Navigating the Hybrid Work Challenge for Network Users
January 18, 2024

Destiny Bertucci
Auvik

Share this

The widespread shift to hybrid and remote work since the pandemic has complicated job responsibilities for network administrators who face complex new challenges to deliver dependable connectivity and security for their far-flung users. The 9-to-5 office weekday has already become a distant memory for most employees, replaced by a changing landscape that blends formal office workplaces with home offices, hotels, and neighborhood cafés.

To gain better industry context about how IT organizations are addressing these challenges, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) and Auvik conducted a recent survey of more than 350 IT professionals who support the networking requirements of employees that work from home. From the research findings, it seems clear that most network operations teams are still struggling to solve this issue.

In Episode 2 of the MEAN TIME TO INSIGHT Podcast, Shamus McGillicuddy, VP of Research, Network Infrastructure and Operations, at EMA, discusses the network management impacts of remote work.


Virtually all IT organizations (96%) are already supporting hybrid workers, who now make up 30% of all employees. Based on these trendlines, nearly three-fourths of respondents (73%) reported an increase in their workloads following the shift from traditional work to hybrid work environments. These abrupt changes have created a tricky problem for IT teams because they no longer control all the network assets which employees need to access, but they still must provide a seamless user experience across all business operations. As a result, 87% of organizations have allocated budgets to update their network tools for remote and hybrid workers, but just 32% have reported being successful in their efforts.

These research findings reveal that the biggest barriers to the remote user experience include spotty service from home Wi-Fi setups, long physical distances from application servers, and poor quality from internet service providers. The two leading concerns for work-from-home employees involved their limited access to virtual private networks (VPNs) to establish digital connections between their computers and distant company servers, and recurring performance glitches with SaaS applications.

Rethinking Network Operations for Remote Troubleshooting

In this byzantine hybrid environment, most network automation tools are no longer adequate to perform the necessary steps for remote troubleshooting and remediation. More than three-fourths of organizations (76%) discovered a need to manage their network access policies across the patchwork of on-premises networks and remote users.

For all these reasons, 72% of organizations deployed network hardware to the homes of their remote staff. This included the installation of network security devices (63%) and improved Wi-Fi access points (54%). Furthermore, the increasing requirements to support hybrid office mobility caused 90% of organizations to upgrade their own internal Wi-Fi networks.

About half of all network operations teams (49%) also partnered with new tool vendors to help manage the network experience for remote workers. The most popular solutions included remote desktop access tools (81% of respondents), followed closely by endpoint monitoring tools (79%).

This sweeping move to a hybrid workforce is not just some lingering remnant from the pandemic – it is the undeniable future of work itself. The research findings indicate that network administrators and IT teams should take the time to do some self-reflection and understand their top priorities for overcoming these obstacles.

Businesses today must deliver the appropriate network tools and software to support their employees who choose to work from home, the office, or anywhere else for that matter. Making steady progress will require investments in secure solutions for remote network access, including integrated network security automation and centralized management consoles. By combining these important capabilities with modern observability tools, network admins can gain much greater visibility to monitor and manage network performance for the entire hybrid workforce, no matter where people are located. Navigating this ongoing challenge will require a steady hand on the wheel by IT leaders, but also an accurate roadmap to understand where they are coming from and where they still need to go.

Destiny Bertucci is Product Strategist at Auvik
Share this

The Latest

February 21, 2024

Generative AI will usher in advantages within various industries. However, the technology is still nascent, and according to the recent Dynatrace survey there are many challenges and risks that organizations need to overcome to use this technology effectively ...

February 20, 2024

In today's digital era, monitoring and observability are indispensable in software and application development. Their efficacy lies in empowering developers to swiftly identify and address issues, enhance performance, and deliver flawless user experiences. Achieving these objectives requires meticulous planning, strategic implementation, and consistent ongoing maintenance. In this blog, we're sharing our five best practices to fortify your approach to application performance monitoring (APM) and observability ...

February 16, 2024

In MEAN TIME TO INSIGHT Episode 3, Shamus McGillicuddy, VP of Research, Network Infrastructure and Operations, at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) discusses network security with Chris Steffen, VP of Research Covering Information Security, Risk, and Compliance Management at EMA ...

February 15, 2024

In a time where we're constantly bombarded with new buzzwords and technological advancements, it can be challenging for businesses to determine what is real, what is useful, and what they truly need. Over the years, we've witnessed the rise and fall of various tech trends, such as the promises (and fears) of AI becoming sentient and replacing humans to the declaration that data is the new oil. At the end of the day, one fundamental question remains: How can companies navigate through the tech buzz and make informed decisions for their future? ...

February 14, 2024

We increasingly see companies using their observability data to support security use cases. It's not entirely surprising given the challenges that organizations have with legacy SIEMs. We wanted to dig into this evolving intersection of security and observability, so we surveyed 500 security professionals — 40% of whom were either CISOs or CSOs — for our inaugural State of Security Observability report ...

February 13, 2024

Cloud computing continues to soar, with little signs of slowing down ... But, as with any new program, companies are seeing substantial benefits in the cloud but are also navigating budgetary challenges. With an estimated 94% of companies using cloud services today, priorities for IT teams have shifted from purely adoption-based to deploying new strategies. As they explore new territories, it can be a struggle to exploit the full value of their spend and the cloud's transformative capabilities ...

February 12, 2024

What will the enterprise of the future look like? If we asked this question three years ago, I doubt most of us would have pictured today as we know it: a future where generative AI has become deeply integrated into business and even our daily lives ...

February 09, 2024

With a focus on GenAI, industry experts offer predictions on how AI will evolve and impact IT and business in 2024. Part 5, the final installment in this series, covers the advantages AI will deliver: Generative AI will become increasingly important for resolving complicated data integration challenges, essentially providing a natural-language intermediary between data endpoints ...

February 08, 2024

With a focus on GenAI, industry experts offer predictions on how AI will evolve and impact IT and business in 2024. Part 4 covers the challenges of AI: In the short term, the rapid development and adoption of AI tools and products leveraging AI services will lead to an increase in biased outputs ...

February 07, 2024

With a focus on GenAI, industry experts offer predictions on how AI will evolve and impact IT and business in 2024. Part 3 covers the technologies that will drive AI: The question on every leader's mind in 2023 was - how soon will I see the return on my AI investment? The answer may lie in quantum computing ...