The network IS the business.

As my IT career has developed and evolved, my outlook on what I do and why I do it has shifted dramatically.  After some bumps in the road and some deep introspection, I began to understand certain things about the high performers among us.  They may be “Technologists”, but they use technology to drive strategic business results.  I took some time recently to reflect upon what this business focus means for the guys and gals that are most near and dear to my heart, the Network Engineer.


This job is difficult and many folks in this line of work tend to focus on the complexity.  As the complexity of the network ramps up, an endless cycle begins and many among us have fallen victim, including myself.

Do you want an Endless Cylce…

The Network Engineering Trap:

  • focus on the devices
  • focus on the technology
  • focus on performance of the plumbing
  • availability is sacrificed for simplicity
  • flexibility is sacrificed for simplicity
  • services are delivered slowly and usually incomplete
  • challenges are solved with “comfortable” technology vs. the best solution
  • troubleshooting generally results in a band-aid
  • standards are not well-defined
  • culture of fear and mistrust of the business
  • intrinsically reactive
OR to go up and to the right???
The Network Engineer’s Opportunity:
  • understand that the network is the nervous system of a business
  • focus on business value of network services
  • focus on managing the network as a system
  • find feedback loops that provide insights into the business
  • focus on business policy and intent
  • focus on performance of the business
  • standards are defined
  • culture of trust and business enablement
  • intrinsically proactive
  • move from engineer to architect by delivering business value through a defined roadmap/plan!!

Please let me be clear, the technology itself is still very important and is still my passion.  I simply believe it is important to understand that technology does not live in a vacuum.  It exists to support the business, improve business processes, create new revenue streams, and secure the business’ critical data.

Thank you for taking the time to read, until next time…


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