There can no longer be any doubt that digital transformation is one of the most crucial concerns of modern businesses. It is estimated that initiatives within this space will reach an investment of $2.2 trillion globally this year. Meanwhile, the majority of business leaders also realize the importance of such a drastic change, with 66 percent wanting to transform their businesses.

The digital transformation journey can, rightly, be quite daunting as it presents many challenges, including being potentially costly and time-intensive, from deciding on an overall technology stack, to how your cloud approach will be structured.

Due to this huge pressure to implement change, some important issues can be overlooked. In fact, 52 percent of senior executives cite a “lack” of familiarity with technology as a barrier to a digital transformation project. Given the majority of businesses use the cloud in some manner, decisions regarding its strategic application can’t be taken lightly. This is especially true from the operational viewpoint of monitoring and troubleshooting. If something goes wrong, or doesn’t work as it is expected to, maintaining complete visibility in a cloud environment can be a real challenge, that isn’t always prioritized.

A game of Risk
A game of Risk – Thinkstock

The challenge of digital transformation

The vast majority of businesses today are either a digital business, or attempting to transform into one. Yet digital transformation is not a destination, it is very much a journey where companies attempt a range of initiatives from providing a near-perfect customer experience, to modernizing a workforce by relying on newer, software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology. The underlying impetus for such activities is, of course, to reduce costs and increase revenue.

Yet, a critical challenge remains.

While it is essential to choose the right cloud provider or best SaaS platform for workforce efficiencies, based on the above criterion, a company must also ensure these services are delivering on what they promise, their service-level-agreements (SLAs) and most crucially of all, creating a superior customer experience.

One of the biggest challenges in keeping this experience paramount is that digital transformation means companies are increasingly depending on a much wider number of vendors than ever before. Traditionally, companies have been equipped with skilled IT teams who are able to handle issues within the networks and domains that they are in control of. Yet the cloud has disrupted this significantly, to the point that companies are now operating in a “multi-cloud” world where their reliance is spread across third-parties. This can range from public cloud providers to a content delivery network (CDN), and sees companies ceding control to these vendors.

This creates a digital footprint with a host of security issues and vulnerabilities that companies may simply be unaware of, through no fault of their own, while IT teams can be in a situation where they find it extremely difficult to predict, understand and deal with performance issues.

For example, when using SaaS, companies neither own the IT infrastructure, or the software itself, so if something goes wrong, how can they hope to fix it? The true impact of a visibility gap and an associated problem is that a company’s IT team are placed under huge pressure to isolate the fault, despite not having control over IT assets. In addition, which provider needs to then escalate the issue? Also, does an IT team have enough data to actually get a third-party provider to act on the problem, especially if they aren’t convinced it is their problem?

Taking the risk away

Given this situation, and in a world where it is estimated that IT teams can spend the majority of their time uncovering exactly where a problem is (before even attempting to fix it), resources to deal with issues start to look very thin on the ground. Add to this mix a company seeking to implement a digital transformation project, day-to-day, network monitoring tools become ever more critical.

Such tools give a truly global viewpoint, ensuring no visibility gaps exist in a company’s IT infrastructure. These active monitoring tools empower companies to identify and deal with issues on a much faster basis, regardless of the complexity of their IT network.

While it is true that some public cloud providers are able to provide access to certain parts of their infrastructure, others do not. Therefore, companies need to ensure they have network monitoring technologies that give complete visibility to deal with issues in a time-effective manner.

Network monitoring can’t be ignored

Downtime isn’t an option in today’s interconnected world. For example, Amazon lost an estimated $70+ million due to IT issues during last year’s Prime Day retail event.

Such loss of control and network visibility is hugely damaging for a company. It not only impacts upon the IT team, but can have a profoundly negative impact on everything from brand reputation, to employee productivity, to revenues.

No business, regardless of size, or their stage of digital transformation, can afford to take their network, or their ability to deal with issues related to it, for granted.