Note: This blog is part of a series of articles and discussions developed and presented in partnership with Gestalt IT.
By David A. Chapa, The CTE Group
The title of this article almost sounds like a Dr. Seuss book, but it has become our reality. We are working from anywhere we can during this pandemic. This has presented several challenges.
Pre-pandemic, we would go to an office where we have our secure IT network, managed by IT, supported by IT. Anything related to business continuity was an IT-related function. We all were pretty well taken care of from that perspective because IT did its job; we could do ours without any encumbrances.
Business continuity has now had to become ‘home’ or ‘anywhere’ continuity because employees—or users working remotely—are the “business.” They are now spread out across coffee shops, restaurants, shared office spaces, and their own homes.
The New “Business” Model
With this new model, our business is mostly reliant upon consumer-grade internet access with little to limited service-level agreements (SLAs) instead of our offices’ dedicated circuits. Now, when the Internet access goes down, there is little our business users can lean on—other than getting a secondary circuit at home. Definitely not an option for some. Users who can tether their phones to their laptops may have another course of action, but it can come at a cost and with limited bandwidth available.
Let’s talk about another challenge none of us saw coming. In our new model of working, we found that every day was ‘take your kid to work’ day for those of us who have kids at home. Our families also required bandwidth—for learning, work, and entertainment. I have worked from home for over 20 years. In my experience, 4 pm is the worst time for my internet performance because that’s around the time most of the neighborhood kids get home from school and hit the Internet with whatever application or activity they need for school or leisure. I could watch my performance take a hit because I didn’t have a dedicated business circuit; instead, I had a residential, consumer-grade circuit shared amongst a group of my neighbors. Now, take that issue and spread it across the entire day, and you find you have spotty performance or unreliable access.
All of this adds pressure to our IT teams, who are already spread very thin. So, organizations need to hire more IT teams or get smarter with the technologies deployed to support this new “work from anywhere approach.”
I was recently on a panel discussion about this topic with Gestalt IT and VMware. We talked about VMware SD-WAN and how it helps address the challenges mentioned here plus so much more, including security and application prioritization. Check out the video and listen to our discussion – the time flew by for us and left me wanting more time to talk about this critical topic.