vendredi 3 juillet 2015

Revealing networks

After a couple of years dealing with networks of mid-sized and large companies, I noticed that networks reveal many aspects of companies culture, organization and history. In the following, I will just give some seen examples from my own experience.

  • Often when you find a network with isolated subnetworks, using for example multiple VRF mechanism in MPLS, it reveals a history of successive acquisitions of external companies, who managed to keep their IT independence. That can be also the case of a multinationals who's regional IT gained enough independence.
  • Networks also give an idea about the kind of skills available in the IT department, and sometimes its size: Big IT departments with network gurus are more likely to prefer do-it-your-own solutions such IPSEC based networking with focus on non-standard technical needs. Smaller IT departments, or those who are more business aligned, go for managed services with focus on SLAs and end user features.
  • Speaking of SLAs, I noticed that some IT buyers prefer to focus only on SLAs without taking into consideration the underlying technical design. That is typically the profile of buyers who is actually not looking for reducing the risk, but only to transfer it to the provider. It can reflect a culture of protectionism.
  • More generally many cultural aspects are reflected by the network design. For example the design of external connections to the private network gives an idea of  how much a company trusts its employees, accepts new generations paradigms (BYOD, ATAWAD..), is obsessed with security... We can also know more about how much the IT decision makers are conservatives. That can be detected for example by how they embrace new technologies and solutions: cloud, hybrid networks... Finally, I noted some correlation between how much the company is politicized and what differentiated services are provided to VIPs by the IT department!

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