Challenges and solutions for the hybrid work model

Challenges and solutions for the hybrid work model

Before 2020 some organizations used the hybrid model of working, but in the last two years, this has become the norm. After the lockdown was over, a significant number of companies noticed that the hybrid model of working had many advantages, and thus it became common. Still, this work model presents challenges as well – both for the employers and the workers. The question is, which solutions need to be implemented to keep the workflow as smooth as possible, regardless of whether the employees are in the office, at home, or somewhere else?

The implemented technology must be top-notch, secure, consistent, easy to implement and use, and flexible so that it can be used in all business sectors. Luckily, we can count on the solutions developed by Cisco, a longtime leader in the industry for networking services. With Cisco solutions, it is easy to create a hybrid work model and assure the organizations are productive. This article will present some of the many solutions Cisco develops and offers.

Solutions for collaboration

The basis of a successful hybrid work is unlimited collaboration among employees. No matter where they are or in which sectors of the organization they work, the entire business must work smoothly like a proper unit. Workers must be connected in order to be effective and productive. These are the goals that are much easier to attain with Cisco’s solutions for Unified Communication (UC).

Teams usually communicate over various canals: they use one application for direct messing, another for video calls, another for desktop sharing, another for calls, etc. Organizations are forced to use more and more software since each has one single purpose. This can make communication more complicated, especially in the case of hybrid work.

The idea behind unified communication is simple – developing one solution that has all of the mentioned communication options, and more. These solutions allow for real-time communication and more fluid business activities. They can be used regardless of the size and activities of the organization. The implementation is also easy – it can be done on the user’s hardware, the user’s hosting, or in the cloud.

We will talk about two solutions for unified communication:

Webex – communication tool

Webex is a Cisco tool for unified communication that often gets great user reviews. It contains all the options necessary for successful hybrid work – calls, meetings, messaging, and the possibility of connecting to other applications already used by employees.

It uses E2E encryption and meets all security requirements. It is easy to implement and use, and it is flexible in all forms and methods of business. It is a popular application, which means that you can find a great number of Webex communities online, as well as content with tips and tricks to help you with usage.

Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Call Manager)

Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Call Manager) also contains all the options for an integrative solution for unified communication. What mainly differentiates it from Webex is the possibility of connecting to existing devices, systems, and spaces used by users in their communication (like phones and connected devices).

All Cisco solutions for collaboration can be found on the link:

https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collaboration/index.html

Safety solutions

Working from home creates new security threats and implementing the necessary security level is definitely one of the biggest challenges of the hybrid model of working. Workers are no longer in the same place, inside a single infrastructure that has its own protection against attacks. It’s not easy for organizations to organize home offices because they depend on an infrastructure that isn’t managed by the organization itself (hardware, network providers, connected devices, etc.).

A lack of security can have critical consequences. Cybercrime happens often and the techniques used by criminals become progressively more advanced. Therefore, defense systems must always keep up with the threats. Attacks can vary: data theft, malware, sabotage, ransomware, and more. Such an attack can happen to any company, and the damages are estimated to be in the millions. Thus the most convenient thing to do is to implement security systems that will reduce the possibility of attacks to a minimum.

XDR – access to all networks, clouds, access points, and apps

XDR (Extended detection and response) allows for extended detection and reaction. One platform contains the entire security environment of the business. This way, security offices have access to all networks, clouds, access points, and applications inside the organization. Teams can quickly hunt, find, research, and react to threats.

XDR can be easily integrated with other Cisco solutions, as well as with other applications. It contains the possibility of automating routine processes, which gives employees more freedom and time to spend on other tasks. It allows workers to clearly identify priorities and evaluate which threats should be addressed first.

Zero Trust Security

The hybrid model of working is almost impossible to maintain on the organizational network, and it instead needs to also rely on the provider networks used by the employees in their homes or other places. The situation becomes even more complicated with the increasing number of devices used by employees every day (computers, tablets, mobile phones, IoT, etc.).

That’s why Cisco developed its Zero Trust methodology. The point of this methodology is not to trust anything within the network – every access point is a possible security threat. The security of all resources must be continuously assessed before allowing them the necessary access.

This way we gain insight into all users, devices, and applications that use the networks where they can be found. This approach is efficient in countering cyber-attacks because it makes life that much more difficult for cybercriminals.

Cisco Ransomware Defense

Ransomware is a type of malware that limits employees’ access to important data in their organization. The ransomware then requests payment from the organizations to allow access again and restore the normal state. Such attacks are especially dangerous since they can cause double the financial damage: 1) organizations have indirect damages caused by incomplete work since they are blocked in their everyday activities and 2) organizations have direct damages if they decide to pay the requested amount. That is why companies need to have adequate ransomware protection.

Against malware, it is necessary to fight on a few different levels because it’s impossible to say where they will turn up. It is best to do so through an integrative platform that encompasses email protection, web protection, and network protection. Cisco solutions also contain an action plan in case a malware incident happens. They contain proactive and safety methodologies for solving the issues in the fastest and most effective way possible.

You can find all Cisco security solutions on the link:

https://www.cisco.com/site/us/en/products/security/index.html

Cloud solutions

It is not controversial to say that cloud is the future of business. More and more companies are switching to the cloud, even those that haven’t implemented a hybrid model of working. The decision is logical, and the advantages are many and impressive. The companies that decide to migrate to the cloud are more efficient, more competitive, more flexible, quicker, and save a significant amount of money.

This last point is usually the main reason why companies switch to the cloud. Instead of a fixed price for standard services offered by data centers, which usually means prepayment, companies in the cloud pay only the resources they use. When they use more resources, they pay more, and vice versa. And the capacities they use are unlimited.

Additionally, after switching, companies don’t have to think about their IT infrastructure. Purchasing hardware can be a long and inconvenient process. You need to allocate rooms for installing the infrastructure, as well as resources and workers who will deal with that. Maintaining hardware is a continuous process that also requires a lot of time and money. A sudden infrastructure malfunction can be fatal for the organization. The cloud contains implemented security systems that prevent a great number of malfunctions or minimize the consequences.

Because of its speed and availability, the cloud is the optimal solution. It is ideal for hybrid models of working because it can be accessed from any place, at any time, from any device. It changes every business at its core, not only because it brings significant financial savings, but also because it allows workers to skip routine activities and become more productive.

All Cisco cloud solutions can be found on the link:

https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/cloud/index.html

 

Contact us to learn more about Cisco solutions for hybrid models of working.