Building the Network of the Future to Support the Future of Work

Who else can remember the days when disgruntled employees (perhaps you were one of them) bemoaned the fact that employers were reluctant to hop on the “work from home” trend? Remote working has been on the rise for a few years now, but it’s easy to recall not-too-distant conversations between bosses and employees or between co-workers for whom a top career goal was simply a work environment where pants were optional. If you’ve been part of the workforce for 2 years or more, then chances are, you can remember some conversations along those lines; but then 2020 happened. Twenty-twenty and the COVID pandemic altered many aspects of our lives forever. Yes, in many heart wrenching ways, the alterations have been resoundingly negative and painful, but in other ways it’s brought into focus the things that are truly worth valuing...and for a majority of employees, it also meant the possibility of a pantsless, yet productive work day came true.

Today, as we are more settled into the “new normal”, 80% of executives say that there’s no end in sight for remote work, and 96% of employees are satisfied with this change. Besides the whole “pants not required” freedom, working remotely gives far more flexibility to businesses and employees and can significantly lower the costs of doing business as well. It can be a win-win in many ways, but as with anything new, it also presents some new hurdles that businesses must quickly address in order to keep their operations functioning at full capacity.

According to surveys and statistics, two of the top issues facing employees and the companies that employ them are internet connection and network security. Despite all the benefits of remote work, 94% of workers still report facing difficulties such as those relating to network connections. Sixty-nine percent of surveyors report issues with their virtual private network (VPN); 35% state being unable to complete their work due to unreliable connections, and 43% report having to use hotspots and phones for connection during the height of the pandemic.

Then there’s the issue of cyber attacks, which 60% of companies report having risen during 2020. The three main sources of cyber attacks are VDI or RDP (60%), phishing (30%), and VPN vulnerabilities (20%). Before COVID, 71% of businesses stated satisfaction with their network security measures, but that number took a sharp downward turn to only 44% post-pandemic. On top of that only 39% of businesses are confident that they have the man-power and expertise to manage remote work and to protect against the added security risks inherent with remote access and network connections. Another issue facing IT departments is that the majority currently use both hardware and software rollouts to securely connect remote workers. This means a significant increase in administrative costs.

In order for businesses to fully function with the new work-from-home model, they must find ways to overcome the obstacles of network connectivity. Removing these obstacles requires delivering stronger and faster security, including zero-trust access and full visibility. It also requires enabling faster networking with optimized protocols and routes, and increased network reliability. It also requires simplified connectivity by removing unnecessary hardware and lowering administrative costs.

Fortunately, Ananda Networks provides solutions to all of these issues already, with its cloud-managed SASE model private networks. These networks take only minutes, rather than weeks, to set up and they are a quick security upgrade to zero-trust. They also rely only on software rather than hardware rollouts, which means a significant decrease in administrative costs. These networks also can improve network performance by 25x, allowing employees and businesses to potentially function at the same “in-house” standards they were able to meet pre-COVID.

With these solutions at hand, we can have the best of both worlds; pantsless work days and a productive, secure business. See more about building the network of the future in the infographic below:

Read next: Work from home results in more usage of digital tools
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