Thursday, 26 July 2012

Is remote working the solution to Olympic travel congestion?



Steven Turner, VP of IT Optimisation
The huge influx of tourists into London for the start of the Olympics has already put a great strain on the transport system with major rush-hour delays being reported on London roads after the Olympic Route Network (ORN) became operational as of Wednesday 25 July.

Numerous delays were also reported on the underground yesterday including a temporary suspension of the Northern Line hitting both regular commuters and those who had hoped they could escape the traffic chaos by using public transport. According to Dr Steven Turner, VP of IT Optimisation at Intergence – a leading independent IT optimisation consultancy – utilising cloud-based services and working remotely is the answer and preparation is key.

The congestion chaos is set to continue during and after the Olympics, with an estimated three million extra journeys expected to be made in London alone on the busiest days. Earlier this month Londoners were advised to try to “work from home, stagger working hours, work longer but fewer days, take annual leave and swap to walking and cycling where possible.”

Dr Turner explained: “Whilst not applicable to all employees, many of those who are office based could work both remotely and securely, improving productivity and work-life balance, whilst potentially saving hours of commuting per day. Secure, remote access technology is already widely available via cloud-based public services and also private connections to the corporate infrastructure via services such as Citrix XenApp or Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).”

Dr Turner continued: “To ensure a smooth end user experience, monitoring and optimisation must be applied to the applications: accelerating, protecting and prioritising essential services whilst preventing non-critical and recreational applications from impacting the end user experience.

This can be achieved by employing one or more of the following:

• WAN Acceleration via a software-based mobile client on the end user’s PC
• WAN Governance via a software-based mobile client on the end user’s PC and hardware control on the corporate WAN links
• Application performance monitoring of Services and WAN links at the Data Centre
• End user experience monitoring via a software based client on the end user’s PC to detect degradations in quality and sources of impairment

“The Olympics has provided a catalyst for businesses to introduce more flexibility into the workplace and is the perfect opportunity to test-drive the remote working model. The above techniques can provide the remote employee with an experience similar to that which they would expect were they sitting in the office, with all the added benefits of working from home” Dr Turner concluded.

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