An ode to the workplace network

My Darling Network,

2016 was, let’s say, eventful. The course of true love never did run smooth, and taking into account occasional latency issues, this has certainly been true for us.

At times, last year, it felt like issues beyond our control were surmounting what was once a healthy relationship—but it’s important to remember, my dear, that nothing grows in the shade.

We’ve had our uptimes as well as our downtimes, and it’s important you know how special you are to me. It’s no secret that 99.99% of the time, you’re perfect, and not many people, or technologies, can say that. Perhaps this near perfection is one of our problems—when something does slip, people notice.

Does this put undue pressure on you? Sure. Every time there’s a major sporting event and the entire organisation is eager to stream it, you struggle to manage.

>See also: Enterprise networks are proving to be blockers to digital transformation

This is understandable — there is only so much you can do. Perhaps if we treated you better — if we stopped unplugging our devices without prior notice, or expecting you to deal with a glut of new, complex technology trends at the drop of a hat — our relationship wouldn’t have become so strained.

Indeed, in the past year, you’ve had to deal with the additional burden of IoT and the increasingly desperate need for mobile working support, with BYOD meaning that employees expect even more from you. Heaven forbid their needs aren’t immediately dealt with, even if they’re working miles away.

You’ve had to put up with constant tinkering in order to keep you safe from attackers, with the level of management required worsening as the number of endpoints exponentially increases.

This may make you feel like you’ve been sheltered, and I am truly sorry for blocking many of the fun things, from YouTube to TV, which may cause you harm. I’m also sorry for all the firewalls, proxies, and more—necessary precautions all, but stressful nonetheless.

Frankly, if I had to put up with all that, I’d have packed my bags and crashed last January. Thankfully, you’re made of stronger stuff. This is one of the many reasons I admire you so.

>See also: How the Internet of Things is impacting enterprise networks

Now, I feel we’ve spent enough time dwelling on the past, my dear. A wise man once said that relationships are like sharks: they have to keep moving forward if they are to survive. The last thing we want is a dead shark, so let’s think about how things can improve. On that front, there’s good news.

New and improved network management software can help us streamline and simplify defence systems management. By offering me a holistic view of you (steady now), I can see who is using the network and receive alerts on your health status, relieving the need for me to come and check up on you every five minutes, which is tiresome for both of us.

Updates will also be less of a pain, and we can now equip you with new, customised software within a few hours—a drop in the ocean compared to the weeks we once had to wait.

2017, my darling network, will be our year. We’ll experience new things, find new ways to surprise each other, and most importantly, keep ourselves safe.


Your Network Administrator


Solar Winds

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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