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COVID-19 is Stress Testing Remote Support: How to Make Remote Support Simple, Flexible and Secure

Aaron Lester

March 29, 2020


Over the past few weeks, the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has completely transformed the way millions of people around the world work. Office buildings and cubicles sit empty as employees make the shift to working remotely. By some estimates, up to 50% of American workers – 60 million to 70 million people – may try to telecommute during the coronavirus emergency. Add to that the number of people in other countries doing the same, and the numbers are staggering.

IT professionals and help desk staff at companies everywhere are grappling with the challenges of supporting a suddenly massive remote workforce and increased use of technology by their own employees, the customers they serve or both.

Many employees will make the transition to working at home smoothly, and some may already have been working remotely for some time. But others will struggle. They may need help with the hardware in their home offices, particularly if their work requires more than just a laptop (Think: dual monitors, printers and scanners, mobile devices, etc.). Others may need support with new meeting or collaboration platforms. Then there’s the same routine support that’s always needed, regardless of where people work: software, emails, calendars, etc.

IT professionals have to adapt rapidly to this new world, quickly ramping up their ability to meet the explosion in demand while remaining  “socially distanced” themselves. Companies that can successfully make the shift will see fewer disruptions to their employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX). They’ll also be positioned for business empowerment when the current crisis passes, able to more nimbly provide remote support in the long-term. The key is choosing the right solution.

The three must-haves: simplicity, flexibility and security

There are three key attributes to look for in a remote support solution:

  1. Simple for agents and end users alike: Speed is of the essence right now, and companies need to quickly stand up a remote support solution that will allow the IT Help Desk to start resolving issues without missing a beat. Users, meanwhile, need quick resolution of their issues so they can get back to work. IT staff need rapid diagnostic capabilities, including the ability to check technical data automatically, for faster troubleshooting and less user frustration. What's more, they need to be able to serve more than one customer at a time, interacting with them via online chat while running multiple help sessions simultaneously – a critical attribute given the sheer volume of help needed right now.
  2. The flexibility to work across platforms and scale as needs change: The right solution will have the power to serve remote employees across channels, platforms, and geographies. It should also be easy to customize to fit the unique needs of your team or support organization. As businesses shift back to brick and mortar locations and continue to grow they need to be able to handle more agents and users without eroding reliability, availability or performance.
  3. Bulletproof security for agents and end-users alike. Security is, of course, a vital concern, especially with the current uptick in workers forced to use a cloud-based platform. Any remote support solution has to meet strict security guidelines while flexing to meet diverse work environments. Features like end-to-end, Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) are a must for all communications to ensure that messages are exchanged confidentially, that transferred files cannot be hacked, and that data at rest is protected.

The time is now

Though it’s not clear how long the disruptions of the global coronavirus pandemic will continue, it is clear that being able to deliver fast, responsive and secure IT support is critical for business continuity in the weeks and months to come. However, many are predicting that the shift to work-at-home will outlast the pandemic, and more people will be working remotely in the future. Implement the right support solution now, and you’ll differentiate your business from the rest.

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