The rise of the remote workforce: how to cope with the increased demand on critical collaboration tools, cloud assets, and VPN access

Companies across the globe have imposed travel restrictions and mandated their employees to work from home to curb the spread of coronavirus. As we face the new reality of social separation, conferences and face-to-face meetings are being cancelled in droves. And rightfully so.

A typical office as of Monday, March 23rd, 2020

In taking necessary and extreme measures to keep employees healthy while businesses find ways to maintain business continuity, we realize just how much we are reliant on enterprise networks. As the corporate workforce shifts from working at the office to working from home, our dependency on well-functioning and performant networks has become even more critical than ever.

The question is, are enterprise networks robust enough for employees needing to connect and access corporate resources when working remotely? Will the network and applications accessed by the remote workforce satisfy the end-user experience and maintain productivity?

The idea of everything operating absolutely seamlessly right now with the major shift to remote work seems a pipe dream without some intervention. As Network World reported, “Research by VPN vendor Atlas shows that VPN usage in the US grew by 53% between March 9 and 15, and it could grow faster.”

The following popular applications and services often seen in the enterprise are most likely taking a hit:

  • Video conference 
  • Collaborative whiteboarding
  • File sharing
  • Instant messaging and voicemail
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Human Resource Information System (HRIS)

Enterprises that have already adopted cloud services may be in better shape than businesses that have yet to migrate to the cloud. But for remote worker reliance on IT infrastructure for remote VPN or ZeroTrust access, IT teams will need to understand the massive deployment undertaking for maintaining a remote workforce. They need to account for VPN access estimates, employee headcount, and the network traffic demands of normal and abnormal business functions. The more remote VPNs added, the more stress on the enterprise corporate network edge. There’s no end in sight for the need to roll out more VPN and ZeroTrust capacity in the coming months.

Moving from a highly concentrated branch and HQ workforce and shifting to supporting large remote workers also significantly changes the network traffic flows. IT teams need to plan on routing changes to optimize network and application performance. To ensure that network routing is performing at an optimal scale, it’s important to monitor network traffic paths and application congestion points. When changing network traffic paths, IT teams need to ensure VPN traffic traverses correctly through the corporate network security systems.

But, handling this with the shift already in flux is a lot. Let us help. To make sure your network is performing as it should for these new remote workforce requirements, take advantage of our free licenses of Skylight for the next 60 days. We will also help you get it set up remotely, and it will all be done in approximately an hour. Read more here or click below to register your interest in getting started and we will get you going as soon as possible.