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Growing Digital Experiences Require Agile Adaptation

Experiences rely on connections between everyone and everything. As these connections keep evolving and multiplying the underlying network must respond. Technical and business transitions have placed huge pressures on the network to drive the agility needed in the future of work.

The Internet is the new backbone of the enterprise network. IT teams keep ramping up investments in monitoring technologies to deliver the best experience for cloud-based applications.

Todd Nightingale, EVP and GM, Enterprise Networking and Cloud

Infrastructure is adapting to meet demand for seamless digital experiences of all sizes.

Monthly traffic per router compared to early 2019 baseline1

  • Internet traffic from small to mid-sized branches is now up nearly 40% versus the 2019 baseline; video collaboration and robust experiences (as well as more work activity traversing the digital world) drive dramatic traffic increases.
  • Small- to mid-sized router traffic is growing at a 20 point rate faster than traffic in larger offices.

Why This Is Important

A positive and reliable user experience via bandwidth-hungry collaboration tools (like video conferencing) is now part of the flow of business. Traffic trends indicate small businesses are returning to physical workspaces, larger businesses are extending their work-from-home policies with more flexible remote work options, and/or business of any size is moving to smaller branch offices closer to where people want to live and work – including the branch office that is the home office.

Future Implications

Whether large or small, organizations focused on bringing employees back to physical workspaces require networks to scale to increased demand driven by work taking place both digitally and physically. Adequate bandwidth and security measures must accommodate traffic from continued work-from home or small branch offices. Businesses must ensure the off-site and small branch work experience is on par with the on-site or large campus experience to sustain productivity and positive experience.

In the hybrid work world, app experience is critical to work experience.

Enterprise monitored hybrid work applications2

UCAAS domain outages and service disruptions2

  • Collaboration apps boom among types monitored as security is increasingly built into services & systems, showing a 54× increase since January of 2020.
  • Productivity monitoring grew by 1.1×, while Secure Access monitoring stayed largely the same after an early-in-the-pandemic surge.
  • 16% of Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) disruptions come from outside the UCaaS vendor, such as the Internet, or network services (such as DNS) and/or third-party dependencies. This underscores the unexpected nature of issues impacting user digital experience.

Why This Is Important

In a hybrid work model, ensuring employees’ experience of digital services and SaaS applications is of high quality continues to be a challenge for IT, considering the variation in the digital path employees take into an employer’s system across cloud and Internet networks.

Future Implications

The importance of collaboration and productivity applications will require continued focus on maintaining the best possible secure experiences via real-time monitoring and proactive problem resolution.

Agile cloud providers keep disruptions to a minimum amid shifting ‘office hours,’ showing cloud migration momentum.

ISP and CSP Outages2

  • As cloud providers deploy more infrastructure to meet increasing demand for cloud migration, the number of observed outages globally has in turn increased over the past twelve months.
  • Nonetheless, CSPs continue to appear more stable than ISPs, accounting for an average 12% of total (ISP + CSP) outages each month.
  • Both CSPs and ISPs often try to schedule maintenance and engineering work that risks an outage condition to outside of business hours (09:00am – 6:00pm) to have as small as impact as possible on the end users. 38% of ISP outages and 41% of CSP outages occur within the traditional 9-6, but less defined work hours pose a challenge to minimizing impact from updates.

Why This Is Important

Cloud provider networks serve as the backbone for delivering many ubiquitous digital services, effectively extending the Internet. Enterprises can take advantage of cloud infrastructure to quickly scale service capacity to maintain business continuity and the quality of the user experience.

Future Implications

Understanding local (and specific) operator practices is key to ensuring enterprises can plan and effectively communicate with stakeholders and vendors to ensure minimal business disruption even when unforeseen traffic shifts require ISPs to make more frequent network state changes. A cloud-driven network may offer a softer, lighter lift that is better suited to a hybrid work environment in which work happens anywhere, any time.

Source: Cisco Hybrid Work Index
1Cisco Meraki
2Cisco ThousandEyes