It looks like the temporary measures put in place earlier this year to support remote working will be more permanent than we think. Businesses are now starting to think about how their networks can support a virtual or hybrid workforce more strategically.
We share the top 4 network considerations that need to be made to support your virtual team.
Every company is used to handling sensitive documents. Employees are trained to use sensitive corporate material on a daily basis. When the team is working in the office behind a corporate firewall, this can be managed. When they are handling this content in the comforts of their own home, however, it is a different story.
It is common that a company’s IT administrator will list allowed IP addresses and prefixes to give employees access to various resources on the corporate network. This is especially the case for cloud applications and even some internal applications.
You might want to think about how this practice could be scaled out for all of your remote team, thinking about their daily functions online and what traffic visibility you may want to be controlled.
In a short answer, yes. The more employees that work at home, the more they are relying on VPN access to the corporate network, in turn, increasing the load at the network edge. This will be impacting the quality of your employees working environment.
Latency is a common issue with VPNs. Another issue is the lack of scalability, which has become a priority in recent months. VPNs were provisioned for the use case where maybe five per cent of people are working remotely. This means VPNs suffer from significant scalability and agility limitations.
Working patterns were predictable and fitted a recognisable pattern before the pandemic struck. This means that network managers were typically able to assume low traffic periods of time, such as evenings, weekends and national holidays. Now, working patterns have been disrupted as we all adapt to working from home. We are seeing significant lows during the day that would have before been in evening hours, for example.
This can be problematic for network maintenance. Network redundancy is essential when carrying out any network maintenance to ensure there is no period of service disruption for your remote workers. Therefore, increased redundancy is a strong consideration businesses need to make as a result of the increased unpredictability.
The ideal solution would be to onboard a network that has scalability, agility and high quality of service available at all times so that you can adjust your network requirements in moments.
Is the public internet suitable for connectivity to latency and resilience sensitive applications? This has been an ongoing debate, reopened and intensified by the migration to remote working.
In many cases, it isn’t sufficient. Businesses are increasingly looking for direct connections to their cloud applications or data centres.
A direct connection has many benefits. Amongst these are:
This is mainly because it reduces access down to one hop instead of several. Using a direct connection, your business can also reduce the volume of traffic that is backhauled across the corporate network. At the same time, you are avoiding some of the security risks that come with using the public internet.