COVID-19 has been a black swan event for every organization- Business 3.0, with every business having to work from home rather than their regular business locations.
It remains to be seen how permanent this shift is, though the majority of businesses will be back to operating through their familiar Business locations post COVID.
It has opened up a new dimension to business operations that present a scenario for better productivity and enhanced cost savings for the business.
Top Networking Challenges in a COVID-19 era:
- Businesses have realized that they need to open up access to classical applications that are not internet-based and are hosted in the Datacenter.
- This has had two consequences- one with an explosion of internet access at the Datacenter and the cloud, second- the remote access VPN requiring a scale for which it was never deployed.
- This has also brought to the fore the real challenge that enterprise IT teams face in terms of managing their routing and switching infra in DC. This infra was never designed to be managed remotely. This has led to a chicken and egg problem with sudden reconfiguration required in the infrastructure with the infra itself being inaccessible remotely.
- Some of the enterprises have started to look at the cloud as a long term option, which requires a change in the infrastructure to support this transition.
- In some businesses, the supply chain has been significantly disrupted creating unpredictable bandwidth and network needs at locations that were previously never thought of.
Access to enterprise resources from non-business locations
- An average enterprise user’s middle-class home has become the workplace. This workplace is filled with a plethora of devices, starting from the work laptops to smartphones to smart appliances including Televisions to gaming consoles. All these along with other users at this “home workplace” contend for the same consumer-grade internet bandwidth that terminates at the user’s home.
- When the user logs on to the zoom call and his kid is downloading the new game on Fortnite or is busy with a video chat on house-party which leads to unpredictable experience for all users. How many times have we asked if we are audible if our screen share is visible?! Or how many times have we turned off the video to make ourselves and others heard?
- Not to mention the anxiety that all of us have gone through when the link snaps albeit for a short while. How common is this entire scenario? Isn’t this that we experience on a daily basis as we survive this COVID-19 world?
What do we need today and in the post COVID world?
- There are many remote access VPN solutions in the market. And what COVID-19 has taught us is near secure remote access to enterprise resources is probably 5% of the problem.
- In order to be productive and effective as a user working from home, we need predictable uptime and availability of internet bandwidth at home. We need multiple internet connections to ensure that we have adequate bandwidth, which is available and performant. (QoS)
- We need to prioritize applications and usage based on our work and non-work patterns. We need to identify applications that enable us to be productive as a work from home users and prioritize these. While we continue to use and access non-work related applications at home, we need a network that is intelligent to understand and appropriately prioritize.