The hybrid work model offers benefits to organizations such as increased productivity and flexibility whether employees are in-person or working from home. By embracing this model, organizations position themselves as forward-thinking and adaptable, giving them a competitive edge. However, the hybrid model also introduces new IT concerns that must be addressed, such as data security, secure communication channels, and the maintenance of consistent workflows. Fortunately, there are technology solutions available to address these hybrid work challenges.
Transitioning to a hybrid work model requires organizations to change their approach to investing in their employees, physical spaces, and technology. The key to the success of the hybrid model lies in the connection between people, spaces, and technology. Investments must be made to support the initiative, but the increased productivity and agility can offset these that the hybrid model offers.
IT Network Management Challenges
The hybrid work model introduces several new challenges for IT network management including:
- Access to the same resources and systems.
Ensuring that remote workers have access to the same resources and systems as on-site workers are important for managing a hybrid work environment. This may involve setting up VPN connections or other remote access solutions and implementing collaboration tools and services that can be accessed by all workers. By providing remote workers with the same resources and systems as on-site workers, companies ensure all workers have the tools and information they need to be productive and collaborate effectively.
- Secure remote connections and devices.
Managing the security of remote connections and devices is a key challenge in a hybrid work environment. Companies can implement security measures such as VPNs, encryption, and multi-factor authentication to address this challenge. They can provide remote workers with training on how to recognize and avoid cyber threats, and have policies and procedures in place for responding to security incidents. By taking these steps, companies can protect their systems and data from cyber-attacks.
- Monitor network performance and availability.
To ensure that all workers have access to the network resources they need, regardless of location, companies need to monitor network performance and availability. This involves monitoring the network for any issues or disruptions that may affect access, as well as monitoring performance to ensure that the network can handle the increased demand of a hybrid work environment. By monitoring network performance and availability, companies can quickly identify and address any issues that may affect worker access to network resources, and ensure that all workers have the connectivity and performance they need to be productive and collaborate effectively.
- Network management tools and services to support the complexity of the hybrid network.
Managing the complexity of a hybrid work environment is a challenge for IT network managers. To address this challenge, companies can use network management tools and services, implement network policies and procedures, and provide training and support to help workers use the systems and tools they need. By taking these steps, companies can effectively manage the complexity of a hybrid work environment and ensure that all workers have the access and support they need to be productive.
- Training and support for remote workers.
Providing support and training for remote workers is essential for managing a hybrid work environment. Companies can provide remote workers access to online training resources and offer remote support and troubleshooting services. They can also implement collaboration tools and services that allow remote workers to easily communicate with on-site colleagues and IT support staff. By providing remote workers with adequate support and training, companies can ensure that all workers have the tools and knowledge they need to be productive and successful in a hybrid work environment.
Managing the IT Network to ensure secure and flexible access to resources from anywhere and easy access to IT support is critical to the success of the hybrid work model. With more users, devices, and other things connecting to the network from everywhere, there are more applications and more threats. It is necessary to ensure that sensitive data is protected from unauthorized access.
The McKinsey Study for Cisco reported the following network management challenges:
- 95% of network changes are performed manually.
- 75% of operating expenses are on changes and troubleshooting.
- 70% of policy violations are due to human error.
These network management challenges cannot support the exponential increases from hybrid work. New access networking solutions need to optimize the connected experience with simplicity, automation, and security.
Cisco Hybrid Work Solutions for Network Management
To adapt to the challenges of hybrid work, IT needs solutions built on Cisco Access Networking to deliver optimal end-user and IT experiences through software-defined, AI-driven simplicity, automation, security, and shared visibility.
These Cisco solutions offer enhanced real-time visibility with distributed applications, security, and network user and service performance:
ThousandEyes endpoint agents give you visibility into internal and SaaS application experience for every employee, including the health and performance of the underlying local, ISP, and application provider networks.
Meraki dashboard lets you manage your entire distributed network infrastructure in a single interface. It allows you to power hybrid work everywhere. Monitor access, WAN, and IoT technologies without switching contexts. Solve issues remotely and support a globally distributed network.
SecureX is a cloud platform with extended detection and response (XDR) capabilities. Integrate the Cisco Secure portfolio with your entire security infrastructure to speed detection, response, and recovery.
|Cisco DNA Center creates efficiencies using a powerful network controller that guides workflows designed for NetOps, AIOps, SecOps, and DevOps job roles.
|Webex control hub is a simple and intuitive way to navigate and manage Webex services. One dashboard helps IT teams manage their admin experience for Webex calling, meetings, messaging, and devices.
Download our Free Guide to Unlock the Full Potential of Hybrid Work
The hybrid work model has given companies a competitive edge with
the flexibility it provides. Learn how to make the switch to hybrid work seamless with a free download of the IDC Hybrid Work Maturity Model.