Know Your Network. Why Network Excellence is Key to Digital Era Success.

By Rick Aguirre Every business function across your entire company depends on network excellence. Cirries is passionate about network excellence because it is so central to success of our global economy and to the success of individual businesses in the digital era. The core need of digital business is connectivity.  People, devices, and machines are increasingly interworked every day. That means the multiple networks that link them all must continually adhere to expected performance standards, whether it’s in operating speed, reliability, or security. The term network excellence is inherently relative, but we can begin to define it by examining its stark contrast to drastic network underperformance. Few of us have not experienced aggravation (or much worse) – both as professionals and as consumers – caused by poor network quality. Pervasive Network Underperformance As online shoppers, we’ve visited websites that crash or work so slowly we give up and go elsewhere. As employees, we’ve struggled with critical business apps that time out at the most inopportune moments or with choppy video conferences that disrupt discourse or fail altogether. As company leaders, we’ve wrestled with escalating network operating costs and managerial demands associated with the network running nonstop. However, we know that the time and resources invested in maintaining the network are critically important to sustaining the business. The alternative can be devastatingly costly. Consider the findings of LogicMonitor’s 2019 IT Outage Impact Study. LogicMonitor surveyed IT executive management in 300 enterprises of 2,500 employees or larger in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Among the study’s key findings, 80 percent of those polled said network performance and availability are important concerns. Over the past three years, 96 percent reported at least one network outage, meaning when services or systems their business relies on suddenly become unavailable. A brownout occurs when services and systems are still available but slow down. Ninety-five percent of organizations polled had experienced a brownout during the same three-year timeframe. Consequences of Network Underperformance Network performance shortfalls come with a hefty price tag. Tech Research Asia, for example, found that Australian organizations lost an average of 71 hours per employee to poor network connectivity. Those poorly performing business apps or video conference snafus waste employee time and deplete morale. Gartner found in 2014 that the average cost of network downtime or other problems was $5,600 per minute, or more than US$300,000 per hour. It’s certain that in 2020, average downtime cost has since grown considerably.  Need a current quote LogicMonitor’s IT executives said frequent network outages or brownouts resulted in up to 16 times higher costs, required twice the number of team members to troubleshoot problems, and needed twice as long to solve problems as businesses with better performing, more reliable networks. Then there are the less calculable costs of lost sales or hits to a company’s reputation. Network quality of service (QoS) is responsible for 40 percent of all customer churn, according to Analysis Mason Inc. On many occasions airlines have forgone the revenue of hundreds, if not thousands, of passengers because its reservation system went dark. Network performance issues can also manifest as vulnerabilities that may result in theft of valuable personal data, intellectual property, or trade secrets. Organizations have an opportunity to implement proactive measures to prevent network performance issues, but planning and implementing these measures requires a mechanism for maintaining network awareness – and an appreciation for what is at stake. Network Excellence in a Nutshell Achieving network excellence helps your company avoid these hazards and helps pave the way to prosperity in the digital era. Network excellence is the goal of every service provider and every enterprise, and it is attainable with the right technology in place. Those who do not know their networks cannot possibly achieve network excellence. They cannot keep their networks secure or hope to gain critical insights from the data traversing their network. For the consumer.  Network excellence provides a quick and smooth online buying experience. Your website loads quickly and transactions complete reliably and securely, increasing the likelihood of customer retention and loyalty. For businesses.  Network excellence sustains employee productivity with fast and reliable application performance, and it allows for better communication via during teleconferences that come off without a hitch. Network excellence keeps the tsunami of data flowing across the network and all its attached devices secure. How do businesses and services providers get to know their networks? By monitoring and analyzing the massive stream of data flowing over today’s voice-data-multimedia networks to rapidly discern trends and anomalies that require attention. We will dive deep into that topic in a future post.  Stay tuned.