Do you have confidence that the network you manage can meet the needs of your organization?

Twenty-nine percent of in-house network administrators who answered that question in a recent Auvik survey said they lacked high confidence in their network. That’s nearly a third of companies with IT infrastructure that may or may not meet their needs.

Auvik network field report 2015 statistic network confidence

Almost a third of in-house network administrators lack high confidence in their network.

The IT network is the linchpin of any business, no matter what the industry. When the network goes down, business stops. And yet, the survey results show business stoppage is a risk that 29% of companies are taking right now.

What’s going on?

Network administrators are overwhelmed

Several months ago, Auvik reached out to hundreds of in-house IT pros across the US and Canada to ask them about their network management practices and challenges. What we uncovered paints a sobering picture of network management today.

Many IT pros are working overtime: A third of them work more than 50 hours a week. And they spend most of that time in reaction mode, focused on fixing things as they break rather than proactively planning and heading problems off at the pass.

Auvik network field report 2015 network operations overtime

Most network IT pros are working overtime in an average week.

Their networks are suffering because of it.

Auvik network field report 2015 network operations statistic configuration

57% of network admins don’t fully know how their network is configured.

  • 57% of network admins don’t have a full picture of how their networks are configured
  • 29% never or rarely back up their network configuration
  • 33% never or rarely update their documentation

In the event of a network outage, their networks are vulnerable. It would take them hours, if not days, to restore their networks to a current working state.

These IT pros know they’re vulnerable.

The third of admins who never or rarely back up their network configuration have low confidence in their networks. The same holds true for the third of admins who never or rarely update their documentation.

They’d love to be doing better. When we asked IT pros what projects they weren’t doing but wished they were, upgrading or rebuilding the network, implementing better monitoring, and doing a better job of mapping and documenting the network topped the list.

Time and money are in short supply

So why aren’t they doing those things?

Not enough time and not enough money were the number 1 and 2 reasons, far outstripping stumbling blocks like not having the proper skill set or lacking authorization to start the project.

Auvik network field report 2015 network operations statistic project blocks

IT pros most often cite a lack of time and money as reasons why network projects don’t get done

But it’s no wonder IT pros are struggling to keep up. The survey showed that more than half of admins spend significant amounts of time on tasks, such as mapping, inventory and configuration backup, that could easily be automated.

Networks have changed in the last 20 years — but network management tools haven’t. The command-line interface (CLI) is still the dominant way of interacting with network gear for all but the most simple networks. The only difference now is that it’s done over SSH instead of Telnet.

The CLI is clunky. Logging into each network device, one by one, and making changes in arcane vendor-specific code is a time-consuming and tedious process, not to mention prone to typing errors.

It’s time for a change. Our networks — and our businesses — are riding on it.

Alex Hoff

About Alex Hoff

Alex Hoff, Chief Product Officer, Auvik Networks Inc. Alex's prior experience includes serving as Senior Product Manager and member of the office of the Chief Technology Officer at Sandvine where he built the company's Usage Management product line.