The modern enterprise network is an entirely different beast today than the network environments IT and ops teams were tasked with managing just a few years ago. With the rise of SaaS, widespread cloud migration across industries and the trend of enterprise decentralization all playing a part, the challenges IT faces in adapting their management and monitoring techniques continue to mount.
The 2019 State of Enterprise IT Report found that, by and large, enterprise IT is being stretched thin as they grapple with the rise of remote offices and workers, and a lack of familiarity with cloud environments when they retire legacy hardware.
The findings showed that a lack of IT staff availability (25.6 percent) and lack of IT at the remote office (17.8 percent) were among the biggest challenges to network visibility that were hindering enterprise IT from doing their jobs effectively. This mirrors other data that shows an emphasis on organizational changes and legacy infrastructure rank as major roadblocks to cloud success.
In addition to deploying a solution that helps bridge the gaps in visibility, enterprise IT professionals must consider the following best practices to ensure success when optimizing their networks for a new generation of SaaS apps and cloud adoption:
1. Baseline performance of the network before undergoing cloud migration. This includes highlighting problem areas and looking for cloud-based solutions to those specific problems, and setting realistic goals based upon current network usage and policies.
2. Ensure employees aren’t impacted during cloud migration. This would involve actively and passively monitoring for issues proactively to get a handle on potential roadblocks before they impact end users — or at the very least have answers for disgruntled users when problems arise that are out of the control of centralized IT.
3. Enforce policies and steer success once the network has been overhauled. Teams can monitor ongoing to identify where expectations aren’t being met and get to the root of the problem quickly. This will help teams get a better handle of their new network infrastructure and allow them to regain some control that they lost when they offloaded areas of the network to cloud environments.
Success Hinges on Continuous Monitoring
When performance issues occur, savvy end users may assume one element is the culprit (the network, the app provider, their device, etc.). Blame will inevitably fall on IT, regardless of whether or not these teams have enough ownership over the problem area to actually take meaningful action (ie. when an app glitch is hindering all users, not just those on the WAN). Teams can’t speed up resolution without insight into what’s at the root of the issue — let alone give answers to end users that can redirect blame/instill confidence in IT's ability to execute.
With 50.1 percent of respondents deeming messaging apps critical to their day-to-day, for instance, employing comprehensive monitoring and rethinking network management is the only way for IT teams to brace for 2020 and help drive down the obstacles hindering them in 2019.