Doublestruck is a London-based nonprofit that specializes in educational assessment and reporting tools, with about 50 employees spread across three sites. The organization had already completed its move to cloud infrastructure before workforces around the world began transitioning to remote work in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. When the time came to transition its offices to remote work, Doublestruck had the tools it needed in place.
Iain Argent, who’s based in Spain and oversees IT operations for Doublestruck, said he’s thankful for JumpCloud® and other cloud-based tools that made Doublestruck’s transition to all-remote easy. JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service® is a full-suite cloud directory service that provisions user identities to virtually all IT resources, including systems, applications, networks, and file servers.
“We were in a fortunate position because I’d had this idea that we should be moving toward offering staff more remote work anyway,” Argent said. “… I was just extremely grateful that we’d been looking at this already.”
Transitioning to Cloud Tools & Infrastructure
Before transitioning to JumpCloud, Doublestruck had been using Active Directory® as its authoritative user database.
“We had so many different systems, and people had so many different passwords for them, that they were doing some questionable practices with password sharing for some accounts, including WiFi,” he said.
Over the last three years, Argent began selecting new tools and providers to make this transition, though he said it’s possible to move much more quickly than he did.
Argent ensured employees could authenticate through JumpCloud’s RADIUS-as-a-Service, so they now use their core credentials to access office WiFi instead of just a shared passphrase. He also consolidated system management for Mac®, Windows®, and Linux® machines and application access in JumpCloud.
Then, he transitioned the company to a cloud phone system, and he replaced most desktops and the shared office pool of laptops with laptops for each employee. When the company moved offices, he was able to free up space in the new office and avoid the maintenance work of on-prem hardware, like ensuring backups and replacing faulty disks.
“We moved offices and we didn’t have a server room anymore, and it was great,” he said. “We don’t have to worry about hardware anymore, apart from supporting desktop workstations.”
Doublestruck was able to save IT employee time this way, as well as find cloud options that were less expensive than their on-prem counterparts.
“It’s worth investigating because you can make things more flexible for your staff, and you can potentially save some money as well.”
Flexibility & Business Continuity with JumpCloud
Initially, Argent used JumpCloud to introduce an easier workflow for users, centralize passwords, and achieve GDPR compliance — but JumpCloud and other cloud tools also afforded him incredible flexibility as Doublestruck moved all-remote in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The move was urgent to comply with health organizations’ recommendations and European regulations, and to protect the health and safety of the employees. He urged other organizations without the same cloud infrastructure to begin exploring their options as quickly as possible. That way, he said, they can more easily take measures to keep employees safe and do their part to avoid overloading the healthcare systems in their regions — while maintaining business continuity in the face of challenges.
“Start looking at it now because you’ve got a very good reason to start making this your top priority,” Argent said. “Make this your top priority — to keep your staff safe and to be able to keep your business functioning.”
First Steps for Going All-Remote with JumpCloud
Argent recommended a few first steps for organizations to take as they look to move all-remote with JumpCloud.
- Replace desktops with laptops
- Make sure the JumpCloud agent is installed on all systems and servers
- Check that all employees are able to log in
- Verify that all intended users and devices are showing in JumpCloud’s web-based Admin Portal
- Identify a remote desktop software IT staff can use for troubleshooting
- Configure services, including productivity suites and SaaS apps, to route authentication through JumpCloud
JumpCloud’s easy-to-install agent enables remote system administration, he said. He also recommended migrating file servers to providers like AWS®, for which JumpCloud can also manage identity and access management (IAM).
Tip: Looking for more? We’ve compiled this admin’s guide to working from home with JumpCloud →
Looking Toward the Future of Work
Argent said this worldwide shift to remote work will help get organizations over the line in choosing cloud infrastructure.
“Ten years ago, it would’ve been very difficult to do this,” Argent said. “There’s really no excuse now.”
He also predicted that this shift will lead to more remote work in the future because it illuminates new possibilities in terms of flexible schedules and work-life balance. Regardless, he acknowledged that now is a difficult time for people around the world, and organizations should also account for the “human factor” as they move to remote work and navigate challenges together.
Tip: Want to learn more about how we transitioned the JumpCloud team to remote work? Check out this webinar that details how our internal IT department moved the team out of the office in three days →
If you’re an IT admin navigating a transition to the cloud, JumpCloud is here to help. Click here to learn more about access control and device management in the cloud.
Below, take a listen to Iain Argent’s conversation with JumpCloud’s Director of Strategic Alliances & Partners, Chase Doelling.