5 Questions to Ask if You’re Considering a Platform Approach to Network Management

March 14 - 2024

Few things are more foundational to your technology and overall business than your network. If you’re like most businesses, you have also had to rapidly adjust to support remote work, hybrid work, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) programs, and the ever-growing volume of new connections. So, while exciting technologies like generative AI and IoT are going to continue to grab attention and focus this year, 2024 is also going to be the year for revisiting your network management and evaluating it for opportunities to optimize it, better secure it, and even make it simpler for IT to manage.  

We’ll walk you through a few key questions to ask as you begin this evaluation process and start to consider the new options for cloud networking management, like a platform approach. 

How Does a Network Outage Impact Your Business? 

We live in a connected world and these connections are simply expected to work, work fast, and work seamlessly—no matter where you are. Which is why when you’re considering your network management system, it’s worthwhile to consider how exactly an outage impacts your business. How quickly have you been able to get back up and running in past outage events? How have your customers been affected? What about employees? If your work environment utilizes hybrid or remote work, was the business shut down completely until the connection was restored? Were employees able to access the files, information, and tools they needed?  
Network outages and issues do still happen, so if they make a major impact on your business, it’s one scenario where it’s helpful to be in partnership with a provider who emphasizes customer service, responsiveness, and quick turnaround times for issue resolution.  

What Does Your Business’s Hybrid or Modern Workspace Look Like? 

What does a modern work environment look like for your business? What changes do you anticipate in staff working preferences in the coming years? Will you easily be able to adapt to unexpected changes? In 2024, the dust following the pandemic’s shakeup has settled a bit but we can likely all agree that the nature of work has changed. Tools and technologies exist to empower your employees to do their best work, where, when, and how they prefer.  

But perhaps your network was cobbled together during the pandemic and could use a revisit to evaluate, streamline, and restructure it. Not to mention, tighten up security.  

Also worth considering is the scalability of your network. It should be simple to add or subtract branch offices, devices, home offices, etc. If the pandemic taught us one thing, it’s to expect challenges and change—and double down on resilience.  

How is Your Current Network Management Impacting Your IT Team? 

Let's face it; hybrid networks are complex. How much time does it take your IT team to manage all the moving pieces?  

  • Is IT still physically traveling to branch locations to configure and manage devices? Is this ok, or would it improve efficiency and reduce labor enough to justify remote management capabilities?  

  • How much time is IT spending troubleshooting network issues, and is it cumbersome to manage across different dashboards? Would it be valuable to be able to access and respond to everything from a single plane of glass?  

  • How much time would the ability to automate device configuration save your staff? What if this process was simple, secure, and replicable?  

Gartner research found that automation can reduce up to 95% of employees’ time spent on housekeeping tasks such as network troubleshooting, freeing up your team's ability to focus on more proactive and strategic tasks. This alone makes it worthwhile to investigate cloud-first network management with automation capabilities—so you can remotely monitor, manage, and even deploy, plus automate tasks like maintenance at times when network activity is low, minimizing its impact on your employees and customers alike. 

Which Compliance Regulations are You Beholden to? 

From HIPPA to the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), regulatory measures exist to keep customer and consumer information protected and require you to maintain operational processes and procedures as well as security layers built into each part of your network.  

With the attack surface only continuing to expand and cybercriminals getting more sophisticated, compliance mandates are ever-evolving to keep up. And technology leaders are more than aware—Gartner research indicates that 80% of CIOs plan to increase their spending on cybersecurity and information security in 2024. Which means security is a high, if not the highest, priority to consider when selecting a network management platform. What enhanced security measures do they provide, and how can they help support your already stretched IT team when it comes to maintaining compliance and keeping your systems secure? 

How Do Integrations Work with Your Current Network? 

For many of us, 2024 will be a year to restructure and lean out infrastructure. Not only is this an opportunity to streamline costs and operations, reducing redundancies, but it’s also a time to build in cohesion. While there are many merits and advantages to a decentralized network, as it grows more complex, it can also get harder to integrate and manage, especially if you’re cobbling together a system of multiple products from various suppliers. 

This feedback is one of the key reasons Cisco Meraki sought to build a cloud-first platform for network management—including an open API that allows for an ecosystem and community of partners including software developers, system integrators, and more, to build their solutions directly on top of it. With IT teams lean and stretched as it is, this kind of platform is designed to help you meet your needs quickly, within your system. 

Restructuring Your Network isn't as Daunting as it Sounds  

We’ve developed a guide which lays out the many advantages of a cloud-first platform approach and the considerations you must keep in mind when refreshing your infrastructure. Compugen Systems Inc. is here to help you in this process.   

The IT Manager's Guide to Understanding the Cloud-First Platform Approach to Network Management; Download Now:

Topics: Cloud, Enterprise Networking, Cisco

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