Ensuring Communication Apps Perform as Networks Expand
October 02, 2019

Paul Davenport
AppNeta

Share this

When comparing enterprises today to those of the past, the differences are vast, but a few key features stand out. For starters, operations are no longer tethered tightly to a main office, as the headquarters-centric model has been retired in favor of a more decentralized enterprise structure. Rather than focus the business around a single location, enterprises are now comprised of a web of remote offices and individuals, where network connectivity has broken down the geographic barriers that in the past limited the availability of talent and resources.

Key to the success of the decentralized enterprise model is a new generation of collaboration and communication tools. UCaaS (unified communications as a service) in particular now represents a $3.5 billion global market that is forecast to grow by almost 70 percent in the next three years, according to IDC. And with so much cash on the table, it's no wonder that so many applications are coming to market looking for their share of the spoils.

This is a double edged sword for enterprise IT and for business users in general. On the one hand, users have a bevy of solutions to choose from that may be tailored to the unique needs of the business. On the flip side, this has the potential to add to the litany of new apps that are flooding the network and competing for network capacity. This raises the prospect of shadow IT running amok, for instance, if teams aren't aligned on what solutions are best. As more solutions sap up network capacity, it inevitably has to come at the expense of performance in other key areas, which can result in headaches across the business.

It's increasingly challenging for enterprise IT to juggle the performance of the larger enterprise network and the approved UCaaS and SaaS solutions leveraging capacity when teams aren't even aware of all the apps leveraging their networks. This is only the beginning of the challenge, as enterprise IT teams struggle with a lack of visibility when it comes to diagnosing issues that aren't the fault of the network but of the SaaS and cloud provider without additional monitoring solutions. While modern IT may not own or control the tools used by their SaaS vendors, business users still turn to IT when their apps aren't meeting performance standards. Even if IT can't own remediation of the issue because it's the fault of a third-party vendor, they still need to pinpoint where and why an issue is taking place, and put the wheels in motion for remediation.

Where UCaaS and collaboration tools are concerned, specifically, how can enterprise IT teams do their best to assure performance?

1. Get a view of the scale and scope of the network's "app landscape"

Without visibility into all of the apps leveraging network capacity, enterprise IT may be unaware of potentially malicious applications on the network. But perhaps more importantly, they'll have their hands tied when it comes to seeing how non-critical apps are impacting important ones. For communication tools in particular, ensuring that these "business critical" applications are getting the share of network capacity that they require is essential.

2. Baseline network performance, and explore alternatives

Building on the first step, enterprise IT should look at this as an opportunity to see what's really working, and explore areas for improvement. If a team abandons Slack for a different messaging app, for instance, IT should evaluate if it was simply a matter of UX preference, or if it was actually a performance issue that IT could remedy. To that end, teams need to take a close look at the strength of the network in areas that may be ripe for weaknesses: Is network capacity at remote sites sufficient enough to support the needs identified in step one, as well as for new technology coming down the line?

3. Establish (and enforce!) use policies with newly gained visibility

Enterprise IT needs to use a combination of monitoring approaches — both passive approaches and active ones — that allow them to visualize the whole network and all of their apps. This doesn't necessarily mean dedicating manpower to policing users, but employing lightweight — that is, low overhead and easy to control — solutions that can deliver real-time insights that are easy to analyze and take action on.

Once armed with active and passive visibility across the enterprise network, enterprise IT can not only support their existing communication solutions but help prime the network for the inevitable avalanche of new tech to come.

Paul Davenport is Marketing Communications Manager at AppNeta
Share this

The Latest

May 13, 2021

Modern complex systems are easy to develop and deploy but extremely difficult to observe. Their IT Ops data gets very messy. If you have ever worked with modern Ops teams, you will know this. There are multiple issues with data, from collection to processing to storage to getting proper insights at the right time. I will try to group and simplify them as much as possible and suggest possible solutions to do it right ...

May 12, 2021

In Agile, development and testing work in tandem, with testing being performed at each stage of the software delivery lifecycle, also known as the SDLC. This combination of development and testing is known as "shifting left." Shift left is a software development testing practice intended to resolve any errors or performance bottlenecks as early in the software development lifecycle (SDLC) as possible ...

May 11, 2021

Kubernetes is rapidly becoming the standard for cloud and on-premises clusters, according to the 2021 Kubernetes & Big Data Report from Pepperdata ...

May 10, 2021

Overwhelmingly, business leaders cited digital preparedness as key to their ability to adapt, according to an in-depth study by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), looking into how the relationship between technology, business and people evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic ...

May 06, 2021

Robotic Data Automation (RDA) is a new paradigm to help automate data integration and data preparation activities involved in dealing with machine data for Analytics and AI/Machine Learning applications. RDA is not just a framework, but also includes a set of technologies and product capabilities that help implement the data automation ...

May 05, 2021

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to changing the experience of employees during a pandemic, but technological innovation can have a positive impact on how employees work from home as companies design their digital workspace strategy. The IT team supporting this shift needs to think about the following questions ...

May 04, 2021

Downtime. It's more than just a bar on the Rebel Alliance's base on Folor. For IT Ops teams, downtime is not fun. It costs time, money and often, user frustration. It takes more than the Force to handle incidents ... it takes an intergalactic team. An effective incident management team is made up of people with many different skill sets, styles and approaches. We thought it would be fun to map the heroes of IT Ops with Star Wars characters (across Star Wars generations) based on their traits ...

May 03, 2021

Vendors and their visions often run ahead of the real-world pack — at least, the good ones do, because progress begins with vision. The downside of this rush to tomorrow is that IT practitioners can be left to ponder the practicality of technologies and wonder if their organization is ahead of the market curve or sliding behind in an invisible race that is always competitive ...

April 29, 2021

According to a new report, Digital Workspace Deployment & Performance Monitoring in the New Normal, 82% of respondents had changes in their digital workspaces due to the pandemic ...

April 28, 2021

There are a few best practices that DevOps teams should keep in mind to ensure they are not lost in the weeds when incorporating visibility and troubleshooting programs into their systems, containers, and infrastructures. Let's dive into these best practices ...