While 2020 introduced new challenges for enterprises, many found that some of the technology necessary for a remote-work environment was already in place. From cloud-based applications to solutions designed around remote collaboration, enterprises not already utilizing these tools were able to prioritize their adoption to enable business continuity.
Much of the challenge around remote work centered on the network. Security was compromised by not only the use of personal devices, but also the challenge of employees’ family members also using those devices for school, work, and play.
As the remote work environment becomes normalized, network teams are finding the tools and approaches they need to offer a secure, reliable network. Here are four that will be important for the foreseeable future:
SD-WAN: Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) improves the performance of the network while offering security advantages and better control. By accessing multiple transport options, SD-WAN lowers costs with the benefits of traffic prioritization and segmentation. Zero-touch provisioning through a centralized dashboard allows network teams to more easily manage increasingly complex cloud environments.
SASE: Related to SD-WAN is secure access service edge (SASE) architecture, which secures the network best when it involves remote work and edge networking. SASE offers full visibility into traffic as it is being transported around the network, providing teams with the ability to monitor and manage endpoints, users, and traffic in real time. This becomes more critical with the shift to the remote-work environment and computing power out to the edge.
5G: While 5G had been talked about for so long that it seemed as if it would never arrive, a big push by cell carriers in 2019 and 2020 has driven widespread 5G availability to reality. 5G will allow edge networking to make tremendous gains as internet of things (IoT) devices will be able to move farther from the network without sacrificing any performance. Expect to see 5G devices and information flood the market in the coming months.
Multi-Cloud: Enterprises are adopting multi-cloud strategies, and some of these implementations are the result of seeing the need for better access to data during the early months of the pandemic. When services are inaccessible, productivity suffers as workers can’t access applications, data, or the needed bandwidth. A multi-cloud strategy allows for enterprises to spread workloads across multiple providers and reduce the impact of any given outage. A multi-cloud strategy also has the potential to improve efficiency and performance while enhancing network security. More than an instance of redundancy, it offers simultaneous access, ensuring resilience and stability in the network.
Network teams will continue to advance and improve performance, reliability, and security; but it’s possible that nothing will quite match the implementation of network tools driven by the need to accommodate the remote work environment in 2020. If your enterprise is looking for a network upgrade, contact us at ITBroker.com.