Why IT Pros Need Mapmaking Skills
by May 10, 2017

Filed under: Cloud Computing, Performance Monitoring

A recent survey found that 85% of enterprise decision makers feel they have just two years to execute digital transformation before they start falling behind the competition. And who do you think they’ll turn to for support in this endeavor? The IT department, of course.

Because the cloud is such a critical component of digital transformation, you’ll need to develop a certain level of cloud expertise to help drive your business forward. But the evolution of IT goes beyond the need for a cloud-focused skill set.

Modern IT pros need to be infrastructure mapmakers, too.

What Is IT Infrastructure Mapping?

You’ve probably made a map or two in the past. Every enterprise IT department needs a diagram of its server infrastructure. However, these diagrams might have consisted of fairly simple elements and a limited number of connections.

With 65% of IT assets moving off site in some way by 2018, infrastructure mapping is becoming much more complicated.

Distributed enterprises are relying on SaaS, PaaS and IaaS, adopting hybrid cloud strategies, and managing growing multicloud environments. Modern IT infrastructure mapping gives an inventory of all resources (regardless of where they’re hosted) and details the relationships and dependencies among your networking components.

IT pros must be capable of creating clear visualizations of clients, remote servers, on-premises equipment and cloud-based services.

Your first instinct might be to purchase a tool that will do all of this for you. However, relying on tools alone is what leads to C-level mistrust of IT and growing reliance on cloud brokers. Recognizing the value of infrastructure mapmaking skills can help any IT leader solidify a position as the go-to resource for cloud migration and management.

Infrastructure Mapping Makes IT Life Easier 

Even if you use a tool to map your distributed IT infrastructure, you can deliver value by recognizing potential problem areas within the network—especially as you help the business introduce more cloud services and infrastructure components to support digital transformation.

The more you mix legacy and on-prem infrastructure with more agile cloud services, the more dependencies you’ll create throughout the network. This means you can’t make changes to one server without impacting other services. And if you aren’t clear on the details of your infrastructure map, you risk creating disruptions across the business that impact end-user experience and productivity.

Instead, you want to become an infrastructure mapmaking expert who can look at a condensed roadmap of the distributed network and immediately spot bottlenecks in upstream and downstream connectivity. This skill doesn’t just make the business more agile—it makes troubleshooting easier for your entire IT staff.

How many times have you received help desk tickets from employees complaining about application performance problems? You spend days hunting for the root cause of the tricky ghost issue because you have so many areas to examine.

Taking the time to create a detailed infrastructure map will help you narrow the scope of your search and ultimately reduce the time to troubleshoot end-user experience problems. It can also go a long way toward rebuilding trust with business leaders and establishing yourself (and the rest of the IT department) as a valuable asset in digital transformation.

If you want to learn more about what it takes to streamline network management and maintenance in a distributed enterprise, download our free white paper, How to Solve the Top IT Issues at Remote Locations.