With more people working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses need to extend their help desk and IT field support from the office to the home and everywhere in-between. This is true not only for in-band (software-based, attended and powered) IT devices but also for out-of-band (hardware-based, non-attended and non-powered) devices.

But with limited field agent support, it’s a real challenge to support work-from-home users who aren’t connected to the corporate network nor have their devices powered on. The traditional methods of providing remote manageability via software-based applications are dependent on the availability of the device operating system, corporate network and a switched-on device.

That’s where remote management technology comes in: to provide remote employees with an experience that’s similar to being in the office. It empowers IT with business-enabled tools to monitor, restore, upgrade and protect devices both inside and outside the corporate firewall, for both powered and powered-down systems and devices. 

Remote Capabilities for all Scenarios

Consider a scenario where the laptop of a critical remote user (e.g., a data scientist) has crashed with the “blue screen of death” (BSOD), and he needs immediate access to his files. He calls the field support technician, who connects to the user’s laptop (even in its BSOD state) and remotely views the laptop screen and controls the keyboard and mouse in real-time. This remote connection is even possible when the user’s machine operating system isn’t available.

As a result, the technician is able to remotely restart the user’s laptop and quickly help him access his files, as if he were physically present to fix the device. In scenarios like this, remote manageability systems, such as our WorkNEXT™ Remote Out of Band (OoB) solution, enables organizations to address remote working challenges for both in-band and out-of-band devices.

With remote working on the rise, the security and compliance management of devices is another major challenge for the IT department. Yet it’s impractical to send an engineer out every time a device has an issue.

Consider a financial accountant’s laptop being listed as non-compliant because of missing security patches due to the device being switched off. With remote manageability, the field service technician could remotely power-on the laptop and install the required security patches to make it compliant again, thereby securing and saving manual effort, time and money.

The Future of Remote Manageability

We believe remote manageability should include robust security and management capabilities built into users’ systems for both in-band and out-of-band devices. It should include hardware-based remote management, security, power management and configuration features that enable independent remote access and control for unattended devices, regardless of their state or location. This would enable any platform-based client system with a power source on a known network to be remotely connected, and the integrated keyboard, video and mouse remote control would make it easier to view and solve issues.

The digital service desk and modern field support techs using this remote support capability can improve responsiveness to requests and help reduce support costs with enhanced remote coverage.

With COVID-19, modern workplace boundaries are merging between office and home.  With simplified remote manageability, businesses can enable the new-age mobile workforce to be productive at any place and any time.

Varun Mehta, Lead Infrastructure Architect in the Digital Workplace Services Practice at Cognizant, contributed to this blog.

For more information, visit us at our Digital Workplace Services website.

See our COVID-19 resources page for additional insights and updates.

Amresh Singh

Amresh Singh

Amresh Singh is a leader for the global Digital Workplace Services practice in Cognizant Infrastructure Services. He has more than 18 years of experience working... Read more