Marriages Are Back On The Agenda – Even In IT

Ah – the return of “normality” in the UK – i.e., people are still getting ill but the government admits it doesn’t care any longer, other than by increasing taxes…

But enough of the pseudo-politics, we’re talking about the getting together of people, in person, not via Zoom (though many other products are available, not that the general public appear to know that video conferencing has been available since the ‘80) and that includes the much vaunted “islands of IT”. Or, at least, that’s the plan.

As an inevitable result of the “bolt-on” approach IT has taken post “mainframe domination” era, after a given amount of time, and an increasingly cloudy scenario, the visibility between different IT camps inevitably becomes somewhat gloomy. This translates, within a company, to simply not knowing what applications, devices and even users are on their network. Or how they are behaving. Or, indeed, where their extended network actually is. This immediately presents two obvious dangers: potential performance nosedives and security vulnerabilities – on a seemingly invisible network (I once tested a product of said name, for the record – it didn’t exactly beat up Novell and Microsoft at the time).

Meantime, the much-documented ‘islands’ of technology and resource within IT appear to have been both increasing in number and drifting further apart, resulting in an even bigger void in terms of visibility and understanding of the network, how to manage it, optimise it and secure it. It is human nature to opt for the “looking after ourselves” prioritisation, and so this applies to the likes of Netops, Secops and – especially – Devops (sorry developers, but you know who you are). The result is a lack of communication, duplication of effort and a lack of synchronisation. If that doesn’t get the red alert signs flashing, then nothing will.

I’ve spent decades testing products and services in all these areas and the simple reality is that combinations such as network performance and security do not work in isolation but, instead, directly impact on each other. Additionally, the landscape of IT – network topologies – are changing out of all recognition. A constant fear for companies currently is an inability to manage what appears to be a dramatic infrastructure change. Who exactly IS in charge of WHAT?

Suffice to say, this is a scenario in need of serious attention. The whole WFH/WFA initiative (finally) brought on by the pandemic, is making networks and users even harder to control, both from a performance and security perspective. But it’s not as trivial as the CTO and COO saying – “come on Netops and Secops, speak to each other” – they need the right tools to work with. Hence, I’ve been looking into this situation with longstanding (and occasionally sitting and lying down) client Kemp Technologies, who – with its relatively recent acquisition of Flowmon – is looking to provide the path to the alter for the two parties.

A resulting report – “Kemp Flowmon: Uniting Netops And Secops” is about to be released, so in the following blog I’ll send a link and an overview. This is proper, serious stuff to be concerned about, post-fallout of the pandemic impact, with the cybersecurity villains already ordering their superyachts and users by the boatload losing patience with their application experience and applying for HGV licenses instead to resolve the ongoing distribution crisis in the UK through staff shortages. You heard it here first…


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