Network (In)Visibility Leads to IT Blame Game
Time for IT Managers to Take Back Control
August 19, 2014

Mike Heumann

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Significant changes in the structure and use of IT, including such seismic trends as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), virtualization and cloud computing, have introduced new challenges to IT administrators and staff. Added layers of complexity require new skill sets and knowledge bases as well as tools to effectively run a modern enterprise network. This raises a few questions about how IT teams are coping with the changes.

Well, it appears that IT teams are struggling to gain visibility into what is causing IT problems, and are in many cases not implementing monitoring tools to help. In an Emulex survey of 547 US and European network and security operations (NetOps and SecOps) professionals conducted in the spring of 2014, 77% of respondents said that they had inaccurately reported the root cause of a network or security event to their executive team on at least one occasion. Additionally, 73% of surveyed IT staff said they currently have unresolved network events.

With more than half of US respondents (52%) confirming it costs their organization more than half a million dollars in revenue per hour when they have a network outage or performance degradation, you would assume that identifying unresolved network events would be a critical priority for IT organizations. This expectation is very much not the case – our survey revealed that 45% of organizations are still manually monitoring their networks.

With the flood of “unknown” devices resulting from BYOD (this can be hundreds or thousands of new devices daily), it would seem impossible for IT teams to derive the root cause of any network or security events if they do not have automated network surveillance tools. Startlingly, more than a quarter (26%) of European respondents said they have no plans to monitor the network for performance issues related to BYOD.

As a result of this lack of visibility, 79% of organizations have experienced network events that were attributed to the wrong IT group. This creates an “IT blame game” in which departments have to spend cycles proving their innocence, rather than getting to the root cause of network events and fixing them. If this trend continues, in tandem with increased virtualization and device proliferation, it will almost certainly lead to more outages and lost revenue.

It is also interesting to note that 83% of respondents said there has been an increase in the number of security events they have investigated in the past year. What will it take to make IT teams realize that without 100% visibility across their networks, the business is in jeopardy? The time is now for IT managers to take back control.

Mike Heumann is VP of Product Marketing and Alliances at Emulex.

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