Market research firm Yankee Group this week released a report that discusses the challenges enterprise network managers face when trying to support bandwidth-hungry applications and keep networks running smoothly.In \u201cTraffic Management: Optimizing the Enterprise Network for Maximum Business Value,\u201d Yankee squashes the theory that you can simply throw bandwidth at applications to improve response time.\u201cAdding more bandwidth may only improve the response of non-essential applications. It does not guarantee that the bandwidth will be available to the applications that need it most,\u201d the report says.The growing importance of applications to businesses is also causing changes for enterprise network managers, Yankee suggests. The challenges of maintaining network device availability are pretty much solved, and now IT departments overall are being asked more often to optimize application performance. The job of the network manager now includes monitoring and prioritizing application traffic and optimizing the network for the most critical applications.In the past, applications resided only on a LAN and didn\u2019t tax network performance. Bandwidth was readily available and network latency wasn\u2019t an issue.Today with WANs supporting more critical applications, which are now open to business partners, customers and increasingly mobile and remote employees, network managers face more challenges. Converged services such as voice over IP and video over IP also add to WAN traffic congestion. And internal company employees \u201cflood the network with non-essential HTTP and peer-to-peer traffic,\u201d the report says.So it may seem to network managers no matter how much bandwidth is added, it\u2019s still not enough.Yankee says that\u2019s because \u201ccontinuing to add more bandwidth is temporary, expensive and ineffective. More bandwidth is not the answer - more effective management is.\u201dNext time, we\u2019ll cover more about what Yankee Group suggests network managers should do to address application performance.