How colocation is driving anytime, anywhere working
Thu 18 Jun 2020 | Giuliano Di Vitantonio
Colocation gives businesses the connectivity they need to drive momentum in these challenging times
The past few months have been challenging for businesses around the globe, as each industry was required to make significant changes to their daily operations very quickly. And, although some workers have started going back to the office, remote work is here to stay for the foreseeable future as most offices will be operating at reduced capacity.
As we continue to figure out our new normal, businesses must ensure there’s minimal disruption to regular business activity. That means providing the resources employees need – including digital channels, technology, and connectivity – to continue collaborating, maintaining productivity, and delivering services to customers as expected.
Many businesses are finding that easier said than done however, as the various shifts in how employees work has placed an overwhelming burden on IT departments. Let’s take a look at the key connectivity challenges businesses face when enabling employees to work anytime, anywhere.
Lack of reliable connectivity
As it becomes clear that remote working is here to stay, businesses in industries ranging from banking to manufacturing are opening new channels for collaboration and productivity, as they deploy a remote workforce. This kind of digital collaboration requires new business tools and, perhaps more importantly, increased connectivity to support it.
At the same time, however, increased residential activity during and post lockdowns places unprecedented strain on the network. With everyone working and living at home, internet traffic patterns changed dramatically, as residential networks became the new business networks. One carrier reported that weekday peak traffic increased over 45 percent compared to pre-lockdown levels.
As a result, this growth in network activity – and the resulting strain – has led to a rise in private interconnection and Internet Exchange consumption. This is one way enterprises can ensure connectivity during this turbulent period and guarantee business continuity long into the future.
Remote access to the cloud
Remote working requires significant connectivity to the cloud, from cloud-based collaboration and communication tools to access to essential resources and infrastructure hosted in the cloud.
When first planning cloud-based IT infrastructure, most enterprises assumed that the majority of internal users would work from a central office location, with one point of access connecting the enterprise building to the cloud. This setup was designed to support a small number of remote workers running cloud workloads, connecting them to the private access point through the public internet.
Today, businesses have found themselves unprepared to handle the need for – in most cases – 100 percent of their employees to have remote access. The increased number of remote connections places a major burden on the company’s IT infrastructure, creating an access pinch point.
As a result, businesses are dealing with latency and performance issues that affect both employees and customers. Employees may be unable to access the company network, or applications may run slowly or drop out altogether, preventing the business from delivering services to customers at the expected quality and speed. With remote work likely to remain popular as we move ahead into the new normal, this setup leads to an access pinch point that isn’t sustainable.
Instead, businesses can increase bandwidth and connectivity by creating multiple points of entry to cloud platforms in different geographical regions. Diversifying access to cloud platforms enables employees to quickly access the resources they need in a distributed manner. This minimises business interruption in the face of remote work, whether businesses are responding to unforeseen events like the current crisis, or preparing for a future where increased remote working becomes part of the norm.
Looking to the future
We’re living through unique times right now, but the reality is that remote working was already growing in popularity. Businesses need to be prepared for evolving shifts in the way we work, with the digital channels, technology and connectivity needed to continue business momentum and deliver great experiences to customers, no matter where employees are.