The Essential Tools to Support Digital Transformation - Part 2
May 08, 2018
Share this

APMdigest asked experts from across the IT industry — from analysts and consultants to users and the top vendors — for their opinions on the essential tools to support digital transformation. Part 2 covers the network and the cloud.

Start with The Essential Tools to Support Digital Transformation - Part 1

NETWORK PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT (NPM)

There's no question that numerous tools are needed to support digital transformation, and many play an important role. Network monitoring solutions though are absolutely crucial, because digital transformation by its very nature requires organizations to change their IT infrastructure, whether it's adding new components or removing existing ones. There are always unintended consequences whenever you change networks and systems, particularly today when transformative trends like the cloud, the internet of things and virtualization have taken us far beyond the traditional hub-and-spoke architecture. That's why it's imperative that you have real-time visibility over your entire IT infrastructure as you improve it and add new capabilities. You need to know, and be able to see, how your digital transformation efforts impact your networks and systems, your hardware and software, and the devices that tie into all of it. Most importantly, you want to be the first to know when a problem arises. You wouldn't try to rebuild an engine in the dark and you shouldn't try to do the same with your network. The importance of the visibility that network monitoring makes possible can't be overemphasized.
Greg Ross
Systems Engineer, North America, Paessler AG

Your network and IT team can't work on digital transformation initiatives if they're bogged down with trouble tickets. So, one of the most important tools to support these initiatives is an NPM solution that reduces troubleshooting time by combining real-time network monitoring with packet-level analysis. Having both of these capabilities in a single tool can dramatically reduce MTTR by first giving visibility to the IT staff where the problem areas on the network are in real time, and then enabling them with the deeper level packet analysis needed to find and fix the cause. And faster MTTR means more time to devote to Digital Transformation.
Jay Botelho
Senior Director of Products, Savvius

To a large extent, success with digital transformation is measured by the end user's experience. This includes customers, employees and partners. Before a company looks to add or extend its digital transformation efforts, it should have a solid network performance management platform in place. One that can monitor and analyze traffic and performance across distributed business applications, services and devices, both on premise and in the cloud, as well as mobile devices. It should also support the latest innovations that are enabling digital transformation initiatives including cloud, voice, software-defined infrastructure, and IoT. This way, businesses can ensure the data-intensive applications that connect every interaction are seamless. But when they're not, there's a need for network performance monitoring solutions to spot and troubleshoot issues before they impact the user's experience, which ultimately provides the assurance that their investments in digital transformation will pay off.
John K. Smith
Executive VP and CTO, LiveAction

Networks enable digital transformation, so enterprises need multi-path network monitoring and optimization tools. Many companies leverage the explosion of sensors and data to transform their businesses with use-cases like remote operations, geographically-diverse production, or distributed asset optimization. In all these cases reliable and efficient connectivity for data transfer, control, and collaboration is essential. To transform operations, enterprises need to invest in tools which characterize network capabilities, monitor connectivity degradation, and optimize multiple network paths continuously for critical services.
Erik Thoen
Director, Product Management, 128 Technology

The widespread digital transformation is requiring businesses to be dynamic and adapt to changes quickly. Organizations must ensure all IT initiatives (existing and new) are aligned to drive business value. This requires bringing in a comprehensive network infrastructure management and automation tool to rethink their approach and strive for agility in addition to stability.
Muralidharan Palanisamy
CTO, AppViewX

The most critical and vulnerable aspect of your digital transformation are your application services. You can modernize infrastructure all you want. None of it matters if your applications aren't reliably delivered. You need robust application monitoring and analytics — ideally at the network level — to make sure users get the benefit of container-based applications and cloud infrastructure.
Ashish Shah
Sr. Director of Product, Avi Networks

NETFLOW TOOLS

The most important tool for digital transformation in today's state is using networks to provide the roads and speed limits of tomorrow. NetFlow tools provide IT Pros with visibility to track network usage and prepare for bandwidth increases. This increased visibility allows network administrators to focus on configurations that can shape traffic to increase consistency and optimize application speeds. Leveraging networks will help digital transformation thrive rather than limp along.
Destiny Bertucci
Head Geek, SolarWinds

