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What’s Driving Advanced Network Analytics Adoption? Instant ROI

Michelle Kincaid

Network Engineering
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A new EMA report on network analytics is full of interesting takeaways, from reasons for deployment to use cases after analytics are up and running. In this post, we look specifically at the findings around adoption to see why and how organizations are leveraging network analytics.

roi.pngEMA analyst Shamus McGillicuddy recently published a report on the state of advanced network analytics. The report is full of interesting takeaways from reasons for deployment to use cases after analytics are up and running. However, in this post, we looked specifically at the findings around adoption to see why and how organizations are leveraging network analytics. As background, Kentik sponsored the EMA report, so we supported Shamus in coming up with questions to ask the 200 survey respondents who drove the report’s findings. All respondents qualified for the survey by “being directly involved in a network analytics initiative” within their company.

What’s driving network analytics?

  • IT automation (34%)
  • Data center consolidation (26%)
  • External cloud (IaaS, SaaS, PaaS, etc.) (23%)
  • Business-and-IT-driven digital transformation (21%)
  • Digital experience management/optimization (21%)

Software-defined data center, SD-WAN, and the convergence between network operations and security operations were other notable drivers, according to the survey. So why did automation rise to the top? Shamus notes:

“Today, network automation is often limited to repeatable low-level tasks that require limited insight and understanding of network state. Unique high-level tasks usually require human intervention. However, as new solutions apply machine learning and other advanced heuristic techniques, they can gain an unprecedented understanding of the network. Analytics solutions can then feed this insight to automation tools, giving them the necessary intelligence to take on some of those complex, unique tasks without human intervention.”

In looking at the bigger picture, more organizations now have critical infrastructure running outside of their direct control due to digital transformation trends like automation, consolidation, and cloud. While these initiatives may speed delivery timelines and reduce cost, they can also add complexity to an organization’s network, which in turn, creates a greater need for analytics that unlock real-time visibility across environments and applications.

Top 5 benefits of network analytics

EMA survey respondents reported that network analytics bring ROI via the following ways:

  • Faster time to repair network problems (69%)
  • More efficient use of network capacity (60%)
  • Proactive ability to prevent network problems (56%)
  • Optimized capacity for service delivery (51%)
  • Better correlation between network change and network health & performance (50%)

In short, network analytics are driving cost savings, speed, scale, and optimized user experience — all of which, in the end, drive greater profitability.

Overcoming the obstacles to adoption

While budget restraints typically top the list as a barrier for new technology adoption, it was interesting to see respondents say that risk is more of an obstacle for deploying analytics. Here are the top-5 reported barriers to entry:

  • Risk regarding objection from security and/or compliance team (32%)
  • Risk regarding data sovereignty conflict (22%)
  • Lack of budget (21%)
  • Lack of leadership - unsupportive management (20%)
  • Politics - conflict about who should own and share the data (20%)

In our industry, it’s not uncommon to see these barriers-to-adoption. In fact, Kentik’s co-founders previously ran some of the biggest network infrastructure for companies like Akamai, Netflix and Cloudflare, so they know firsthand what can slow down deployments. That’s why our founders built Kentik with:

Here are a few examples of how our customers are benefiting from our network analytics platform:

  • Pandora drives superior network performance (video)
  • GTT enhances visibility and security while adding profit (case study)
  • DreamHost protects its service performance and brand reputation (case study)

If you want to hear more about network traffic intelligence from Kentik, get a demo or sign up for a free trial.You can also download the full EMA report at: “Advanced Network Analytics: Applying Machine Learning and More to Network Engineering and Operations.”

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