Planning for a smoothly operating network requires more than simply maintaining solid operational skills. Change in technology is constant. Whether it's within or outside the data center, it impacts the enterprise network. Five key areas to monitor include bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs, network optimization, data center changes, software-defined networks and IPv6. IT managers have weathered many of these waves previously, but they are back now, hitting heavier than before. Staying ahead of trends, carefully planning for upgrades and enhancements, looking to the horizon -- all are valuable business practices that also happen to support successfully operating a network. And a healthy network is an essential element to a healthy business.