As we forge ahead in a world with exploding growth in devices, network configuration and change management (NCCM) becomes crucial for ensuring uptime and integrity of networks.
In today’s IT environment, organisations are expanding geographically at a great pace. This has resulted in an exponential increase in the size as well as complexity of networks. As these enterprise networks expanded, there followed a dramatic surge in new devices and new technologies in response to business demands. In this scenario, reducing network downtime and preventing performance degradation are major concerns for every IT manager.
A network administrator on a Reddit portal confessed that he erroneously cut a cable that led to over three billion dollars in losses on a stock exchange. As one can see, most outages are caused by manual human intervention, opaque processes and often the big elephant in the room—faulty change management practices. With eighty per cent of network downtime resulting from aforementioned issues, the need of the hour is to reshape how network change is managed through the use of stronger processes and automated tools.
Automate configuration and change management process
Every organisation dealing with multiple networks on their backend needs an automated tool or numerous software products for efficient management of their network configuration. This is where network configuration and change management (NCCM) software plays an important role. An NCCM tool is the best option for any organisation to tackle change while maintaining its networks and also updating the configuration of all components in that particular network—both hardware and software.
Latest NCCM products are helping reshape network change management as a more process-aligned discipline with a widening range of values. These include supporting service integrity and service performance, minimising downtime, optimising security and compliance, managing network assets more holistically and accomplishing what in the past were unachievable new levels of operational efficiency.
Monitor and manage change in all forms
If change is the only constant, then it’s a fact the network will go down, someday in the future for sure. When that happens, the only thing that will get it up and running without business casualty is complete visibility and robust change management processes backed by the right tools.
Usually, configuration information of a network is collected and kept in a database so that changes can be easily tracked. This allows identification and traceability of device configurations. NCCM tools allow changes made in the network to be documented and to be easily rolled back in times of crisis or network outage due to operational changes.
When a fault occurs, an audit trail is conducted, helping IT managers to easily identify the source of the problem and take necessary steps to solve it. Hence, NCCM can be defined as an assessment and remediation tool for automated network, security, compliance, auditing and configuration management.
NCCM: integrate now and reap the rewards in the long term
Organisations have indicated a dramatic ROI with the deployment of an NCCM tool in their processes. They have witnessed a remarkable improvement in network uptime, resulting in better service to the organisations and their customers. Also, more common outages due to performance and security issues, which results in misapplied configurations, have reduced significantly.
With strong adherence to change management processes and inclusion of automated tools, organisations can reduce change and configuration errors significantly. Similarly, time to assess the impact of change on the network can be reduced from hours to a few minutes.
From a specific industry vertical perspective, NCCM helps banks adhere to norms set out in the Reserve Bank of India circular on guidelines addressing the cyber security framework in banks. NCCM specifically fulfils points pertaining to network management and security spanning inventory of authorised devices, appropriate configuration and maintenance of network activity logs.
As we forge ahead in a world with exploding growth in devices, NCCM becomes crucial for ensuring uptime and integrity of networks. Decision-making becomes easier, policy compliance becomes a continuous process and auditing gets empowered. Change no longer has to be a fearful and disaster-prone exercise!
Satish Kumar V. is co-founder and chief executive officer at EverestIMS Technologies Pvt Ltd