The growth in remote working means IT departments should review and if necessary overhaul their application and IT infrastructure access, Butler Group has said.
The firm said it was crucial to provide key applications to remote workers and extend business processes to distributed locations through fixed or wireless communication technologies.
In a new report, called ‘Application delivery – creating a flexible, service-centric network architecture’, the company said that application delivery to the "extended enterprise" would allow organisations to improve processes. It also presented an opportunity for innovation, it added.
Mark Blowers, senior research analyst and co-author of the study, said: “The effect of changing social patterns on business models cannot be ignored, with more and more of the workforce now based away from head office.
“However, there is an increased business risk to this freedom, with the main issues being the security of information outside the confines of the office.”
Butler Group said that it was a complex, difficult task to manage connections for the entire workforce, especially with workers connecting via a wide range of fixed and wireless networks. Keeping costs low was also a challenge in this environment, it said.
But the report praised the availability of wide area network optimisation software to help centralise and improve the reliability of those networks. Butler said that organisations with branch offices should seriously ook at trialling such a product.
Blowers also said that management was crucial to application delivery architecture. He said security was important, but said that the latter "should not be a barrier to the adoption of more flexible working practices".
In May, a Datamonitor survey of 500 IT decision makers identified security as one of a number of factors inhibiting investment in mobile technologies, as enterprises feared internet breaches and data leakage when deploying mobility solutions.
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