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Organizations Need to Rebuild Business Resilience

Hybrid Work and Cloud Operations Have Outpaced Network Management

Enterprise networks have had to evolve rapidly over the past several years to keep pace with external drivers, such as the sharp rise in remote and hybrid work, transition from legacy to multi-cloud networks and the increased use of SaaS solutions. This problem is compounded by how modern network environments have evolved yet still rely on IT infrastructure that predates the evolution.

IT teams generally have done well in navigating this evolution, doing their best to securely accommodate remote workers and spinning applications and services into the cloud. Out of necessity, they patched together a mix of on-premises and cloud-based systems into a hybridized environment to make it all work. But now the other shoe has dropped, and networks stretched well past the data center are running into bottlenecks, compliance concerns and cybersecurity weaknesses.

As a result of adapting to all those sudden changes-and other factors including manpower shortages and a lack of resources-organizations today lack the business resilience they need to keep up with new requirements, especially as networks continue to grow and evolve beyond the datacenter.

The Need for Business Resilience

Business resilience is defined as the ability of an organization to absorb and adapt in a changing environment to enable it to deliver its objectives and to survive and prosper.   And although it may sound like a simple objective, a lot goes into building that resilience, which is rooted in three critical factors: performance, compliance and security.

A recent Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) survey on 2023 spending plans found that IT professionals say improving business resilience is the most important consideration in funding an IT project. The key elements of business resilience were also reflected in the survey. For example, 68% of respondents said unified observability (essential to performance) was "very important" to their environments. And NetOps pros ranked operational resilience to cyberattacks as one of their top spending drivers for 2023, on par with top priorities such as improving customer experience, data analytics and automation.

The current problem of managing today's IT stack stems from the fact that hybrid networks are typically the result of piecemeal upgrades since it's too costly and disruptive to upgrade everything together. New technologies come in while old tech is phased out over time, leaving organizations wrestling with too many tools to address the critical factors of resiliency. Rather than resiliency, in fact, they have fragility.

Three Critical Components of Business Resilience

To gain control of their hybrid networks, organizations need to focus on three critical components, starting by implementing a robust network performance management (NPM) solution. NPM takes a comprehensive approach to visualizing, monitoring, optimizing, troubleshooting and reporting on the health and availability of hybrid networks. The tools it provides enable teams to find and fix problems quickly by identifying the root cause of a problem.

The three critical components of hybrid network resilience include:

1.   Elevate Your Network's Visibility and Performance

Network performance is the bottom-line issue-in many ways, literally. If the network doesn't function properly, the business doesn't work. And hybrid networks present unique challenges with performance management: devices malfunction, bandwidth usage spikes and DNS problems pop up.

One of the first casualties of expanding into the cloud is visibility. Organizations can lose sight of their applications, servers, and cloud-native environments in a complex, layered hybrid environment. They can't always effectively troubleshoot network issues ranging from slow-performing apps to security threats. In an Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) report, 46% of NetOps workers cited data conflicts between individual tools as one of the most painful data-related challenges.

Hybrid networks are also generating and processing more data than ever before. Inadequate processing capabilities can lead to network congestion, overburdened nodes, and packet loss, causing network disruptions, slow service, or even loss of network connectivity.

Gaining visibility into the entire hybrid network and the tools to address problems enables organizations to avoid performance failures.

2.   Ensure Operational Governance and Compliance

Even if you're not in highly regulated industries like government, healthcare or financial services with extensive and strict requirements, every enterprise has to deal with compliance requirements. Regardless of industry, failing to stay in compliance can open the organization up to security vulnerabilities, as well as fines issued by governing bodies.

Hybrid networks can challenge an organization's ability to stay compliant because both on-prem and cloud assets are supported by third parties. This can affect visibility and make it more difficult to execute updates, create audit trails, establish clear data governance rules and perform other tasks necessary for internal and external compliance requirements.

NPM provides the visibility companies need, but they still must make use of the tools available to meet operational and security compliance requirements. An actively managed hybrid network will be able to remain compliant, even in times of network disruption or while adding scale. It allows companies to maintain resilience on older applications and services while introducing new technologies.

3.   Engage Intelligent Security Methods Against Cyber Threats

The complexity inherent in hybrid networks increases their vulnerability to attacks. Cloud services, for example, can add insecure access points and security misconfigurations that increase the chances of a breach. Forty-five percent of businesses have experienced a cloud-based data breach in the past 12 months, with the average cost in the United States averaging about $9.44 million., and it is about $1 million more for breaches that involve remote access.

The visualization, monitoring and reporting capabilities offered by NPM can help NetOps and SecOps teams deter, detect and respond to attacks better and help organizations recover with less damage. NPM also supplies forensic data that can be an invaluable tool for deterring future attacks and aiding in proactive threat hunting.

Finding Business Resilience

Organizations recognize the importance of business resilience, but many haven't been able to keep their infrastructures and network management up to speed with the recent, rapid changes caused by the hybridization of networks. NPM can help the enterprise as a whole evolve, delivering visibility, optimizing network performance, and offering the tools to meet compliance and security requirements. Business resilience is the next step in ensuring that businesses run right-and keep running no matter what changes are thrown at them while safeguarding people, assets and overall brand equity. 




As Senior Director of Product Marketing, Payal Kindiger is responsible for go-to market strategy and execution for Riverbed's Alluvio portfolio of products. Prior to joining Riverbed Payal has served as a global Marketing leader and business strategist with over 20 years of experience in B2B, startup and Hi-Tech companies, including Resolve Systems and Deloitte.  A graduate of UCLA and Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University), her passion is to serve as a growth catalyst for innovative companies. Areas of focus for Payal include Network Performance Management, Unified Observability, AIOps and more.  Payal enjoys sailing, traveling and spending time with her family.

Published Thursday, April 27, 2023 7:30 AM by David Marshall
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