Today’s business leaders are well-past the question of how to provide short-term work from home strategies. While they might have struggled early-on, companies adapted and found a way to continue their operations when the economy shut down during the first half of 2020. The challenges they struggled with eventually found resolution, but not all these quick fixes were meant to accommodate longstanding telework. So what happens when offices open back up and many remote employees opt to continue to WFH? Some businesses are now realizing that the solutions they have for their operations use technologies that are not capable of supporting remote scenarios – for the long term.
Before the pandemic, many businesses had not given long term WFH operations much - if any - thought. As per the Global Workplace Analytics’ analysis of 2018 American Community Service (ACS) data, only 3.6% of the US employee workforce worked-at-home half time or more. IT teams created a “special” process that allowed remote workers to access corporate data and get to cloud applications and services. But these few remote workers were the exception, not the norm. Some businesses even paid for remote workers to have “larger pipes” to attempt to mitigate bandwidth and latency issues. In short, the challenges were surmountable... until March 2020.
What Needs Did They Identify and Are They Still Relevant?
Post-March 2020, the teleworker numbers increased exponentially. When masses of employees needed to work from home, the “established” one-off processes fell short. The “simple” management of VPNs exploded from the relative few remote workers’ homes (where corporate data centers could accommodate VPNs for these telecommuters) to entire offices needing to function remotely. Now companies not only needed more VPN devices, but they also required significantly more bandwidth to accommodate the encrypted inbound traffic from their remote workforce. Calls to their company MSP may have resulted in the delivery of new VPN appliances and incremental network bandwidth to support the employees connecting to their company data, but that often did not resolve the challenges.
The more critical issue came from user unproductivity, due to their home internet service. The lack of network control between the under-provisioned home connection and the corporate work site meant that WFH employees were at the mercy of their ISP. Essentially this meant that the quality of the connections and the resulting experiences were less than acceptable. Voice calls into conference-based meetings were distorted and video connections looked more like slow-motion psychedelic movies due to pixelated images.
For long-term solutions that support remote working, companies need to take control of the connectivity from the worker’s presence and supply flexible cloud-controlled user experiences, like those provided by managed software-defined wide area networks (SD-WANs).
Adaptiv Eliminates the Challenges
Home office workers can optimize productivity with cloud-managed connectivity powered by Adaptiv Networks. We specialize in professionally managed SD-WAN solutions that deliver rich application user experiences plus secure SD-WAN access to corporate data. Adaptiv’s SD-WAN solutions work with any broadband links or wireless connections, providing remote workers with high-quality, reliable connectivity to public or private-cloud hosted services. Fully automated SD-WAN encryption eliminates the IT overhead of managing employee VPNs, while cloud management provides network visibility and support for the home office.
Are you wondering if your connectivity is efficiently meeting your business needs?
Learn more about Adaptiv Networks’ solutions by reading our EBOOK: Solving Home Office Challenges in Today’s Cloud-Connected Environment with Adaptiv Networks.
Frederick Parent is the Chief Technology Officer at Adaptiv Networks. Fred leads Adaptiv Networks' strategic roadmap for product innovation with over 20 years of experience. Previously employed by IBM and Bell Canada, he is also the co-founder of successful technology firms such as Victrix, and ELFIQ Networks - now part of Adaptiv Networks. During his 17 years as CTO of ELFIQ, Fred has brought countless innovations to the market, including the ELFIQ Link Balancer, which has been deployed in over 150 countries. Frederick holds a Bachelor of Science Degree focused in Computing from Université de Sherbrooke from Sherbrooke, Québec.