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The Hybrid Workforce: Planning for the New Working Reality Post COVID-19

It may be difficult to remember, but not so long ago we used to work mainly from an office. The unprecedented global pandemic that took the world by storm, changed our personal and professional life patterns. We moved to work from home, then returned to the office, and back home, with the ebbs and flows of the pandemic.

This working model is here to stay reflecting a transition into a “Hybrid Workforce.”


The transition into a Hybrid Workforce caught many IT teams by surprise. Most organizations were not prepared for prolonged work from home by the vast majority of the workforce. The infrastructure needed to support these remote users, virtual private network (VPN) solutions, was built for the brave few and not for the masses. During the first wave of COVID-19, IT had to throw money and hardware at the problem, stacking up legacy VPN servers all over the world to catch up with the demand.

This is a key lesson learned from the pandemic: enterprises must support work from anywhere, all the time, by everyone. It is now the time to think more strategically about the Hybrid Workforce and the key requirements to enable it.

Seamless transition between home and office

Today, networking and security infrastructure investments in MPLS, SD-WAN and NGFW/UTM are focused on the office. These investments do not extend to employees’ homes, which means that working from home doesn’t have the resiliency, security, and optimization of working from the office. The more “remote” the user is, the more difficult it is to ensure the proper work environment.


Look for cloud-first architectures, such as Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) and the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) to deliver most networking and security capabilities from the cloud. By decoupling these capabilities from physical appliances hosted in a fixed location, and moving them to the cloud, they become available to users everywhere. This is an opportunity to converge the infrastructure used for office and remote users into a single, coherent platform that enforces a unified policy on all users regardless of their locations.

Scalable and globally distributed remote access

The current appliance-centric VPN infrastructure requires significant investment to scale (for capacity) and distribute globally (near users in all geographical regions). Beyond the initial deployment, on-going maintenance overloads busy IT teams.