Huey implemented practical steps to reduce the burden of having so many people remotely connected, including changing the idle period timeout on the VPN from eight hours to two hours, and increasing the licence for the EY remote connect software.
"The biggest delay is not so much getting the licence, it’s getting priority with the vendor to get the increase, because everyone around the world is asking for the same thing."
Huey says there are even more preliminary questions for organisation looking to pivot to full remote work, such as: do all the staff have laptops or remote access from home devices?
Then, is there core software such as email that doesnt have to be on the VPN? And are your internet links and VPN tuned enough that they can burst-up and reduce back down, or have you ensured ready access to change licensing thresholds rapidly, or alternatively multi-geographic locations that could provide spillover capacity?
The growing challenge is that many organisations realise they don’t have the frameworks, processes and maturity in place to facilitate a rapid scaleup of remote working capability. What would previously have been a five-year project to build and mature that capability needs to be condensed into a matter of weeks.
“Almost every organisation has the ability to connect virtually to key systems and processes. The critical risk is if an organisation is faced with having to move their entire workforce virtually, can they scale it up quickly and not disrupt, or be forced to shut down critical services. This is something that they may not be yet fully thinking about,” EY’s Government Digital and Technology Leader Andrew Garner says. He points particularly to those organisations with thousands of staff, only a small percentage of which are remote-work enabled.