Meeting talent on their turf: Tech companies embrace the remote office
For years, the center of gravity within the tech sector has been squarely located in Silicon Valley, the storied West Coast home of Apple, Alphabet, and pretty much every other tech behemoth you can imagine (with a few notable exceptions like Amazon). As a result, tech workers have notoriously fled competing job markets in the hopes of landing gigs in ‘The Valley,’ making the local talent pool the envy of the global tech community.
Recently, however, the paradigm seems to be shifting. A confluence of factors, from skyrocketing housing costs to bad PR, have actually pushed tech talent to start looking elsewhere. And rather than attempting to lure workers back to the pricey San Francisco suburbs, local companies are looking afield for workers who are happy to join remote offices, and the results are paying off.
Remote scouting in action: Amazon HQ2
Take Amazon’s recent search for HQ2. While not a Silicon Valley unicorn, Amazon has spent the last few decades reshaping it’s hometown of Seattle into one of the West Coast’s fastest-growing job centers. But as the company transformed from a bookseller to an everything-seller, it’s outgrown the traditional enterprise model based around a central office, instead opting for a decentralized business, the likes of which are quickly becoming the norm for businesses of all stripes.
While the road to HQ2 is still a rocky one, Amazon took a hard look at metro areas across the country with the goal of meeting the most talented workers on their terms -- where they live -- rather than luring them to the Pacific Northwest.
This form of workforce decentralization isn’t just an Amazon phenomenon, either.
Back in Silicon Valley, a recent report from Indeed found that as of February 2019, 35 percent of the tech job searches on the site from the valley were for positions elsewhere, which is up roughly 30 percent from a year earlier.
This doesn’t change the fact that Silicon Valley is still the undisputed hotspot for tech companies (66 percent of tech job searches remain for work within the Bay Area). But companies with headquarters in the region are actually finding it more productive and cost-effective (considering the prices for office space outside San Francisco) to support an increasingly remote and decentralized workforce.
Remote office success hinges on network performance
At AppNeta, we’re a perfect example of the distributed enterprise in action. While we’re headquartered in Boston, (itself considered one of the top global tech markets), our team is hardly pigeonholed to our Fort Point HQ. We have our own version of “HQ2” at our Vancouver office, where we tap into that city’s pool of engineering talent to constantly help enhance AppNeta Performance Manager, as well as remote employees across the map, from Colorado to Maine.
Like any organization that’s decentralized it’s operations, our success hinges on network performance. As any list of ingredients for remote office success will iterate, keeping the lines of communication open across all remote offices is key for the decentralized enterprise to succeed.
Because there are so many collaboration tools and SaaS applications available to keep the performance of remote workers in lock-step with the employees at HQ, the network supporting these tools needs to be continuously performant as well. This all makes the case for comprehensive network performance monitoring stronger than ever, as the costs associated with down networks could literally spell doom for a decentralized organization.
This also makes it more important than ever for teams to seek out network performance monitoring tools that go well beyond what legacy solutions can deliver, as teams adopt new network layouts.
New types of networks require new approaches to monitoring
As we discuss in our recent whitepaper, “Direct Internet Access (DIA): Rethinking WAN for the Cloud Era,” the only way for companies to cost-effectively distribute their offices is to leverage cloud-delivered network infrastructures that rely heavily on DIA for app traffic. But the added complexity that comes with DIA, SD-WAN, and the widespread adoption of SaaS requires tools that look at the network from multiple dimensions.
In a recent blog post, we unpacked an EMA report that found many organizations still relying on legacy network monitoring tools -- that is, ones that pre-date widespread enterprise cloud adoption -- aren’t succeeding in effectively managing their networks or supporting their remote offices.
At AppNeta, we take a cloud-first approach to network monitoring that provides granular insight into all corners of the network. This ensures that IT can get ahead of any potential network issues before they impact the end user.