Poor Network Visibility and Failures Cost Government up to $1 Million Per Hour
July 06, 2015

Nik Koutsoukos
Riverbed Technology

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For more than half of Federal IT decision makers, it takes a day or more to detect and fix application performances. That is why there is a federal network visibility crisis.

The extent of the crisis was revealed by in a Riverbed-commissioned survey of federal IT decision makers conducted by Market Connections, which also found that only 17 percent are able to address and fix the issue within minutes. Due to a lack of insight into how their networks and applications are performing, agencies cannot immediately pinpoint and address problems.

This is increasingly important because agencies are rapidly moving to the cloud to consolidate their IT resources, as 45 percent of respondents reported that the jump to the cloud has caused increasing network complexity. The result is data travels farther distances across agency networks to reach defense and civilian workers that rely on that information.

Poor application performance directly impacts federal agency productivity and the costs associated with network outages can be staggering. Today the average cost of an enterprise application failure per hour is $500,000 to $1 million.

Many federal IT executives lack the manpower, budget and tools necessary to find and fix performance issues quickly and efficiently. Without the right tools to monitor network and application performance, federal IT professionals cannot pinpoint problems that directly impact agency or mission effectiveness. This means supply chain delays of materiel to warfighters in the field or lack of access to critical defense and global security applications.

Networks need to perform quickly and seamlessly in order to fulfill mission requirements. Performance monitoring tools provide the broadest, most comprehensive view into network activity, helping to ensure fast performance, high security, and rapid recovery.

More than two-thirds (68%) of respondents see improved network reliability as a key value of monitoring tools and more than three-quarters (77%) of respondents said automated investigation and diagnosis is an important feature in a network monitoring solution. With visibility across the entire network and its applications, IT departments can identify and fix problems in minutes — before end users notice, and before productivity and citizen services suffer.

Survey respondents shared which features are important in network monitoring solutions, providing a window into their thoughts about current issues. Those features, listed in order of importance, are capacity planning (79%), automated investigation (77%), application-aware visibility (65%), and predictive modeling (58%).

There are key benefits to improving network visibility. An agency will have improved network reliability, know about problems before end-users do, have improved network speed, have maximized employee productivity, and have insight into risk management/cyber threats as benefits of using network monitoring tools. In addition, the challenge of network complexity will no longer be an issue because IT executives will be able to see an agency’s whole network, allowing them to be proactive in not only fixing issues but avoiding them as well.

With today’s globally distributed federal workforce, network visibility is critical to monitoring performance, and identifying and quickly fixing problems. Using network monitoring tools is a critical step toward managing the complex network environment and ensuring transfers to the cloud are effective and beneficial experiences for the agency, the end users and, ultimately, the constituents.

Nik Koutsoukos is Senior Director of Product Marketing at Riverbed Technology.

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