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What Do Manufacturing Companies Need In A Remote Work Solution?

Implementing remote work in manufacturing companies is a big challenge. They need specific technologies in work from home solutions to overcome those challenges.

We are all now entering the phase of ‘living with the virus, as strict lockdown rules have had several undesirable effects on economies as a whole and the livelihood of millions of people across the globe. Many manufacturing and production facilities are beginning to operate, although nowhere near full capacity. The governments are laying out clear rules and precautionary measures for organizations to follow, to ensure the safety of the workforce.

Manufacturing industries are steadily pushing themselves towards accepting the new reality of remote work and are making sure that work from home is done wherever possible.  Before we explore the issues faced by manufacturing companies in implementing remote work and the features that they would need to have in a remote work solution, it goes unsaid that the first qualifying criteria for a remote work solution are simplicity, usability, and installability associated with it. A remote work solution should ease and simplify the existing infrastructure, critical business processes, and procedures. Any solution that makes things more complex and more difficult compared to the status quo cannot be sustained for long and organizations will have to let them go.

Difficulties faced by Manufacturing companies in implementing Remote work

Although an organization-wide implementation of remote work is out of the question for manufacturing companies, a partially remote work policy can still be of help. Apart from those people who are directly involved with the shop floor activities, other employees can still contribute through remote work. Departments like design, planning, supply chain management, finance, accounts, legal, purchase, human resource management, marketing, and sales can still be very efficient and productive through remote work.

Unlike IT enterprises, which, under normal circumstances, will have at least a minimum percentage of employees working remotely, many manufacturing companies have never tried remote work even for select employees or departments. With no experience or exposure to the issues that may arise due to remote work, many manufacturing companies are now standing in totally unfamiliar territory. An enterprise cannot simply let its employees work from home overnight, using their own devices. Exposing confidential data to public networks and employees’ devices will open the door for several cyber security issues and may result in some irreversible damage in the form of monetary losses, loss of reputation among clients and employees, legal issues, etc. Many cyber-attacks on business networks happen after an entry through an employee’s end device.

Features needed in a Remote work solution

The following are the features that are needed by manufacturing companies to enable a secure enterprise mobility

  • The solution must satisfy the manufacturing companies’ demand for stringent security measures and robust governance protocols. It must be based on a zero-trust security framework that inherently does not trust any device within or outside the network.
  • It must provide enterprises with complete end-device control with the provision of role-based or device-based access.
  • Detailed audit logs providing information on who accessed what, when and from where should be obtained. As the end-users use their own devices, the solution must also ensure that the enterprise data never enters the end device, even when the user is accessing the virtualized enterprise network.
  • The solution must be an easy rollout solution that does not pressurize the IT teams of the companies and should be supported from a centralized location.
  • The user experience must not be affected although continuous scanning of the device is done. The legacy applications that were in use should still be supported.

All these features are put together to ensure complete security of the intellectual property, financial records, client details, and other such confidential data and keep all cyber-threats at bay while providing enterprise mobility.

So, the need of the hour for manufacturing companies is one simple and complete solution with all of the above features. This can be provided with one solution that has – An application tunnel VPN, – A Zero-Trust based gateway, Identity, and Access Management, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, Multi-factor authentication, and Data Leakage Protection integrated into it.

Such a remote access solution that provides instant access to business applications to authenticated users working from anywhere using any device may not only be beneficial in these trying times but also in the long run, through a significant reduction of op-ex.

Written By

Vice-President, Enterprise Solutions, Accops Systems Pvt. Ltd.

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