The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated the adoption of remote work, forcing organizations to quickly adapt to a new way of operating. As the world gradually recovers, a new workplace model is emerging – the hybrid workplace. This model combines remote work with in-person collaboration, offering employees the flexibility to choose where and how they work. As this model evolves, it is significantly influencing the transformation of IT infrastructure.

Firstly, employees have experienced the benefits of remote work, such as increased work-life balance and reduced commuting time. Secondly, organizations have realized the cost savings associated with remote work, including reduced office space requirements and lower overhead expenses. Lastly, the availability of advanced communication and collaboration tools has made remote work more feasible and productive than ever before.

To enable a successful transition to the hybrid workplace, organizations must address several challenges in their IT transformation:

– Centralized orchestration. Lack of centralized deployment, management, and troubleshooting and not being able to monitor all distributed locations from a single pane of glass.

– Application optimization. Applications are not optimized for mission-critical and cloud applications.

Zero-Trust security. Remote workers don’t typically have access to enterprise-level security such as identity-based policy and segmentation.

– On-demand scalability. IT is unable to scale resources easily due to the growing number of remote locations.

VPN connectivity has been widely used for remote workplace connectivity for many years. It creates a secure and encrypted connection between the user’s device and the company’s network, allowing employees to access company resources and data remotely.

One of the main drawbacks of VPN connectivity is its reliance on a centralized network architecture. This means that all traffic from remote workers is funneled through a single point, typically the company’s data center. As a result, VPNs can become overwhelmed with high traffic volumes, leading to slow and unreliable connections. Additionally, VPNs often require additional hardware and software installations, which can be time-consuming and costly to maintain.

SASE solutions, on the other hand, offer a more modern and efficient approach to remote workplace connectivity. SASE combines network security and wide-area networking (WAN) capabilities into a single cloud-based service.

With SASE solutions, remote workers can connect directly to the internet through a global network of points of presence (PoPs). These PoPs are strategically located around the world, ensuring low latency and high-speed connections. SASE solutions also incorporate advanced security features, such as secure web gateways, data loss prevention, and zero-trust network access, to protect against cyber threats.

One of the key advantages of SASE solutions is their ability to dynamically scale resources based on demand. Unlike VPNs, which rely on fixed hardware and bandwidth limitations, SASE solutions can adapt to fluctuating traffic volumes. This scalability ensures that remote workers can enjoy consistent and reliable connectivity, even during peak usage periods.

Furthermore, SASE solutions simplify network management and reduce complexity. By consolidating network and security functions into a single cloud-based service, organizations can streamline their operations and reduce costs. SASE solutions also provide centralized policy management, allowing administrators to enforce consistent security policies across all remote workers and devices.

In conclusion, while VPN connectivity has been the traditional choice for remote workplace connectivity, SASE solutions are emerging as a more comprehensive and efficient alternative. With their cloud-based architecture, scalability, and advanced security features, SASE solutions provide organizations with a modern and reliable solution for remote work connectivity. As remote work continues to grow in popularity, SASE solutions are likely to become the preferred choice for organizations looking to enhance productivity and security in their remote workplace environments.