Secure remote working: how to future-proof your architecture practice. Posted by Mike Fry, 11 Feb 2021

Secure, flexible and cost-effective remote working is fundamental for Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) practices to thrive and survive.

AEC is a highly collaborative and tactile industry. Traditionally heavily reliant on office presence, many firms have recently been under increasing pressure to offer greater flexibility to facilitate a better work-life balance. And over time, this became not only a crucial way of retaining existing talent but also attracting the new. Then, with the arrival of Covid, flexible remote working rapidly evolved from a nice-to-have to a business necessity.

The AEC challenge

The urgent need for remote working at the beginning of 2020 presented IT leaders in the AEC industry with a specific set of challenges. By the very nature of their role, power users typically work on large data sets whilst dispersed across the UK and around the world. The applications used also have very specific computing requirements and are highly sensitive to the performance challenges presented by home broadband.

So, when Covid hit, IT teams rallied together to rapidly implement a remote working solution to keep communications up and running. And this quick adoption exposed both new and dormant security vulnerabilities. As a result, many practices experienced a sharp spike in security breaches which compromised both brand reputation, business assets and potentially led to hefty fines.

Time to evolve

All the above creates hurdles to overcome when attempting to establish a remote working strategy – particularly within a commercially viable price point.

Traditional remote working solutions deployed by AEC firms, such as on-premise VDI and remote desktops, are expensive to buy, maintain and replace, with costly support contracts and frequent hardware refresh cycles. And managing the infrastructure whilst keeping everything up to date and compliant also takes up a lot of valuable time, which can often be a huge distraction from driving strategic IT projects that deliver greater business value.

A new era for remote working

2019 saw the dawn of next-generation virtualised desktop technology. As a Microsoft Gold partner and with decades of experience working with our AEC customers, Bistech was well-positioned to help early-adopter practices take advantage. Today, Bistech works alongside many AEC firms to implement these technologies to facilitate their remote working strategy.

For example, Microsoft’s Windows Virtual Desktop infrastructure enables AEC workers to collaborate on complex data sets from different geographical locations throughout the world, whilst retaining an ‘in-office’ user experience. When combined with a zero-trust security philosophy and network connectivity designed to maximise the public cloud experience, WVD can dramatically increase the overall security posture all within a commercially flexible and justifiable framework.

Bistech has been deploying virtualised, next-generation desktop solutions since its inception. Being at the forefront of this new era of remote working means we’re ideally placed to share that wealth of experience and knowledge with you to enable your employees to work remotely in a way that is secure, flexible and cost-effective. To discuss your remote working needs in more detail, contact our team today on 03330 11 22 55.