In this article

The following ebook was contributed by our partner, ThousandEyes, a part of Cisco.

Network Teams' New Business Priority: User Experience

Network teams are moving from a narrow focus on availability and performance to a broader understanding of user experience.  The reason for this transition is that networks are changing. In the past, the focus was on connecting users (most of whom were on campus) with centralized services and applications hosted in data centers. Now, there is an increasing emphasis on cloud, SaaS (software as a service), and distributed workforces. As a result, we are in a moment where the network team, to be successful, must work more collaboratively with application developers, IT, and security, as well as with business stakeholders.

Users' demand for performance is paramount in this new reality, and the most efficient way to achieve this is to reduce latency by pushing compute and services closer to them. To do this, IT must bring services near the edge of the network and increasingly outside it altogether, which is where the adoption of SaaS and third-party apps served locally rather than centrally fits in. Managing these shifts for optimal results requires a greater understanding of what users are actually doing—i.e., what they are trying to achieve—rather than just measuring how quickly they complete their transactions.