Many CIOs struggle to deliver responsive services for globally-mobilised workforces while controlling networking costs. But they could take surprising inspiration from the way I’ve managed my new Ultra HD TV package and all the hardware that comes with it.

That’s because there are new, emerging, ways to regain control of networking costs so that, much like me, you can now pay a small enablement fee upfront, then only pay for the monthly TV ‘package’ you need – without compromising on service.

Let me explain.

Enterprise CIOs are cornered. As they run cloud and hybrid environments, digitise processes and mobilise workforces, they must ensure new levels of digital experience for users. But these heads of IT need to better understand network and application performance, and carry out ever-faster local troubleshooting, to truly succeed.

Yes, they’ve taken action, using smart tools like SD-WAN to intelligently route traffic across their different WANs, reducing the IT team’s required skill sets and ongoing maintenance and travel costs. But they can’t even realise the full benefits of SD-WAN without network and application performance visibility.

[easy-tweet tweet=”CIOs are swamped by disparate network and application performance data” hashtags=”CIO, Data”]

Today’s CIOs are swamped by disparate network and application performance data. Worse, they lack the budget or team resources to upgrade performance monitoring tools or consider buying new, cutting-edge ones outright.

Using managed IT service offerings frequently offers no respite either: while external skill sets may augment the IT team’s existing capabilities, the CIO still faces extensive upfront CAPEX costs to acquire the necessary technology in the first place.

CIOs are thus trapped in a cycle of rising monthly costs of managing – and upgrading – their different performance monitoring tools while lacking genuine CAPEX headroom to install advanced cutting-edge devices.

Let’s go back to my new Ultra HD TV package. I wanted to access a certain entertainment package: movies for the kids, but only certain sports – since bowls and cricket aren’t my thing. A mix of channels was tailored especially for me, and I now pay for monthly access to them.

I paid a small upfront cost for service enablement, which involved a new router – I managed to install that myself – and the latest devices for each room, which were installed by a professional, and a new, futuristic-looking and acting remote control.

But what all that gives me is an affordable version of the latest, cutting-edge TV technology: better storage, amazing new features, possibly the sharpest definition quality ever. And the best thing is that if any of this fails, it’s all under warranty for the service’s lifetime. There’s a small consideration: if I end the contract, my access ceases to exist and I must send everything back.

Similar thinking – top-level service and controlled ‘upfront’ hardware costs – is now being adopted in the UK’s networking market to help global enterprises achieve the leap forward in network and application service performance insights, at a price they can afford.

This approach is called Visibility as a Service. Instead of CIOs continually buying more performance monitoring tools and ratcheting up their IT resources just to run them, this novel approach gives IT heads the single 24/7 view of their core network and application health, on a worldwide basis, while only paying for expert engineers’ time and infrastructure needed.

Visibility as a Service lifts today’s crushing monitoring and management burdens from IT teams, showing them what’s going on across their global applications and network infrastructures; they get meaningful data on demand to enhance their service levels while capping both monthly OPEX and upfront CAPEX costs.

Just like my new Ultra HD TV package with the right-sized service agreements, this new Visibility as a Service capability are now available to global enterprises as customised service packages. If the technology fails, a replacement is provided. If the service is cancelled, access ends and the technology has to be returned.

Options range from an entry-level service, where the IT team does the monitoring tasks while the provider looks after the different monitoring infrastructure, to more advanced network and application performance-focused options where the IT team can access deeper application insights or see bandwidth issues, with targeted technical support still part of the monthly service charge after finite, one-off service enablement costs.

And IT VPs wanting to see emerging network and application performance trends using richer, more forensic data, can access a higher-level service package, with root cause analysis and troubleshooting capabilities investigated jointly with their service provider.

And for CIOs urgently needing visibility down to end-user experience monitoring and rapid troubleshooting across their web, cloud and hybrid environments, bespoke service packages with real-time ‘drill down’ responses and active improvement options, are available.

Just as I raved about my new Ultra HD TV package’s features, Visibility as a Service packages will help CIOs boost their company’s agility by accessing cutting-edge technologies and skill sets …while escaping the trap of ‘upfront’ CAPEX costs.