Middle East IT Managers Need a New Campus Network Approach to Prevent Business and IT Collision
Due to shrinking IT budgets, CIOs and IT managers in the Middle East are finding it difficult to balance the cost/ value proposition of campus network solutions and need to look for innovative solutions
August 9, 2012 1:14 by Colin_Saldanha
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, August 8, 2012: The Campus network is the entry point and the main communications/information conduit for most organisations. Massive increases in access demand for increasingly diverse and demanding applications (such as video and data), is stretching legacy campus networks to breaking point.
This is giving senior IT staff in the Middle East a serious headache. Add increased uptake in the region of unified communications (UC), virtual desktop infrastructures (VDI), and a determined transition to hosted cloud-enabled services and things start getting ugly. Poor reception on calls or video conferences, loss of connectivity, holes in network security, and a lack of adequate bandwidth—reducing application response to a crawl—is impacting business productivity and reducing businesses’ ability to compete at a time when efficiency gains and maximising IT assets are critical to combating a negative economic environment.
Sufian Dweik, Regional Manager, MENA at Brocade says that a lack of vendor innovation and investment into campus technologies has historically left businesses with limited choices in addressing the impending crunch-point. Many have already invested heavily in applications, hardware upgrades, and hosted services. And trying to shift the problem out to a cloud-service won’t work when the problem resides in the campus—indeed any organisation looking to invest in, and transition to, cloud-enabled services should ensure their own campus networks can support such changes to get any value from their contracts.
For some time, value and cost have been at opposing ends of IT’s financial-reality/ business-need see-saw when it comes to campus. This is one of the reasons why the campus remains a critical bottle-neck in adopting innovation that can drive real business change and growth. Campus environments have become extremely complex to manage, or remain basic and unable to reliably carry the volume and types of data common to most business IT environments today.
A new approach is needed, one that recognises the inherent value of the campus to the business, and balances that with the financial realities of IT investment. With new innovations and a new approach to campus design, this is more than possible. Businesses can transition their campus networks to technologies that deliver the intelligence, smooth and seamless ease of use, high-availability, and the resilience their evolving businesses require—and at a cost that challenges all comers.
It’s something Brocade calls ‘Effortless Networking’. To maintain or gain competitive advantage—and deliver the efficiency and productivity gains all organisations are seeking—value and price cannot remain at opposite ends of the campus spectrum.
Adding switches to an environment just adds cost and complexity for minimal increase in value or effectiveness. Businesses need to look beyond this kind of strategy and reconsider their campus approach. Only by investing in innovative solutions that deliver real immediate improvements, and enable simplicity of management to ensure new applications and updates can be deployed quickly and with ease, and which offer investment protection and longevity over an on-going ‘box add’ model, are businesses really going to be able to leverage the business value of their campus networks.
The increases in video, VDI and UC—not to mention cloud and mobility—consumption will only continue, with the corresponding increases in data volumes. Businesses need to act now to address the issues endemic in most campus infrastructures. Those who do will be able to reap real business value from their insight and investment. Those that don’t may find riding the campus see-saw becomes very rocky indeed. When innovation means cost is no longer a key consideration, IT and business no longer need to collide.
Brocade (Nasdaq: BRCD) networking solutions help the world’s leading organizations transition smoothly to a world where applications and information reside anywhere. (www.brocade.com)
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