A decade ago, organizations expected a disconnect between IT and other relevant business units. After all, support was little more than a cost center, necessary to keep enterprises up and running but outside line-of-business (LoB) revenue streams. Movement in cloud computing, big data and, more recently, the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) have caused this trend to do a one-eighty.
IT is now a critical part of any boardroom discussion, with total network visibility playing a lead role in a company’s pursuit of a healthier bottom line. According to Frost & Sullivan, in fact, the network monitoring market should reach $4.4 billion in just two years, double the market revenue in 2012. Of course, talking about the benefits of a “single pane of glass” is one thing; IT pros need actionable scenarios to drive better budgets and improve productivity. Here’s a look at the 10 top cases for total network transparency.
As noted by FedTech Magazine, the enemy of IT security is a lack of visibility. If you can’t view your network end-to-end, hackers or malware can slip through undetected. Once inside, this presence is given free rein until it brushes up against continuously monitored systems such as payment portals or HR databases. Complete visibility lets admins see security threats the moment they appear, and respond without delay.
Single-pane-of-glass visibility also lets IT pros automate specific tasks to improve overall performance. Consider eDiscovery or big data processing; while you can configure and perform these tasks manually, the IT desk’s time is often better spent forwarding strategic business objectives. Total network visibility allows you to easily determine which processes are a good fit for automation and which are best left in human hands.
According to a recent Clearswift report, 74 percent of all data breaches start from inside your organization. In some cases employees are simply misusing cloud services or access points, whereas in others, the objective is to defraud or defame. Either way, you need to know who’s doing what in your network, and why. Visibility into all systems — and who’s logging on — helps combat the risk of insider threats.
You can’t always be in the office. What happens when you’re on the road or at home but the network still requires oversight? Many monitoring solutions now include mobile support, allowing you to log in from a smartphone or tablet to check on current conditions. This is especially useful if you’re out of town but receive warning about severe weather moving in. Total visibility gives you the lead time needed to prep servers and backup solutions to handle the storm.
Effective data analysis can make or break your bottom line. As noted by RCR Wireless, real-time network visibility is crucial here. The goal is interoperability across systems and platforms to ensure data collection and processing happens quickly enough to provide actionable insight into the key needs of your network.
With a seat at the boardroom table, CISOs and CIOs must now justify IT budget requests as part of their business strategy at large. Using a single pane of glass lets you showcase exactly where investments are paying off — analysis tools or intrusion-detection solutions, for instance — and request commensurate funding to improve IT performance.
7) Proactive Response
It’s better to get ahead than fall behind, obviously, but think of it this way: Network visibility lets you see infrastructure problems in their infancy rather than only after they affect performance. Proactive data about app conflicts or bandwidth issues gives you the upper hand before congestion turns into a backlog of issue tickets.
Chances are you’ll be called to the boardroom this year to demonstrate how your team is meeting business objectives. Complete visibility lets you collect and compile key metrics that clearly show things like improved uptime, amount of data backed up or new devices added to the network.
According to Infosecurity Magazine, 72 percent of IT professionals believe their company isn’t doing enough to educate employees about IT security. With insider threats at an all-time high, network visibility is critical to pinpoint key vulnerabilities and design effective training plans for employees to reduce the chances of a data breach.
10) End-User Improvement
Technology doesn’t always work as intended. And in many cases, employees simply live with poor function — they grumble but don’t report network slowdown or crashing apps. Without this data, you can’t improve the system at large. With total network insight, however, you can discover end-user pain points and take corrective steps.
Seeing is believing. More importantly, seeing everything on your network is actionable, insightful and bolsters the bottom line.