In 1921, William Butler Yeats wrote “the centre cannot hold,” describing a moment society reached a technological and social turning point. Fast forward roughly 100 years, and the world is in a similar state of transformation. Businesses across industries are decentralizing, as traditional, centrally-managed systems are giving way to distributed models accelerated by new technology.
While the pandemic gave almost every knowledge worker a taste of work from home (WFH), the rushed social distancing orders that took place in 2020 were only a taste of the transformations about to take root across industries. Now, many knowledge workers have proven that they can effectively work from anywhere (WFA) and still be productive, which has upended the employer-employee paradigm and given knowledge workers more agency.
WFA employees could be accessing the corporate WAN from almost anywhere, meaning the network paths WFA users leverage to access apps and workflows may be in a constant state of flux. The ISPs, cloud, and third-party vendors facilitating access to an employee’s workflows may be wholly different on a day-to-day basis, depending on the user’s role and travels. While this schedule may be preferable for the end-user, these arrangements grant network operations very little consistency when it comes to predicting end-user experience from a given WFA employee location.
Network teams’ responsibilities evolving with the workforce
In the office-based past, network ops teams saw most of the users under their management accessing the same connectivity within the same premises. This meant that performance issues and associated remediations were felt consistently across dozens or hundreds of users at a time.
In a WFA world, each end-user represents their own office of one, requiring all of the due diligence associated with remedying an entire branch location on a per-user basis when network problems arise. In this context, there are no or few wide-swath solutions to performance issues when they are reported.
Organizations need to take an experience-driven approach to network management that involves gaining visibility into connections that are rarely ideal and often changing. While network teams require visibility into their cloud infrastructure, they also need the visibility to view how individual team members are accessing these resources from the outside-in to understand the root cause when performance takes a hit.
No matter how much the workforce continues to distribute and legacy workflows disappear for good, NetOps teams will require tools that can help them synchronize the management of their decentralized organization into a single location. By adopting an Experience-Driven NetOps approach, teams can route user experience metrics through standardized operational workflows, bringing digital and end-user experience, active testing, and path analytics into the NOC.
With Experience-Driven NetOps, teams can remain centrally organized no matter how decentralized their workforce becomes. They are well equipped for operationalizing the new network with continuous, end-to-end, connectivity and performance validation from the end-user perspective – for any managed or unmanaged network.
You can learn more about how to tackle the challenges of network visibility in this new eBook, Guide to Visibility Anywhere. Read now and discover how organizations can create network visibility anywhere.