‘Mind the gap’ is an automated announcement used by London Underground for more than 50 years to warn passengers about the gap between the train and the platform edge.
It’s a message that would resonate well in IT operations. Enterprises increasingly rely on “work from anywhere” (WFA) infrastructure, software as a service (SaaS), and public cloud networks. In this complex platform mix, visibility gaps can quickly surface in the performance of ISP and cloud networks, along with remote work environments.
Gaps are also inherent in today’s IT standard operating procedures. Network teams follow a certain set of rules to begin troubleshooting and ultimately isolate and fix issues. If these standardized workflows are missing core features, or teams need multiple tools to run these troubleshooting procedures, this can quickly result in delayed remediation and potential business disruption.
Dimensional Research, for example, reveals that 97% of network and operations professionals report network challenges and 81% confirm network blind spots. Complete outages (37%) are the worst problem, although network issues have also delayed new projects (36%).
So how can IT operations close the gap? The enterprise needs network monitoring software that reaches beyond the data center infrastructure; providing end-to-end network delivery insights that correspond with users’ digital experience.
It’s time to re-think network monitoring. These are four key capabilities network professionals should consider for a modern network monitoring platform.
- User experience: Moving business applications to multi-cloud platforms and co-located data centers makes third-party networks a performance dependency. Digital experience monitoring along the network, between the end-user and the cloud deployments becomes a necessity to ensure seamless user experiences.
- Scale: Demand for SaaS, unified communications as a service (UcaaS), contact center as a service (CcaaS), and the WFA culture is rapidly expanding the network edge. Network professionals need to harness the complexity and dynamic nature of these deployments.
- Security: The modern WAN infrastructure involves technologies such as software-defined WAN (SD-WAN), next-generation firewall (NGFW), and much more. Misconfigurations can easily be missed, resulting in performance issues or security breaches.
- Visibility: The remotely connected workplace introduces a new, uncharted network ecosystem. Visibility into these remote networks such as home WiFi/LAN is at best patchy, making issue resolution a guessing game.
The bottom line? IT teams need a complete, efficient view of their network infrastructure, including all applications, users, and locations. Without it, IT risks losing control of operations, ultimately eroding confidence in IT, and potentially forcing decision-makers to reallocate or reduce IT budgets.
Now is the time to rethink network operations and evolve traditional NetOps into Experience-Driven NetOps. With Experience-Driven NetOps, network teams can proactively identify the root cause of problems and isolate issues within a single tool that enables one-click access to all their standard operating procedures through out-of-the-box workflows and user-experience metrics. This industry-first approach delivers digital experience and network performance insights across the edge infrastructure, internet connections, and cloud services, allowing teams to plan for network support where it matters most.
Maybe it’s time for that “mind the gap” announcement to be broadcast in IT departments? With a possible slight change to, “mind the growing void” to ensure networks are experience-proven and network operations teams are experience-driven.
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