Gartner has announced that by 2024, driven by remote work and changing workforce demographics, in-person meetings will account for just 25 percent of enterprise meetings (a drop from 60 percent prior to the pandemic).
Simon Pamplin, director of technical sales at Silver Peak says networking technologies employed by businesses will need to change to meet these new demands.
“This new research puts a figure on what many of us have been thinking since lockdown began: the world of work as we know it will have changed drastically because of COVID-19. Cloud-based digital collaboration tools and UC&C applications have been common in the workplace for many years, but have been there to supplement face-to-face meetings, rather than being the dominant means of communication. If Gartner’s predictions are accurate, businesses’ current network architectures are ill-suited to meet this shift.
“Although 70 percent of applications have already moved to the cloud, its transformational promise is falling short because conventional router-centric network architectures were never built with the cloud in mind. Increasingly, IT is finding that fitting cloud applications to existing infrastructure is like using a landline to do the job of a smartphone. Today’s router-centric and basic SD-WAN architectures have either hit the wall or can’t keep up with traffic pattern shifts, distributed applications and the open security perimeters that go hand-in-hand with the cloud.
“Another sticking point is the diversity of implementations of collaboration solutions. Popular UC&C applications traditionally hosted on-premises, are shifting to cloud applications (8×8 / RingCentral / Zoom ) in the form of Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). This presents another level of complexity for network architects looking to connect remote workers to UcaaS while delivering a high quality of experience.
“If any business wants to operate efficiently and productively, its employees need to be able to ensure they’re communicating and collaborating effectively. If the current remote working situation persists to the degree that Gartner predicts, the current stop-gap solutions many businesses are employing will need to be shored up with a more major rethink of the network architecture they’re using. Businesses that solve the problem of collaboration remotely will have a distinct advantage over those which do not.”
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