Over the past few years, technological and business advancements have created increasingly grand expectations. Your customers expect an “always on” experience. (Today, you can also add “always fast,” “always intuitive,” “always successful,” and so on.) Fundamentally, if customers find it too difficult to engage digitally with your business, they’ll engage elsewhere.
Digital transformation: The implications for network operations
Meeting heightened customer expectations is basically what digital transformation is all about. In the race to meet these expectations, speed innovation, and stay competitive, organizations continue to adopt transformational technologies and services, such as cloud offerings, SaaS, SD-WAN, and more.
However, by adopting these approaches, network operations (NetOps) teams have to contend with some fundamentally different requirements and challenges. In the past, organizations like yours had data centers and remote offices, which were all connected via a network your teams owned and managed. Your NetOps teams had full visibility and control; they knew every packet, route, and device on the network.
Today, your NetOps teams are contending with a completely different paradigm. Now, critical services are fundamentally reliant upon networks that the NetOps team doesn’t own, manage, or have visibility into.
The result is that NetOps teams contend with more complexity, while their ability to meet their charters erodes. According to recent research, 74% of enterprises are planning to deploy 10 or more new network technologies over the next two years. In addition, 81% currently report they have network monitoring blind spots. Another report found that between 2018 and 2022, the percentage of NetOps teams that are successful with their overall missions has declined from 47% to 27%.
Why is NetOps getting so difficult, and how can you beat these odds? Keep reading.
The advantages and NetOps obstacles of transformation
The adoption of SD-WAN, cloud, and SaaS, and the widespread reality of hybrid work have completely changed NetOps. While each innovative approach offers advantages, it also introduces NetOps challenges.
Public cloud services are popular because they offer organizations flexibility, lower costs, and more rapid deployments. But these services present entirely different traffic patterns than those of the past. The reliance upon external, third-party networks presents significant blind spots. This results in lengthy troubleshooting times, increased operations costs, and greater risk of user experience issues.
Similarly, the adoption of SD-WAN presents both advantages and challenges. These technologies can give the business a more secure and cost-effective highway to the cloud. However, SD-WAN can also leave already-stretched NetOps teams contending with tens of thousands of new events and alarms. Further, SD-WAN vendors don’t offer coverage of cloud networks, your data centers, or the Wi-Fi networks work-from-home users rely upon.
Replacing legacy apps with SaaS can provide an array of benefits, including reduced infrastructure and operational costs. However, you also lose visibility and control when your users start relying on apps that are running outside your data center.
The move to hybrid and work-from-home models provides many advantages, enabling employees to be productive, no matter where they may be. However, without a way to gain insights into the ISP and local Wi-Fi networks users rely upon, your NetOps teams have no way to spot and preempt potential issues. They’re stuck reacting to problems after the fact, and the business is saddled with diminished productivity.
Don’t let the “gotchas” of digital transformation get you. Make sure your digital transformation plans include a plan for NetOps transformation. It is only by gaining visibility and control of modern, hybrid network ecosystems that you can safeguard service levels and maximize the potential of your transformations.
To learn more about Experience-Driven NetOps, visit Broadcom.