More and more of your business critical applications have moved to the cloud. You might have started with Salesforce and slowly added more applications like Skype for Business or Office 365. These apps that once lived in your data centre or on your desktop are now in the cloud. This is not only indicative of today’s environment, but also of more to come.
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Since migrating to the cloud, one of the biggest challenges we’re hearing from our customers is that applications no longer behave reliably or consistently. When applications reside on your network you have a large amount of bandwidth and resources that you can control to improve performance. But once you move to the cloud you introduce a number of other factors that can potentially impede the performance of that application and adversely affect user Quality of Experience (QX).
And once QX is impacted, employee adoption suffers. Which isn’t really surprising. Would you rather deal with dropped call after dropped call using Skype for Business or just pick up your mobile phone? If an application doesn’t perform reliably it forces users to move to other methods or apps that will get the job done. This is one of IT’s biggest problems – ‘Shadow IT.’
Generally when we talk about improving Quality of Experience today the focus is on traffic shaping within the network to prioritize applications and ensure bandwidth. A lot of organizations do this today, they create QoS policies in order to prioritize and safeguard that app by ensuring unsanctioned traffic doesn’t interfere. Which is a viable solution if the problem exists within the network, but troubleshooting applications in the cloud can be much more challenging.
In the IT environment there is group responsible for managing applications in the cloud and, typically, a separate group that is responsible for managing the network. When a problem occurs each group has a piece of the puzzle, but are left without a complete picture and can only see one part of the problem. This is when the finger pointing begins and regardless of whether it is the network causing the issue, it is usually targeted as the first source.
Our customers have told us they’re struggling to control cloud-based applications because they simply don’t have the right tools. There is no visibility beyond the network edge. The biggest sore spot for these IT teams is having to troubleshoot the application and network separately in an attempt to pinpoint where the issue is. Is it the application or is it the network? And not only that, but how do you fix it? After you figure it all out, the time to resolve can take 3 or more hours.
Closing the Gap
So what’s the secret? The key to ensuring Quality of Experience is gaining end-to-end visibility and control across the entire application path including both the network and the service. You need to be able to gather data not only from the network, but from the application itself in order to provide the same level of visibility as with in-house datacenter apps. If you can correlate application data with network information for a complete end-to-end view of traffic, down to the device level, you will be able to pinpoint and quickly resolve issues before they adversely impact the network.
So what would a solution like this look like? Well check out our latest on-demand webinar for a look at how QX Boost helps close the application network gap for Skype for Business and ensure exceptional Quality of Experience for voice, video and application sharing.