The future office is an office anywhere.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

October 6, 2020

4 Min Read
IBM layoffs

A new global survey shows organizations have forged ahead with their digital transformation journeys amid COVID-19, even while facing more cyberattacks.

The study was commissioned by Asavie and conducted by Ecosystm. It surveyed more than 1,000 global C-suite, IT and cybersecurity professionals across 25-plus industry verticals.

Among the top findings:

  • Fifty-three percent of large enterprises cite increasing endpoint security as their No. 1 pain point. That’s followed by protecting against vulnerabilities (44%) and provisioning for remote workers (38%);

  • Forty-four percent of organizations acknowledge facing a cyberattack during COVID-19. That’s specifically due to remote working, accelerating the need for secure office anywhere;

  • Organizations are forging ahead with their digital transformation journey, with 61% prioritizing improving customer experience and 56% improving employee experience; and

  • Only 28% of North American organizations source remote access services from mobile network operators (MNOs). It’s 5% or less in EMEA and APAC.

Upending the Traditional Office

Mick Higgins is Asavie‘s senior vice president of product.


Asavie’s Mick Higgins

“The upending of the traditional office and security network environments has created challenges for organizations on their transformation journeys,” he said.

The future office is an office anywhere, Higgins said. Therefore employees need seamless and secure access to business resources in public/private cloud from anywhere.

“Solutions exist for remote access from home, but they do not scale and are difficult to manage and support,” he said.

As enterprises become more digital, they are also becoming more mobile-centric, Higgins said. However, service providers are treating mobile and fixed devices as siloed solutions.

“Enterprise networks need to cater to remote workers who are increasingly beginning to operate as mobile branches,” he said. “Technology leaders need a new way to manage the dynamic access needs of businesses that are progressively becoming more digital. They need to make mobile-connected devices easier to secure and manage – using the same policies and security irrespective of the type of device or the network. These mobile-connected devices need to be managed as a ‘branch of one.’ This creates a great opportunity for the channel — namely the MSPs and MNOs — to step in and be a trusted provider of secure remote access services that are frictionless/clientless in nature by leveraging the cellular-based networks and SD-WAN technologies to offer the customer/employee a seamless, secure experience accessing the organization’s services.”

Employee Devices Compromised

Of the organizations hit with cyberattacks, a staggering 87% said their employee devices had been compromised, Higgins said.

“The fact is, traditional network solutions that worked before won’t cut it in the new world where the organization needs to support an employee that is nomadic by nature,” he said.

Organizations should no longer treat mobile devices as being separate from the WAN, Higgins said. MSSPs can now offer to extend the managed private network to incorporate these remote workers without the need for clients, customer premise equipment (CPEs) or VPNs.

The focus on digital transformation will further accelerate the uptake of cloud services, mobile applications and remote data access. That prompts organizations to increasingly focus on threat analysis and intelligence, and identity and access management.

Additional findings include:

  • Thirty percent of enterprises said provisioning remote workers and VPNs was a challenge. Employees are now taking it upon themselves to manage their own IT needs. That leads to inconsistency across the organization and potential security gaps.

  • The top three industry sectors reporting cybersecurity attacks were media and telecoms (62%), financial services (60%) and health and life sciences (50%).

Cost Not a Big Issue

“Somewhat surprisingly, cost has not appeared to be as much of a priority issue as one might suspect,” Higgins said. “As businesses look ahead toward the recovery phase, they have not restricted themselves to cost-cutting measures. They have maintained a firm eye on the future and doubled down on their digital transformation journey by emphasizing that customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) reinvigorated impetus on digital transformation dominate the agenda of global business leaders.”

In fact, organizations say improving customer and employee experiences are key to their business priorities going forward, he said.

“Again this presents opportunities for the channel to differentiate on value-added services relating to improved control, visibility and business intelligence, and not resort to pure price-based differentiation measures,” Higgins said.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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