Digital transformation and the role of network visibility
Nearly eight in 10 companies in the U.S. are in the process of undergoing a digital transformation (DX) and worldwide, DX spending is predicted to reach nearly $2 trillion in 2022, according to IDC. When enterprises digitally transform, IT environments morph and security demands change in parallel. Today it couldn’t be more critical to see and understand the current network environment before and while embarking on a DX re-architecture. Here’s why visibility is key.
Remodeling an enterprise network is like re-architecting a house. You wouldn’t start freehand without first understanding the landscape, the existing structure, the goal of the remodel, and all of the potential expenses that could arise. You need to have a sound foundation before you build your walls, otherwise, your decisions could cost a substantial amount of capital in repairs and rebuilding when the house eventually falters.
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The same premise holds true in the enterprise network sense. Organizations need visibility before they can understand how everything in their infrastructure works, what needs to be upgraded, and what needs to be changed. Having a clear line of sight into the organization’s network and application layers (whether the apps are on-premise or cloud-enabled) plays an important role in supporting the digital transformation process in the following three ways:
1. Highlighting interdependencies
DX involves investing in new technology. But many organizations struggle to keep pace with their constantly evolving and complex environments, while grappling with complete visibility across the digital enterprise. The network is the one pervasive resource that reaches everywhere and can provide ultimate visibility.
When enterprises have a better eye on what is happening within their network, they are able to see how systems operate together and where interdependencies exist. Network visibility also provides rich insights on traffic patterns (both cloud and on-premise), bottlenecks (delays in data flow), and insecure areas. Like remodeling a house, all of this intel can then be used to inform the blueprint (or plan) designed to support a robust and secure digital infrastructure.
2. Balancing speed and security
In today’s digital world, users, applications, and devices continue to grow exponentially, resulting in a data explosion. In fact, by 2020, about 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second for every human being on the planet. This increase in data volume paired with digital transformation technology investments and lightning fast 5G and 100 gigabit networks, has led to a very complex enterprise infrastructure setup.
Meanwhile, the dangers of cybercrime are simultaneously escalating. Data breaches have increased by 75 percent since 2016; and this is despite a massive and growing investment in cyber security software, which is expected to reach a quarter of a trillion dollars by 2023.
The influx of data, the speed of networks and the increase in threats is the perfect storm for organizations. Steering through it requires network visibility that spans the entire distributed digital infrastructure, as well as having access to network data to ensure visibility for all security and performance tools. Specifically, organizations need reliable access to data in motion to tap into traffic across cloud and on-premise infrastructure and traffic flowing across 5G and 100GB networks. This type of pervasive visibility allows enterprises to keep up with the speed at which networks and businesses run, as well as with security demands.
3. Preventing blind spots in the cloud
Digital transformation increases application complexity in the enterprise. These applications can operate on-premise, in the cloud, or both as the network evolves beyond the physical environment, becoming virtual, and moving into the cloud.
It is critical that organizations have a clear vantage point from which to view and understand the interaction, performance, and security characteristics of these applications. The visibility must stretch across on-premise, private, public and multi-cloud environments because, as the saying goes, ‘if you can’t see it, you can’t secure it.’
Whether it’s preventing blind spots in the cloud, balancing speed and security, and/or highlighting infrastructure interdependencies; having visibility into the organization’s network and application layers is crucial for guiding digital transformation efforts, reducing risks, costs and complexity along the way. Remember, the first step in any remodeling project, whether it’s renovating a home or future-proofing a digital enterprise, is harnessing the power to see.
Shane Buckley, COO and President of Gigamon
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