Insights - Navigating-the-new-normal

Navigating the New Normal at the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

As the world continues to adjust to an ever-evolving definition of normal, NuAxis Innovations has closely monitored trends shaping the new definition of normal. While the COVID-19 pandemic was tragic, the instant shift to remote work presented the federal government with a unique opportunity to examine the possibilities of telework. Federal agency leaders are now pondering the question, “How can we incorporate telework into our new normal?”

Anticipating our customers’ need for a flexible workforce, NuAxis assessed the requirements that would enable our customers to work from anywhere. After researching customer pain points during the transition to a remote workforce earlier this year, NuAxis led a virtual session with the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) to determine what the agency would need to reliably access their information from any device while maintaining robust security.

Lawrence Abeyta, Director of Innovation at NuAxis Innovations, spoke with customer representatives from the BSEE about NuAxis’ capability to implement an information architecture that provides seamless, reliable, and flexible access to information from different devices while ensuring security integrity. We presented BSEE representatives with three possible options that would allow BSEE to select and customize their employees’ information architecture to a system that best fit their needs.

The first option was a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). The BSEE employees are familiar with the User Interface of this option; it has COOP/ DR built-in, and it allows users to work from anywhere. However, it requires substantial infrastructure, which is complex and time-consuming to set up.

The second option we presented was an option for Virtual Applications. The option for virtual applications provides a more simplified infrastructure compared to the infrastructure of the VDI, and uses a lower number of resources. However, complex applications cannot be virtualized because they require significant resources, limiting BSEE employees in the applications they can use to complete their work.

The third option we presented was a hybrid of the VDI and Virtual Applications. This option reduces the complexity of the infrastructure needed, has robust security while also simplifying the patching process, enables DR/COOP functionality, and allows users to easily access any application they might need for their work, no matter the complexity or resources required.

After the BSEE representatives had reviewed each option, they settled on the hybrid option due to its flexibility and intuitive user experience. We put together a roadmap that illustrates a plan for implementing the hybrid model. In the first three months of implementation, we will validate their cost model and budget, and pilot the hybrid model to assess the user experience.

In the second phase of implementation, which will span roughly a year, we plan to increase the number of users with access to the hybrid model, complete patch updates on the server, validate endpoint security tools, and test capability and performance in the cloud.

The third phase of implementation will move the rest of the clients over to the hybrid model. BSEE representatives are excited for the flexibility provided by the hybrid solution as they define the “new normal” of their workspace.