CIO Guidance for Addressing Increased Risk from Remote NetOps & Application Teams
The COVID-19 pandemic has driven companies the world over to take precautionary measures such as travel bans and enforcing work-from-home policies for employees. But the restrictions are directed at people, not business itself. Most enterprises are digital, offering web-based applications and services to both employees and customers. As long as the applications work well, it’s business as usual.
But how can CIOs ensure business continuity is kept up and applications are up and running, when the employees responsible for the above tasks cannot show up for work?
Before we tackle the question of business continuity, let’s discuss the factors that contribute to it, and can possibly disrupt it, by taking into account the current scenario.
The restrictions on travel have led to many people increasingly taking even those activities that they generally do offline, online. As a result, applications are seeing a spike in traffic. To ensure users don’t experience slowness or unavailability issues when accessing applications, the underlying network infrastructure needs to be managed efficiently. Keeping applications up and running smoothly involves several coordinated operations on the network side, such as monitoring and managing traffic, deploying critical updates, troubleshooting anomalies, ensuring application security, etc. – all of which require the network engineer’s presence on-site.
Apart from keeping the existing applications in good health, there’s also the ever-present need to churn out new applications and services, which is another contributor to business continuity. Not keeping the new releases going can result in services going stale, and the enterprise revenue takes a hit. Application delivery is a function that entails close collaboration between the application owners and the network teams. Deploying a new application requires a myriad of configuration changes to be done on the network, and application teams need to work with the network team to make sure their applications reach the end-user without a hitch.
With the NetOps and application teams rendered immobile, who can take up the task of guaranteeing business continuity?
The idea is simple enough; automating, or better yet, orchestrating IT and network processes removes the need for extensive human intervention. Application-centric network operations are taken care of by the intuitive automation tool, so the applications can stay up and available at all times, regardless of whether the engineers are present and working. This way, the CIOs can rest assured that the desired results are delivered and business continuity is kept up, while at the same time giving due importance to employee safety by allowing them to work remotely.
But naturally, no stakeholder would be willing to relinquish complete control over the network – the enterprise IT’s most critical component – to software. An ideal proposition in this scenario would be one where NetOps teams can remotely keep tabs on the network operations that the software automates, by looking at performance dashboards and receiving alerts. If NetOps gets alerted of a potential issue brewing in the network that cannot be solved by the automation software, they should be able to remedy the issue remotely.
Finally, the automation software should allow for a good degree of collaboration between the application owners and network teams, and also greater control of application-centric network processes to the application owners, especially where application delivery and traffic management are concerned. This is possible if the software has self-servicing capabilities, where application owners can provision certain workflows themselves without relying heavily on network teams (since they’ll all be working from their respective homes) and integrates with third-party ITSM and ChatOps tools to support collaboration.
The enterprise therefore need not compromise on productivity, and can seamlessly deliver applications and services even while working remotely, further augmenting to business continuity.
Wondering where you can find an automation tool that lets you do all of the above? AppViewX ADC+ is one such intuitive network automation and orchestration platform that helps enterprises maintain their business continuity, even under sudden, unforeseen, and calamitous circumstances.
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