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The Key to Telework Productivity: Accelerated Network and Application Performance

Scott DeViney
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As the world adjusts to our new normal, we find ourselves at a crossroads with complications and difficulties never faced before. As government agencies pivot their workforces to maximum telework per OMB guidance, IT departments are working overtime to enable networks to handle increased traffic and bridge latency issues to meet 24/7 uptime and productivity expectations. Telework productivity is a critical component of continuity of operations–mission operations and citizen services depend on it.

Telework introduces many complexities for IT departments. They experience a significant loss of visibility and control of networks and applications as the number of users with remote connections rapidly expands, thus creating unpredictable challenges and outcomes that can negatively impact employee productivity and ultimately the mission. To provide organizations guidance, Riverbed recently hosted a webinar (now available on-demand) focused on empowering remote employees, and I wanted to share some key takeaways as they relate to the federal workforce.

When teleworking, users struggle to remain productive when their connections and applications aren’t up to the task of the demands placed on them and thus, fail to perform. Users compete with spouses, children, roommates, and neighbors for bandwidth as network traffic explodes to support video streaming and gaming in addition to the collaboration and office applications that allow them to get their jobs done. Add latency to this–the time and speed of the traffic as it traverses from the user to the server and back–and productivity takes a hit. There is a misperception that bandwidth equates to max speed. In reality, latency can be the performance killer.

Agencies need a few key things to have optimal application performance:

  • Access to connect to all needed applications and services
  • Speed to provide agility and the ability to work efficiently
  • Availability to ensure dependability and to minimize risk

Agencies can achieve these through deployment of network optimization, application acceleration, and network visibility solutions, from each app location through to each remote user’s computer. Such solutions can enhance user experience by:

  • Avoiding duplication of data to reduce the amount of data being sent across the network
  • Modifying and prioritizing the transport of traffic over the network
  • Reducing application round trips across the network
  • Providing detailed visibility into bottlenecks that affect user experience

The right solutions can deliver up to 75-times faster downloads, 40-times faster collaboration, 10-times faster SaaS (including Office 365, Salesforce, ServiceNow and other applications), and nearly 99 percent data reduction on any network. All of these things work together to make applications fast, consistent and available at home or anywhere.

We’re more vulnerable when we telework–typically relying on one connection and no backup, along with a standardized ISP that is already struggling to keep up with increased traffic and network connectivity. You can improve the telework experience through deployment of application acceleration and network optimization solutions that provide accelerated access to on-prem, IaaS, or SaaS-based applications, even in less than ideal conditions. While other things feel uncertain right now, our at-home office experience doesn’t have to.

Riverbed understands the challenges private and public sectors organizations are facing right now. We are in this with you and are ready to help you maximize application and network performance to keep your workforce productive. We are offering FREE 90-day licenses to Riverbed Client Accelerator (formerly SteelHead Mobile), as well as FREE webinars to help you improve telework productivity during these challenging times. Please check back often for updates and new training materials.

 

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