The strength of AEC industry is formed by the specialists who are part of it. Moving forward from these challenging times, according to Paul Danis, Panzura Senior Systems Engineer, about 70% of remote workers may continue to work remotely. Not having your specialists inhouse can complicate your life and your projects. As an example, opening a Revit model, which can take 20-30 minutes, can be problematic if that process gets interrupted due to bandwidth issues. Multiple data islands in different locations require coordination among the remote users.
When your employees are working in your established single-office location, where internet speeds are high and access points are limited and monitored, there are already some inherent issues to deal with. However, when your employees are working remotely, i.e. from home, there is another level of potential challenges: varying internet speeds, multiple internet providers, vulnerable routers, and the need for secure, fast access to files.
Following are tips for structuring your working environment to enable your remote workers to be more productive and your data more secure:
- Make sure your tech is in order. If your company’s technology is structured correctly, the issues are few. If it’s not, your teams can struggle to remain productive. Access to files can be limited and slow; employees have to copy files to work on them in real-time; the IT team is tasked with merging file changes so business can continue as usual. You can remedy all of these by working in the cloud.
- Operate as though you have a single data island. The old way of working had everyone located in a single office with the files they worked on located onsite. This single data island infrastructure worked quite well, and it is ideal. Some applications (Revit and Civil 3D, for instance) are sensitive to how close they reside in relation the data they work from. Their files are the lifeblood of the applications. In a single office scenario, the data and app are close together, and they have been built to operate in this environment. So when you work in the cloud, it’s like having another “single office,” with instant file upload/download speeds.
- Enable users to connect to files with minimum latency. Using the cloud enables users to connect to the data. The cloud fits into the remote office scenario. It’s a single point where all the data can be located. But, unless you use the right tool, there can be a latency problem when downloading and uploading files. When you use a product like Panzura, the latency issue is vastly reduced.
- Ensure files lock during updates. Single office architecture allows everyone to connect to the same server. However, with remote offices, data and applications have become separated. Using a tool like Panzura, when someone opens a file, there is a lock notification to anyone else who wants to use that file.
- Make users’ new connection to files seamless. Putting data in front of the end user is key. When using a tool like Panzura in the cloud, the end user doesn’t notice the change from working on files in-office or in the cloud. Either way, they are talking to a server and may simply be connecting using a different drive. Files sitting in one location are the same as those sitting in another location. Upload/download speeds are essentially instantaneous.
- Know what your exposure is. Whether you are protecting your files against ransomware or against an employee leaving the company, disaster recovery needs to be planned. Both have the potential to wreak havoc on the entire data infrastructure. A tool like Panzura can show you quickly what has been worked on in the past days, weeks, months and by whom so you can take required actions.
To find out more about using Panzura to make remote work more productive and secure, reach out to the experts of the Applied Software Digital Transformation Team and start a conversation with one of the Panzura experts.