IT Has Proven Rapid Digital Transformation is Possible - What's Next?
November 12, 2020

Paul Davenport
AppNeta

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The pandemic effectively "shocked" enterprises into pushing the gas on tech initiatives that, on the one hand, support a more flexible, decentralized workforce, but that were by-and-large already on the roadmap, regardless of whether businesses had been planning to support widespread work-from-home or not.

Retiring legacy, hardware-based applications and workflows that committed workers to sharing an office for more flexible and scalable cloud tools, for instance, was already in progress (though relatively slowly) at many businesses well before the pandemic made cloud migration a top priority. Showing business leaders that accelerated "digital transformations" like these could even be pulled off (let alone successfully) was just one business myth that was dispelled as part of the pandemic.

The second myth (at least among wary enterprise decision makers) was that IT teams couldn't successfully deploy network infrastructures that were fit to support widespread WFH. Not only has this been dispelled (again, many of the required changes to enable WFH go hand-in-hand with long-simmering digital overhauls), but many newly-remote teams are actually performing better in their new environment.

However, just because enterprise IT have proven in many cases that they can support an almost fully remote workforce doesn't mean that this will be the enterprise standard going forward.

A study conducted by workplace chat app Blind found that among the biggest Silicon Valley tech companies, for instance, pandemic-induced WFH is leading to workers feeling 68 percent more burnt out than they did last year. While the feeling is subjective, the increase can't be ignored. That said, workers in other industries like healthcare are seeing tangible benefits in conducting work at a distance.

So while WFH will never be a fit for every worker, now that both IT and knowledge workers have debunked the misconceptions of their most skeptical enterprise leaders, it'll be hard to convince everyone to "go back" to the old way once restrictions are finally lifted.

All of this goes to show that as much as we've learned about the positives of WFH in this global "experiment" in decentralization, it's too soon to fully say goodbye to the office as we knew it before the pandemic. Instead, companies will need to adapt to support a more fluid, "anywhere operations" model for work that will allow employees to enjoy similar experiences with the job wherever they log on.

For network operations teams going forward, the biggest challenge will be keeping up with the accelerated pace of change now that they've proven to skeptical business leaders their efficiency (and efficacy) in successfully transforming the network. This will require teams to put a greater emphasis on leveraging comprehensive visibility into end-user performance wherever users are located now that the footprint for potential errors has expanded with workers at home.

Supporting this "new normal" calls for enterprise IT teams to synchronize visibility across their rapidly evolving network footprint to ensure they can monitor and manage the digital experiences of users leveraging any app, from any location, at any point in time. With users logging onto the network from all over the map and adopting new technologies to stay in sync with their times, enterprise IT teams have to seek out visibility into network environments that they don't inherently have clear insights into or control over to ensure successful deployment.

Paul Davenport is Marketing Communications Manager at AppNeta
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