According to a recent study published by Tech Republic, nearly 75 percent of IT and business professionals agree that making their business applications available to remote and mobile workers is becoming a bigger priority, and 63 percent consider it critical to do so. However, this trend presents serious security and compliance challenges for IT management responsible for services and remote support, which will be addressed in the webcast, Remote Support: How Secure Are You?

The 370 participants in the study ranked access to real time information, increased employee satisfaction, and improved decision-making agility as the major objectives of extending applications to the remote workforce, although increased revenue was also an objective for 50 percent. Over one third of the participants were also striving to improve the sales cycle and quoting process, and reduce field service data errors.

Increased worker productivity and efficiency topped the list for factors making the business case, closely followed by improved data collection and accuracy, reduced costs, enhanced services, access to business stats and reports, and improved accountability for work processes and resource utilization.

Nearly all of the participants - 95 percent - rated security concerns as somewhat serious, serious, or extremely serious, and over 75 percent ranked regulatory compliance in these categories. The expense and technical problems involved in supporting remote workers and the extended applications were also ranked as serious by 85 percent.

The increasing number of remote and mobile workers, and the perceived urgency to make business applications available to them, presents new challenges to ITs whose support efforts now extend beyond the centralized corporate office - how do you make company information available to workers outside the corporate office while ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of that data? The compliance requirements of HIPAA, Sarbanes Oxley, and other regulations further heighten the necessity to establish viable solutions to these security and compliance issues. This is particularly important in healthcare and financial institutions.

Bill Rose, Service & Support Professional Association Founder and Executive Director, Nathan McNeill, Co-Founder and Product Manager for NetworkStreaming, and Chuck Deaton, IT Security Manager for Humana, Inc., have teamed up to address these issues and are co-presenting a webcast regarding the precise problems involved, and potential solutions for supporting remote and mobile workers. The webcast is on Thursday, June 29, 2006, at 11:00 a.m. PST, and 2:00 p.m. EST. Register here for the webcast.

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