Frank Williams, CEO Statseeker, chats with us about network visibility and the correct mindset to approach connectivity. Take a look…
Smart Industry: Why is it critical to make your network visible in the modern era?
Frank: You can’t manage or effectively troubleshoot what you can’t see. Network monitoring is the only solution. It’s as simple as this.
Smart Industry: Why will the next few years will be challenging for network-administration professionals?
Frank: There are a number of dynamics at play that will challenge network admins and senior business managers in the next few years. To gain maximum value of the connectivity-of-everything, there must be a complete convergence of the current IT/OT best practices and thinking. While recognizing each has its own primary mission, common ground must be established to align and drive business value. Underpinning this challenge is the basic misalignment of fast advances in IT technology with an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality on the OT side of networks. Additionally, OT (manufacturing) skill sets and application knowledge are being lost as established professionals retire.
Smart Industry: What is encouraging for these professional with the dawn of IIoT, big data, cloud capabilities, etc.?
Frank: What should be encouraging is the advancement of technology that inserts greater ‘smarts’ into devices that can self-organize and, in some instances, self-heal. New cybersecurity detection and prevention software that learns how and when to neutralize cybersecurity threats based on how you set your network dynamics.
Smart Industry: Are networking professionals keeping up with the evolution of industry?
Frank: Networking professionals on the IT (enterprise) side of things are keeping pace and helping to drive everything from democratizing of network HW, virtualizing networks for greater agility and faster expansion, and increased vigilance on cybersecurity best practices, standards and procedure deployment. The OT (operation/manufacturing) side of the network equation is just emerging. They are starting to deal with network challenges that the IT side of the coin has already dealt with for the past 10+ years. Converging the IT/OT resources will go a long way in making the connectivity-of-things (from sensor to boardroom) more of a reality.
Smart Industry: What is the future of connectivity?
Frank: Network folks, senior managers and owners shouldn’t be fooled. Connectivity is not about technology. It is about transforming the way you do business in a more competitive and global market. It’s about cost-effectively connecting your business data into revenue-generating information that delivers increased stakeholder value.
To this end, networks will continue to expand. Big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), etc. all play into the accelerated growth of the connectivity-of-all-things. In fact, there are a variety of market reports available on the growth of networks, but according to Gartner, the IoT, a main market driver for connecting things, will grow to 26 billion units installed in 2020, representing an almost 30-fold increase from 0.9 billion in 2009.
There is an old adage that should ring true for alert network managers—you can’t manage what you can’t see. Network engineers and managers that choose network-monitoring technology wisely and find ways to provide consistent peak network performance that align with their organization’s business goals (and do so, while containing CAPEX and OPEX expenditures) will be highly rewarded.