Network Instruments, a provider of network and application performance monitoring, released its Fifth Annual State of the Network Global Study today. The results suggest a potential management storm as IT teams face significant monitoring challenges from multiple forms of cloud computing, as well as substantially increased bandwidth demands.
Moving apps to the cloud: 60% anticipate half of their apps will run in the cloud within 12 months
Video is mainstream: 70% will implement video conferencing within a year
Bandwidth demand driven by video: 25% expect video will consume half of all bandwidth in 12 months
Chief application challenge: 83% were most challenged by identifying the problem source
Increased bandwidth demands: 33% expect bandwidth consumption to increase by more than 50% in next two years.
While the number of organizations embracing cloud (60%) remains steady compared to last year’s study results, the number of implementations per organization is growing. Most notably were Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and private cloud deployments -- which grew by 10% over the last year. On average, respondents expected one-third of their applications to be running in the cloud within 12 months.
Seventy-four percent of respondents indicated their chief concern about cloud migration was ensuring corporate data security. The number is nearly double that of last year, and may be the primary reason for slowing cloud adoption by new organizations. Other top concerns included lack of accurate end-user experience monitoring and the bandwidth impact of cloud services.
Although challenging from a monitoring and visibility perspective, one-third of organizations indicated application availability increased as a result of cloud migration.
After many false starts, enterprise video conferencing is now mainstream. Video conferencing has been implemented by 55%, with an expected 70% within a year. Nearly two-thirds of these organizations have implemented multiple deployments throughout their organization. These include standard conference rooms (75%), desktop PCs (63%), and telepresence systems (30%).
While video is clearly embraced, several cited challenges that could hinder wider adoption. Inadequate user knowledge and training was viewed as the largest concern in ensuring a positive video conference experience (53%). This was followed by difficulties allocating and monitoring bandwidth (47%), and a lack of tools to manage video performance (47%).
Further compounding these issues are the lack of standardized metrics to monitor video quality. Network professionals typically relied on a mix of metrics to assess quality, including latency (76%), packet loss (69%), and jitter (60%). Surprisingly, less than one in five use Video MOS, a metric specifically designed to determine video quality.
By the beginning of 2013, nearly one-quarter of respondents expect video to consume over half of their bandwidth.
Performance and Bandwidth Management
As applications become more complex and tiered, the ability to resolve service delivery issues grows. Eighty-three percent of respondents said the largest application troubleshooting challenge was identifying the problem source. Whereas, more than two-thirds of respondents predicted network traffic demands would increase by 25%-50% within two years.
Social CRM and Mobile Capabilities Boost Productivity by 26.4 Percent
A Nucleus Research survey of CRM decision makers found that organizations can significantly increase returns on their CRM investments by adding mobile and social capabilities, particularly for salespeople. Nucleus surveyed 223 CRM decision makers and found an average productivity gain of 14.6 percent from mobile capabilities and 11.8 percent from social CRM.
While salespeople have used mobile devices for some time, the 14.6 percent productivity increase seen in this report is driven by the development of custom, device-specific applications that take advantage of the form factors of individual devices. Vendors and consultants are increasingly delivering task-specific, role- and vertical-based views of mobile CRM data that make it easier for salespeople to go beyond updating their pipeline via their smart phone.
Nucleus has found that early adopters of social CRM have recognized clear benefits, such as increased visibility and productivity. The 11.8 percent productivity gain is high, and Nucleus expects adoption of social CRM, particularly by salespeople, to grow not just in real numbers, but also in frequency of activity as users become more aware of the technology’s capabilities and as vendors’ offerings mature.
Hybrid IT is transforming IT architectures and the role of IT itself, according to Gartner, Inc. Hybrid IT is the result of combining internal and external services, usually from a combination of internal and public clouds, in support of a business outcome.
Gartner analysts explained that hybrid IT relies on new technologies to connect clouds, sophisticated approaches to data classification and identity, and service-oriented architecture, and heralds significant change for IT practitioners.
