February 16, 2016
Ideally, you can make your case for more IT budget and resources before a serious outage occurs. Tools that track network usage, peak usage, and business-related congestion can help make your case.
A thorough review of the forecasts and predictions for business in 2016 could be easily summarized as "cautiously optimistic". While most experts do believe that tech spending will increase marginally from quarter to quarter, perhaps at a pace that would bore and frustrate the average slug, there are serious fears concerning various factors in the world markets. China caused recent uproar when they shut down their stock exchange after just 30 minutes of trading, leading other major markets to take heart-stopping tumbles.
What on earth does this have to do with network performance? As it happens, a lot. Publically traded companies are loathe to spend even a dime if there is any way out of it, and private companies only consider expenditures that can be directly related to boosting profits. Rarely can the CIO or IT manager produce ironclad proof that more bandwidth or other networking investments will translate directly and immediately to a healthier bottom line unless there is a significant network outage that causes a serious loss of productivity and profits.
The Delicate Balancing Act of the Network Administrator
Armed with the right data, you can present your capacity issues to upper management and prove how bandwidth is necessary to prevent outages and provide an acceptable level of speed and performance.
At the same time, businesses have never been more dependent on their networks and systems to get work done. The average company is largely or solely dependent on their networks to do any work or to turn any profit. It's the classic catch 22 -- you absolutely must provide high performance and high speeds to users and eliminate outages, but you absolutely cannot spend more to get it done. In the era of mobile, no matter how much the network administrator is able to tweak and rig things, capacity always manages to expand to gobble up resources. Throwing more bandwidth at the problem is not always possible.
Making the Case for More IT Resources
In order to make a case for investing in additional bandwidth, you have to demonstrate actual congestion and prove that the congestion is business related (in other words, not caused by users posting to Facebook, Instagraming their lunch photos, and watching Star Wars trailers on YouTube). You need to be able to identify peak use and develop long-range views of network capacity, usage, and expected problems due to network congestion, and relate all of this to expensive and frustrating network outages.
What factors affect the traffic on your network? How can you build your airtight case that network congestion is due directly to critical business usage and providing more bandwidth will actually deliver a solid ROI? Capacity planning, like most endeavors, requires the right tools.
Visual TrueView is a tool that allows you to monitor the WAN usage across the entire network. It works even if you do not have NetFlow exporting from each site. With Visual TrueView, you can monitor and report accurately on network use and congestion, and conduct the facts-based capacity planning that actually garners attention in the C-suite. It is possible to both improve the performance of your network and construct your case for more IT resources to meet growing capacity demands. Learn more in The Business Value of Performance Management whitepaper.