Based on analysis of data collected from users of its Meraki network platforms, visibility ThousandEyes Internet, Webex Collaboration and Security, Cisco's quarterly Hybrid Work Index provides insight into the challenges and evolutions of hybrid work.
Several metrics have fueled the Cisco Index on Hybrid Work, notably those of Webex users. (Credit Cisco)
When it comes to supporting the emerging hybrid workforce, IT managers at companies prioritize network and security. This is what can be seen in Cisco's Hybrid Work Index, which the vendor intends to update quarterly to track changing work habits and the use of technology in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. As explained by Cisco, the Hybrid Work Index collects information from anonymous customer data points from some of its products, including the Meraki network, ThousandEyes Internet visibility, Webex collaboration, and Talos, Duo and Umbrella security platforms, which also integrates data from'third-party surveys of more than 39,000 people in 34 countries. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and the massive use of remote working, companies have been challenged to fully support their hybrid workforce, and the index of Cisco reflects the changes brought about by these new working methods .
Some findings from Cisco's Hybrid Work Index:
- "Home networks are now one of the most critical parts of the corporate network. The number of devices used in telecommuting has grown twice as fast as the number of office routers, showing that business connectivity is expanding significantly into the home environment, ”Cisco said.
- The number of devices connecting to corporate WiFi networks has increased by 61% compared to thesituation that prevailed six months ago. This growth is particularly significant in the higher education, professional services and hospitality industries.
- Before the pandemic, people used mobile devices 9% of the time to connect at their meetings. In the hybrid workplace, that number has tripled and now stands at 27%.
- During the pandemic, malicious remote access attempts were multiplied by 2.4. In September 2021, hybrid workers were targeted by more than 100 million email attacks every day.
- Remote workers use multiple remote and mobile devices to work, which is expanding the perimeter of threats. Hybrid workers use multiple devices and connect directlynt the Internet to access cloud applications. Work that was previously performed mostly on managed devices is now done on unmanaged devices.
- Cloud provider networks are more stable than Internet service providers (ISP): between January 2020 and August 2021, cloud provider networks only accounted for 5% of the volume of outage incidents. The remaining 95% of outage incidents were on ISP networks.
- Small businesses have reopened their physical workspaces faster than large businesses and are using more bandwidth, s ' relying more than ever on collaboration tools like video conferencing to communicate with internal and external contacts.
- Companies see collaboration applications as central to the success of hybrid work: Collaboration applications are now the most smonitored at the global level. They have overtaken secure access control and productivity monitoring solutions, which were more closely monitored at the start of the pandemic and during the transition to working from home.
And collaboration became essential
Cisco's findings, particularly with regard to collaboration tools, are in line with recent Gartner findings. In its 2021 Digital Worker Experience Survey carried out by the research firm between the months of November to December 2020 among 10,080 employees of companies with more than 100 employees in Europe, the United States and Asia-Pacific, Gartner indicates that in 2021 , 80% of people have used collaboration tools in their work, against a little more than half in 2019. Since the start of the pandemic, the use of collaboration tools in the professional contextincreased by 44%. "During the Covid-19 pandemic, collaboration tools have gained in importance because of their ability to guarantee a good level of productivity between teams forced to work suddenly remotely", said in a statement Christopher Trueman, senior research analyst at Gartner . “As a large number of companies move towards a long-term hybrid workforce model, cloud-based personal and team productivity technologies, along with collaboration tools, are fueling a series of new work hubs that can meet the requirements of remote and hybrid personnel ”.
Real-time storage / sharing and mobile messaging tools have also seen increased use during the pandemic, being used by 74% and 80% of respondents respectivelyof the latest Digital Worker Experience Survey. The move away from face-to-face meetings is also expected to continue. Gartner predicts that by 2024 In proportion, face-to-face meetings will drop from 60% to 25% of company meetings due to the adoption of remote working and the changing demographics of the working population.