The transformation from analog devices to digital processing is well underway. The worldwide-installed base now numbers 1.333 billion computers. In addition, there are 3.3 billion smartphone users around the world as well as 7 billion IoT devices online. Adding in automotive computing and other miscellany brings the total to 17 billion connected digital devices. Despite this mass of processing power, the migration to digital technologies is far from complete. The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing organizations of all kinds to accelerate the digital transformation and modify their networking and security strategies. It’s happening like this.
Due to the current pandemic, among “knowledge workers” who work primarily on computers, at-home users and mobile users are now the majority. These include employees, customers, partners and investors each of whom require different types of connectivity and privileges. In addition, automation and AI are removing human workers who are susceptible to COVID-19 from work processes altogether. Likewise, travel barriers and other factors are making telepresence and branch offices more prominent. The result is completely distributed IT operations. This means mean your networking strategy for providing mission-critical services must change its arc. The cyber security you must use to protect your changing environment must follow these changes. Here are 5 facts you must take into account when adapting your networking and cyber security to the new normal brought about by today’s pandemic.
Fact 1: This is permanent
Due to COVID-19, “click-economy” thinking is taking over in boardrooms. Part of the financial efficiency of companies like UBER and Airbnb comes from their use of affiliates’ assets rather than having to capitalize critical assets themselves. Likewise, freed by COVID-19 from policies that force employees to work at centralized offices, CFOs’ are looking to realize immense cost savings from abandoning their commercial real estate by using employees’ homes as places of business. According to Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, a typical employer can save about $11,000 per year for every employee who works remotely half of the time.6 Considering the costs of heating and air conditioning, bandwidth, and other facilities costs as well as the burden of scaling real estate for growth and recessions, you can expect virtualizing employees and other stakeholders is here to stay.
When transitioning networking and cyber security, you should plan for the completely distributed computing environment to become permanent. Practically speaking, this means network and security professionals should avoid temporary stop-gap measures. It also means planning to accelerate cloud/ SaaS adoption for the following reasons.
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