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

April 01, 2020

The role of the CIO is evolving with more of a focus on revenue and strategy, according to the 2019 Global CIO Survey from Logicalis ...

March 31, 2020

Organizations face major infrastructure and security challenges in supporting multi-cloud and edge deployments, according to new global survey conducted by Propeller Insights for Volterra ...

March 30, 2020

Developers spend roughly 17.3 hours each week debugging, refactoring and modifying bad code — valuable time that could be spent writing more code, shipping better products and innovating. The bottom line? Nearly $300B (US) in lost developer productivity every year ...

March 26, 2020

While remote work policies have been gaining steam for the better part of the past decade across the enterprise space — driven in large part by more agile and scalable, cloud-delivered business solutions — recent events have pushed adoption into overdrive ...

March 25, 2020

Time-critical, unplanned work caused by IT disruptions continues to plague enterprises around the world, leading to lost revenue, significant employee morale problems and missed opportunities to innovate, according to the State of Unplanned Work Report 2020, conducted by Dimensional Research for PagerDuty ...

March 24, 2020

In today's iterative world, development teams care a lot more about how apps are running. There's a demand for fixing actionable items. Developers want to know exactly what's broken, what to fix right now, and what can wait. They want to know, "Do we build or fix?" This trade-off between building new features versus fixing bugs is one of the key factors behind the adoption of Application Stability management tools ...

March 23, 2020

With the rise of mobile apps and iterative development releases, Application Stability has answered the widespread need to monitor applications in a new way, shifting the focus from servers and networks to the customer experience. The emergence of Application Stability has caused some consternation for diehard APM fans. However, these two solutions embody very distinct monitoring focuses, which leads me to believe there's room for both tools, as well as different teams for both ...

March 19, 2020

The 2019 State of E-Commerce Infrastructure Report, from Webscale, analyzes findings from a comprehensive survey of more than 450 ecommerce professionals regarding how their online stores performed during the 2019 holiday season. Some key insights from the report include ...

March 18, 2020

Robinhood is a unicorn startup that has been disrupting the way by which many millennials have been investing and managing their money for the past few years. For Robinhood, the burden of proof was to show that they can provide an infrastructure that is as scalable, reliable and secure as that of major banks who have been developing their trading infrastructure for the last quarter-century. That promise fell flat last week, when the market volatility brought about a set of edge cases that brought Robinhood's trading app to its knees ...

March 17, 2020

Application backend monitoring is the key to acquiring visibility across the enterprise's application stack, from the application layer and underlying infrastructure to third-party API services, web servers and databases, be they on-premises, in a public or private cloud, or in a hybrid model. By tracking and reporting performance in real time, IT teams can ensure applications perform at peak efficiency — and guarantee a seamless customer experience. How can IT operations teams improve application backend monitoring? By embracing artificial intelligence for operations — AIOps ...