IT modernisation series – Riverbed: Don’t leave ops in the dark

Unlike digital-first organisations, traditional businesses have a wealth of enterprise applications built up over decades, many of which continue to run core business processes. 

In this series of articles we investigate how organisations are approaching the modernisation, replatforming and migration of legacy applications and related data services. 

We look at the tools and technologies available encompassing aspects of change management and the use of APIs and containerisation (and more) to make legacy functionality and data available to cloud-native applications.

This post is written by Joe Bombagi in his role as director of solutions engineering, UK & Ireland at Riverbed Technology.

Bombagi writes as follows…

For businesses today there’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to their operating infrastructure. There are businesses operating on legacy systems, those that are cloud native and others that are navigating the transition from legacy to cloud-based systems and find themselves operating a hybrid infrastructure. 

[We would argue that] cloud has greater benefits than on-premises systems, with our own annual State of the Cloud Report for 2019 showing that 91 percent of businesses use public cloud and 72 percent use private ones. This is understandable if we compare the capacity, scalability and flexibility of the cloud computing model i.e. those operating on legacy systems face serious drawbacks such as poor security, lack of agility and high costs. All elements which have a negative impact on the end-user experience, hindering implementation time, productivity and innovation.

The business challenges cloud solves are undeniable, so it’s not surprising that cloud adoption plays a key role in many organisations’ IT modernisation to ensure the best future for the business. However, as enterprises either transition and integrate to a cloud-based system, or begin their journey into becoming cloud-native, they need to consider the impacts on the operating team as well as the end-user. 

Show some operations love

My message is simple: don’t leave your operation teams in the dark.

Enterprises can often overlook the effect that migrating to a cloud-based system can have on the operations team. In transitioning from legacy to a cloud-based system, operations teams can face a complete lack of visibility of their network. This in turn negatively affects both the performance and security of the network. However, they need to consider these impacts and the challenges the operations teams will face in order to be truly successful in their cloud implementation. Otherwise, operations staff will be left completely blind and lose the ability to successfully manage their network both during and after the adoption of a cloud-based system. 

A similar issue applies to enterprises that are cloud-native. Their operations teams won’t run into transition challenges, since the team is starting from a cloud-based system.

But by not going through the cloud migration experience, businesses often make the misguided assumption that all the tooling is already in place. This is opposed to considering what network infrastructure is required for visibility, monitoring, ensuring control and optimising performance. 

Regardless of a businesses’ operating infrastructure, if steps aren’t put in place for the operations team to ensure they maintain their visibility and control of the network, the end-user’s experience risks being compromised. This is important for any business, but in particular legal and financial institutions where an individual’s end-user experience directly relates to their productivity. 

Professionals in these fields are often under inordinate amounts of pressure to act quickly as well as deal with large-scale documents and relying heavily on their network to support this activity. If these files take too long to access, due to network inefficiencies, large amounts of time will be wasted. Cumulatively, this could result in fewer results being achieved, less productive staff and ultimately a reduction in revenue. As such, these sectors simply cannot afford to have disruptions or delays caused by insufficient cloud operations management. 

Right tools, right performance 

For true cloud implementation success and assurance that the future success of the company is safe, a business’ network and its performance cannot be compromised. It’s paramount that the infrastructure in place can give operations teams visibility and control across the network so they can effectively monitor cloud performance.

All businesses need a toolset that monitors the cloud infrastructure, investigates performance issues, and allows for seamless visibility across the network. 

With this in place, companies can then clearly understand what resources they have in the cloud, reduce overall network latency and understand the state of their end-users’ experiences. Using this insight, operation teams are then able to improve performance regardless of their system type.

Organisations also need to extend their capabilities to better manage and monitor their cloud applications. This is important, as it will ensure that businesses have as few performance issues as possible that could negatively impact the experience of the end-user. Crucially, it can also help operation teams identify the need for application accelerators which will ensure application performance and end-user experience is optimised. 

Ticking all the boxes

Cloud-based solutions are leading organisations IT modernisation across all industries and business leaders cannot afford to be unprepared.

To succeed, it’s vital for enterprises to adopt a proactive approach when it comes to their IT operations and ensure their teams are equipped to maintain full visibility over their network. With positive end-user experience guaranteed, businesses can successfully navigate their IT modernisation and drive the innovation and productivity needed to future proof their business.

Riverbed’s Bombagi: Good Ops is key to modernised cloud network health.

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Data Management