CLASS Is Remote Cloud Working the New Norm


Bruce Devlin - new TV-Bay Magazine
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Mr MXF thinks… all the signs would tell me yes.

The Tuk-tuk driver has just dropped us off at the hotel in Jaipur. The guard has let us through the gates, past the dogs and the obligatory cow rummaging in the garbage. We wash our hands, head for the bar and before the first Kingfisher beer arrives, I am connected to the virtual Mr MXF compute kingdom where a million unread emails, Slack messages, requests for help with broken workflows and rejected files are waiting on a collection of virtual servers somewhere in cloud-land.

Although I am having a wonderful holiday in one of the most exciting countries of the world, I am still fully connected via my 4G phone, even though the hotel Wi-Fi is awful. Reading the news, Jaipur has 6 confirmed coronavirus cases from Italian visitors. My home town in the UK has announced the first confirmed cases of non-travellers contracting the virus. India has just closed its borders to tourists and America has just closed its borders to Europeans … except the UK which makes no virological sense to me. Maybe there is some politics there?

Work from home orders are now going out around the globe, NAB has been cancelled and there are some awesome statistics about the effectiveness of a Social Distancing policy available just a short Google search away (or you can cheat and look at my LinkedIn feed). You will probably be reading this a couple of weeks (or longer) after I am writing it, so I’ll make some predictions and you can judge how well I do.

My personal belief is that we will require over a month of Social Distancing before the CoVid-19 rates level off and then start to fall. Any sensible government will ensure the supply of medicines and food are stable before most other services. If you are lucky enough to live in a country with a sensible government, then I respect your choice! In the Media Supply chain, there are very few jobs where it is vital that we gather together in large groups – especially when large scale events are closed down around the world. This means that the need to get comfortable with remote working is now a new imperative.

Many people will be comfortable with simply connecting their laptops to domestic internet. The next phase is to have a more simplistic tablet or notebook connected to a powerful remote machine or machines. Although this might feel like a step back into the 1960s for some, the virtual environments that are available to be spun up and spun down at a minutes notice mean that desktop environments can be scaled to meet the needs of any particular session. For those that need low latency connectivity, there are new desktop remote technologies from the likes of Teradici that seem like magic when you used them. The remote editing experience is almost indistinguishable from having a decent server under your desk. My first impression was the lack of fan noise. My second impression was that there were no surprises of any kind. Lipsync and picture quality seemed just fine. Add into this the ability to pull together remote ad-hoc meetings via slack or teams with lightweight management tools like Trello or Restyaboard and bigger conferences using zoom, hangouts, GoToMeeting or any of the hundreds of choices and suddenly you can be fully connected 24/7 to all your global colleagues.

The final element to the mix is to remember the schedule your breaks. When you’re connected 24/7 the temptation is to respond to everything and push through the build-up of tasks! If this is your first spell of virtual, remote working good luck. If you’re a seasoned professional – remember to be kind to those who are struggling in their first few weeks!

Maybe normal service will be restored soon. Maybe this is the new normal for many. Until the next time – good luck folks!


Tags: iss142 | mrmxf | mr mxf | covid-19 | remote | gotomeeting | Bruce Devlin - new
Contributing Author Bruce Devlin - new

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