Strategies for improving workforce mobility in hybrid cloud environments

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Supporting a mobile workforce is a corporate priority for organizations of all sizes, but what that mobile workforce requires and the tasks they perform is unique to each of those organizations. Monolithic legacy solutions, such as those from VMware, typically lack the flexibility and features required to model all user needs, forcing organizations to conform their practices to the tool instead of using the tool to achieve their workforce mobility goals.

A mobile workforce requires tools that allow them to perform their tasks from anywhere, using any device. They must be able to collaborate with colleagues, potentially around the world. And, they must be able to do all of that while still ensuring the security of corporate data and resources.

The shake-up in the market due to the Broadcom acquisition of VMware makes now the perfect time for organizations to examine the systems and processes they put in place to support workforce mobility and strategize a path forward to improve them. Below are some key considerations to ensure success.

Karen Gondoly

CEO, Leostream.

Inventory devices

To start, ensure that you have a firm understanding of the types of devices end users want to use to access their corporate resources. While you may be able to standardize on a particular thin client for users who are on-premises, mobile users often bring their own devices and those bring their own challenges. 

Having a definitive list of the device types (e.g., Windows laptops, macOS devices, Android, etc.) allows you to design a workforce mobility solution that provides access to every user at any time, by supporting the devices they are most likely to have with them at any moment.

Inventory corporate resources

On the other side of the equation are the corporate resources that your mobile workforce requires access to in order to perform their work. The types of applications, running on different operating systems and manipulating different data sets has a profound impact on how you design your workforce mobility solution and the technologies you can use to optimize it. Solutions, such as VMware Horizon, lack support for connecting users to macOS resources, for example.

Define a cloud strategy

After you have a firm understanding of the requirements on the client and corporate side of the mobile workforce equation, you can look for ways to optimize the environment by leveraging the cloud. Taking a hybrid cloud approach to workforce mobility bring benefits both to user performance and cost optimization. 

The public cloud provides global cloud computing resources that can improve the end-user experience for a mobile workforce by lowering the latency of their connection. Public clouds also provide redundancy and capacity on-demand, making them more efficient and cost-effective ways to build disaster recovery and business continuity solutions in support of workforce mobility.

Consider application performance

Even though your mobile workforce is connecting to remote resources to do their jobs, the applications they access must react as if they are running locally on the end-users’ devices. Without adequate application performance, user productivity and satisfaction declines and so does the success of your workforce mobility solution. 

Ensuring adequate application performance is a balance of considering the system on which the application runs (for example, what instance type will you leverage in a public cloud), the technology used to connect the user to that application (this is the display protocol you incorporate into your solution), and the solution you leverage for remote access. Look for security gateways that replace legacy VPN solutions in order to optimize performance.

Encourage collaboration

Water-cooler conversations may not be possible for a mobile workforce, but that doesn’t mean your workforce mobility solution can’t provide an equivalent. You must take collaboration beyond Teams meetings, however. Collaboration for a mobile workforce requires users be able to actually work together, for example by leveraging a display protocol that includes session shadowing capabilities and a remote access tool that simplifies the process of connecting to collaborative sessions. Features such as these allow teams that are spread across the globe to interact as if they were in the same room.

Find a tool that simplifies IT

A mobile workforce that connects using a myriad of device types to corporate resources located across a hybrid cloud poses a number of new challenges to an already taxed IT department. To be successful, your mobile workforce solution must be manageable by a tool that simplifies IT tasks, for an IT staff who may be mobile, themselves. Look for a mobile workforce or remote access solution that can manage all of the client devices, remote resources, and on-premises and cloud technologies from a single pane-of-glass, and that provides features that simplify Day 2 IT Task.


The modern workforce is a mobile workforce. Go beyond supporting workforce mobility and encourage it, by designing a solution that makes work better for end-users, IT, and the organization as a whole.

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Karen Gondoly, CEO, Leostream.