How to Prepare for the Office of 2020

Mobile Office WAN

Why Forward-Thinking Enterprises are Augmenting Their Networks With SD-WAN as an Overlay

Today, work is no longer a place. Employees across the world are now allowed and often required to do some or all of their work outside the confines of the office. This trend is only growing. Globally, 91% of organizations say they are embracing workforce mobility in some form. While this reality has long been in the making, a few technology advancements combined to create a tipping point in the shift toward workforce mobility:

  • The increased prevalence of laptops and mobile devices along with growth in mobile traffic (particularly multimedia)
  • The adoption of cloud services (Unified Communications as a Service, office productivity apps, etc.)
  • The growth and ubiquity of broadband and wireless Internet, now found everywhere from the coffee shop  to the average employee’s home and often providing higher speeds than the office.

By 2020, millennials will compose roughly half of the global workforce. Consequently, the “Office of 2020” will be structured to attract and accommodate these digital natives, as well as to maximize agility and productivity across all personnel. From “road warriors” like salespeople, in-home healthcare workers, and public safety officers, to employees who traditionally would have been required to work from an office but now either need or prefer to work from home or in a public place, employees need the user experience that comes with working in the office — no matter where they go.

Legacy WAN: An Artifact of the Past

As applications move to the cloud and local servers disappear, there is diminishing value in relying solely on legacy WAN architectures. Legacy WANs are expensive and complex to design, provision and manage, offer limited visibility, and are very inflexible. WAN availability outside the office requires using legacy remote access VPNs, which entail repeated logins on the part of the user and are complex to operate and maintain. No matter how well-engineered, a traditional VPN cannot provide the same user experience for a mobile user as someone working at the branch office or headquarters.

For mobile workers, that user experience is no longer acceptable. The traditional WAN — the domain of long-term carrier contracts for MPLS — has been engineered for an office scenario that’s increasingly atypical.

SD-WAN: The Next Step in Networking

SD-WAN (Software-Defined WAN) is becoming the solution of choice for enterprises readying themselves for the requirements of the Office of 2020. SD-WAN leverages automation, the wide availability of wired and wireless broadband, and the scalability and flexibility of the cloud to replace or augment MPLS.

SD-WAN provides greater speed at a fraction of the cost, meaning that users feel like they’re on the local network no matter where they are. From a network administration perspective, SD-WAN solutions like Cradlepoint NetCloud Engine let engineers spin up a network in minutes and implement authentication and authorization, security, and mobility software via application services in the cloud, instead of relying on hardware that has to go where the end-user is. Further, it eliminates the need to backhaul traffic to headquarters to pass through on-hardware security applications.

Introducing NetCloud Engine

Cradlepoint is the global leader in LTE networking. The combination of our new NetCloud Engine and NetCloud Manager — the network management service available in the Cradlepoint NetCloud platform — makes it possible for our customers to connect people, places, and things on a network that’s truly engineered for the future.

A few of the key features of Cradlepoint’s SD-WAN offerings include:

  • Greater security through PKI authentication and 256-bit AES encryption
  • A flexible, always-on network connection. Unlike traditional VPNs, once a person, place, or thing has been connected to the SD-WAN, there’s no need for signing on over and over.
  • The ability to micro-segment networks and implement Active Directory (AD) integration, ensuring users have the exact level of access to company resources that they need, and no more.

Most importantly, these features can be accessed anywhere; mobile users enjoy the exact same experience as users back at the office.

Live Webinar About NetCloud & NetCloud Engine

Join us for a live webinar at 9am PT/12pm ET on October 27 to learn how Cradlepoint NetCloud and NetCloud Engine can help your organization improve productivity, reduce costs, and enhance the intelligence of your network and business operations.