In Hybrid Work, Cloud Is Your New Data Center

BrandPost By Joe Vaccaro
Sep 28, 2021
Hybrid Cloud

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Credit: Cisco

In a hybrid work world, people expect a great digital experience. All of which depends on cloud-based apps to connect, create, and collaborate from anywhere and at any time.

But when a critical app goes down, work stops, employees disengage, and the business pays the price.      

Not long ago, IT could isolate and address a problem within their own network and data center. Today, however, cloud is the new data center. And while cloud offers a world of advantages in cost savings and scalability, reliance on architectures that sit outside of your control presents IT with blind spots and a tangled web of complexity.

In hybrid work, the enterprise-technology stack can be defined by three new realities: the cloud is now your new data center; the Internet your new enterprise network; and SaaS apps are your new application stack. In a series of three, we’ll dive into the implications of each of these new realities, starting with the move to cloud.

According to IDC, 90 percent of enterprises will depend on a mix of on-premises private clouds and multiple public clouds by 2022. Add in thousands of hybrid workers, a vast array of third-party apps and services like content delivery networks, infrastructure as a service, and APIs, and complexity rises — to the point where pinpointing a problem is like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. 

Is the issue in your own network? A device? Within the app itself? In any number of public or private clouds? Or perhaps somewhere in that middle mile of internet connectivity? For too many IT teams it’s impossible to say. And as they ponder the problem, employee experience and productivity suffer, and valuable time, and business, is lost.

That’s why closing the visibility — and response — gap is so important.

Because for organizations to reap the benefits of hybrid work — in everything from agility and speed to talent acquisition and work/life balance — they need to know not just where the problems are. But how to fix them, and who can help. And do it all fast.

In a Flexera research study this year, the inability to understand cloud-app dependencies was cited as the No. 1 cloud migration challenge, cited by more than 50 percent of respondents. And in a Cisco survey of 1,000 global IT decision-makers, 75 percent said they contended with more complexity in the past 12 months than ever before. A full 96 percent believed that lack of visibility was undermining the performance of their applications — and by extension, their organizations.

That’s where ThousandEyes comes in.

Cisco ThousandEyes’ Cloud and Internet Intelligence platform is all about bringing control and visibility back to IT. It monitors every layer of the digital experience, from the application layer, into the cloud infrastructure, and down to the data center and devices.

But sharing overwhelming amounts of data is not a solution. The real key is pulling real-time, actionable insight from that data. In the digital world, acting on that intelligence demands collaboration. Not just inside the four walls of your own company, but far beyond it. When a problem arises, your teams need to work with peering providers, cloud providers, and software-as-a service (SaaS) providers. And they must communicate through a common operational language, working as a distributed team. The ultimate goal is to identify and isolate the problem and then resolve it in whatever way is necessary.

ThousandEyes does it all. It provides the broadest visibility across the entire digital supply chain, while also acting as a signaling engine. Using patented innovations and algorithms, we enrich the data to visualize and guide actions and collaborations that optimize end-to-end performance. That can be in response to a particular problem or in proactively identifying where gaps exist, before an issue arises.

Since ThousandEyes joined Cisco, our scope has expanded greatly. In hybrid work, for example, Cisco is in a unique position to support every aspect of a great digital experience by covering all the key capabilities across the digital supply chain, starting with the user, end-to-end across the network, and into the cloud infrastructure.

Cisco offers the world’s most flexible and secure collaboration platform in Webex, which now offers real-time translation, transcription, and noise cancelation (to name but three new features). And our rich portfolio includes world-class solutions like Umbrella to secure internet traffic; Intersight to provide a new level of infrastructure optimization and simplification; and AppDynamics to optimize the application experience.

ThousandEyes completes the puzzle for customers by ensuring that they can see across the end-to-end digital ecosystem and communicate and respond with a common operational language.

In the end, it’s all about allowing hybrid work to realize its full promise. Workers demand greater flexibility —to work from anywhere they choose. And the world must break down the barriers of geography and language, while leveling the playing field for opportunity. I’m excited to ensure that all those workers have the best, most reliable experience along the way.