The operational changes brought on by the COVID-19 crisis are likely to have a long-term impact on the IT infrastructure. According to Gartner, the pandemic has accelerated the shift toward the “Everywhere Enterprise,” which “uses technology, team structures, processes, skills, and tools to empower a dispersed workforce, harness a distributed infrastructure and serve a ubiquitous customer base.”
In the Everywhere Enterprise, more applications and data move to the public or private cloud so that employees can access them from anywhere. The campus network becomes more flexible to support workers who are untethered from permanent office workspace. Organizations also look to exploit newly digitized processes to create business opportunities and competitive advantages.
In other words, the Everywhere Enterprise requires an agile IT infrastructure that can respond rapidly to changing business requirements. CIOs will need to adjust their thinking as they plan their IT strategies for 2021 and beyond.
The New Normal
Until now, organizations have focused on expanding their campus networks to meet ever-increasing capacity and utilization demands. Work-from-home strategies have caused network traffic to decrease significantly, leading organizations to delay planned upgrades. But even when employees begin returning to work, campus LAN traffic is likely to change dramatically.
Global Workplace Analytics expects that 30 percent of the U.S. workforce will work from home multiple days per week by the end of 2021, up from just 3.6 percent prior to the pandemic. Multiple workers might share the same office space on different days or utilize unassigned work areas as needed. The emphasis will change from wired to wireless technologies that can support traffic spikes when employees come into the office.
IT teams will need to ensure the reliability of the network and be able to support more moves, adds, and changes. This will lead to greater investments in automated tools that provide greater visibility into network conditions and the ability to modify traffic flows and application priorities to ensure a high-quality user experience.
How Rahi Can Help
As part of its ELEVATE framework, Rahi Systems offers a comprehensive suite of services to help plan and execute your network infrastructure strategies. The Rahi team will sit down with the IT team and business stakeholders to discuss business needs and requirements, then conduct a detailed assessment of the existing network to identify problems and concerns. In addition to evaluating network hardware, we will conduct a wireless site survey and access layer switching assessment.
Armed with the results of the assessment, Rahi works with you to develop a plan that addresses cloud connectivity, security, and other requirements. Our network architects will design the network infrastructure based upon industry best practices and outline a phased migration that minimizes business disruption. The wireless design will cover access point placement to optimize both coverage and capacity.
Rahi can then handle the implementation of your network based upon the agreed design. Our engineers utilize automation and controller-based scripting to enable error-free deployment and validation. Once the network is deployed, you can turn over ongoing management to our managed services, who will ensure that SLAs are maintained 24×7.
The COVID-19 pandemic will ultimately have a dramatic impact on the campus network through a permanent shift to remote and flexible workstyles. Rahi Systems can help you prepare for that transition with expert assessment, design, implementation, and management services delivered through our ELEVATE framework.