Network-management-systemAs anybody who has been in the IT industry for more than a few weeks knows, technology is prone to change. Network systems, as the nexus of technology in the 21st century, are no different in this regard. The question isn’t so much whether networking technology will be radically different in the future, but how it will be different. There are many technologies that have the potential to rewrite the books on networks in years to come, and it’s anyone’s guess which of these will go on to form central parts of future network systems and which will fade into obscurity. For a more in-depth look at some of these technologies, have a look at a blog we wrote on future network technologies at the end of 2015. For the purposes of this blog, though, we’ll focus on what learning for future technologies entails, and how best to go about it.

Which technologies will define the Network Management System of the future?

Depending on where you get your news, the next revolutionary networking technology could come in many different forms. In last year’s blog, we mentioned a few of the most promising new technologies in detail,  but we’ll give a brief summary of some of them again here:

Internet of Things (IoT)

While it’s already making its presence felt, the Internet of Things will have an increasingly profound impact on network management systems as it reaches maturity. With so many more devices requiring monitoring and management, all without the input of human minds, network management systems – and network managers – will need to be prepared to handle new demands.

Uptime and sub-millisecond transfer

As networking technology advances, customers’ demands grow accordingly. With virtually every aspect of our lives ‘coming online’, the need to maintain reliable and consistently available network service will only increase. Network Management Systems will need to cater to sub-millisecond packet transfer and still provide accurate monitoring data, and network managers will need to be even more vigilant in ensuring optimal uptime rates through constant uptime monitoring.

4D Networks, Expressive Internet Architecture, IPv6

Whether the future of the internet will be in IPv6, 4D or Expressive Internet Architecture (XIA) is anybody’s guess. Whichever technology comes out on top, though, one thing is clear: it won’t be IPv4 or any kind of hybrid technology. IPv6 seems like a safe candidate for the moment, but the future of 4D networks and XIA should be interesting, if nothing else.

How to learn for future technologies

Incorporating learning into your organisation can be difficult enough, especially when working in an industry that is susceptible to frequent and radical change. Moreover, only learning for existing technologies is no longer sufficient for organisations looking to develop a competitive edge through their technological assets. The ideal solution is to develop frameworks that make it easy for your staff to learn for future technologies. But learning for future technologies is decidedly different to learning for existing technologies – learning for existing technologies means the methods have been tried and tested, and there’s a definite end-point in mind. However, there are some ways to make learning for future technologies easier:

Consider appointing a learning technician

While everyone in your organisation will likely want to learn about new technologies,making individuals responsible for this in their own time can be problematic. A far more effective solution is to appoint a learning technician whose sole responsibility is ensuring your team stays up-to-date with the latest industry shifts and new technologies. A learning technician will be able to keep track of the latest industry developments, investigate training courses, schedule training sessions around the rest of your staff’s schedules and implement knowledge-share sessions among staff.

Understand how the different people in your organisation learn

If there’s one thing that has become clear from new education paradigms, it’s that no two people learn in exactly the same way. Understanding how the different people in your organisation learn best, and making those options available to them, is key to creating a good learning environment in your organisation. This blog goes into some detail about the different learning styles and what each one entails.

Build learning into KPIs across your organisation

KPIs are a great way to incentivise staff to achieve things that might ordinarily be outside of the scope of their job description. Building learning targets into your KPIs could encourage your staff to set goals around learning new techniques or technologies, and gives you a good idea of what percentage of your organisation is committing to learning new things.

IRIS has over 10 years’ experience in the Southern African ISP and telecoms industries. If you’re looking for a future-facing Network Management System that is both lightweight on networking resources and scalable to any environment, speak to us about our products or download our Network Manager’s Guide to a Stable and Highly Available Network today.