VIAVI Solutions Inc. has released the results of its 13th annual State of the Network global study of enterprise networking and security challenges. The study shows that IT teams critically require better visibility into the network driven by a number of factors, including tremendous disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic, relentless technological advances, remote working reaching an all-time high and the expanding security threatscape. Indeed, 73 per cent of respondents said security professionals need comprehensive visibility into network infrastructure to enhance cybersecurity efforts and speed remediation.

During the global pandemic, infosec professionals are reporting a rise in cyberthreats. And as enterprises increase connectivity, networks are even more exposed to vulnerabilities. More than half of respondents (54 per cent) have already deployed IoT devices. While another 24 per cent of respondents plan to do so in the next 12 months, only 57 per cent of them have a mechanism in place to monitor those devices.

In an age of dynamic disruption, IT is increasingly challenged to maintain optimal service delivery, while implementing remote working at an unprecedented scale. It’s not surprising, then, that nearly 60 per cent of study respondents cite the need for greater visibility into remote user experiences. For the first time in 13 years of the State of the Network study, the top challenge for troubleshooting applications is the ability to understand end-user experience (nearly 47 per cent).

Commenting on the development, Charles Thompson, senior director, enterprise and Cloud, VIAVI, said, “As remote working becomes the new norm, IT teams are challenged to find and adapt technologies, such as flow-based reporting to manage bandwidth consumption, VPN oversubscription and troubleshooting applications. To guarantee the best performance and reduce cybersecurity threats, increasing network visibility is now a must for all businesses. By empowering NetOps, as well as application and security teams with network visibility, IT can mitigate the impact of disruptive migrations, incidents and new technologies like SD-WAN to achieve consistent operational excellence. This year’s State of the Network study clearly demonstrates an increasing awareness of this fact among all IT stakeholders.”

Key takeaways

  • A surge in remote users is challenging network and security teams, as evidenced by nearly 60 per cent seeking more visibility
  • Roughly three out of four respondents agree or strongly agree that SecOps teams need better visibility into network infrastructure to enhance cybersecurity efforts, suggesting that effective collaboration between NetOps and SecOps leads to stronger security posture and faster incident response
  • The top troubleshooting challenge that IT network teams now face is understanding end-user experience (nearly 47 per cent)
  • Among organizations of all sizes, the most used KPI for assessing end-user experience is packet-based metrics (45 per cent) followed closely by user-satisfaction metrics (41 per cent)
  • More than half of survey respondents (54 per cent) have already deployed IoT devices, yet only 57 per cent of those have a mechanism in place to monitor those devices, leaving their networks exposed to vulnerabilities
  • SD-WAN has gone mainstream, with the primary motivations for deployment being cost savings (58 per cent) and business continuity (50 per cent)

State of the Network Global Study Methodology

VIAVI (and previously Network Instruments) has conducted its State of the Network global study for 13 consecutive years, drawing insight about network trends and painting a picture of the challenges faced by IT teams. Results were compiled from more than 400 respondents, including network engineers, IT directors, security engineers and CIOs from around the world. In addition to geographic diversity, the study population was evenly distributed among networks and business verticals of different sizes. Study questions were designed based on a survey of network professionals.