Many of the adaptations organizations have made throughout the duration of the COVID-19 crisis are likely to become the "new normal" in a post-COVID world. A significant portion of the workforce is likely to stay home following COVID — and many experts believe that we will be moving toward a "hybrid" model of work that marries on-premises and remote employees. But the way we change our business also impacts the ways in which we change our technology. With a more distributed and remote workforce, we need to be able to provide better communication and connectivity while still maintaining security.
The Traditional Office Isn't Coming Back
Companies need offices, right? In truth, offices are actually a hotbed of issues for any organization. Companies have constantly fought to improve the productivity in their offices and often failed. The truth is that there's no one secret to productivity for all employees. When employees control their own environment, they are far more productive.
COVID smashed through many of the barriers that were holding companies back from transitioning to remote work:
- It required that companies finally invest in the technology they needed to securely and safely conduct remote work.
- It showed companies that employees didn't need to be monitored or on-site to remain productive and in control.
- It adapted whole industries, so companies weren't forced to make the transition to remote work alone.
And because of this, many companies are going to be remaining remote even after COVID. It isn't just a matter of already having made the transition; it's a matter of seeing that the transition is far more productive.
The New Challenges of a Work From Home (WFH) World
All that is not to say that there aren't challenges when it comes to creating a remote infrastructure.
To remain productive while working from home, employees need higher levels of connectivity and accessibility than ever before. Employees have to be able to communicate and collaborate with their peers at ease. They need access to the documents and media that they require to complete their jobs. They must be able to work at their home office just as they did in their work office. And that does mean that employers are going to have to make some changes.
During the initial transition to remote work, many employees struggled with operating remotely for a few reasons:
- Core Infrastructure wasn’t accessible outside the office; they couldn't access all their data and applications needed to go into the office to do so.
- Internet speed and reliability wasn’t up to par to connect to colleagues or clients.
- Proper training wasn’t undertaken to operate remotely, this applied to both managers and their subordinates.
Some of these issues have already been addressed. But a core problem remains speed and accessibility.
How SD-WAN Can Change Business in a Remote-Work World
Organizations know that in order to thrive, they're going to need to change. SD-WAN technology can help. But what is SD-WAN?
An SD-WAN overview: SD-WAN is a software overlay of your existing WAN connections and hardware that is centrally managed and secure, creating a comprehensive, large-scale network that seamlessly connects to the cloud and cloud based applications that can extend to the employees home office. Rather than employees having to log into an overcrowded VPN while relying upon their own networks and infrastructure, the organization’s internal network can now extend to the employee no matter their location — which is far safer and more secure, both for the employee and the business.
SD-WAN improves network performance, making it easier for employees to connect and to collaborate. It makes the network itself simpler and easier to control and improves cloud usage, which is significantly on the rise since the adoption of remote technologies. Even better, SD-WAN technology can reduce costs for a business; something important as businesses move into leaner times.
The economic consequences of a transformed economy, to say nothing of the damages of COVID-19, may linger for some years. But the promises of SD-WAN technology can help organizations move to a remote infrastructure operation confidently.
The Next Steps for a Remote Workforce
Employers are eager to adopt an all-remote workforce because it's more productive and affordable — and that's necessary to remain competitive. No more do employers need to pay for office space that is too hot, too cold, too bright, too dim, too open or too enclosed — they can stop guessing and let employees do the work that really matters. Nevertheless, employers also need to be able to engage with the technology that will make their employees more effective.
Is your company ready to reap the benefits of SD-WAN? Contact the SDWAN experts at Red River to explore SD-WAN for your business.