Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the entirety of the country’s workforce (with the exception of those deemed essential workers) began working remotely in the blink of an eye. Additionally, nearly 40 million Americans ended up filing for unemployment, which meant that the pipeline was suddenly wide open for finding necessary talent in major industries. For this reason, in our current times, remote work is no longer considered a luxury but rather a means of survival.
With this sudden turn towards fully remote working, TeknaByte understands that enterprises now face a slew of new issues. While enterprise leaders know that COVID-19 will eventually end, many believe that the way we work will never fully go back to “normal” as we knew it.
Today, TeknaByte will be discussing these issues, as well as what working remotely means for the future network architecture as we know it.
Although prior to March of this year advancements in collaboration technologies enabled business owners to allow more employees to work from home for typically a day or two per week, networks and infrastructure were never designed to enable the entirety of a business’s workforce to work fully remote. This presents a few issues for network architecture.
For one, companies still have to maintain all of the devices and machines connected to the network, and this becomes much more challenging when everyone is working from home. Actions such as deploying software, patches, and updates are vital to both endpoint management and security. Further, these actions require a lot of bandwidth even in the best environments. Considering the fact that these actions now have to be completed over VPN, it’s often too much. As a result of this, many endpoints won’t receive their updates at all and, at the very least, not as often as needed. This is very risky from a security standpoint, as those with bad intentions have become increasingly aware of growing network holes and can actively exploit any known vulnerabilities.
Another issue presented by the sudden move to fully remote working that we have seen during the pandemic is, due to the fact that quarantines happened so quickly, many employees didn’t have what they needed to transition to remote working. This has led to employees using non-work-issued machines that are not properly configured by IT. Additionally, this has made it virtually impossible for IT to take care of issues from a distance, as they are unable to see all of the components that they are working with. While an IT team servicing a small number of employees may be able to overcome this obstacle, managing thousands of employees over a VPN is nearly impossible.
In order to overcome these immediate hurdles presented by the sudden transition to fully remote working, many enterprises have begun to adopt sophisticated content distribution engines. While a number of solutions that use automation in order to offload management tasks and reduce security risks are on the market, automation isn’t always enough to solve issues involving scalability, reliability, and bandwidth. For this reason, one approach that has rapidly gained popularity is peer-to-peer content distribution.
Peer-to-peer content distribution differs from more traditional methods. This is due to the fact that peer-to-peer content distribution requires IT to download a patch or software only one at a time, and this single version can be shared widely across the entire network rather than requiring each individual device to download the software. When you think about the difference in bandwidth required to send an update to thousands of machines over a VPN, the kind of speed and scalability granted by peer-to-peer distribution is measurable.
With peer-to-peer content distribution, content can be deployed successfully in a timely manner without compromising network performance and, as a result, impeding daily business operations. Further, for businesses that can do this via the cloud, the rewards are even greater. Devices that can receive content from a cloud-based CDN rather than over the corporate WAN or VPN remove strain from the network overall. These devices can also offer better management and remote device support.
Another long-term solution that we can expect to have an impact on future network architecture as more and more people work remotely is modern device management (MDM) environments. Many companies have discussed transitioning from on-premise environments to cloud-based modern device management environments for a long time. That being said, most have either not started the transition or are stuck somewhere in the middle of the process. This is because MDM has not been able to support content distribution at scale as traditional servers have been required.
Regardless, due to the uncertainty of our current times, business owners have begun to seek ways to eliminate the costs associated with maintaining on-premise environments. Business owners also find themselves in need of better systems management platforms that allow for uniform endpoint management, particularly when so many employees are working remotely. This is one of the biggest reasons that MDM has gained so much popularity in recent times.
While we cannot expect this digital transformation to occur overnight as it is a massive undertaking, it is clear that future network architecture is in need of more effective solutions, and MDM environments is one of the best long-term solutions. Although businesses already have much to contend with in the wake of COVID-19 as their entire workforces operate remotely, it seems reasonable that MDM will become a priority in the days to come.
Now that you know more about the issues presented by remote working and have a better understanding of what these issues mean for future network architecture, it’s time to partner with a team of IT professionals that can help you find the solutions your business needs!
At TeknaByte, we have years of experience offering managed IT services, managed cloud services, cybersecurity and more! In these uncertain times, you need the assistance of a team of knowledgeable IT professionals that can reinforce your network security and manage all aspects of your business’s IT efficiently.
Contact us today by giving us a call at (317) 620-3900! We’ll be happy to answer all of your questions and provide you IT services that are second to none.
TeknaByte is an IT Consulting & Managed IT Services firm in Indianapolis that provides quick, high-quality, and effective managed IT services to businesses everywhere.