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Blog · 07 Jan 2021

Why enterprises must prioritise end-to-end visibility in today’s digital environment

Problems with external internet or software solutions can be catastrophic and hard to identify if you can’t get visibility over what you don’t own.

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Senior manager managed network services, BT

I was talking to a global company the other day that was in the middle of a priority one incident. Their SAP had dropped out and they’d been without it for over 48 hours.

It was crippling their logistics and ordering systems, but they had no way of identifying the root cause of the problem. Classic monitoring techniques had failed them because they didn’t give the visibility the company needed. They were helpless, not knowing where the fault lay. Was it with the software supplier, the cloud provider, or one of a multitude of other possibilities, ranging from the firewall to the MPLS? A lack of end-to-end visibility was crippling the business.

So how have we got to this point?

Business growth involves building in unintended blind spots

For most companies, taking their business digital means a big increase in the use of external internet networks and significant growth in their ecosystem of providers. By 2022 it’s anticipated that internet video will represent 82% of all business internet traffic, VR and AR traffic will increase twelvefold and internet video surveillance traffic will increase sevenfold. [1] Suddenly, businesses have a lot of traffic that uses public internet connections, which are beyond their zone of control – and this can cause problems.

The massive shift to homeworking is making this situation worse. Businesses are adding in software as-a-service solutions as a quick, easy and efficient way to give employees the capabilities they need. This means that, almost overnight, their company structure is changing, and public internet connections and a variety of software providers have become more critical to business success. Without meaning to, businesses have built significant blind spots into their operations because they have no visibility over the external internet or into the software solutions themselves.

It’s a similar story with the move to SD-WAN technology. The internet is critical as the underlay to SD-WAN, so enterprises need to understand what’s happening during internet transit. But, again, they just don’t have that visibility, and this can have a serious impact on application delivery. This could be why over 74% of IT leaders expressed concerns around their confidence in their current IT teams’ ability to manage cloud networking solutions. [2] To a large extent, they’re working blind.

Visibility is critical for enterprises today

Organisations need to understand the fabric of the communications and data that’s flowing through their business so they can identify areas where the fabric’s not as strong as it should be and fix the issues.

The starting point for a digitised business must be a clear benchmark position of how applications and networks are performing. Only from that point can you pick up the variations that can signal issues. And for this to work, you need end-to-end visibility with a granularity of detail that can identify problems. 

And the more global your business, the more complex your systems, the more value you’ll get from that total visibility.

Eyes wherever you need them

We’ve recently added the market leading ThousandEyes solution to our portfolio, a cloud and Internet visibility platform that gives you an end-to-end view across all the networks and services that impact your business.

ThousandEyes has invested in vantage points in more than 200 cities around the world to deliver coverage that’s as wide and as deep as possible, giving the granularity necessary to get to the root cause of problems quickly.

We’ve chosen to bring ThousandEyes into our portfolio because it’s now part of our partner, Cisco.

To find out more about how we can incorporate ThousandEyes into the services we provide for your business, get in touch with your account manager.

[1] https://www.cisco.com/c/m/en_us/solutions/enterprise-networks/networking-report.html

[2] https://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/solutions/collateral/enterprise-networks/digital-network-architecture/global-nw-trends-survey.pdf

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