What if… Your Remote Work Plan Didn’t Get in the Way of Your Other IT Goals?

2020: the year all plans went out the window. 

That’s certainly how it feels some days, isn’t it? Reflect back to January 1, the optimism of a new year, and the list of goals you and your business were poised and ready to achieve. Just 10 weeks later, everything went off the rails. Everyone’s adaptability and flexibility was, and continues to be, tested as businesses everywhere push to keep moving forward through uncharted waters. 

The abrupt need to adjust to the impact of COVID-19 and the quick shift to remote work has necessitated new, major undertakings for many operations. Your IT goals for 2020 may not have included re-hauling your work environment or fast-tracking infrastructure modernisation and consolidation initiatives—yet these have become top priorities in the great global gear-shift. 

But what if you didn’t have to let go of your other IT goals, even as you scrambled to set up productive, secure work-at-home systems? What if you could call on an expert partner to help make the required changes efficiently and correctly so you can get back to business?

Modern, flexible SaaS solutions 

Keeping IT experiences consistent through a complex backend initiative—such as facilitating a secure, home-based workforce—can be difficult and a strain on resources, especially if your team has limited cloud-based identity expertise. 

Fortunately, the Okta Customer First team has a built a reputation for overcoming exactly those challenges. Take, for example, Okta’s work with Dubai Airports and its 4,000+ employees and stakeholders. 

A couple of years ago, Dubai Airports recognised it needed to modernise the passenger experience, move people more efficiently, and meet increased security requirements. As it was, the company’s large, complex on-premises infrastructure meant users were often frustrated with slow access to the apps they needed, and IT departments were often overwhelmed. 

The company needed a flexible SaaS identity solution to integrate modern cloud-based apps with certain critical on-prem legacy apps. 

“We wanted an identity platform that would give all our stakeholders and staff access to their systems really easily, and really quickly,” says Michael Ibbitson, Executive Vice President of Technology and Infrastructure at Dubai Airports. “We wanted them to be able to use one username and password and give them access to one consolidated set of applications.” 

The Okta Integration Network was the perfect solution. With over 6,500 pre-built integrations, Dubai Airports would be able to choose from a wide variety of best-of-breed solutions. The network would also make it easy for staff to access a complete range of different applications through any desktop or tablet, from any location.

Dubai Airports put their trust in Okta Customer First to guide them from deployment onward, providing prescriptive guidance and expertise at every step. 

By working together from the start, Okta’s Professional Services team helped Dubai Airports mitigate risk and quickly achieve maximum value from their Okta solutions. 

Dubai Airports also participated in ongoing training and partnered closely with its Okta customer success manager to achieve key business objectives. Okta helped Dubai Airports optimise its Okta solutions by adding new integrations, making the most of airport security, easing deployment, and more. 

“Okta has really contributed to the success of our overall team,” says Ibbitson. “This has significantly lowered day-to-day effort so IT can focus on finding the next exciting tool to implement.”

Move quickly, stay secure

Although the timeline for shifting to remote work was tight, no business could sacrifice security. Seeking input from those who have deep experience can help—which is just what Dentsu Aegis Network did.

Dentsu Aegis helps innovate the way brands are built for its clients through digital, media, and creative communications services. For years, the company relied on extensive on-prem legacy infrastructure with traditional security tools. But with a growing workforce, thanks to fast-paced mergers and acquisitions, this model became expensive and labour-intensive.

Dentsu Aegis needed a secure, flexible infrastructure that would facilitate M&A, streamline provisioning, and ensure all 45,000 employees had easy access to the apps they needed, no matter where they were. The company decided to transition to cloud IT.

Because this was a massive effort and a totally new direction for the IT team, Dentsu Aegis hired Okta’s Customer First team to help. First, Okta secured access to the infrastructure by rolling out Universal Directory, Single Sign-On (SSO), and Adaptive Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for all employees.

Together Okta and Dentsu Aegis then chose a core set of apps to secure with SSO and Adaptive MFA, including Office 365, Workday, Tableau, ServiceNow, and Zoom. They deployed 15 applications to 45,000 users across 130+ countries over a single weekend.

“Our roll-out was a testament to Okta. Changing a user's log-in experience is quite a critical action, especially when you’re working with 45,000 identities over the course of a weekend,” says Paul Timmins, CIO of Global Operations at Dentsu Aegis. “With Okta, we managed to do it seamlessly.”

Employees are now able to choose additional apps that work for them, and Dentsu Aegis can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing those individual apps are protected by MFA and SSO. “We don't mind which applications they're using,” says Timmins. As long as we've got Okta in front of them, we've got security controls we can be comfortable with.”

Stay on track—no matter where you are in your remote work journey

Whether you’re just starting to move toward remote work or well into an unexpected pivot, Okta’s Customer First team can help you strategise your next steps. And even if it feels like you’re starting from scratch, remember: the remote work tools you need are already here.

From managing short timelines, maintaining security during a rapid re-haul, and keeping IT experiences consistent through the deployment process, Okta will help you achieve your IT goals quickly—letting your team focus on solving new problems.

Interested in learning more? Contact our sales team.