Posted on Jun 4th, 2013 by Maya Malevich

What are you already doing to speed up your service delivery? Most organizations we talk to have already invested in automated configuration management and in DevOps solutions, but they are still experiencing delays in service delivery. For many of them, the bottlenecks occur at what is the "last mile" of service delivery: assuring that the network supports the new service.

Nowadays, the "service" in service delivery is almost always an application. Having an application server setup and ready for production is futile if that server cannot access the database or the LDAP server due to a misconfigured router or a blocking firewall. Unfortunately, such scenarios occur all the time, and correcting the problem often turns out to be a time consuming and frustrating endeavor.

Such delays have a direct impact on revenues as these network level requests support business-critical applications.  As networks become bigger and more complex, and organizations become even more dependent on applications, the last mile problem has gotten much worse.  And it will continue to do so until IT teams adjust their processes to account for the nature of the technology they become so reliant on.

Because this is such a big problem for our customers, we've spent a lot of time talking with customers and researching specific points of failure. What we've learned is that application connectivity issues are by far the biggest reason for network change requests.   The problem is that application-related change requests are made by business owners who don't understand (or necessarily care) about the technical and security considerations of their change requests.

More often than not, requests are submitted with inaccurate or deficient technical data (such as a wrong IP address or a reference to a rule or object that no longer exists). By the time they are approved (if they are approved) and implemented (if they are implemented correctly), the business owner learns that they have to re-submit the request.

Because this is an issue our customers grapple with daily, we decided to deal with it by developing automation, that  "understands" the connectivity demands of a new application, checks them against zone-based  security policies , automatically pushes them out to the network and maintains them over time (across all firewalls and routers).

The fruit of our efforts: SecureApp.

SecureApp is more than a point solution designed to speed up the last mile.  It enables network security teams to create and automate business processes that enable them to do their jobs. Check out this Forrester Study to see how SecureApp benefited one of our customers, SIX. SecureApp is still a new product - it is only eight months old.  If the economics of this report are any indication, we are connecting network security teams to the rest of the business in a much more significant way.   It has been incredibly exciting for me to play a part on bringing it to market, and I look forward to sharing our progress.

Stay tuned..:-)