Insights

How CIOs Are Planning for the Future of Work [Webinar Recap]

Chuck Leddy

June 09, 2021

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Organizations and IT professionals now confront a massive question: How do we effectively develop our organization's remote and hybrid work playbook for selecting, right-sizing, and optimizing technology infrastructure and tools that support people and our business goals? A recent webinar hosted by CIO Talk Network, Enabling Frictionless Remote Work for Employee Productivity and Business Growth, brought together IT leaders from several industries to address that question. Among the guests was Jeremy Rafuse, Head of Global IT at LogMeIn, who gives an inside look into how LogMeIn is planning the future of work.

Top Challenges in Supporting Remote Work

As companies transitioned to remote work, two big challenges stand out:

1. Resiliency. Companies need to be ready to change when the needs of their users change. Rafuse noted that pre-COVID, LogMeIn’s IT assets and infrastructure were largely located in the offices where employees worked. Shifting to a nearly all-remote model changed all that. Hardware, network, and support capabilities needed to be redeployed and rethought. The ongoing need to redeploy IT infrastructure and support to remote environments continues to be one of the biggest challenges IT teams face each day.

2. Support: Companies must flex their support depending on what their users need, no matter where those users work. Continuing to provide the same level of support in remote environments as in offices just won't work. Rafuse and his team ran into support coverage issues, after-hours support issues, as well as issues around logistics, leading LogMeIn to take a more regional approach to deploying hardware for supporting remote work.

Solutions for Remote Work Challenges

Faced with these remote work challenges, LogMeIn adjusted and reorganized the way it provided support to gain resilience and flexibility. “We’ve always wanted to build a level-one help desk where all the tickets could flow through,” said Rafuse. LogMeIn built a 24/7 help desk that shifted away from office-based support. Today, the support users need can come from anywhere in the world and gives employees the same level of support no matter where they’re located in the world.

LogMeIn also added tools and self-service options to scale and flex support. The company enabled 24/7 chat and also a 24/7 phone contact center so a technician can fix a user’s issue immediately or escalate the issue to the right person to fix it. Amazingly, Rafuse and his team built all these capabilities “in about 2 months, including hiring and training. It was super successful and we’ve gotten nothing but really good feedback from our end users.”

Moving Forward: Supporting Hybrid Work

Many companies today are currently looking at implementing hybrid work approaches as a way to blend remote work with in-office work. Supporting that “best of both worlds” hybrid work model, which gives employees maximum flexibility in choosing when and where to get their work done (maybe at home 2-3 days a week, then in office, perhaps sitting near teammates, for the other days), adds an additional layer of complexity for IT support. What does this look like in real life? “We’re planning on going hybrid in a reduced capacity,” says Rafuse, “so if a building held a thousand people pre-pandemic, it might hold five hundred employees when it opens up.”

In a hybrid work environment, the level and nature of IT support changes. Hybrid work introduces completely new challenges around booking a desk for the day. In adopting the “hoteling concept,” nobody has a dedicated workspace or desk. The employee would need to go into an app and book an open desk, maybe near people on their team. Of course, IT would need to provide on-site hardware and support for those “hoteling” employees no matter where they sit, not to mention provide remote support on days when employees are working from home.

The ongoing shift to hybrid work, much like the shift to remote work during the early days of the pandemic, will be a learning process. “We may not even see all the issues we’ll need to address until we actually start making the shift to hybrid work at scale,” he said. Remaining agile will be key to the success of IT support and infrastructure alike.

To learn more about how Jeremy Rafuse, Ram Nagappan (CIO at BNY Mellon | Pershing), Kevin Boyd (CIO at University of Chicago), and Jason Joseph (CIO at Spectrum Health), are supporting remote and hybrid work, watch the full CIO webinar, Enabling Frictionless Remote Work for Employee Productivity and Business Growth.

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