January 27, 2021

Uniting your distributed workforce with multi-cloud connectivity

Following a year perhaps best described as bonkers, it’s an opportune time to catch your breath and evaluate just how well you’re positioned to support your workforce in the months and years ahead. It’s predicted that 48% of employees will continue to work remotely, compared to 30% pre-pandemic1.

While much of the hard work to enact a distributed workforce has already been done, for many organisations the greatest challenge is to secure and optimise applications to keep a hybrid workforce connected and productive.

You may be part of the 35% of organisations who have recently relocated workloads to the cloud in response to COVID-192, or perhaps you transitioned on-premises apps to SaaS offerings. Perhaps you find yourself in the 41% of businesses who deployed new software3, such as cloud-based collaboration tools, in order to facilitate remote work. Regardless, it’s time to seriously consider how you’ll secure and connect your multi-clouds.

Business continuity, resilience, security, and performance for a distributed workforce

As the location of your workforce continues to evolve, so too do the cloud services your people rely on, and more specifically the data that traverses between user (devices) and application. This presents 4 key challenges for already stretched IT teams:

  1. Overcoming complex IT architecture
  2. Ensuring consistent application delivery
  3. Optimising cloud connectivity
  4. Maintaining security and continuity

Complex IT architecture

This year saw the rapid realisation that on-premises applications and LAN networks do not allow organisations to be as agile as they need to be. Constrained by the data centre, many began the great migration to the cloud. The result? A complex architecture involving a combination of on-premises and cloud applications plus storage, a mixture of VPN and cloud direct access for employees, and disparate security solutions.  How are you placed to manage complex, multi-cloud architecture?

Consistent application delivery

With the benefit of high-speed internet connections at home, many remote workers have been able to enjoy uninterrupted productivity. However, the challenge is now to provide employees with a consistent application experience, regardless of location. As people return to the office, in many instances the lightning fast NBN plan is replaced by a congested corporate network that needs to support increased cloud traffic. With pressure firmly back on your bandwidth and the data centre, employee efficiency is the first thing to disappear when consistent access to critical applications is compromised. Can you ensure that your hybrid workforce has a consistent application experience?

Optimisation of cloud connectivity

On average organisations in 2020 supported 88 business apps – a 21% increase from three years ago4. It’s also reported that 43% of an organisation’s SaaS stack changes every two years5. When combined with the recent rapid adoption of cloud-based collaboration tools, file management systems and productivity suites, that’s a tremendous amount of change. Staying on top of disparate applications in multiple locations and clouds is a frightening prospect. Without cohesion between your apps and across your environment, you simply won’t have the visibility required to efficiently resolve issues, deliver consistent performance or manage security risks. Do you have unified and scalable control of your suite of enterprise applications?

Security and continuity in a highly distributed environment

The FBI has reported a 300% increase in cybercrime since the beginning of the pandemic6. As the number of threats continues to rise, so too does the cost to identify, detect and block them. Perimeter protection does not cater for a reliance on cloud-based applications – there are eyewatering amounts of data transiting between the devices your remote workers use, and the applications they’re accessing. To fill these types of security gaps, 78% of cybersecurity and IT professionals rely on more than 50 different products to address security issues, while more than a third (37%) tap into over 100 security tools7. While it might sound secure, it adds serious (and unnecessary) complexity while also increasing the resources required to manage it. When it comes to cybersecurity, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Are you protecting your data as it transits between users and their applications – wherever they are?

Embrace multi-cloud network protection

To stay ahead of the pace of today’s organisational and technological transformation, you need business continuity, resilience, security, and performance. This is multi-cloud connectivity with Data#3 and Cisco. Cisco knows networks and the importance of securing your most important assets, which is reflected in their impressive integrated suite, designed for multi-cloud connectivity:

  • Cisco Duo relies on a zero-trust model to secure any type of application by extending your security policies out across multiple clouds, ensuring all user devices are secure, before providing access.
  • Cisco Umbrella unifies secure web gateway, DNS-layer security, cloud-delivered firewall, cloud access security broker functionality, and threat intelligence into one powerful solution. Extend protection to devices, users, and distributed locations with an intelligent solution that blocks malicious domains, IP addresses and applications before connection.
  • Cisco SD-WAN solutions – Cisco Meraki and Viptela – prioritise cloud traffic, strengthen your defences and resolve performance issues. Protect users, devices, and applications anytime, anywhere and deliver an agile, robust network capable of keeping up with the demands of today’s distributed workforce.
  • Cisco Hyperflex and Veeam simplifies storage and increases scalability by combining storage and networking so you can backup with multi-cloud security to another cloud or to on-premises services.

Whether adding to your existing stack or looking for the ultimate in end-to-end multi-cloud connectivity, this impressive Cisco line-up is designed to solve the challenges associated with today’s distributed workforce:

  • Ensure the right user is connecting to the right device with the best performance possible
  • Achieve multi-cloud network protection
  • Protect your data, as it transits between your users and your applications
  • Gain visibility and control across all your applications and clouds

To learn more visit our Cisco Multi-Cloud Security page. Free trials are currently available for Cisco Duo, Cisco Umbrella and Cisco Meraki, contact us below for access and support.

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1.Gartner (2020). 9 Future of Work Trends Post-COVID-19 [Online]. Available at: https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/9-future-of-work-trends-post-covid-19/ 2. Spiceworks Ziff Davis. (2020). The 2021 State of IT Report. [Online] Available at:https://swzd.com/resources/state-of-it/ 3. Capterra (April, 2020). 5 Ways Australia’s Lockdown Has Fast Tracked Digital Transformation. [Online] Available at: https://www.capterra.com.au/blog/1453/australias-lockdown-fast-tracked-digital-transformation