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 Content Manager at AppNeta
Share this

The Latest

December 12, 2019

Industry experts offer thoughtful, insightful, and often controversial predictions on how APM and related technologies will evolve and impact business in 2020. Part 2 covers AIOps, AI and Machine Learning (ML) ...

December 11, 2019

As the New Year approaches, it is time for APMdigest's 10th annual list of Application Performance Management (APM) predictions. Industry experts offer thoughtful, insightful, and often controversial predictions on how APM and related technologies will evolve and impact business in 2020 ...

December 10, 2019

Enterprises with services operating in the cloud are overspending by millions due to inefficiencies with their apps and runtime environments, according to a poll conducted by Lead to Market, and commissioned by Opsani. 69 Percent of respondents report regularly overspending on their cloud budget by 25 percent or more, leading to a loss of millions on unnecessary cloud spend ...

December 09, 2019

For IT professionals responsible for upgrading users to Windows 10, it's crunch time. End of regular support for Windows 7 is nearly here (January 14, 2020) but as many as 59% say that only a portion of their users have been migrated to Windows 10 ...

December 05, 2019

Application performance monitoring (APM) has become one of the key strategies adopted by IT teams and application owners in today’s era of digital business services. Application downtime has always been considered adverse to business productivity. But in today’s digital economy, what is becoming equally dreadful is application slowdown. When an application is slow, the end user’s experience accessing the application is negatively affected leaving a dent on the business in terms of commercial loss and brand damage ...

December 04, 2019

Useful digital transformation means altering or designing new business processes, and implementing them via the people and technology changes needed to support these new business processes ...

December 03, 2019
The word "digital" is today thrown around in word and phrase like rice at a wedding and never do two utterances thereof have the same meaning. Common phrases like "digital skills" and "digital transformation" are explained in 101 different ways. The outcome of this is a predictable cycle of confusion, especially at business management level where often the answer to business issues is "more technology" ...
December 02, 2019

xMatters recently released the results of its Incident Management in the Age of Customer-Centricity research study to better understand the range of various incident management practices and how the increased focus on customer experience has caused roles across an organization to evolve. Findings highlight the ongoing challenges organizations face as they continue to introduce and rapidly evolve digital services ...

November 26, 2019

The new App Attention Index Report from AppDynamics finds that consumers are using an average 32 digital services every day — more than four times as many as they realize. What's more, their use of digital services has evolved from a conscious decision to carry around a device and use it for a specific task, to an unconscious and automated behavior — a digital reflex. So what does all this mean for the IT teams driving application performance on the backend? Bottom line: delivering seamless and world-class digital experiences is critical if businesses want to stay relevant and ensure long-term customer loyalty. Here are some key considerations for IT leaders and developers to consider ...

November 25, 2019

Through the adoption of agile technologies, financial firms can begin to use software to both operate more effectively and be faster to market with improvements for customer experiences. Making sure there is the necessary software in place to give customers frictionless everyday activities, like remote deposits, business overdraft services and wealth management, is key for a positive customer experience ...