Surge in Remote Working Requires Businesses to Rethink IT Infrastructure

Mitesh Chauhan, Senior Product Manager

Remote work capabilities have proven even more important during times of global upheaval, such as the current COVID-19 outbreak. A recent global study reported that 88% of organisations have encouraged or required employees to work from home in hopes of slowing the spread of the virus.

Most businesses have already accounted for a small population of remote workers, designing their IT environments with the digital channels, technology and connectivity required to support remote access. But, many businesses were unequipped for this rapid, unprecedented influx of more remote workers than ever before. As a result, companies are challenged with ensuring high-performing remote access to the cloud, in order to maintain the pace of work internally and deliver unchanged service to customers externally.

Unplanned remote access demand

When first planning cloud-based IT infrastructure, most enterprises likely assumed that the majority of internal users would operate within the walls of headquarters. Typically, one point of access connects the enterprise building to the cloud, a private tunnel specifically designed to speed data to employees via the internal network.

A small population of remote employees is usually accounted for, connecting them to the private access point through public internet. For example, if 30% of employees work remotely on a daily basis, the IT environment is prepared to distribute this workload over the internet, while the other 70% of workers directly access the cloud through the private access point. The business’ connectivity can uphold the 30% of employees remotely running cloud workloads and optimises the combined internal and remote traffic passing through the access point.

Unexpected growth in remote access places a major burden on the company’s IT infrastructure, since most companies aren’t equipped for situations in which 100% of their employees need remote access. An increased number of remote connections causes a pinch point, creating a number of problems for the business and its customers. Employees may be unable to access the company network, and applications will run far slower or may drop out altogether. This affects their customers, in turn preventing the company from providing services at its expected quality and speed.

Distribution eases the burden

To prepare for unexpected challenges, companies can increase their bandwidth and connectivity by creating multiple points of entry to their cloud platform in different geographical regions.

If employees in several regions are all summoning workloads from one access point at headquarters, they’ll suffer from slow-downs. Instead of wrestling with this pinch point, businesses can choose to have their workloads in disparate regions to ease traffic. With the same workloads housed across several zones, companies can quickly access the resources they need in a distributed manner. Diversifying access to cloud platforms minimises business interruption in the event of disasters that require greater remote work.

Interxion’s Cloud Connect – covering 13 regions in Europe and connected to hyper-scaled clouds like Microsoft Azure, AWS, Google and more – can be rearchitected on-demand and with low-touch, allowing customers to act quickly when unexpected changes challenge their business continuity.

To learn more about implementing Cloud Connect for your business, click here.