Tackling Network Woes from Home

Jacob Chacko, Regional Business Head, Middle East, Saudi & South Africa (MESA) at HPE Aruba elaborates on how IT teams can deliver corporate office experiences for remote working while simultaneously observing corporate security policies.

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Jacob Chacko, HPE Aruba
Jacob Chacko, HPE Aruba

According to a Gartner analysis on the future of work trends 2020, the global pandemic has forever changed how organisations approach and view remote working. The market research firm predicts that at least 48 percent of workers will telecommute, compared with 30 percent before the pandemic forced most of the world’s workforce to self-isolate. Gartner’s report also suggests that the demand for IT teams to be agile will be greater than ever.

IT managers responsible for the day-to-day operations of their organisation’s network are facing new challenges as the work environment becomes more permanently distributed, thereby increasing the complexity of an already intricate network infrastructure by several orders of magnitude. That said, this has given organisations an opportunity to reexamine their networks and understand how artificial intelligence can help them meet the demand for connectivity in the face on an IT resource crunch.

Comprehensive visibility key to remote working security challenges

Despite advancements in technology, many organisations are unprepared for the sudden increase in remote workers. IT teams are put under pressure to set up new systems at top speed while also having to deal with multiple requests for technical help that inevitably comes with news ways of working.

Even with myriad hardware, software, and services available to businesses, some organisations inevitably discover that parts of their operations do not support the robust security requirements that give IT teams the visibility and access control they need. This will get worse as Gartner anticipates 5.8 billion endpoints in 2020, when today IT and security teams are already struggling and oftentimes unaware when new devices are being connected to their network.

IT teams need to be able to have better visibility to better identify potential threats accessing enterprise resources. While many vendors preach visibility, where we are innovating today is in the area of providing organisations with cloud-native software and services that not only provide unified management and orchestration, but end-to-end visibility over remote networking issues that can be addressed from a single pane of glass. In fact, seamless visibility into the state of WAN, LAN, and wireless LAN infrastructure is essential and critical for a post-pandemic world, where industry watchers anticipate large-scale remote working teams to become an enterprise norm.

With a single pane of glass, IT managers can have an integrated network view to monitor network health on specific devices, workflows, or circuits, where several gateways and security parameters can be managed. With this deep network visibility and ease of management, modern networks will enable IT teams to quickly determine the root cause of an application or network slowdown and proactively troubleshoot to resolve these issues. With these large quantities of information constantly being generated, automation infused with smart technologies like machine learning can help provide immense opportunities for IT teams to alleviate fundamental infrastructure issues.

Intelligent cloud-based network powered by AI  

With cloud-based networks that are flexible and simple, lean and time-strapped IT teams can do more with software that enables AI-powered insights to solve real-world issues.  Apart from these essential workflows, AI-based profiling, policy enforcement and management can also help businesses reduce cyber risk. For example, allowing IT teams to extract intelligence about user roles, device type, application, and network location to secure connectivity can be done on a need-to-know basis.

As reported on Gartner’s top 10 Trends Impacting Infrastructure and Operation for 2020, most organisations are indeed automating to some level with the intent to refocus staff on higher-value tasks. However, these investments are oftentimes made without an overall automation strategy in mind. It then becomes crucial for organisations to partner with network providers than can tailor a comprehensive portfolio that offers unrivalled scalability and deep machine learning expertise to deliver a highly tuned, autonomous mobile network. With a profound understanding of these smart technologies, businesses stay ahead of threats by selecting and addressing network issues swiftly and accurately, accessing sufficient and relevant data, and curating results in the most demanding of real-world environments.

So, whether users are at home or on-the-go, IT teams can be set up for success by gaining access to simple and scalable cloud-native solutions. What is both desirable and essential is the same corporate office experience, all while adhering to corporate security policies. In this manner, IT teams can confidently transition to the possibility of managing a long-term remote workforce even in a post-pandemic world.

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