On May 12th, Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, announced its employees would be working from home indefinitely. The social media giant stated that it was uniquely positioned to quickly respond to current business needs and allow its folks to work remotely. Following that, it emphasized on decentralization and worked on supporting a distributed workforce.
Twitter was an early adopter of this model, though – like most of us – the recent stay at home orders has accelerated that push. So, how many more will follow suit after being subjected to working remotely?
Work from home is here to stay. For various jobs, working remotely is just as productive as working in an office. But remote work is not universally superior. A 2019 study found the productivity impact of remote work was negative on average. And there is significant variation across organizations. For example, large companies that employ skilled workers are likely to see more benefits.
Not all companies can deal with dynamic customer needs as seamlessly as their counterparts. Also, the concept of remote work represents the next phase of a long-term digital transformation in our workplace. In the coming months or years, it is likely that every network engineer will have to support remote users and monitor productivity, perhaps remotely or from a central location.
The fundamental shift requires real-time network monitoring
Supporting productivity and business continuity requires a change in network monitoring. But the current network monitoring tools aren’t developed to assist remote workers. The core capabilities of most tools in use today are irrelevant to modern-day problems that remote users experience. They offer little to no help in determining the root-causes of business downtime. Before delving into how to monitor your network, let’s briefly look at the top technical and business challenges inherent with remote work support.
- Lack of visibility limits root-cause analysis: Network monitoring tools were built only to track issues with networking systems, not users. With hybrid infrastructure and complex networks, user experience becomes significant in determining root-causes of issues.
- Frequent issues are hard to track and resolve: Most tools rely upon data sampling for root-cause analysis. Intermittent issues might fall through the cracks and can sit idle for months until discovered.
- Lost productivity due to technical shortcomings: Often, time is wasted trying to make guesses based on improper data context and incomplete visibility. Using the wrong tools can turn solvable issues into a long-term headache that significantly impacts organization productivity.
- Networks are often blamed: When users face issues, one of the first suspects is the network or the internet service provider. But without proper visibility, no one can be certain. Speculation without data yields no result in a complex network traversing various carriers. Simply put, the right networking tools help diagnose carrier issues even before carriers notice them.
- Failure to meet service level objectives: One of the business challenges tied to tools with missing data and limited visibility is supporting service level agreements. If you can’t determine the problem, you probably wouldn’t know what to hold accountable. It impacts the relationship between IT teams and network engineers or even business executives cited with poor data.
As employees embrace remote work in the near future, network technicians will need modern tools to manage the increasing importance of user experience, raw data, visibility, and root-cause analysis. Without new-age capabilities, network engineers will take a reactive approach to problems and waste significant time trying to identify issues with obsolete tools.
Time to install a virtual operations center for real-time network monitoring
With hybrid IT setup and complex infrastructure links, remote collaboration is on the rise. You must enable your network operators, engineers, and managers to keep operations running smoothly and secure from home or any remote location. The need of the hour is flexible virtualization which enables networks to be more resilient and remain operational during emergencies without compromising network security or data. With a unique visual networking technology, it’s easy to set up a virtual network operations center (NOC) that can be securely accessed via desktops, laptops, or any screen with the internet. That means you can:
- Monitor your entire infrastructure without installing separate video walls or screens.
- Securely retrieve data sources from on-premise servers without opening ports.
- Manage access to information with Lightweight Directory Access Portal (LDAP) and Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) authentication with ease.
- Enable remote operators’ responses with real-time analysis and interactivity of live data sources.
A virtual network operations center also helps engineers create customized layouts and access them from anywhere. A remote viewing software can only show HDMI feeds. But a more scalable, flexible, and secure approach involves displaying:
- Any source inside the local area network (LAN).
- Administrative workflows that simplify sharing sources without adding screen sharing software or deploying virtual private network (VPN) to every source.
- Access a single authentication point for team members.
- Secure views as needed without opening up ports or deploying a VPN.
Gain a bird’s eye view of your network environment
Netenrich’s virtual operations center lets you dig deeper into productivity of your remote and branch offices (ROBO) with granular insights. We help automate data analysis across ROBO, reducing the time, expense, and complexities of investigating blind spots manually throughout your distributed offices. Additionally, you can view performance data on a single screen to identify issues before they affect remote workers. It helps support service level agreements and manage business continuity without hampering customer relations.
You can minimize the cost of security breaches in your network environment with our expert-guided reports on blind spots and recommendations for maintaining firewalls. If you are still using legacy monitoring solutions, you can only visualize the physical topology and the underlying connected servers, switches, router, or edge devices. However, Netenrich helps perceive not only the physical topology but also the application flow topology on top of the physical architecture. It enables your network operations team to see the entire path of your application’s traffic in real-time. Consequently, we enhance user experiences.
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