These days, it's a well-known fact that businesses need the Internet to support their daily processes. From Web applications and cloud resources to VoIP and other unified communications systems, connectivity is simply a requirement of enterprise infrastructure.
However, connectivity demands in this industry have been steadily rising over the past few years. Now, the networks that were able to support online activities in the past aren't up to current needs, and many IT administrators and decision-makers are looking for ways to bolster their connectivity.
"Now, the networks that were able to support online activities in the past aren't up to current needs and many IT administrators are looking for ways to bolster their connectivity."
But what, exactly, is driving these increased connectivity requirements? Let's examine the technology and usage trends that are causing enterprises to take a second look at their network connectivity:
Increasing connection points
In the past, network engineers and IT staff only had to worry about a handful of connection points within the enterprise infrastructure. Now, however, there are many more connections points needing support.
"Global businesses are facing unparalleled complexity and change within their IT and telecom structures, due to the unceasing procession of technologies that continue to redefine how business is done," Wired contributor Garrett Long wrote recently. "If you aren't aware of the various connection points to your enterprise, you should be; there might be more than you realize and without a clear understanding of the connections you're using, they can't be managed effectively."
These connections include systems that are:
- Fixed – These connections make up a small part of the network, but include phone lines, big data and other fixed points of network entry.
- Machine – These types of connections are increasing recently, and include those involved in machine-to-machine communications as well as the Internet of Things.
- Cloud – The cloud provides the internal structure for many of today's online activities, including data storage, application development, cloud-based applications and other outsourced business processes.
- Mobile – With the rise of BYOD and wearable devices, mobile connections are continually on the rise in today's enterprises.
Boosted Wi-Fi needs
In addition to the rising number of connection points, enterprises are also experiencing increasing demands for Wi-Fi – not only from their customers, but from their own employees as well. According to a TechRadar survey, one in three participants said they'd be unable to complete critical tasks without Wi-Fi. In addition, 60 percent of those surveyed believe their home Wi-Fi network offered better performance than the network they use at work.
Now that sufficient Wi-Fi connectivity isn't just a luxury in the corporate sector, it is critical to have the proper wireless support in place.
"For a long time, Wi-Fi has been a nice-to-have add-on to the network, often deployed for guests' convenience and certainly not considered important for the business or by the business," noted networking expert Paul Hennin. "This is no longer the case. Working practices have changed, tools have changed and Wi-Fi is now playing a prominent role within the enterprise."
This is especially true as more workers become "hyperconnected" employees, which include those who are "reasonably happy with their work/life balance, even though they use almost all devices and applications for both, and are willing to communicate with work on vacation, in restaurants, from bed and even in places of worship," according to Ars Technica. For these individuals, Wi-Fi is their lifeblood, and enables a whole host of not only work-related, but also personal, activities. With the number of hyperconnected people on the rise, the enterprise sector must be ready to support their demands.
Change in traffic patterns
Many networks currently being used in business settings were constructed at a time when online traffic patterns operated differently. For this reason, these networks are now struggling to keep up with today's online traffic levels. In the past, for instance, much of online traffic traveled in a north-south pattern, where data was transmitted from the server to the user. Now, however, a considerable amount of traffic moves from east to west in more virtual environments, or from server to server.
As a result, network engineers and IT staff must ensure that their network connectivity is able to handle this change in traffic. When it comes time to bolster network connectivity, business leaders can turn to iT1 Source, an expert in next-generation connectivity needs.
To find out more, please be sure to contact iT1 today.