Turning Tactical IT Into Strategic IT
July 23, 2018

Keith Bromley
Ixia

Share this

As businesses look to drive more and more value out of the organization, is there a way that IT can help? While the answer could be yes, the problem is time.

Around 41% of enterprise IT departments spend over 50% of their time responding to network and application performance problems

A study conducted by Enterprise Management Associates showed that around 41% of enterprise IT departments spend over 50% of their time responding to network and application performance problems. This leaves precious little time for value-add activities.

While tactical IT activities are necessary, they place a considerable drain on IT resources. What if you could reduce the amount of problem resolution time by just 10%? This would be more time that could be applied to deliver projects that increase customer retention, expand market share, and/or increase revenue. Again, while there is definitely value for tactical IT activities, the value is smaller than the value of strategic IT activities.

The question then becomes, how can you reduce the time you spend on application and network activities so that you can redeploy that time for strategic business tasks?

The answer is to improve your visibility into the network. Organizations need access to data. At the same time, that data is overloading them. According to IBM research, over 90% of all of the data in the world has been created in the last two years. Network visibility allows you to capture and process key pieces of network and application data to: generate business insights for better network and application performance, perform macroscopic troubleshooting tactics, create better security device efficiencies, and implement better compliance practices.

A lack of network visibility (geolocation of users and problems, device type and browser type information, real-time access to network and application performance as it transits across the network, etc.) is behind a lot of IT inefficiency. This results in a longer amount of time to put out troubleshooting fires than was necessary. Flow data, packet data, and performance data can all be combined to quickly create a detailed analysis. With this extra information, you can be more strategic and plan more effectively.

85% of MTTR is the time taken to identify that there is, in fact, an issue

Increased network visibility is also critical when dealing with one of the top IT metrics, mean time to repair (MTTR). Approximately 85% of MTTR is the time taken to identify that there is, in fact, an issue, says Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research.

Even worse, Kerravala says, the MTTR clock starts ticking whether IT knows that there is an issue or not. Reducing this metric not only helps to give you back valuable time, it should help you improve one of your key performance indicators (KPI).

Network visibility can assist in all of these areas. The foundation of network visibility is the visibility architecture. This architecture consists of three element types: taps, network packet brokers, and monitoring tools. Taps are simply passive devices that make a complete copy of the data traversing the network on that particular network segment. The copied data is then sent to a packet broker which allows you to aggregate all of your data, deduplicate it, strip off unnecessary headers or payloads, and then replicate one or more pieces of that data and send it to different monitoring tools. Once the visibility architecture is in place, reductions of MTTR by up to 80% are possible.

Some of the biggest enterprise changes today are cloud computing, shadow IT, and mobile/bring-your-own-device (BYOD). The thread that links these shifts is data handling. Each one, in different ways, enables users to create data from new sources. Network visibility should be a critical component of this shift to reduce your time and money spent on tactical IT activities.

Keith Bromley is Senior Manager, Solutions Marketing at Ixia Solutions Group, a Keysight Technologies business
Share this

The Latest

July 09, 2020

Enterprises that halted their cloud migration journey during the current global pandemic are two and a half times more likely than those that continued their move to the cloud to have experienced IT outages that negatively impacted their SLAs, according to Virtana's latest survey report The Current State of Hybrid Cloud and IT ...

July 08, 2020

Every business has the responsibility to do their part against climate change by reducing their carbon footprint while increasing sustainability and efficiency. Harnessing optimization of IT infrastructure is one method companies can use to reduce carbon footprint, improve sustainability and increase business efficiency, while also keeping costs down ...

July 07, 2020

While the adoption of continuous integration (CI) is on the rise, software engineering teams are unable to take a zero-tolerance approach to software failures, costing enterprise organizations billions annually, according to a quantitative study conducted by Undo and a Cambridge Judge Business School MBA project ...

June 25, 2020

I've had the opportunity to work with a number of organizations embarking on their AIOps journey. I always advise them to start by evaluating their needs and the possibilities AIOps can bring to them through five different levels of AIOps maturity. This is a strategic approach that allows enterprises to achieve complete automation for long-term success ...

June 24, 2020

Sumo Logic recently commissioned an independent market research study to understand the industry momentum behind continuous intelligence — and the necessity for digital organizations to embrace a cloud-native, real-time continuous intelligence platform to support the speed and agility of business for faster decision-making, optimizing security, driving new innovation and delivering world-class customer experiences. Some of the key findings include ...

June 23, 2020

When it comes to viruses, it's typically those of the computer/digital variety that IT is concerned about. But with the ongoing pandemic, IT operations teams are on the hook to maintain business functions in the midst of rapid and massive change. One of the biggest challenges for businesses is the shift to remote work at scale. Ensuring that they can continue to provide products and services — and satisfy their customers — against this backdrop is challenging for many ...

June 22, 2020

Teams tasked with developing and delivering software are under pressure to balance the business imperative for speed with high customer expectations for quality. In the course of trying to achieve this balance, engineering organizations rely on a variety of tools, techniques and processes. The 2020 State of Software Quality report provides a snapshot of the key challenges organizations encounter when it comes to delivering quality software at speed, as well as how they are approaching these hurdles. This blog introduces its key findings ...

June 18, 2020

For IT teams, run-the-business, commodity areas such as employee help desks, device support and communication platforms are regularly placed in the crosshairs for cost takeout, but these areas are also highly visible to employees. Organizations can improve employee satisfaction and business performance by building unified functions that are measured by employee experience rather than price. This approach will ultimately fund transformation, as well as increase productivity and innovation ...

June 17, 2020

In the agile DevOps framework, there is a vital piece missing; something that previous approaches to application development did well, but has since fallen by the wayside. That is, the post-delivery portion of the toolchain. Without continuous cloud optimization, the CI/CD toolchain still produces massive inefficiencies and overspend ...

June 16, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has exponentially accelerated digital transformation projects. To better understand where IT professionals are turning for help, we analyzed the online behaviors of IT decision-makers. Our research found an increase in demand for resources related to APM, microservices and dependence on cloud services ...