By Tanya Seda
After managing several significant migration projects, we’ve identified a several reasons why customer branch router upgrades and DIA network migration projects don’t go as smoothly as they should. In particular we’ve discovered the following:
Sloppy Success Metrics
Many CIOs consider migration projects a failure because they do not have a clear understanding of, or agreement with the success metrics. This is why clarity around metrics in a network migration project is critical. As important, they need to be carefully outlined and explained to the entire team. Here are some questions to ask to help the project succeed:
If the team is merely focused on the cost-savings around DIA, they may be overlooking the complexities of the Internet. As we help support our customers from a TEM perspective we are seeing some important issues that are not brought up in the beginning stages of a migration project. For example: DIA increases reliance on the public Internet for application delivery which in turn increases support tickets. These Internet-related issues can include regional ISP outages and incorrectly prioritized voice data routing. In their current network environment, IT is familiar with handing tickets for a MPLS provider or owning all the network hardware themselves. Switching network environments can create much more work for the team. The enterprise typically raises headcount to reduce triage.
Counting the cost of the switch in terms of the time it will take to troubleshoot issues in the “new normal” environment of the Internet is a good idea. Some questions to consider:
Ongoing issues and outages
Network transformations are always high profile and not responding quickly and effectively to issues on a new network often leads to questions from the C-Level teams about the progress (or lack of) of a migration, or even why “our Internet is still so slow…”.
We recommend that organizations benchmark network performance, service levels and costs before and after changes to ensure real data can be used to demonstrate improvements. This is a best-practice according to Gartner, and is critical in any network transformations projects for success.
Based on our client work, we are convinced that the modern WAN has to change to keep up with network demands. Cloud and mobile adoption and the integrated ecosystem around them mean the traditional MPLS based network no longer meets the market demands. The core for the WAN is shifting to the Internet, which means you need new WAN monitoring capabilities. That’s not to say that traditional wide area network monitoring technologies don’t still have a role, but when designing a modern WAN, enterprises must ensure that even if they don’t own the networks anymore, they can still own the outcome.
Questions to consider:
These issues and questions are often not discussed in most network transformation projects except as an afterthought. However, they are vital to help aide the migration process for project success. These questions help open the door for all parties to see holistically what is changing and what needs to be assessed so all players are on the same page.