Remote Work: A Wake-up Call for Digital Infrastructure
As remote work pushes users to the network’s edge, IT must rethink how it delivers and secures a high-quality user experience
The pandemic-driven massive shift to remote work has triggered complex technology challenges as companies wrestle with maintaining a high-quality user experience for both customers and employees.
This trend has increased reliance on virtual private networks (VPNs), which provide an encrypted, point-to-point connection between remote workers and their corporate digital infrastructure. Although VPNs offer security, they don’t ensure performance. Other schemes and tools that have become popular include virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), wide-area networks (WANs), software-defined WAN (SD-WAN), cloud access security brokers (CASBs), and secure access service edge (SASE) technologies.
No matter the mix of these technologies, two priorities remain paramount: performance and security. Without adequate performance, personnel cannot get their work done. And without sufficient security, bad actors can take advantage of the work-from-home arrangement to compromise the digital infrastructure itself.
The Rise of Edge Computing
Technologies such as VPN, VDI, SD-WAN, CASB, and SASE have become a crucial part of the technology fabric that implements, manages, and secures the entire edge.
But to support the changing needs of the remote worker without sacrificing the user experience companies must provide a single, unified management and security control plane across the entire digital infrastructure.
For starters, modern IT shops must leverage a next generation of tooling to deliver, manage, and secure reliable user experiences across the board. Organizations must also move to a new way of thinking about the corporate network, as traditional hub-and-spoke architectures give way to the more powerful and flexible, but more complicated edge computing model.
Visibility Is Key to Managing and Securing the Network
To access availability and reliability issues in an edge computing environment, IT requires visibility into the activity of work-from-home employees, along with visibility into how application dependencies are delivering services. Managing and securing the network requires packet-level visibility. Taking that visibility a step further, IT can use network traffic analysis (NTA) to manage the user experience across highly complex combinations of networking technologies.
Adding synthetic transactions to the NTA perspective enables IT to further isolate performance problems, whether those problems involve a home network or an internet service provider (ISP). And with continuous testing of services, IT can be alerted to problems before they significantly impact users.
Leveraging NTA and synthetic tests to provide real-time monitoring and measurement of user experience, even in complex, dynamic networks, can be instrumental in resolving and identifying the root cause of issues when they occur on any infrastructure platform, including edge computing, public and private clouds, and legacy network environments.
The future success of the work-from-home trend will be entirely dependent on IT getting security and performance right. All of these changes, both organizational and technological, add risk that organizations must assess and manage. Added complexity only amplifies this risk, and organizations must provide strong measurement and responses to issues when they occur.
Learn more in our new white paper: Rethinking User Experience on the Edge