PUBLIC CLOUD

The most important tool needed to support digital transformation is a cloud strategy that focuses on full adoption of a public cloud environment. With its elasticity and scalability, the public cloud allows our developer team to save time by being able to move faster. With this, the ability to scale up and down beyond the footprint of what you have already paid for is extremely valuable and is something that you cannot obtain with a private cloud environment. At Barclaycard, public cloud computing is enabling us to transform from simply being a financial services provider to a tech company as well, while giving our users the best experience possible. The flexibility of the public cloud allows companies large and small to grow without limitations and is an irreplaceable asset for tech-driven businesses on their digital transformation journey.
Prem Chandrasekaran
VP of Software Engineering, Barclaycard

HYBRID SERVICE MANAGEMENT

You can not move, migrate, or calculate costs/risks for a workload without understanding what it is, how it connects, and what the impact is. As a result many executives have reported issues with their digital transformation initiatives. Hybrid Service Management solves the visibility gap. Hybrid Service Management that includes not only discovery of applications and systems across hybrid cloud environments but also maps service dependencies, licenses,and other critical factors. These tools aggregate data across multiple sources to provide a single pane of glass view. Beware of yesterday's configuration management tools as they will not solve today's Hybrid Service Management problems. The key point is they must traverse across legacy environments, on premise, and cloud — across application container from the hardware to virtual machine or container.
Jeanne Morain
Author and Strategist, iSpeak Cloud

When prioritizing tooling needs for digital transformation, the key word is transformation. The best investment would be in an independent operations platform that provides visibility into your hybrid and multi-cloud initiatives. This reduces cost and risk in the early stages of transformation, grows with you as your digital footprint expands, and mitigates against vendor lock-in in the future.
Richard Whitehead
Evangelist-in-Chief, Moogsoft

Read The Essential Tools to Support Digital Transformation - Part 3, covering analytics, AI and machine learning.

Share this

The Latest

August 17, 2018

As a Network Operations professional, you know how hard it is to ensure optimal network performance when you’re unsure of how end-user devices, application code, and infrastructure affect performance. Identifying your important applications and prioritizing their performance is more difficult than ever, especially when much of an organization’s web-based traffic appears the same to the network. You need insight to maximize performance — not inefficient troubleshooting, longer time to resolution, and an overall lack of application intelligence. But you can stay ahead. Follow these 10 steps to maximize the performance of your applications and underlying network infrastructure ...

August 16, 2018

IT organizations are constantly trying to optimize operations and troubleshooting activities and for good reason. Let's look at one example for the medical industry. Networked applications, such as electronic medical records (EMR), are vital for hospitals to provide outstanding service to their patients and physicians. However, a networking team can often not be aware of slow response times on the remotely hosted EMR application until a physician or someone else calls in to complain ...

August 15, 2018

In 2014, AWS Lambda introduced serverless architecture. Since then, many other cloud providers have developed serverless options. What’s behind this rapid growth? ...

August 14, 2018

This question is really two questions. The first would be: What's really going on in terms of a confusion of terms? — as we wrestle with AIOps, IT Operational Analytics, big data, AI bots, machine learning, and more generically stated "AI platforms" (… and the list is far from complete). The second might be phrased as: What's really going on in terms of real-world advanced IT analytics deployments — where are they succeeding, and where are they not? This blog will look at both questions as a way of introducing EMA's newest research with data ...

August 13, 2018

Consumers will now trade app convenience for security, according to a study commissioned by F5 Networks, The Curve of Convenience – The Trade-Off between Security and Convenience ...

August 10, 2018

Gartner unveiled the CX Pyramid, a new methodology to test organizations’ customer journeys and forge more powerful experiences that deliver greater customer loyalty and brand advocacy ...

August 09, 2018

Nearly half (48 percent) of consumers report that they currently use, or have used in the past, services of organizations that were involved in a publicly disclosed data breach and, of those, 48 percent have stopped using the services of an organization because of a breach, according to Global State of Digital Trust Survey and Index 2018, a new report from CA Technologies ...

August 08, 2018

Here's the problem: IT teams are in the dark. The only information they have available to them is based on what users decide to tell them about through calls to the help desk ...

August 07, 2018

Over the past year, the enterprise network grew significantly more complicated, creating new challenges for network professionals, according to IDG’s 8th annual State of the Network study. Internet of Things (IoT) projects, the demands of an increasingly mobile workforce, and an explosion of apps prompted network professionals to enhance their network infrastructure and the skillsets needed to support it. Network professionals are now being asked to help shape IT strategy ...

August 06, 2018

Retailers are already busy prepping to avoid an Amazon Prime type meltdown during the holiday shopping season. However, rather than focusing efforts on coping with surges in traffic to your website, you also need to be thinking about the ongoing speed of your site ...