The hot market for SSL VPNs.

Author:Vekemans, Jan

The SSL VPN market has just exploded, with over 230m [pounds sterling] already invested in the sector. Infonetics Research, for example, predicts that SSL VPNs will become a 350m [pounds sterling] ($607m) market opportunity by 2006--for a combined annual growth rate of 105 percent.

The mix of having the right technology--SSL VPNS--at the right time--now--to suit a business need--remote access--has proved a perfect one. Add in legislation guaranteeing workers more "place-of-work' flexibility, and the availability of broadband connections, and the mix has become a heady cocktail that the market wants and needs. Remote-working is sweeping the working world, a by-product of the need for workers en route between appointments to catch up on email via a Wi-Fi connection in the nearest Cafe Latte. Spend quality time with their families, avoiding the pointless daily commute usually spent in a traffic jam or stuck on a stationary train., or access their mail and documents easily and securely when working abroad

It's a move that satisfies everyone: the employer, the employee, and often the environment. After all, taking a few million people off creaking, overburdened transport systems is surely no bad thing either. And the numbers backing up remote working are spectacular:

* By 2010, nearly 27 million Europeans will become new remote workers, or "e-Workers", according to the EUs Emergence Project

* The UK will have the largest number. By 2005, in the UK, homeworkers will top 8 million. In 2001, there were 2.2m

* Worker productivity can increase by up to 40% remote-working

* A person working 1 or 2 days a week at home can save a company 3500 [pounds sterling]-7,000 [pounds sterling] a year through lower turnover, reduced office space, and improved productivity

* Savings on lunches, wear and tear on a car, and clothing can amount to 600 [pounds sterling] a year savings for employees, as well as reduced stress and an increased sense of freedom.

* Also in these days when more flexible working and improved technology means higher expectations, your more flexible staff working remotely, mean companies can now offer 24 x 7 customer services. Your enquiry can just as easily be replied to by someone working from home. It's all as a result of change:

* Change in the tools available for work, primarily VPN technology

* Change in lifestyle, because people only work to live, not live to work

* Change in attitudes--by employers, employees, and governments It is SSL...

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