As Remote Work Takes Off, Network Visibility Helps IT Keep Pace
March 26, 2020

Paul Davenport
AppNeta

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While remote work policies have been gaining steam for the better part of the past decade across the enterprise space — driven in large part by more agile and scalable, cloud-delivered business solutions — recent events have pushed adoption into overdrive.

For starters, anxieties surrounding the global spread of the COVID-19 virus have encouraged business leaders to let employees collaborate via UCaaS and collaboration tools from remote locations rather than convene in group settings that could make workers vulnerable to exposure. But the remote work movement was gaining steam well before that, as factors like commuting and the environment have simply made allowing flexibility for how and where employees get the job done a more logical and cost-effective policy.

As a result, managing user experience at remote offices has become an integral part of the job for modern enterprise IT. But in most cases, when the number of remote locations the network supports increases, IT operations remain centrally located, as staffing a physical presence at each new office would eat into the cost savings and efficiency that cloud and SaaS tools are meant to enable. While these efficiencies are hugely beneficial to the business, they do fundamentally change the level of visibility IT used to have when teams were centralized and issues could be quickly addressed on-premises.

Without solutions that deliver visibility into remote locations or provide insight into traffic from those locations, IT can become overly dependent on end users to report app performance issues — and usually only after these problems have impacted performance. The trouble with this is that end users may be quick to blame the network for performance issues when the real culprit may be the app itself, not the underlying infrastructure.

When visibility into remote office performance is lacking, IT teams frequently end up wasting time and budget getting to the bottom of issues that are impacting users across the business. When dealing with poorly performing apps, not only do end users become unproductive and start missing deadlines, but IT often gets sidelined because they’re constantly putting out fires rather than getting strategic initiatives off the ground. This will Inevitably start to impact the reputation of the IT team, as performance issues become chronic and remote users are constantly frustrated.

Embracing Automation to Gain Visibility

With an automated monitoring strategy that can deliver a local perspective into issues hindering remote locations, IT can be proactively alerted to network and application performance problems before users are even impacted. This arms IT with the ability to quickly know if performance-impacting issues are caused by flaws with the enterprise infrastructure, service providers, connecting networks or the apps themselves.

Comprehensive visibility into the performance of every app, user, and location is also critical in helping IT ensure their network is equipped with the requirements necessary to support the new breed of cloud and SaaS tools users rely on most. This can help illuminate areas of the network where IT could leverage more cost-effective connectivity options like local Internet breakouts or SD-WAN connectivity instead of MPLS or other private circuits.

When IT can ensure they have complete visibility into their remote locations, they can more predictably ensure end users aren’t meaningfully impacted by performance issues, while also starting to think strategically about how to plan for the future. Visibility empowers teams to more predictably budget for projects and ensure they meet their goals on schedule, even allowing them to investigate and deliver more cost-effective connectivity at remote locations.

Paul Davenport is Marketing Communications Manager at AppNeta
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