With almost 30% of the global workforce working from home, companies everywhere have been moving towards practical and efficient work-from-home solutions for their employees.
This has caused some challenges for businesses trying to adapt to what has, up to now, been a fairly static and fixed method of setting up an IT network and adapting it for a more mobile and flexible workforce.
SD-WAN offers a usable solution that benefits businesses with cloud-based communications systems and those that utilise a remote workforce, allowing them to stay connected with their customers and fellow colleagues, without interference or interruption.
The Usefulness of SD-WAN to Remote Workers
Network security remains at a very high standard
Given that remote workers operate outside of the office, any information passed between the worker and the office’s central communications system is potentially open to attack from cybercriminals.
The need for stringent SD-WAN security is made even more prevalent if remote workers are connected to public rather than private networks. More traditional, in-house-based security protocols cannot analyse and secure devices connected to public networks at the same level as security measures employed at a physical data centre. Because of this increased reliance on cloud-based connectivity, offices, and devices are more vulnerable to attacks.
Network security measures should include next-generation firewalls that take a preventative approach to network security, running constant analyses of network traffic to identify and neutralise threats before they’re able to cause damage. This is often accomplished through the use of AI-powered tools and an intrusion prevention system (IPS), which helps the firewalls detect threats ahead of time and stop them before they make an attempt to access the network without permission.
Extra steps in network security can be managed by a single user, or from a single location, and be used across multiple sites while being catered to each location in order to best meet the security needs of that specific network and the remote employees connected to it.
By catering network security measures at each site, remote workers can benefit from remaining connected to their local SD-WAN network, working from home or public, while still taking advantage of exceptional network security. Used in conjunction with software like VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) remote workers have access to the best possible defence against potential cyber-attacks.
More Agile Scalability, as the Company Grows
If a company that embraces remote working expands, the number of remote workers needing consistent and acceptable access to the network and cloud programmes will increase. Under traditional WAN conditions, companies that onboard more remote workers may begin to struggle with the increased network demands.
With SD-WAN, this doesn’t need to be the case. If your company onboards more remote workers who need access to consistent bandwidth – without causing issues for other users – you can easily boost the capacity of your network by allocating existing bandwidth more efficiently or by introducing more artificial points of presence (PoPs). These allow users to connect to communication networks, by engaging with the network access points, effectively opening up more space and allowing more users to join the network without slowing the connection of other users.
Ease of Management
Rather than relying on administrators in multiple locations to manage remote workers and their connections to the SD-WAN network, a single administrator can monitor all devices connected to the network. This centralised control offers businesses an easier method to make instant administrative changes to networks and roll them out across multiple locations instantly.
Even if remote workers and their devices are separated by great distances, geographically, alterations can be made to their individual devices, programs, and networks by an administrator working from a singular location, instantly, making SD-WAN a convenient and time-efficient option.
According to visual technology company Viewsonic, a key issue with managing a remote workforce can be that employees can struggle with having less access to managerial support and communication. This can cause serious problems with productivity if remote employees are not clear about the work they need to do. This is why having a constant connection with employees and the ability to interact with them and their work is important.
The centralised control offered by SD-WAN makes it easier for administrators and others within the business hierarchy to remotely access the projects of their remote workforce and have consistent visibility. This would save a lot of time in the event of workers submitting incorrect work. Instead, those in charge can see the work being completed across the shared cloud system and offer their input before any more time is wasted.
SD-WAN Helps Businesses Manage Their Remote Workforces in the Age of Cloud Communications
By leveraging SD-WAN to move away from reliance on physical data centres that were not designed to support data-hungry cloud programmes and communications systems, businesses can give their remote workforces the best chance to stay secure and productive through the use of intelligent bandwidth management, centralised control and connectivity, and optimal modern security protocols.
Interesting Related Article: “SD-WAN for SME and Enterprise: Why You Should Consider It for Your Business“