Cloud computing's business model -- the ability to rapidly provision IT services without large capital expenditures -- is appealing to budget-minded executives. CEOs and CIOs are pressuring IT organizations to lower overhead by offloading services to cloud providers. However, when IT organizations investigate potential cloud services, the market's volatility reveals that not all cloud services are created equal.
For critical applications and data, IT organizations have not adopted public cloud computing as quickly. Many IT organizations discover that public cloud service providers (CSPs) cannot meet the security requirements, integrate with enterprise management, or guarantee availability necessary to host critical applications. Therefore, organizations continue to own and operate internal IT services that house critical applications and data.
However, the public cloud has affected internal customers. Because of the pervasive growth of public clouds, many business units and internal customers have used and grown accustomed to IT as a service and have built business processes and budget plans with cloud computing in mind. Now these internal customers are demanding that IT organizations build internal private clouds that not only house critical applications, but also provide a self-service, quickly provisioned, showback-based IT consumption model.
IT organizations are becoming the broker to a set of IT services that are hosted partially internally and partially externally -- hybrid IT architecture. By being the intermediary of IT services, IT organizations can offer internal customers the price, capacity and speed of provisioning of the external cloud while maintaining the security and governance the company requires, and reducing IT service costs.
This model of service delivery challenges both the longstanding practices of IT organizations and the business models of traditional IT vendors. Gartner expects that most organizations will maintain a core set of primary service providers (cloud and noncloud) extended by an ecosystem of edge providers who fulfill specific solution requirements.
IT Departments Scramble to Keep Pace with Mobility Growth
As mobile devices and applications extend the boundaries of the workplace, information technology (IT) departments must create new policies and procedures to keep the mobile enterprise accessible, available and secure, according to research released today by IT industry association CompTIA.
While PCs continue to be a major part of the corporate IT landscape, CompTIA's Trends in Enterprise Mobility study reveals that laptops, ultrabooks, smartphones and tablets are increasingly essential to day-to-day business in a "post-PC" environment. Smartphones are in place at more organizations than standard cell phones, and tablets are the top choice for purchase intent in the next year.
The CompTIA study also finds that 84 percent of those surveyed use their smartphone for light work such as email or web browsing. Individuals using tablets have an even wider range of uses, including note-taking, giving presentations and using their tablet as a communications device in lieu of a phone. As a result, IT departments are building new policies governing behavior in a mobile environment; and implementing support structures and applications.
Only 22 percent of companies in the CompTIA survey currently have a formal mobility policy. Another 20 percent were building policies at the time of the survey. These policies typically cover guidelines for mobile applications and corporate data, along with device guidelines.
Security considerations are the greatest risk involved in supporting mobility, at least in the view of 70 percent of IT staff surveyed for the CompTIA study. Among the challenges they face:
Downloading unauthorized apps, cited as a serious concern by 48 percent of respondents
Lost or stolen devices (42 percent)
Mobile-specific viruses and malware (41 percent)
Open Wi-Fi networks (41 percent)
USB flash drives (40 percent)
Personal use of business devices (40 percent)
These types of incidents and others have prompted organizations to take various security measures. Requiring passcodes, installing tracking software and encrypting data on the device are among the most common steps taken.
Survey Reveals Continued Reliance on Outdated Workforce Management Tools
Noble Systems Corporation, a global leader in unified contact center technology solutions, today announced the results of its latest survey of more than 400 North American contact center operations, revealing that almost two-thirds of respondents have yet to adopt a Workforce Management (WFM) software solution to schedule, monitor and report on agent activity.
According to industry analysts, labor can account for 70 percent or more of an average contact center’soperating budget. Moreover, agent volume flexibility, skill set designation and real-time reporting are critical components of top-tier customer service. Yet the survey results indicate that the adoption of modern WFM technology may be slower than some industry watchers had assumed.