Next-generation net shifting biz processes

One fun thing about being an engineer is watching the rapid advances in technology. What was James Bond yesterday is ho-hum today. (Check out some “state of the art” technology in old movies.)

But we sometimes lose sight of that business processes and requirements change, too. Here are a handful of significant shifts in business processes and requirements that I’ve noticed over the years:

• Consolidation. As companies continue to cut costs, they’re increasingly centralizing and consolidating shared functions, services and infrastructure. In a recent Nemertes Research benchmark, we found that 54 per cent of participating companies had consolidated data centres in the past 12 months, and another 57 per cent planned to further consolidate in the next 12 months. IT departments are increasingly centralized, partly resulting from the efforts of CIOs to retake control of overall IT operations.

• Geographic dispersion. At the same time that infrastructure’s consolidating, individual employees are increasingly geographically distributed. Nemertes benchmarks have consistently documented that roughly 90 per cent of employees work somewhere other than headquarters, and the number of virtual workers (employees who work somewhere other than their peers and/or supervisors) increased ninefold over the past five years.

• Extreme availability. Another business trend is decreasing tolerance for downtime or even impaired performance. Five or 10 years ago, companies were generally somewhat tolerant of downtime (at least in certain industries). But an unintended consequence of some of the disasters and crises of recent years is to raise the bar for availability. With well-designed business-continuance plans, companies can maintain availability in the face of disasters — and once something is proven possible, it becomes mandatory.

At the same time, expectations for application performance at remote and distributed offices continue to ratchet up. Companies expect the same response time regardless of whether a user’s down the hall or around the globe from the server on which the application is running.

• Increasing agility. Finally, companies increasingly need their infrastructure to enable near-instantaneous responsiveness.

These expectations make the WAN more important than ever. The combination of infrastructure consolidation and employee dispersion means that servers are increasingly remote from users. So if the network goes down, so do the apps — which is less acceptable than ever, thanks to the expectations of increased availability.

Thus, WANs need to be designed and managed with these requirements in mind.

The bottom line: Effective WAN architecture is more important than ever, particularly in the light of changing business needs.

QuickLink: 060989

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Featured Articles

Empowering the hybrid workforce: how technology can build a better employee experience

Across the country, employees from organizations of all sizes expect flexibility...

What’s behind the best customer experience: How to make it real for your business

The best customer experience – the kind that builds businesses and...

Overcoming the obstacles to optimized operations

Network-driven optimization is a top priority for many Canadian business leaders...

Thriving amid Canada’s tech talent shortage

With today’s tight labour market, rising customer demands, fast-evolving cyber threats...

Staying protected and compliant in an evolving IT landscape

Canadian businesses have changed remarkably and quickly over the last few...

Related Tech News

Tech Jobs

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Tech Companies Hiring Right Now