IT visibility: would you drive without switching your lights on?

We would never deliberately drive at night without our headlights on.

It would make no sense to top up oil and fuel levels, pump our tires, clean and valet throughout…and then deliberately set off in the dark without a way to see ahead. There are clearly too many risks to us and to others.

And yet, if we’re being completely honest, it’s the kind of risk that many organizations take every day in their digital environment and its evolution, due to highly dynamic, distributed, virtualized and externalized infrastructure that is growing increasingly complex and opaque without performance understanding.

The huge eco-system of networks, cloud service providers, and software-as-a-service (SaaS) vendors on which businesses increasingly depend is a fantastic asset. It’s empowering connection and collaboration like never before and opening up virtually limitless possibilities for innovation. But the more complex and distributed that eco-system becomes, the harder it is to gain vital functional and performance visibility, and therefore, control.

Not being able to see the dangers ahead leaves businesses exposed, putting their user experience (UX) and productivity at risk and potentially hampering their ability to meet the needs of increasingly demanding customers. And enterprises know this. According to Dimensional Research, 95% of those surveyed said visibility problems caused them to experience application or network performance issues.

The traditional way forward

To “switch the lights on” and gain visibility, the traditional approach is to use Network Performance Management (NPM) tools in order to monitor the performance and quality of service of each network component. However, while these have their place, the proliferation of network elements has resulted in a similar proliferation of NPM tools. In fact, research suggests that organizations have anywhere from three to six NPM tools running concurrently.

The challenge with this is that simply having more visibility tools doesn’t necessarily deliver comprehensive insight. As organizations embrace multiple clouds, retain some on-premises IT, add remote working capabilities, and deliver SaaS applications across large distances, adding new NPM tools offers patches of visibility – but it also introduces blind spots.

That’s like having car headlights that only work on certain roads…or which switch off just as you're about to leave one highway and join another. Arguably, those locations are precisely where you need good visibility the most!

Shining a light on performance

To get the comprehensive network, application and end-user experience insight that will genuinely reduce your risk, you need an equally comprehensive approach to visibility. And that's exactly what Orange Business Services can provide, in partnership with visibility and performance experts Riverbed.

Visibility-as-a-service (VaaS) protects you from the dangers you can’t see, providing the visibility, actionable insights, and ongoing monitoring and support you need to optimize your digital experiences across your network, including SD-WAN, SaaS applications and all clouds including public clouds such as Microsoft Azure. Delivered as a managed service, it’s enhanced by Riverbed’s industry-leading network and application performance monitoring technology, which is easily deployed as SaaS or on-premises. And, with Riverbed providing both visibility and application acceleration, you can reduce the number of tools needed to provide unified visibility from the network all the way to the user device, saving time, money and resources.

From understanding where user performance issues are to improving digital performance and end user experience through WAN optimization and application acceleration, VaaS from Orange Business Services empowers you to get the answers you need faster, to stop any issues from becoming problematic, protect your users’ digital experiences and reduce costly downtime. And through our consultancy and ongoing support, your IT teams are freed up to make focused decisions, while business teams can re-think the possible through enhanced digital experiences and innovation.

Can you see the road ahead?

The question is, where does your business stand now – and what should you do next?

To help you explore this, we’ve developed a quick, online self-assessment tool which allows you to identify your organization’s current status and attitudes towards network visibility and application performance management. It will help you to consider key questions and will offer a personalized report to support your next steps.

If you would like to discuss anything in this report or find out more about how our Visibility-as-a-Service and Enterprise Application Management solutions could improve your organization’s capabilities, please get in touch.

Pierre Merckx
Pierre Merckx

As Senior Product Manager at Orange Business Services, Pierre is in charge of the Visibility Services catalog. He currently leads strategy, innovation and product management around network and applications monitoring and user experience. Outside of work, Pierre likes theater, swimming, biking and travels.