How to Prepare for Your Next Network War Room Debate - Part 1
October 23, 2018

Jay Botelho
LiveAction

Share this

The term "war room" comes from military: a place to strategize and debate. Over the years this concept has been heavily adopted by others, from NFL teams drafting the next star player to software developers rushing to fix code flaws. Given the broad management challenges associated with network operations, it's no surprise that war rooms have become commonplace in IT. Rolling out a new ERP system? To the war room for team collaboration and planning. Critical financial service just crashed? The war room is the place to be for some dramatic finger pointing and lightning-fast problem resolution.

For anyone that's been in a war room, there's no denying that it can be an intense place. Depending on what side of the table you're on it can be teeming with confidence and dominance, or veiled in defensiveness and uncertainty. Teams go to the war room to win. But, the ideal outcome is a solid plan or solution designed to deliver the best outcome while utilizing the least resources.

What are some of the key triggers that drive IT teams into the war room and how can you prepare yourself to contribute in a positive way?

Most war room sessions are either project-focused or response-focused. For example, project-focused war room triggers could be an infrastructure migration for software-defined networks or a shift to a hybrid cloud environment. Other possible triggers include large digital transformation initiatives that require major applications rollouts, such as a 100 percent commitment to going paperless through digitization and immediate access to electronic records, or a major ERP consolidation after a corporate merger.

On the response side, the pool of triggers can be vast. For example:

■ A major network or service outage. Imagine your hosted infrastructure provider goes down – yes, this has even happened to AWS.

■ A security incident or potential intrusion. For example, imagine getting a call from the FBI saying that a recent nationwide investigation into credit card fraud has turned up your company as the common denominator.

■ Investigating a serious security breach, such as one that exploited a known vulnerability that you failed to patch, and resulted in tens of millions of records stolen.

Imagine what the war room was like when Equifax was breached back in 2017. Or, when Salesforce had its major cloud outage in 2016, or when Slack experiences continual service outages. What about GDPR? Imagine the war room planning sessions that occurred as the deadline crept closer and closer. That's one you probably don't need to imagine; it's likely you lived through it.

Whether proactive or reactive in nature, war room sessions fundamentally come down to problem solving. But the ultimate goal is to eliminate these sessions altogether. Teams work hard to find problems before they impact the network. It's often called creating a "standard of visibility." They use solutions and tools that offer full system monitoring and visibility (NPMD), with stored data for historical reference; regular and disciplined penetration testing to catch misconfigurations, vulnerabilities and more; cyber security systems to detect hacks and vulnerabilities; and full network packet capture for troubleshooting network problems in real-time.

Read How to Prepare for Your Next Network War Room Debate - Part 2, offering tips on how to win in the war room.

Jay Botelho is Director of Engineering at LiveAction
Share this

The Latest

August 19, 2019

One common infrastructure challenge arises with virtual private networks (VPNs). VPNs have long been relied upon to deliver the network connectivity and security enterprises required at a price they could afford. Organizations still routinely turn to them to provide internal and trusted third-parties with "secure" remote access to isolated networks. However, with the rise in mobile, IoT, multi- and hybrid-cloud, as well as edge computing, traditional enterprise perimeters are extending and becoming blurred ...

August 15, 2019

The configuration management database (CMDB), along with its more federated companion, the configuration management system (CMS), has been bathed in a deluge of negative opinions from all fronts — industry experts, vendors, and IT professionals. But from what recent EMA research on analytics, ITSM performance and other areas is indicating, those negative views seem to be missing out on a real undercurrent of truth — that CMDB/CMS alignments, whatever their defects, strongly skew to success in terms of overall IT progressiveness and effectiveness ...

August 14, 2019

The on-demand economy has transformed the way we move around, eat, learn, travel and connect at a massive scale. However, with disruption and big aspirations comes big, complex challenges. To take these challenges head-on, on-demand economy companies are finding new ways to deliver their services and products to an audience with ever-increasing expectations, and that's what we'll look at in this blog ...

August 13, 2019

To thrive in today's highly competitive digital business landscape, organizations must harness their "digital DNA." In other words, they need to connect all of their systems and databases — including various business applications, devices, big data and any instances of IoT and hybrid cloud environments — so they're accessible and actionable. By integrating all existing components and new technologies, organizations can gain a comprehensive, trusted view of their business functions, thereby enabling more agile deployment processes and ensuring scalable growth and relevance over the long-term ...

August 12, 2019

Advancements in technology innovation are happening so quickly, the decision of where and when to transform can be a moving target for businesses. When done well, digital transformation improves the customer experience while optimizing operational efficiency. To get there, enterprises must encourage experimentation to overcome organizational obstacles. In other words ...

August 08, 2019

IoT adoption is growing rapidly, and respondents believe 30% of their company’s revenue two years from now will be due to IoT, according to the new IoT Signals report from Microsoft Corp ...

August 07, 2019

It's been all over the news the last few months. After two fatal crashes, Boeing was forced to ground its 737. The doomed model is now undergoing extensive testing to get it back into service and production. Large organizations often tell stakeholders that even though all software goes through extensive testing, this type of thing “just happens.” But that is exactly the problem. While the human component of application development and testing won't go away, it can be eased and supplemented by far more efficient and automated methods to proactively determine software health and identify flaws ...

August 06, 2019

Despite significant investment in AI, many companies are still struggling to stabilize and scale their AI initiatives, according to State of Development and Operations of AI Applications 2019 from Dotscience ...

August 05, 2019

IT has two principal functions: create a network that satisfies the business needs of the company and then optimize that network. Unfortunately, the modern enterprise is buried under a myriad of network improvement projects that often do not get deployed ...

August 01, 2019

Even large companies are not yet realizing the potential of digital transformation, according to a new study from Cherwell Software, The Power of Process Integration in the Information Age ...