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Report: 24% of companies lack critical network visibility
by Paul Davenport Paul Davenport on

As recent events have made extremely clear, enterprise IT teams need better insight into network activity to understand the impact of bad actors. But a recent poll of business leaders found that roughly a quarter of all companies have low (if any) internal or external network visibility.

The research from Positive Technologies found that 24 percent of companies rated their internal network visibility as low, while 26 percent similarly view their external network visibility as cloudy. At the same time, only 28 percent of those polled had high internal network visibility and 24 percent had the same praise for insight into their external traffic.

Breaking it down by industry and sector, the visibility gap only becomes more glaring.

IT and financial companies, who are by design on the cutting edge of observability (not to mention legally beholden to following industry-standard protocols for data protection) fare the best in this report, with 42 percent and 38 percent claiming respectively to have high external network visibility.

Industrial companies, on the other hand, lag the most in owning visibility into their internal and external connections, with 52 percent (ie. more than half) ranking their insight into internal traffic as low, while external visibility remains hazy for 36 percent of industrial organizations.

This gap in visibility is especially concerning on the industrial side of things as manufacturers have been ramping up the use of connected technologies to synchronize their increasingly tech-dependant operations. Comprehensive network visibility will be essential to ensuring today’s manufacturers successfully reap the benefits of Industry 4.0 (aka The Next Industrial Revolution), which will call for more remote operations and a greater reliance on Industrial IoT to stay competitive.

If industrial businesses don’t have a clear understanding of more than half the traffic traversing their internal networks today, they’ll be way behind the ball when it comes to successfully deploying and operating essential new technologies in the very near future.

Pushing off digital transformation becoming a time and money drain

It was recently reported that a lack of visibility into network traffic is potentially even more chronic and growing as enterprises become increasingly reliant on SaaS solutions to keep their employees connected.

When it comes to understanding how users actually leverage their SaaS tools, 97 percent of IT executives admit that they lack complete visibility, largely a side-effect of the fact that most enterprise IT teams are taking a reactive approach to collecting user data.

What’s most jarring about these insights from the recently published 2020 The State of SaaS Management report from Productiv is that 94 percent of execs polled will readily admit that their current reactive posture — ie. manual spreadsheets and notifications — puts them at risk.

It poses the larger questions: Why are teams still working with legacy systems and workflows that only create more work, especially if it puts them at a major disadvantage and robs them of critical visibility into end-user experience?

As has become clear over the course of the pandemic, by and large, enterprises either embraced wide-scale cloud adoption and network transformation or resisted change fearing it would only cause more disruption during an already tumultuous period for the businesses. But fearing change has proven costly, as recent reports found that business invested upwards of $26 trillion into maintaining and operating existing IT systems since 2010, only for many to have their investments fail them when legacy solutions couldn’t meet the performance standards of a highly-decentralized, quarantined workforce.

But the real impact is on end-user experience and performance: Workers need to access network resources from anytime and anywhere, and when they aren’t tethered to connectivity that’s centralized around a head office, they become more agile in actually doing their work and leveraging their business toolkit.

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Filed Under: industry insights

Tags: IIoT, iot, industry 4.0, network operations, IT, visibility, observability, external network, internal network, network visibility, enterprise IT, enterprise network IT, enterprise network, network performance monitoring, network management, network monitoring

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