly and remotely. With Intelligent Collaboration capability, users can broadcast a request for assistance based only on the problem description—even if they don’t know who can fix it, their availability, or the needed skills. This capability allows you to respond to customers with the right resources on the first call.
Also, consider chatbots, which have been rapidly growing in popularity. Many companies are now using chatbots as the first point-of-contact in a support request so that frequent issues can be quickly and easily solved without necessitating a live support agent. Chatbots are just one of many classes of powerful tools that BeyondTrust Remote Support can integrate with.
4. Service Desk Reporting & Analytics
Detailed reports are helpful when you’re analyzing support activity in aggregate. For instance, correlating ticketing data with remote worker distribution (e.g., locations of your remote workforce) can inform future remote working decisions. Does it take longer for IT Support to help employees in Australia compared to Canada? Analysis of response times may lead to changes in your long-term remote distribution decisions, or changes to your local Support processes.
Remote support tools enable your team to work from multiple locations, which can make it more difficult to oversee all customer interactions or have a clear view of the representatives’ activities. That’s why BeyondTrust Remote Support includes a Dashboard that lets you oversee support teams, supervise distribution of session load, transfer or take over support sessions, and monitor representatives' desktops. It’s the type of powerful tool that enables you to analyze tickets and activity and take clear, measurable steps that improve support.
5. Service Desk Security
IT support activities, such as remote access, remote control, configuration changes, and more often involve privileged access and sensitive resources. Despite this, many remote support tools lack essential privileged access security features and capabilities necessary to protect your own organization, as well as your customers’ environments.
BeyondTrust Remote Support not only includes granular privileged access controls, such as enforcing least privilege, it also provides an enterprise PAM credential vault—at no additional cost. The Vault protects privileged credentials with discovery, management, rotation, auditing and monitoring for any privileged account. This covers all credentials from local or domain shared administrator, to a user’s personal admin account, even SSH keys, cloud and social media accounts. The BeyondTrust Vault stores those credentials securely, retrieves them when needed, and injects them directly into a session. This eliminates the need for users to remember or share privileged credentials. Thus, BeyondTrust Remote Support protects organizations and their customers against many different privileged attack vectors—privilege elevation and escalation attacks, lateral movement, credential re-use, and more.
Supporting Endpoints and Remote Workers with BeyondTrust
BeyondTrust Remote Support, is the most complete, secure, and scalable solution for delivering remote IT support. To learn more, contact us today, or check-out the resources below: