• United States
Contributing Writer

Remote workers: How do you serve them?

Oct 15, 20033 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsSecurity

* Extending your corporate net to remote offices

A big challenge for IT organizations is to manage the hordes of telecommuters, road warriors and small office/home office workers trying to hook on to the enterprise. Many IT groups develop and manage these “unique” working environments on shoestring budgets without access to specialized training.

IT managers are quick to point out that corporations take for granted that this kind of access will be offered – sometimes without regard to the security ramifications or the toll it will take on the IT group to support a 24-7 anywhere anytime workforce.

Next year, Network World plans to roll out an event that will help you beef up your remote “office” management skills. We’ll also introduce you to products and services that make keeping all your users – no matter where they’re located – connected to the enterprise.

The No. 1 issue we’ll be examining is security. The first part of this will be secure access to the network and all its resources. Expect identity management and policy management to be a large part of this discussion. After all, knowing who’s entering the network can let you assign the appropriate rights to resources.

But another piece of security is what happens to an organization’s intellectual property when it leaves the confines of the network. How do you guarantee its integrity? We’ll discuss digital rights management and other modes of protecting data outside of the network walls.

Look for an interesting debate on application and equipment management, as well. Software updates, hardware maintenance, configurations of any kind  – all of this can pose headaches for an IT organization. We’ll show you ways to automatically update remote workspaces to keep everyone in step. Hand in hand with this will be a discussion about how to use Web-based applications to your advantage.

And then finally, we’ll look at the issue of allocating resources and maintaining service levels for remote workers. Trust me, if they suffer slowdowns in access to the network or its applications or if e-mail is not running smoothly, it will not bode well for the IT group. We’ll look at techniques you can use to track performance across the board.

Here’s the part where you come in – what else would you like to see covered in this event? As IT managers, what are your biggest challenges in dealing with off-enterprise access to the network? How have you dealt with these issues? Let me know at