Last March, virtually overnight, entire businesses moved their workforces home, which meant a sharp increase in employees utilizing VPN and residential internet connections to access vital information. HQ servers were understandably overloaded, and IT leaders scrambled to double, triple and, in some cases, quadruple their bandwidth to support a lasting hybrid or fully remote workforce.
A significant benefit to the investment in bandwidth has been the increase in upload speed, for which demand has grown exponentially in a time where Software as a Service (SaaS) and cloud-based applications, like video conferencing, are putting larger strains on networks. Many companies with traditional cable internet are now switching to service level agreement-backed fiber-based options to support higher and more symmetrical upload/download speeds across the organization.
The underbelly of the rise in remote work is the larger role that security plays within organizations, as the number of entry points for bad actors to access sensitive information has multiplied. While internal trainings help safeguard against phishing and other trojan-style attacks, leading technology partners are offering security products that strengthen firewalls and protect against growing threats.
The adoption of new digital infrastructure hasn’t just hit Michigan’s companies, but also Michiganders working remotely in their homes. With families streaming, schooling, Zooming and accessing IoT devices more than ever, there is high demand for higher-bandwidth internet options or, as I have in my own house, an entirely separate business modem to segregate work traffic from the home network.
Supporting this rapid digital transformation requires organizations to first operate with a healthy infrastructure encompassing appropriate bandwidth, security, service protection and workforce training in order to successfully shift, survive and thrive.