Today, all parts of any organisation are attached to its’ network. At Conscia, we have worked with mapping this complexity of devices, systems, and SLAs for our customers for the past 10 years. Now, with CNS Insights, we’re able to offer a clear picture of the jungle.
“Welcome to the jungle, it gets worse here every day.”
Axl Rose, in all probability, didn’t have IT infrastructure on his mind, when he wrote the lyrics for the 1987 Guns N’ Roses classic. Nevertheless, the line should ring familiar for Network Managers.
Today, everything from mobility services, office devices, and access points to core business functions are attached to an organisation’s network. Our top 50 customers own a whopping average of more than 14.000 networking assets to support this.
This growing complexity makes it increasingly difficult to establish a clear, updated picture of all corners of the IT infrastructure. Thus it is becoming increasingly critical to have full transparency in order to exercise due diligence and run operations efficiently.
This challenge is one we have been dealing with at Concia for years now and we are proud to offer the automated asset management platform, CNS
With the introduction of CNS Insight, we’re able to offer an ever-updated visualization of the state of the network.
To understand, why and how we got here, lets’ go back to a simpler, less automated time.
Filtering out the noise
In the past years, I toured our customers’ offices with a PowerPoint presentation on my laptop. It showed an overview of their assets through a set of graphs.
It would take me and my colleagues two days to painstakingly compile each presentation, and still, our customers ended up asking us, what was behind the graphs.
Because, this was where things got interesting for them — we had to show them exactly where the technical debt was located, right down to the exact serial numbers.
So, we excused ourselves for a few minutes, closed the PowerPoint window and turned to our imposing Excel sheets. Here, we dug out the details and presented them to our customers.
They were happy enough with this, still, we wanted to make it a bit smarter. So, we began developing a filter that could sort the jungle of devices and systems.
As it turned out, data wash was extremely important: nothing less than 48 % of all elements in the average IT Infrastructure can be filtered away as noise. This is power cables, blank panels and other stuff, that plays no role in the bigger picture.
Today, we have improved and extended our algorithms to the point, where we can offer a precise and ever-updated picture of an organisation’s network assets.
We were, and still are, rather proud of this. Still, this sheer collection of data didn’t really help a Network Manager in his everyday work. We needed to make it more accessible and manageable.
An informed basis
Cue CNS Insight.
This tool offers our customers visualizations of their entire IT Infrastructure. Here, all numbers and information have been chewed and molded into graphs offering our customers what in effect is a data warehouse of assets.
All stats are clickable, making it possible to dive into every little aspect and see what’s behind the graphs.
Today, CNS Insight provides a clear overview, to drive discussions about the future of the organisations’ network. Call it a virtual discussion paper.
It helps a Network Manager see if he has the right SLA on the right device in the right place. It can show him exactly where he has technical debt in hardware as well as in software versions.
If product support is due to expire in 2023, he can see it and manage the situation now rather than in 2023. He gets a way to handle lifecycle management effectively. He gets transparency.
So, goodbye IT consultants? Not exactly. IT infrastructures, of course, are still way too complex to run entirely automated.
Whether you’re a network manager, a CIO, CSO or procurement manager, a string of tough new questions have emerged along with the stream of devices, software, and services that are being implemented. It has created an ever-growing landscape of not only technical challenges but also financial and legal ones.
The organisation must make sure the network is compliant. That all hard- and software is up-to-date. That they have a solid service strategy in place and a clear picture of upcoming necessary investments. That they know of security vulnerabilities across the network.
This involves a string of different disciplines and departments and to make the best decisions, organisations still need a human network of knowledge. It can’t be automated.
At Conscia, we use CNS Insight to create technological roadmaps. These can be used to plan ahead, to handle yearly reviews better, to provide inputs for budget discussions and to establish roadmaps for new projects. In short, to make better decisions.
With CNS Insights, we can’t clear the jungle, but we can provide organisations with a map of it.
Mikael Juul is a product and development manager for Conscia’s customer-oriented digital strategy. He is also one of the primary forces behind the development and further development of CNS. He has previously worked in presales and therefore has in-depth knowledge on products, software, licenses, and service. He has been involved in the infrastructure industry since the late 90s. Certified Scrum Product Owner®