The current crisis has put a spotlight on a tried-and-true networking paradigm: Working from home.
But despite the typical bandwagon claims, it turns out that effective remote or teleworker connectivity solutions have their own unique set of requirements. These can only be satisfied with a broad range of products and services drawn from remote, branch and campus networking solutions, delivering secure access to IT resources from the edge to the data centre to the cloud.
Based on Aruba’s extensive experience in enabling remote and home office networking, there are five key components of an effective and productive work-from-home solution. These highlight the differences between consumer and enterprise-grade solutions.
- Ease of Connectivity: As employees make the sudden shift to working from home, it’s not just about somehow connecting to corporate resources, but how easy it is to do that. Depending on circumstances, a secure software client may be best for a personal device, for others, new hardware. But, no one wants to “read the manual” to set up their access, so automated zero- touch installation is a must.
- Performance: Once connected, employees will expect the same level of performance and responsiveness as they enjoy in the office. That typically means more than the consumer-grade connectivity solutions that workers deploy for their home use. Enterprise-grade hardware and software means that the in-home work experience will be the same as in the office.
- Reliability: This is the companion point to performance. Enterprise-grade access solutions are built for long-life with enhanced components and extended testing and have anticipated challenges such as interference in their design. It all adds up to five 9’s of uptime that employees have come to expect.
- Security: Security is more important than ever given the obvious lack of physical control in a home or remote environment. In-depth zero trust security includes multiple factor authentication, VPN encryption and traffic segmentation and consistent, role-based IT access policies that are applied consistently to a user or device no matter how and where they are connected.
- Management: Work from home cannot mean “you’re on your own” when a problem shows up. IT needs the same visibility into the remote access network as they have on the corporate campus. It starts with a centralised cloud management solution that tracks, monitors and ultimately either self-heals or facilitates rapid problem resolution, and includes application testing and network health monitoring from a client perspective.
Jacob Chacko: Regional Business Head of Middle East, Saudi & South Africa (MESA) at HPE Aruba