The COVID-19 pandemic has tremendously accelerated existing trends.

For the past few years, we have been observing the rapid growth of a mobile distributed workforce. Employers need to enable productivity and collaboration for their employees just as they have in the office. Additionally, employers need to provide their workforce with the same quality and security to access and work on company resources/projects. All of this requires a seamless and consistent mobility oriented work experience both in the office and outside the office whether in-transit or at home.

In addition, given the present COVID situation, there is an increased number of individuals on networks at home and an increased interest in entertainment options. There has been obvious growth in cloud-based immersive experiences, including multiplayer games, AR/VR applications, and streamed content such as music/videos or UCaaS. With increased home Wi-Fi usage, there is even more frustration with unreliable and unsatisfactory connections. Balancing corporate collaboration apps under a secure and slow VPN with high definition streaming adds another layer of complication.

Much of the unsatisfactory is about the quality of the connectivity, whether it is the broadband to the location or the Wi-Fi that connects your device to the internet.

The quality of experience of the App is not just about the device you use but a lot about the distance of the user all the way to where the backend app server is located. While enhancing the experience of the app, both the ease of use and security have to be thought through.

As someone mentioned, the network needs to adapt to the user and not the user to the network as is being done today. Ultimately, most of the issues that give the experience of “lag” are due to the network connection between the user and the cloud service.

To enhance experiences for every connected user in this distributed world, there are technology trends and innovations that could enable previously unviable solutions. While distributed edge clouds were built to enable 5G connectivity, they largely remain untapped for other solutions, specifically in relation to the last mile. Though improved connectivity has been well recognized through SDWAN solutions, their capabilities do not help when the person is no longer in the office. New solutions have to encompass every app, every device, anywhere to provide the best-connected solutions regardless of whether the person is in or out of the office.