A version of this article originally appeared in TechTarget's IoT Agenda.
How quickly will you run back to the office once much of the world is vaccinated?
With a global consumer survey across 10 countries, Amdocs Research found that 36% of respondents expect, post-pandemic, to work more from home than they did before. We’re already seeing several large corporations take steps to implement a permanent hybrid approach to office-based work. With 30 percent of employees getting their first taste of flexible work environments during the pandemic, the days of the five-day office week may be over.
But there’s a problem. When digital experiences like remote work and e-learning clash with things like streaming and online gaming, it can get messy. Simultaneously, the rise of remote work creates a desperate need for organizations to deliver a secure and seamless experience for remote employees.
While the office has “come home,” the requirements for a business vs. home environment are still very different. The industry will have to service separate use cases under one roof, which will give rise to an entirely new category I call the enterprise consumer.
A recalibration of resources
The enterprise consumer is the business user on a typical home broadband environment who requires the same level of service and capabilities as if they were in the office. Gartner predicted that worldwide spending on information security and risk management technology would reach $123.8 billion in 2020. All of this must now be recalibrated with employees mainly at home.
I believe businesses will look at in-home connectivity packages to guarantee the bandwidth, security and functionality employees need to succeed. It’s about time that investment shifts into the home to match our new world going forward.
This can be a critical growth opportunity, and the communications industry needs to take a close look at these disruptive times to provide the right enterprise services within the home. Expect to see new operational capabilities, new networks such as private enterprise networks, and the deployment of edge resources for low latency.
Making the enterprise consumer a reality
In my previous article, I discussed how the router will evolve to intelligently manage connected hardware and related mobile software applications more proficiently. IoT developers have a role to play here, ensuring their devices can easily integrate into this ecosystem, allowing prioritization of tasks where necessary. However, hardware is only one piece of a more complicated puzzle.
Longer term, communications providers, who will allow businesses to cater to the enterprise consumer, will have to make end-to-end changes -- from modernizing the entire BSS stack, to the consumer’s home router. Intelligent routing will be critical to better manage connected hardware and related mobile software applications more efficiently, giving consumers insights and better control over home and work experiences.
As the office and home remain merged forever, the enterprise consumers will become a significant area of focus moving forward. I believe this presents a fantastic opportunity for communications service providers and IoT developers alike. Now is the time to get ahead of the curve.