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
We are operating during unprecedented times. The challenges of COVID-19 have forced companies to halt air travel, stop face-to-face customer meetings, and even internal meetings have had to shift to something much different: video conferencing.
As a result of this remote nature, companies have moved from a digital transformation journey to a digital transformation sprint. Businesses must continue to operate. IT organizations worldwide have had to adapt, adopt, pivot, and swivel to support these new digital needs. While many have coined it ‘work from home’, it truly is a ‘work from anywhere’ strategy.
So, what does work from anywhere entail? What challenges does it present? What are some of the solutions on the market to help companies overcome these challenges?
Connectivity is key
Just four years ago, customers’ viewpoint about VDI and Desktop-as-a-Service was, “Yeah, maybe for some of our mobile employees, but I don’t really see this taking off in mainstream IT.”
Now VDI and Desktop-as-a-Service are crucial strategies for many. However, even beyond VDI, if you don’t have decent connectivity to your corporate datacenter, you can’t even get to step one of work from anywhere. That is the ability to work and be productive.
Remote work presents many challenges from a consistent connectivity performance and reliability perspective, no matter the location (but especially at home).
Those of you with kids who may still be learning remotely find that sharing bandwidth between your kids, your significant other, and yourself places considerable pressure on the network’s performance and reliability.
Working remotely isn’t like your office; there isn’t IT on site providing you service. So, those who are not necessarily IT savvy do their best, which can also mean a compromise when it comes to security.
How many times has an ITOps professional, tried to troubleshoot something remotely and finally decided to offer a workaround or a less than secure solution to get the business user working again? Even if it is a 1% compromise in security, that is too high. Sometimes you do what you have to do to allow the end-user to be productive, but now you’re left with a security hole.
Perhaps your company has multiple VPNs it has used over the years, and some are still using the very low-end VPN for access. As more users work remotely the VPNs can become overwhelmed. There are a host of issues that can crop up under this new model, including:
Short of having a private circuit running to your homes, you must use what you have available to make things work.
Our new normal needs new ideas
Work from anywhere is a reality and no longer a concept, but you need to have solutions to support this new style of working. With large enterprises putting a stake in the ground for continued work from home initiatives, this means something must be added to help provide a better experience.
We have learned some valuable lessons during this pandemic around our new normal ‘mainstream IT’ and ‘business as usual’.
- Teleconferencing works, and we get more done but we need enough bandwidth
- Distributed workforce can be as productive if not more by working from home or anywhere
- Consumer-grade internet service from home is not reliable or free of congestion
- Conducting business and personal activities on the same network presents data challenges
I have found SD-WAN solutions deliver a low cost, high performing, and a reliable solution compared to a standard home connection. In a nutshell, it can simplify your work from home experience by increasing your bandwidth, improving your application performance, separating home and work traffic and increasing overall reliability.
If you’re in the market, or thoroughly researching these solutions, take a close look at the industry-leading VMware SD-WAN solution. VMware SD-WAN has now extended its capabilities into the world of Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) that combines cloud networking and cloud security architectures together for enterprises embracing the cloud and SaaS. VMware SD-WAN delivers the much-needed assurance of application performance, intrinsic security, operational simplicity, and reducing the overall total cost of ownership.
Want to learn more? Check out the video interview here.