Published on October 29, 2023, 8:51 pm

TLDR: The complexity of managing networks in hybrid work environments is increasing, requiring organizations to adopt advanced tools and technologies. Traditional network management approaches are no longer sufficient, and issues such as human error contribute significantly to IT outages. New trends like generative AI and AIOps are transforming network management platforms by introducing automation and intelligent configuration management. Treating the network as a sensor can provide valuable insights for informed decision-making. CIOs should consider integration, interoperability, security management, and cost when evaluating network management options. Tight alignment between the network and business goals is crucial for successful modernization of network management practices.

Network operations teams are facing challenges in managing the rapidly changing cloud and dynamic resource orchestration. Traditional approaches to network management are no longer sufficient to troubleshoot problems in this complex environment. It has been found that networking issues contribute significantly to IT outages, with nearly 40% of organizations attributing outages to human error (Uptime Institute).

As organizations strive to enhance network operation and management, advancements in network management tools and cloud-native services offer options for CIOs and heads of network infrastructure to maintain agile and responsive networks.

Nick Harders, APJ Solutions Director at HPE Aruba Networking, understands the increasing complexity of networks in Asia as enterprises adopt hybrid work environments. He highlights the difficulties faced by enterprises in gaining visibility across clients, endpoints, and overall network infrastructure due to architectural transitions and deployment complexities.

The traditional model of acquiring, deploying, and operating networks is no longer suitable for the hybrid environment. Office-bound networking and security appliances are ill-equipped to support remote work or public location scenarios.

With applications shifting from traditional data centers to the cloud, connecting users to applications becomes more challenging for network operators. Users and applications can now reside in any number of different locations, leading to a highly complex network management landscape.

Recognizing the dissolving concept of a security perimeter with the rise of hybrid workforces, Harders emphasizes the need for holistic end-to-end security embedded at every layer of the network. Consolidating security capabilities where appropriate is also crucial.

Emerging trends such as generative AI and AIOps (Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations) are transforming network management platforms. Generative AI is being integrated into various industries, including networking. AIOps introduces automation and orchestration features that facilitate intelligent configuration management, visibility, alerting, troubleshooting, and insights.

Harders believes that treating the network as a sensor allows organizations to leverage telemetries collected from user connections and application interactions within a cloud data lake. Analytics conducted on this data can offer not only network insights but also valuable business perspectives, enabling informed decision-making.

Enterprises face several considerations in evaluating the best network management options, such as integration, interoperability, security management, and cost. Harders advises CIOs to contemplate future network strategies aligned with business objectives. He views the network as an opportunity for enterprises to unlock new revenue streams and explore areas like location services.

To modernize network management successfully, CIOs should ensure tight alignment between the network and overall business requirements by understanding business goals. Efficient approaches to the IT stack can be achieved by embracing cloud-driven compute, storage, and networking models.

In conclusion, organizations must adapt their network management practices to address the challenges posed by hybrid work environments. By leveraging advanced tools and technologies, CIOs can enhance network visibility, security, and operational efficiency while aligning the network with broader business objectives.

Source: FutureCIO (with some modifications)

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