Are IT Managers in Zambia ready for work from homes as coronavirus finally take shape in Zambia with two cases reported yesterday and is yet to cause real panic? Yes, companies must start asking now if their IT Managers and the resources running the company telecommunication are ready to shape up to the task.
In Zambia, remote access or work from home is not a full concept that most companies have taken to look at. At most work from home for most IT Managers is some management or sales guy carrying a laptop to there homes and access to company emails enabled.
But work from home extends far from mere access from a remote location to company emails.
It starts with the simple wifi router installed. Who is going to pay for data? What recommended routers must be sued? Remember the stealthy destructive malware infecting half a millions of home routers?
Infrastructure enabled with remote access to company resources calls for security. How secure are the devices accessing data from remote locations? Who has physical access to the network the remote access is happening from? What kind of security is installed to monitor and filter bad guys from sniffing? How vulnerable is the remote access into the company data core?
Also work from home extends beyond mere emails to access core business applications like Finance, Billing, Warehouse and Inventory, Sales and Purchases. How will IT managers ensure secure access to employees in billing e.g companies like those in telecommunications (Airtel, MTN Zambia, Zamtel) who need to provide data services, make mobile money transfers and more importantly change sim card status?
Imagine the disaster that can be you have access to phone mobile company core infrastructure that avails access to call records, phone number locations and so on.
Utility companies involved in billing providing key services in the country like Nkana Water and Zesco how can they secure their system from remote logins to keep the data integrity and confidentiality from remote access data leaks.
Most IT Managers in Zambia are not up to to the task for remote access enablebility other than giving access to company emails. Why? Because the information technology culture in Zambia is not grudged for work remotely, work from home obsessions. And here though now pandemics like COVID-19 are changing the outlook.
Company managers in Zambia are obsessed with absenteeism. Hence most companies IT and telecommunication policies are built around that leading to IT Managers little or non-expertise into the field of remote access and successful implementation.
Quick Solutions for work from home
Today there are ready-made solutions from Microsoft, Google, Oracle, and AWS. Simple solutions like Microsoft Azure can scale your organization up and running in no time. Azure offers Exchange Online along the AAD (Azure Active Directory) that can be synced to on-premises.
Additionally, Azure or Google Console server resources can be procured at per resource usage and billing.
Adding to the security for malware, network and web protection firewalls are ready-made that can be deployed in the cloud. Firewalls such as Sophos Xg can be implemented in Azure. With Google DNS you can configure your own corporate network in the cloud.
These should be back up scenarios that IT Managers in Zambia can have in there drawers when they are not up to the task to configure on-premises and remote access terminals in the organization.