Nearly 42 percent of U.S. employees previously working in an office are remote now, according to CNBC All America Survey. It’s an abrupt change for the IT department, which may have already been focused on enabling rapid business growth and the security demands that come with it.

IT is more multi-faceted and complicated today and, tasked with keeping things running at the office and managing a remote workforce, teams may have less control. How can IT best support remote workers today? A few thoughts on IT service management (ITSM):

Asset management: what is your team supporting now?

To improve any process, you need to know what’s in the arsenal. So, you first want to create an account of hardware and software issued to each employee and department…which may take some time and outreach. In the rush to shut down during Covid, employees may have taken home supplies and/or bought their own, and your records before the pandemic may not match. It’s a good idea to now spend time building an accurate inventory.

Your inventory is likely to contain more devices, and they may be more diverse. There may also be more cloud-based SaaS tools in use to accommodate remote workers, which changes how you approach support. Be ready for a different landscape.

Security: how to identify, verify employees who may BYOD (bring their own devices) and provide access?

What provides ease for employees, the freedom to use various tools for work, can be a mess for IT—especially when it comes to identifying users and providing access to the company network. It takes a more well-rounded approach to stay on top of this, involving:

Once you’ve thought through how to identify and verify employees who seek network access from various tools, the next step is…how do you make it easier for them to get in? Two-factor authentication is a method that may be most well-received, since it is being adopted across most software, services and platforms. Credentialing one device could be another workable approach.

Onboarding: outsourcing computer set up and delivery.

You can order just about anything online–including your fully loaded work computer. This function, available for Macs and PCs, will save IT time it would have previously spent on installation and customization. Because computers are outfitted with the company’s operating system image and applications, updates can be handled seamlessly in office or remote.

IT will always be about the action of problem solving, but flexibility and more time spent up front on strategic thinking might be the best ways to deliver results today.