Author: Puneet Duggal, Hybrid Cloud Solutions Architect, CDW Canada
Although it’s hard to remember what life was like pre-COVID-19, we were seeing a lot of interesting developments in the wireless technology space before everything came to a pause. COVID-19 dramatically changed the concept of traditional workplaces, as many of us continue to work from our home office. This shift in how and where we conduct our work will have great implications on the workplace of the future.
With the rollout of vaccines underway, we can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel as the potential of returning to a physical office is on the horizon. Some organizations may choose to adopt a hybrid plan, while others may expect to return to the pre-COVID-19 way and have everyone return to the office.
Preparing for the workplace of the future
Regardless of what your office of the future looks like, it’s important your organization develops a plan. For those planning to return to the office, they have a unique opportunity to build a network that will meet the current and future needs of their organization. In today’s age, people are using more wireless devices than ever. With smartphones, tablets, laptops, smartwatches – the list goes on. Employees are accustomed to having information right at their fingertips and expect access to all the data and applications they want to from any location on any device. The problem is most networks are not designed to account for this performance and redundancies.
The network can be used to determine that social distance guidelines are being adhered to while also helping provide business intelligence on how physical spaces are being used to determine if more meeting spaces are needed or how guests/customers spend their time when they are at your office or store.
Minimizing network strain
In the return to work, leveraging intent-based networking can ease the burden on your IT team. With the influx of connected devices on your organization’s network, performance and bandwidth may be compromised as the network wasn’t built to withstand the demands. By using machine learning to identify and remedy potential issues before they become a problem, your network can assess the devices on it and adapt. Maybe most important, intent-based networking provides security throughout the network, meaning threats will be seen in real-time and your security team will be notified.
The first line of defence
What devices are on your network, what are they doing there and are they having the anticipated experience? When you go from one side of your office to another for a meeting and take your devices with you, you expect to maintain connectivity and to be able to share a presentation and collaborate on a document with ease. From an operations perspective, flexibility in deployment and the ability to analyze encrypted traffic at scale without compromising performance becomes increasingly important. With a growing bring-your-own-device trend among employees and organizations expected to provide internet for guests, having an automated way to assure that your network is working and secure becomes important.
Improving your wireless infrastructure with Cisco and CDW
To ensure your organization is prepared when employees eventually return, leveraging Cisco’s Wi-Fi 6 will add efficiency, flexibility and scalability to allow new and existing networks to increase speed and capacity. The technology will allow access points to support more clients in dense environments and provide improved experiences compared to typical wireless networks. Organizations can gain insight on how people and devices move throughout a physical location. Organizations can further analyze encrypted traffic and create user defined networks to quickly and easily get access to the network on all their user devices in a self-service model. With these insights, organizations can achieve operational efficiencies in monitoring how assets are utilized.
At CDW, we offer the best-in-class services and solutions to help our customers achieve a wireless infrastructure plan that suits their daily activities and needs. We recently achieved the Cisco Master Networking Specialization – a key differentiator in the Canadian market. This gives us the highest capabilities in Cisco networking technologies that support intent-based networking, business processes and results. As a Canadian services provider, the combination of our deep expertise and our understanding of the unique challenges that Canadian organizations face in this new phase of planning for a safe and efficient return to work allow us to tailor business solutions specifically to your needs. We can design innovative solutions from the ground up based on your specific business objectives.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can make your current wireless network work better for you, visit cdw.ca/cisco or call 888.439.2392.