Categories : Cloud, Insights & Trends, Mobility, Security

Bluewave | November 19, 2020

Telework Best Practices: Mobility Challenges in the Age of Working from Home

To some extent, all enterprises are struggling with mobility challenges as more employees work from home full-time than ever before. If your organization is facing new or evolving issues related to mobility, that’s no surprise, but you’re probably wondering what you can do about it. Here’s what you need to know.

An Overview of New and Evolving Mobility Challenges

Enterprises of all sizes are encountering broader technology challenges due to more employees working remotely than in the past, particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many workers into working from home who previously didn’t. As a result, organizations have had to rethink and refocus their approach to mobility, but to different degrees. In our experience, two types of clients have struggled with mobility challenges:

  1. Businesses that had already migrated to the cloud prior to COVID
  2. Premise-based organizations that hadn’t migrated to the cloud before the pandemic

That’s right—even organizations that had already migrated some or all of their network operations to a cloud environment encountered mobility challenges as they transitioned to a fully remote business model. However, since cloud architecture goes hand-in-hand with business agility and mobility, these organizations faced fewer initial challenges and recovered faster than those without a cloud model. While many cloud-based organizations have recovered from the initial mobility challenges, that doesn’t mean they still didn’t encounter them or that they don’t have to worry about developing challenges in the future. Across the board, we’ve seen organizations at every level struggle with:

Network Performance Challenges

Leading up to the pandemic, most enterprises already knew that their on-premise infrastructure was built and optimized to handle day-to-day network traffic. What they didn’t necessarily know is if their employees’ home or off-site networks were capable of meeting those same demands. As a result, all organizations have inevitably encountered the challenges of employees’ home networks not always aligning with application network requirements.

Endpoint Security Challenges

As with network uptime, it’s much easier to manage endpoint security when all devices are actively connected to a business’s core network. You can flag device vulnerabilities, keep antivirus definitions up to date, and monitor for suspicious activity. Without the right tools in place, it’s been impossible for organizations to achieve that same level of security and visibility into vulnerabilities when everyone’s connected to a different network. With increased mobility comes decreased network visibility—unless you partner with the experts at Bluewave.

Best Practice: Network Performance

It’s easier to guarantee network performance and guard against downtime when everyone’s working on the same network, but what do you do when they’re not? Now, if one employee’s home network goes down, the business may not be affected, but individual employees are. To solve this problem, more companies are prioritizing mobile connectivity that provides workers with hotspots and failover services as backup when their primary network fails.

Best Practice: Endpoint Security

Organizations that had already migrated to the cloud leading up to the pandemic were better equipped to respond to the security risks that come with a less structured network model, as cloud services help bridge the gap between mobility and security. However, the primary option for on-premise networks has been to rely on a virtual private network (VPN) to ensure secure access, but by doing so, end users often struggle with poor network speeds. As a result, unified endpoint management has become the best way to consolidate network security, delivering the same level of security whether workers are in the office or working remotely.

What Mobility Challenges Are Still on the Horizon?

While network performance and endpoint security are two of the most significant challenges organizations face with a more mobile workforce, that doesn’t mean solving the issues outlined above exempts you from challenges moving forward. One of the biggest unknowns businesses currently face is about what they’re going to do when they return to the office. Most businesses have had to make significant changes to their network to accommodate mobile employees. That’s often required restructuring and refocusing network resources around mobility, so a business’s network infrastructure may not be equipped to deal with the new performance requirements when everybody’s back in the office and collectively using massive amounts of bandwidth again. If businesses fail to account for this factor now, they’re going to run into a similar set of problems that they dealt with at the outset of the pandemic.

How Can Bluewave Help Overcome Mobility Challenges?

At Bluewave, whenever we’re talking about mobility, we’re always thinking in terms of visibility. That’s because your business’s mobility platform has the potential to introduce more hidden vulnerabilities than any other layer of your network. Fortunately, our experts make it easy to achieve visibility today with a Baseline Assessment while aligning ongoing strategies with managed mobility services. Schedule your assessment to get started.

Let’s Get Started