According to our Future Ready Report, most businesses (75%) say they expect to make some changes to their business models moving forward. Of those, 44% expect flexible and remote working to remain in place and continue in the long-term.
This means making sure employees have the same connections, communications, access to applications and security that they would have in the office.
These connections must be capable of enabling the efficient transfer of data across a much wider geographical area, as well as across different devices and networks (both mobile and home broadband).
With more employees than ever working remotely, many for the first time, businesses around the world are adapting their company network to reach a more widely dispersed workforce.
A Wide Area Network (WAN) is an effective way of providing these connections over a large area because it is not tied to a single location.
It also provides the potential for wireless access from some locations - like an employee working from home — and the possibility of linking to a cloud infrastructure for better collaboration — making it ideal for remote working.
If you want the best, you could go a step further with a Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN).
SD-WAN creates a secure, virtual ‘overlay’ over your WAN, bringing intelligence to your network.
With it, you can manage network capacity, prioritise data transfer, intercept threats and provide secure connectivity for your employees.
You can even use the data captured by SD-WAN to improve your network. It may be that your customer service team needs faster connections, for example, or your executives need more security. This is made possible by SD-WAN.
Giving employees access to your business network remotely can help them collaborate with their team easily, but it also opens up the potential for cyber attacks with more data being passed back and forth between employees using different connections and devices.
To protect against them, you need a secure network that can handle high levels of data transfer.
Cloud-based solutions like Dropbox or Google G-suite, or connections like SD-WAN can help protect employees and business data by integrating connectivity and security seamlessly, making sure people can connect to your business network quickly, from anywhere, with the same safety methods in place.
Adding in additional levels of encryption and measures like two-factor authentication can further increase the level of security for you and your team.
Using the latest machine learning security tools, also means you can identify and shut down threats before they become a problem. These proactive threat detection systems constantly monitor activity around your corporate network and immediately alert to suspicious activity.
Being able to react and adapt to problems on your network quickly is vital when dealing with a remote, global workforce.
Any dips in performance or delays in fixing problems can have much wider implications like lost productivity, lost data or work, or reductions in customer service.
And this applies to employees using their mobiles, too. This is something to take seriously, considering 60% of employees use a smartphone as part of their work.
Enterprise Managed Mobility (EMM) can help you manage and maintain the way your employees use their mobile devices for work in a secure way so they can continue collaborating with colleagues and helping customers.
Similarly, device lifecycle management can help give you a centralised system for staging, configuring, kitting, repairing and returning faulty devices.
If your employees need this equipment to do their jobs, problems must be resolved swiftly, wherever they are. This is particularly true for mobile workers who might need access to more robust, rugged devices — such as construction workers or engineers.
Because these workers are on the move or working from customer sites, there’s a greater risk of devices being damaged, compared to workers who use laptops at a desk.
If a device is broken or malfunctions, it needs to be replaced quickly.
None of us could have predicted the pandemic, but we’ve all adapted to changing circumstances.
With remote working expected to become the norm, we all must make sure we have reliable tools in place for the future.
Using technology, you can extend your office beyond four walls, helping protect your business and supporting your employees.
Discover how we can help you develop a workplace fit for the future.
Around the globe, our network reaches 182 countries.
We provide the underlying transport network, the virtual overlay, and the platform to prioritise everything.
Gartner names Vodafone as a Leader in its 2020 Magic Quadrant for Network Services, Global.