Amid the pandemic-driven shift toward hybrid work, end-user experience is the top key performance indicator (KPI) for various IT projects, from delivery strategies and cloud monitoring objectives to budget considerations, according to Viavi Solutions’ annual State of the Network report.
Seven out of 10 survey respondents considered understanding end-user experience as “very important”, with three of out of 10 saying it was “somewhat important”—more than any of the packet, flow or active-test-based metrics, Viavi noted. While end-user experience is considered paramount, it’s getting even more difficult to assess, because rather than workers gathered in central locations, many of them are now scattered across home networks.
“Hybrid work is here to stay, and most of the NetOps pros I talk to are still trying to figure out the best way to get visibility into home office environments,” wrote Shamus McGillicuddy, VP of research at Enterprise Management Associates, in the introduction to the report. “Too many of them are relying on remote desktop access as a first line of defense, which simply won’t scale.”
The global survey has been going on for 15 consecutive years; this year’s version is compiled from more than 300 responses from professionals in network, security and development operations.
Among the key takeaways from the 2023 State of the Network report:
-Visibility is an issue that is far from solved, despite years and billions of dollars being spent on it. Root cause analysis was the top challenge reported by respondents—as it has been in 14 of the past 15 years, Viavi noted.
-The pandemic and post-pandemic world has seen a surge of real-time video and collaboration apps, with nearly 95% of enterprises seeing an increase in traffic from real-time communications apps. This is being reflected in enterprise network builds: Network architects are “building the next generation of on-premises office networks with this in mind, ensuring their Wi-Fi can handle the expected high-density, real-time app usage loads,” the report says.
-Moving to the cloud has been both a success and a challenge. Seventy percent of respondents said that more than half of their applications and services and hosted in the cloud, and 80% of network managers said that savings from cloud modernization exceeded expectations; 83% said that the benefits of cloud outweighed the costs. However, Viavi pointed out in the report that of the top five visibility challenges that respondents called out, four were tied to cloud or off-premises assets.
More details and insights from the report available here