The Men & Mice Blog

Lessons from Gartner IOCS: business priorities define technology

Posted by Greg Fazekas on 11/28/19 8:47 AM

Gartner IOCS was a great event. Not only did the Men&Mice team connect with decision-makers and business leaders, but we’ve also got to teach them a few things about IP infrastructure management and why it’s critically important. To further emphasize that thought, Men&Mice CEO Magnús Björnsson gave a talk on compound network management.

Men&Mice CEO Magnús Björnsson at Gartner IOCS 2019 in London

The talk was very well received, and the conference as a whole validated what we’ve been working on and representing. It’s evident that the best way for businesses to gain back control of their priorities and opportunities is to de-couple management from ecosystems in their IT.

Business priorities define technology; not the other way around

It’s clear, from both our experience in working with some of the largest companies in the world and talking to people at Gartner IOCS, that business leaders are hamstrung by technology.

The reason for this predicament is that IT, and network management in particular, has been centered around ecosystems. IT was designed for static and homogeneous environments. As a result, the management tools are bound to the philosophies of their backend. But in the business world, and in today's IT landscape, resources are highly dynamic and heterogeneous.

For network management to start making business sense again, it has to switch that mindset to focus on objectives instead — starting at the IP infrastructure level.

IP infrastructure: the nerve center of the business

Networks are akin to the nervous system in the human body. They link and transport information between source and destination. Connect data and decision.

IP infrastructure (consisting of DNS, DHCP, and IP address management) is the component that ensures orchestration between networks. Without parts of your networks, you can still function by routing around problems. But if the IP infrastructure goes down, there’s nothing to route with.

And that’s just about all that we think business leaders should be expected to understand about network management.

The “Route 52” problem

It’s called Route 53 and is the DNS service for Amazon Web Services. But you needn’t know that.

Maybe your company is moving from on-premise infrastructure to take advantage of cloud platforms. Or just completed a merger, and now have to integrate the new assets into your existing infrastructure. And you’re left with systems that are incompatible, networks that are overlapping, and every IT manager arguing for their respective networks, citing mutually exclusive benefits.

In short: you’re expected to be the arbiter of a problem not within your domain.

Yes, it is an asset to know the technology. But it shouldn’t be an obstacle not to. Business leaders need to make decisions that make business sense.

Compound network management

What makes business sense is to make decisions and move resources at will and based on how they can be utilized the best. What doesn’t make business sense is to make decisions and move resources only when allowed and based on factors you do not understand fully. (And nor should you be expected to.)

The reality of today’s corporate networks is that they are no longer confined to "local". Whether "local" means a geographic point or a single cloud platform, boundaries of a local infrastructure no longer exist for networks. It doesn’t make sense to manage them like they still did.

Compound network management de-couples the control plane from the underlying hardware and software. It enables business priorities to drive decisions. Unshackle them from limitations of the hardware and software ecosystems.

Lessons from Gartner IOCS

The lesson from Gartner IOCS is that unlocking the potential in compound network management is one of the most, if not the most, urgent issues facing enterprise networks. And it’s been a pleasure to see both our theory and practice in resolving it resonating with people.

Men&Mice is in the business of creating solutions for compound network management. We design natively heterogeneous management tools for heterogeneous network environments.

The Men&Mice Suite

We’ve seen companies struggle with cloud adoption because their systems were incompatible. We’ve been sought out to create order in an overgrowth of home-grown workarounds that kept together disparate network environments haphazardly. We’ve worked on unlocking the full value of the Internet-of-Things by removing the overhead throwing off efficiency.

Whether you caught us at Gartner IOCS or just found us online, we can help you on your way as well.

REACH OUT TO US TO LEARN HOW

Topics: Gartner IOCS

Men&Mice at Gartner IOCS: making network management business-compatible

Posted by Greg Fazekas on 11/21/19 9:05 AM

Meet Men&Mice at Gartner IOCS 2019 at Booth PL5!

Men&Mice will be visiting the Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies Conference next week, 25–26 November, in London. We’re always excited to attend events, and we’re particularly excited to meet the business side of network management through Gartner.

One key issue is people often forgetting that IT is not siloed. Networks are the mission-critical component. It’s good to be reminded just how real the business ramifications of bad network management are.

The other is the emerging realization for high-level business executives that, in the long run, it’s the technology vendors who reap the profit of innovation. We’ll be at Gartner IOCS to show them: they can (and should!) also get a generous slice of that pie.

Network management that makes business sense

Our CEO Magnús Björnsson will give a talk on Tuesday about what we came to call compound networks. It’s a term we like because it’s inclusive. It’s on-premise and hybrid cloud and multicloud and everything in-between and beyond.

De-coupling the control plane of network management from the underlying hardware and software infrastructure is the most critical task of today. Network management tools designed for local, homogeneous environments (even if 'local' means a single cloud platform) simply cannot handle the global, heterogeneous reality of today’s IT landscape.

And, for business leaders, they no longer make business sense. IT, and networks in particular, grew out of the confines of “local” — why does network management cling to the idea still?

Businesses shouldn’t have to keep re-investing in their networks

Businesses are expected to sync with a snapshot of the technology landscape, while the real value from new technologies is a moving target. In the end, technology will always win because it propels forward along an exponential curve.

This mindset of thinking that management is tied to the underlying technology has to be broken.

Separating management from its backend gives control back to whom it belongs: decision-makers. No longer shackled by exorbitant upfront costs or hidden operating expenses, business units become free to steer the company toward business priorities.

Meet Men&Mice at Gartner IOCS

Magnús will hold his talk on Tuesday, 26 November at 9:30am. He'll underline the importance of companies once again guided by business priorities instead of IT limitations, and illustrate how to get out of vendor-lock and create scalable network management paradigms.

Throughout the event our team will be at Booth PL5: stop by! You’ll be able to learn more about how we ensure that control remains with you while also unlocking the full potential of your networks.

Topics: network management, Gartner IOCS

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