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What is it about supporting remote workers?

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Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Mini Poll Thanks for your feedback on this week's workshop topic, which could loosely be defined as 'remote desktop support' but actually translates more into 'trying to explain how to put out a fire using a periscope, tin can and string'.

As usual we're interested in bottoming out your views, particularly to gauge whether providing IT support to remote workers* is more or less problematic than providing it to on-site workers. (* That's remote as in not in 'central office').

So what do you think? Where are the real challenges and what, in your experience, do you think might help make things easier? Do please grab the obligatory cuppa and fill in this week's short poll and we'll have the results back to you sharpish.

READER POLL

1. What size of company do you work for?

1 - 10 employees
11 - 250 employees
251 - 1,000 employees
1,001 - 5,000 employees
Over 5,000 employees

2. How do users break out across the following areas? (we know this won't be exact – remote workers also come into the office, for example – so give us your gut feel for a 'normal week')

Central office based %
Branch office based %
Mobile %
Home based %

3. How does providing IT support to remote users compare to providing it to onsite workers?

Much easier
A bit easier
No difference
A bit harder
Much harder
It's not as simple as that (please tell us why)
 

4. How much of an issue are the following? (score each 1-5 where 5 is major challenge) when providing IT support to remote users?

  5 4 3 2 1
Not being able to see a remote user's screen
Lack of physical access to a remote user's equipment
Remote user's expectation levels
The diversity of equipment encountered (e.g. remote users using their own kit)
Other (please state)

5. Would any of the following help you provide IT support to remote users and do you use them?

  Would help Wouldn't help   Already have Don't have WIP Not an option
Screen sharing tools  
Management tools that enable control of remote computer  
More locked down security on remote PCs  
Use of Network Access Control (NAC) or equivalent to block corporate access from non-standard equipment  
Helpdesk processes that recognise user location in diagnosis and support  
Policies to limit proliferation of non-corporate equipment  
Other (please state)  

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