IT and Security Challenges Are Hindering End User Experience in the Hybrid Workforce
February 13, 2023
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Gaps in network visibility and security are facing the majority of IT teams, especially as remote and hybrid work continues, according to the 2023 Network IT Management Report from Auvik, based on a survey of 4,500 IT professionals across North America.

Gaps in Network Visibility

The report states that 86% of respondents support a remote workforce at least some of the time, but only half are performing SaaS and Cloud monitoring or Wi-Fi management — critical components of the new enterprise network in today's hybrid world.

SaaS and cloud applications (e.g. Salesforce, Slack, G Suite, Microsoft 365, Zoom, etc.) are how employees are getting work done. These apps as well as the Wi-Fi employees are using at home (or at a hotel, a coffee shop, etc.) pose potential security risks to the enterprise network, and thus IT teams must have visibility and solutions for enabling their workforce to be productive while minimizing risk.

In recognition of this need and current gaps, 30% of the survey respondents reported that they are planning to invest in Wi-Fi management and/or SaaS and Cloud monitoring solutions within the next 12 months.

"A growing trend we at Auvik have observed — and which the findings of our 2023 report reinforce — is that IT teams are increasingly measured on their ability to deliver a seamless experience to end users and keep them productive," said Alex Hoff, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Auvik. "45% of this year's respondents said they are measured on the satisfaction of their end user or customer. When an employee experiences slowness on their device, network or in an application they are using, the responsibility to resolve that issue falls to the IT team, who are often working with blind spots and a constantly-changing environment."

In January of this year, more than 2 million people experienced power outages due to the storms in California, and many of those individuals then went to coffee shops or friends or relatives' homes to work, introducing new Wi-Fi connections, potentially new devices and other components that affect the end user experience. IT teams must have the tools to monitor, manage and support employees' work experiences from any location, at any time.

Network Configurations Pose Visibility and Security Challenges

Another serious visibility and security gap facing IT teams is with network configurations. The Auvik report found 45% of IT teams do not fully know the configuration of their networks, and 21% responded that individuals outside of ITOps, perhaps in adjacent departments like DevOps, are making configuration changes.

What's more, 20% of respondents said configuration changes are occurring on a daily basis, and another 33% said they're happening at least weekly. With unknown and non-IT employees making frequent changes to the network's configuration, the security risks increase significantly.

Additional key findings from the report include:

■ 41.5% of respondents said network documentation is updated monthly or less often — despite 53% reporting that configuration changes are happening daily or weekly

■ 61% of respondents believe a lack of time and money are restricting their ability to better serve their colleagues and clients

■ Budget/Costs, Security, and Shortage of skilled professionals are the top three challenges facing IT teams

■ 73% of respondents outsource some of their network-related tasks

■ 42% of respondents are tracked on the percentage of uptime and downtime at their organization

A single hour of server downtime costs most small to mid-sized enterprises $300,000, and can cost larger organizations more than $5 million

"The network has evolved from assets solely owned by the IT organization to anything that allows the team to connect to their application, which results in greater change and complexity for the end user experience," Hoff continued. "This means greater chances for a poor end user experience and decreased productivity, security risks, and network downtime, which directly impacts the bottom line. According to the Information Technology Industry Council, a single hour of server downtime costs most small to mid-sized enterprises $300,000, and can cost larger organizations more than $5 million. Visibility is critical to reach what we call The Last Mile of the Office Network and ensure the remote workforce remains safe, connected and productive."

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