We’ve got the leadership, governance, approach, and environment set up for our remote teams. Let’s address the technology side of this new, universal remote workplace in final piece of our three-part series.

Software Integration

In a remote work environment, software and integration development can continue provided developers and QA resources continue to update their tasks using the organization’s development tools. Examples include JIRA and Asana as well as proprietary methods.

  • Teams may need to adjust their work habits as Stand Ups and collaboration move to a virtual tool. Strategies using instant messaging and 1-on-1 calls can close the gap on ad-hoc communication among team members
  • Testing can be difficult if developers do not have access to test labs or if firewall rules do not allow external access to all systems involved in an integrated solution
  • Mitigation can include creating decentralized labs for testing, moving hardware selectively to developers’ remote workspaces or allowing selective resources to visit labs at a central location for testing

Testing of External Software

Often organizations must test 3rd party software for devices that are part of a system deployed to remote locations. Integration testing resources must have access to properly replicate real life scenarios to fully test.

  • Test internally at the home office first
  • Test new software or software updates on all devices in use remotely
    • Document functionality differences between different operating systems – iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, etc.
  • Test using a pilot control group before full deployment
  • Roll out documentation and release notes before releasing the new/updated software

Connectivity

IT professionals need to follow the same best practices as all remote workers. Security teams must take special care as they open development and testing environments to remote access that may expose critical systems and software to external bad actors.

  • Cannot use BYOD devices – must be provisioned by the company
  • Utilize specific ports for remote access for IT workers
  • VPN security required
  • Multi-factor identification recommended for each connection
  • Manage permissions tightly
  • Event logging for all connections should be enabled and reporting available and monitored

Issues and Resolutions

A remote workforce may have difficulty as solutions are deployed depending on the availability of tracking and their development environment. Each situation should be accessed, and mitigation plans be formulated to promote quick resolution of issues. Fallback plans must be used as much as possible.

Shifting your team to a full or partial remote workplace is no small task, especially for companies not set up to do so previously. We hope these topics and tips help you work through challenges that can come with a remote work environment. Please reach out with questions or any needs you may have. Contact us by email at inquiry@impact21.com, go to https://impact21.com/contact-us/, or call 819-440-3040 to speak to us directly. We wish you and your team the best and hope you are all staying safe and healthy.

If you missed either of the first two Remote Workplace Strategy installments, click below: