Think about your average town. Its roads, freeways and neighborhoods were slowly built up over years or even decades to handle the natural, steady growth of its population.

Now imagine an unexpected population boom thanks to a new industry, newly discovered natural resource or making the top of a “Best Places to Live” list. What happens when that town has to handle twice as many people or more, all at once? Gridlock.

For most enterprises, their networks were built up over the years to solve the data transmission issues of the day. However, few enterprises were prepared for the crushing demand of digital transformation. Networks are now handling massive data files like HD video files, while teams are collaborating on documents in real-time. As Windows 10 moves to a software-as-a-service model, networks are becoming inundated with software patches and regular upgrades.

Just like a town experiencing a population boom can’t just toss up a new freeway, it’s unrealistic to expect an enterprise to quickly build out their network to handle all this new data. Instead, they must think about their networks strategically to ensure they’re alleviating the most congestion at the most crucial chokepoints.

That’s where network analytics come in. By collecting and analyzing network performance data, you can make the right decisions at the right time to improve the overall user experience. With a robust network analytics program in place you’ll be able to spot problems and trends, and then determine the most effective solution.

Here are just a few of the things your network analytics should be able to tell you:

  • How fast crucial data like a software patch is being deployed
  • The impact on your overall network performance during a large data event like a video livestream
  • Endpoint performance to see if a patch was a deployed or a training video watched
  • Where data is getting choked on your network
  • What priority you are putting on your critical data like live video and software patches versus less time-sensitive data

When building out your network analytics solution, it’s not enough to just collect raw performance data. Your analytics must be actionable, telling you what you need to know and what you need to fix. Better yet, the analytics tool should be automated so that it can actually fix issues for you by rerouting data around choke points or prioritizing critical data.

With digital transformation, the network is no longer a piece of infrastructure. It’s the platform on which your business is built. Operations, manufacturing, marketing, finance, HR, logistics, sales and every other department are dependent on the network to do their work. Insight into its performance is critical.

With the right network analytics solution, you’ll be able quickly determine its current performance, make better predictions about future performance.  This then translates into enabling future business performance. In addition, your advanced network analytics will let you make network investments surgically and strategically. With the right knowledge, it can be the network equivalent to putting in a couple of traffic lights instead of having to build out a whole new freeway.

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