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Network Management Services for Remote Workers – The Basics and the Future

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SMBs turn to MSPs to help balance remote workforce protection and productivity.

Remote labor has gone from an outlier to a constant. Gartner estimates that 51% of all knowledge workers worldwide now work remotely. Additionally, up to 32% of all employees globally can now be remote. The new reality means companies need to be better prepared to protect their intellectual property and prevent malicious actors from gaining access to confidential information.

Therefore, users demand connectivity for all aspects of their work, and it should always work. At the same time, MSPs need an easy-to-manage solution that offers opportunities to earn profit and grow their business.

SMBs are realizing how dependent their employees are on network connectivity and how difficult it is to manage it. This is exactly why they turn to MSPs for help in managing connectivity so they can protect resources while maintaining productivity. MSPs, on the other hand, are looking for remote access solutions designed specifically for them, enabling them to deliver networking as a managed service.

MSPs now need to monitor several networking trends to be better prepared to keep their customers connected. These include:

Dispersed workers and workloads: COVID has ensured that the remote workforce is here to stay. Even as remote work declines, workloads and data are no longer confined to corporate headquarters – networking keeps them connected to their users.

Evolution of technologies: SaaS adoption by SMBs is experiencing record growth, with recent research showing that 56% of SMBs use five or more cloud-based applications. At the same time, industry demand for wireless has never been higher and the capabilities of cognitive networks are increasing. Even more important is network functions virtualization, which is transforming solutions for SMBs and enterprises.

These changes in the network landscape create many challenges. MSPs should focus on two teams when evaluating next-gen solutions:

  1. Increasingly complex LAN management: Managing networks is getting harder than ever. Complicating factors include multiple vendors per network, rapid growth of unreliable devices, and limited choice of MSP-focused network appliance hardware. Moreover, no SME customer has exactly the same needs.

To solve these problems, MSPs want three main features in their network solutions:

  • Discovery and monitoring: See everything on the network without adding another pane.
  • Setup and control: Configure and control hardware, while maintaining hardware flexibility for various SMB customers.
  • Automated correction: Help the team easily deploy best practices.
  1. WAN performance must change with distributed networks: Remote distributed networks seriously complicate the WAN. Network security is often unknown, and home networks of remote workers have children and spouses competing for bandwidth. Meanwhile, VPN usage is inconsistent and helpdesk for a remote workforce is expensive to deploy for MSPs. Finally, the solutions are very fragmented between native VPN, third-party VPN, native cloud applications, etc.

Therefore, MSPs should prioritize the following characteristics of the network solution:

  1. Internet Security: Add the value of perimeter-based security for remote workers.
  2. WAN Optimization: Prioritize business traffic and applications.
  3. Network continuity: MSPs can differentiate themselves by ensuring that their customers’ remote workforce is always connected.

Vendors are responding to these advanced networking needs with next-generation products. A remote access solution designed specifically for MSPs is optimal, with capabilities to improve performance, strengthen security, and reduce complexity. At the same time, it will present growth opportunities to expand market share and revenue.

Datto will continue to enable MSPs to provide secure and fast network access to remote workers in 2022 by unveiling new innovations in networking solutions. Please Contact us for more information.

This guest blog is part of a sponsorship by Channel Futures.