With remote work here to stay – at least in some form – businesses are faced with many new challenges. Between network reliability, cybersecurity and privacy issues, and adequacy of the internet and solutions to address hybrid workforce and security concerns, there is a lot to consider.
As IT teams and businesses of all sizes continue to adapt, they should be mindful of the current challenges and the importance of a reliable network and technology. Here are a few ways they can lean on technology – with the support of Comcast Business – to prepare for what’s next.
Pandemic-related Technology Challenges
Many of the biggest challenges stemmed from the almost-overnight shift to a remote-work environment. Businesses that had already invested in cloud-based applications and collaboration platforms were better positioned to pivot, whereas others were forced, in some cases, to roll out new technologies in just a few days – compared to the months or years they previously were afforded for tech rollouts.
This situation showed many IT leaders they may not need to allow as much time for future rollouts, which will ultimately help organizations champion business agility. However, training and support are key to any successful tech rollout. In a fully remote or hybrid environment, that means IT staff will need remote access to an organization’s devices and must be versed in handling problems that are not physically in front of them, among other challenges.
Businesses also had to quickly ensure employees had fast, reliable access to data, networks and applications. This meant that some organizations had to be flexible about helping employees who lived in areas where faster, more reliable connections weren’t available. It also led some to provide employees with dedicated, in-home connectivity separate from their residential networks.
Overcoming Security Challenges Associated with a Distributed Workforce
The shift to remote work and increased reliance on the cloud also have created cybersecurity concerns. While securing an organization is hard enough when everyone is in one place, it’s even more complicated when a workforce is distributed. And as employees continue to work from home, often connecting to a company’s data and applications via home networks or using personal devices, it can be more difficult to authenticate legitimate users. In fact, a September 2020 study conducted by IDG and Comcast Business found 98% of businesses said securing applications, data and infrastructure in the cloud is “very” or “somewhat” challenging.
To help mitigate these challenges, businesses should:
- Rethink security policies governing remote access to sensitive business applications and add security protocols such as secure gateways, site-to-site VPNs, application-aware firewalls and network access controls.
- Ensure employees have the right security features on any device that connects to a company’s network.
- Provide training and education on various threats and how to prevent them. Since employees are a first line of defense against bad actors, awareness is key.
Comcast Business Can Keep Your Business Connected
Throughout the pandemic, Comcast Business has helped businesses, whether local restaurants or large enterprises, stay connected. The network was built to provide flexibility and reliability, and to quickly respond to spikes or shifts in usage and help keep businesses agile, regardless of unexpected events in the outside world. Although there was an unprecedented shift in network usage as companies transitioned employees to remote work, it was nothing that was beyond our network’s capability.
We also continuously test, monitor and enhance our network to stay prepared, and have engineered for peak capacity to handle spikes and shifts in usage patterns. We regularly invest in our network and have thousands of engineers across our footprint who work to support and add capacity where it’s needed. Throughout this time, we’ve continued to deliver the speeds and capacity our customers need, and ensured they had the best experience possible.
While there’s always the chance for power outages (especially during storm season), businesses can easily add back-up connectivity to navigate the unexpected with offerings such as Comcast Business Connection Pro. Connection Pro offers seamless, wireless backup in the event of an unexpected power issue, to keep businesses moving forward.
Technology has proven to be even more critical and essential through the events of the past year. As businesses continue to navigate and look for ways to thrive in a post-pandemic world, they should invest in solutions to ensure they stay connected – no matter the challenges.