July 19, 2011

The Definitive Guide to Telework

The continued decentralization of the traditional corporate office is being driven by a number of major enterprise initiatives -- homeshoring, teleworking, and the need to reduce real estate costs. As an example, homeshoring and teleworking enable corporations to significantly reduce their real estate costs, tap into highly educated, yet less expensive, regional talent pools, and eliminate employee commutes. Further, there is a desire to locate employees, especially sales employees, within their community and customer base. This is resulting in smaller branch offices as well, and the accelerated growth of micro-branch deployments. These "distributed enterprise" initiatives place a great deal of pressure on IT to deliver HQ-like access, security, and performance to all employees, irrespective of location, and to provide this enterprise-class infrastructure cost effectively. Having to provision and manage hundreds or thousands of branch offices or teleworkers places a massive burden on an already over taxed IT department.

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This 18-page e-book from Aerohive takes a comprehensive look at teleworking trends, first examining why teleworking has fallen short of expectations to date and then postulating why it might finally be poised to flourish. The big drivers now are the cloud services craze coupled with cash-strapped enterprises’ collective desire to offload capex and opex (including real estate and power costs) in any way they can, be it to service providers or to employees.

Don’t expect a typical Aerohive discussion of the merits of controller-less WLAN architectures here; the e-book mentions Wi-Fi just once and in passing. This document is broader and more comprehensive, taking into account routing, VPNs, training, tools and processes. That’s because Aerohive branched out into other relevant networking areas with its January acquisition of routing company Pareto Networks, allowing Aerohive to offer cloud services that range beyond just WLAN management.

The e-book implies that nearly everything you need in a home office is now attainable in the cloud or via a managed network service and lists the top IT requirements that accompany a full-blown telework program. You’ll also learn about the cost, security and operational ramifications of creating a strategic teleworking plan; how to build policies about what kinds of work can and cannot be done from home; and how to foster a successful telework culture in your organization. You’ll find tips, for example, about how to steer away from micromanagement, a practice that doesn’t work well in a highly distributed work environment.

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