• Jason Kline

The COVID19 effect, from an IT perspective.



The Impact Of Covid19 on network and security infrastructures

· What do you think might happen to networking when people return to work?

· We may not return to normal, but will be back at work soon if not already.

· Here are some ideas I think this pandemic has caused.

Technology

· Remote or telecommuting has become a long-term trend

· Online and digital based business handle the pandemic more efficiently

· Utilizing automation, becoming more efficient and less prone to human errors

· Leveraging the internet or public networks as transport, e.g. SD-WAN, Cloud, Remote Access services, etc.

· Hardware based networking becomes less relevant due to remote workers

Lifestyle

· Home workspaces become the new norm

· Personal expenses decrease due to working remotely, e.g. savings on gas, public transport, etc.

· Kids education either all remote or hybrid (remote and onsite)

How the COVID19 pandemic has impacted IT networking and security

· Remote access VPNs, thin clients (VDI) and other remote services will be utilized and an increased level.

· Operational efficiency will be the new normal, keeping remote users connected and productive

· Innovation on remote access solutions

· Improved Remote Access and VPN security solutions will be priority to keep organizations secure.

· Utilize SD-WAN (Software Defined WAN) and SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) solutions and vendors to offer secure endpoint management and visibility.

· Leveraging SD (Software Defined) orchestration and automation solutions for fast provisioning and ease of operations.

Internet and Network Impact

· SaaS providers, e.g. Office 365 and Sales force may have more influence on the business agenda.

· Cloud services may increase at an enormous rate due to fast provisioning times over legacy self-hosted and maintained data center models.

· Internet usage will increase “x” fold due to remote workers. How will the service providers handle the new load?

· Cloud providers may become the new service providers, internet traffic may transit cloud provider networks, providing lower latency over existing clogged and oversubscribed service provider networks.

· Broadband or home-based internet providers may have to re-tool and upgrade network backbones and aggregation service areas due to increased load, e.g. upload/download ratios.

· For non-wired locations such as coffee shops or co-working spaces the use of 4G/5G services will increase.


Automation, Cloud and more….

· Software-driven operations and cloud-based infrastructure may perform better than legacy IT.

· Automation will leverage orchestration platforms and tools to automate mundane tasks, while removing human error prone IT tasks, usually the CLI.

· Automation IT training is necessary for the current and future IT workers.

· Automation will become the new norm using cloud provider, vendor based or open source solutions.

Business benefits and impact

· Working remotely especially from home usually provides businesses more productive users and outcomes.

· This model does not apply to all industries. Service and retail-based businesses may have to slightly re-tool how they conduct day to day operations while keeping employees and customers safe.

· Remote work saves on commuting expenses, car maintenance, food, etc. This provides the businesses added flexibility and reduces employee expenditures.

Summary and Thoughts

· Social distancing may limit the spread of COVID19, but I believe that returning to work should be the priority. I think this pandemic has caused mental fatigue and in many, depression.

· I think at a minimum small group of people should return to the workplace and then those numbers should increase over time to its original state, for many organizations and operations, especially serviced based a full return to the norm is needed. Other organizations during this pandemic exercise may have realized that remote workers may be more efficient and cost efficient.

· Social restrictions will be in place for limited time after a full return to work to control possible spreading. This may impact IT teams operations and service delivery plans.

· Some organizations may have sustained too much economic damage due to the shutdown forcing companies to shrink through layoffs and furloughs. Companies may cut costs and slow projects initiatives.

· On the other side, some companies may have flourished during this pandemic and may choose to invest and grow. Others may have identified the need to transform the way they operate, e.g. how to become more technically proficient and optimize the business.

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