Interconnecting People: Creating the Interconnected Enterprise

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In our “Interconnection History” blog series, we talked about the eras of technology transformation that have brought us to where we are today, the “interconnected era.” This era of the digital economy is marked by companies collaborating in new ways to create new value and opportunities. It’s a time that calls for the enterprise to be reshaped into an “interconnected enterprise.

An interconnected enterprise connects your employees, partners and customers to what they need, in the right context, and using their preferred devices, channels and services. To do this, your enterprise needs to be able to securely and efficiently interconnect people, locations, clouds and data. It’s a complex task, and these four distinct points of interconnection each pose unique challenges.

“An interconnected enterprise directly and securely connects its employees, partners and customers to what they need, in the right context, using the devices, channels and services they prefer.”

In this new blog series, we explore those hurdles and how your enterprise can move past them. Our first post focuses on the challenges and possibilities surrounding the need to interconnect people.

Empowering the Digital User

Enterprise users have become increasingly digital in the past decade, and the rate of change is only accelerating. Citrix Systems predicts that 89% of organizations will offer mobile work styles by 2020. These changes bring benefits to your enterprise, including increased flexibility, productivity and user satisfaction. But they also present you with obstacles.

Digital users are collaborating and consuming information through any number of devices. Gartner predicts there will be seven connected devices per user by 2020. People are also increasingly harnessing social media channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to interact and transact with colleagues, partners and customers. These systems of engagement are eclipsing traditional, more static systems of record, such as databases and files.

You need a new level of interconnection to enable these evolving interdependencies among your employees, partners and customers. There is also demand to support more dynamic and latency-sensitive digital collaboration across text, voice and video applications.

“Interconnection integrates partners, customers and employees across geographies through direct, secure physical and virtual connections, to accelerate business performance and create new opportunities.”

Your job is to ensure seamless interconnection across all of it. Most importantly, you must deliver a consistent, high quality of experience (QoE) to all users. Connectivity must be secure, reliable and available anywhere, at any time, and from any device across all engagement channels.

A new approach is needed, not more bandwidth

These challenges require a fundamental switch in your IT delivery architecture, from one centered on the location of your IT assets to a model that’s distributed and interconnected enough to meet your users anywhere. Unfortunately, legacy enterprise infrastructure generally is not suited for this user-centric model. Legacy enterprise networks often can’t meet the expectations of dispersed users or fulfill the requirements of latency-sensitive applications, such as video conferencing tools.

A common solution is to add more long-distance connections and bandwidth. But that’s become prohibitively expensive and, more importantly, it won’t solve the problem. The best way to increase speed and reduce latency between two points is to shorten the physical distance between them. More bandwidth or adding connections can’t do that.

A new integrated, interconnection oriented approach that integrates the physical and virtual worlds on a single platform opens up new possibilities. This approach brings applications, services and business ecosystems directly to your users for greater collaboration and innovation. It creates a platform that bypasses the public Internet and brings your people into closer proximity to what they need via direct, high-speed, secure connectivity. It has the flexibility to scale and reach users globally, while giving them the freedom to engage how they prefer, with the QoE they need. This new approach is a critical component of an interconnected enterprise.

We’ll be talking more about what it takes to become an interconnected enterprise as this series continues. Next up: a look at what it takes to interconnect locations.

Read more about the interconnected enterprise from Equinix.com and check out some white papers, case studies and an infographic.

Read all five parts of the Interconnected Enterprise series.