The current pandemic has brought a shift to the way organizations plan and think of their current network infrastructure.
The pace of change has never been greater
During these unprecedented times, enterprises are transforming for the new normal—a new reality where speed is paramount and experiences, workplaces are being re-imagined as Covid-19 accelerates remote working. According to the Garter survey, 82% of companies expect remote working to continue; video streaming growth was expected to grow 480% by 2024.
Everyone & everything is hyper-connected as people, devices and things constantly share data by 2022. And, 50 billion devices are expected to be connected worldwide. (Gartner: Top 10 Technologies That Will Drive the Future of Infrastructure and Operations)
We’ve moved into an era of the Hybrid Workplace
Organizations are witnessing the transformation in three main phases:
Phase 1: Work from Home (initial pandemic days)
Phase 2: Return to Office/Campus (grappling now)
Phase 3: A fully Hybrid Workplace where users move seamlessly between home, office and other work locations (a reality which most organizations will adapt)
IT infrastructure needs to be much more elastic to meet the demands of a more dynamic work environment.
The new normal creates new challenges for IT teams
The new normal has made organizations realize that the change is here to stay, and they have to adapt to the ways of working to ensure business continuity. A few collective insights include:
- Remote workers increasing from minority to the vast majority
- IT being asked to provide workplace analytics including office use patterns to ensure safety
- IT requirements being less predictable and more fluid, driving the need for a cloud-based approach
- Need for a more automated, agile infrastructure – 38%of IT leaders plan to increase their investment in cloud-based networking, 35% in AI-based networking
Ultimately, ITDMs need to strike a delicate balance between flexibility, security and affordability as they provide the IT infrastructure for a transition in many business models. They will play the key role in the long-term process of business recovery after Covid-19.
Below are a few pointers which successful organizations are incorporating to deal with the change which is here to stay.
- Creating a work environment where people can be successful regardless of the location
- Leveraging the power of AI and Cloud to automate and simplify manual operations
- Using workplace analytics to ensure social distancing and employ density planning
- Creating plans for critical tasks such as Contact Tracing in the event of a sick employee
Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform) powers the transformation to the Hybrid Workplace. It’s a modern platform based on cloud technologies and best practices. It comes with AI and automation to automate, unify, and secure your network edge-to-cloud so your organization can capitalize on Intelligent Edge opportunities and drive new business outcomes.
ESP has 3 core attributes that combine together to automate, unify and protect your edge. They enable your organization to focus on harnessing the power of the Intelligent Edge:
- AIOps provides Aruba networks with sixth sense that allows you to resolve issues before they impact your business or at least resolve them faster so your business keeps running.
- Unified Infrastructure allows your organization to eliminate operational silos and streamline operations by unifying operations across wired, wireless, SD-WAN, campus, branch, remote workers and data center into a cloud-native single pane of glass—Aruba Central.
- Zero Trust Security allows your organization to simplify the task of securing your edge from IoT devices. It also simplifies security operations by eliminating the need for static configurations and cumbersome ACLs that are creating untenable pressure on your IT teams.
It’s a journey for network operations to implement an edge-to-cloud architecture that enables the business to realize the full potential of the Intelligent Edge. Aruba has developed a framework that consists of 4 elements to help organizations understand what’s needed to reach your goals—Connect, Protect, Analyze, Act. During the past decade the networking industry focused on Connect and Protect. At Aruba, we are focused on unifying the two aspects to simplify and secure operations. This is where most networking vendors are today. Even vendors that heavily promote AI are mainly focused on informing anomalies and simplifying operations. Unfortunately, networks from this era are bound by human scale. They are only as agile and effective as the people that manage them.
Businesses are increasingly dependent on generating and acting on this data to drive business outcomes. Hence, organizations need to move beyond Connect and Protect and incorporate the elements of Analyze and Act. It means when failures pop up or users complain, we need a network that uses data and intelligence to help IT resolve issues quickly. More importantly, we need a network that can think for itself, see beyond the horizon to identify issues before they impact the business.