What are the biggest barriers to your IT agenda?
The 1,000 IT decision-makers who participated in our Enterprise of the Future survey offered some familiar answers to that question. “Systems uptime,” “cost to scale” and “high latency” are obstacles that seem to grow more and more difficult for enterprise IT managers to overcome year after year.
But while these barriers have been persistent, today’s demands on IT infrastructures mean enterprises must change the way they think about and approach their IT strategies to remove these obstacles. End users are increasingly dispersed and mobile. And they demand high-performance connectivity at any time, on any device, no matter where they are. Traditional, highly centralized IT architectures simply cannot maintain security and contain costs while delivering the reliability and performance today’s users expect.
Put simply, the same solutions can no longer solve the same problems. The best way to gain the agility and proximity needed to overcome these IT barriers and risks is through interconnection.
Interconnection Tears Down Barriers
Interconnection was defined in our survey as direct and secure, physical or virtual connections between an enterprise and its partners, customers and employees. More than 3-in-5 Enterprise of the Future respondents consider interconnection “very important” to their ability to compete. Not coincidentally, interconnection is key to removing many of what those respondents identified as their “most important” IT barriers:
- Systems uptime (20% named it their “most important” IT barrier)
- Cost to scale (17%)
- Siloed business or IT architecture (11%)
- High latency (9%)
Siloed, legacy networks and centralized, on-premises data centers simply can’t overcome these obstacles. Centralized IT can mean a single point of failure, raising downtime risks. It also increases cost to scale because all communications must be backhauled through the corporate data center. And since centralized IT is relatively immobile, it can’t adequately shorten the distance between the enterprise and its end users, which is the only sure way to decrease latency.
An Interconnection Oriented Architecture ™ can solve these problems by putting the enterprise focus where it needs to be: on the end user. It breaks companies out of corporate silos by dispersing IT and deploying it closer to end users, wherever they are, out to the network edge. This architecture creates redundancy that decreases downtime risks, and it provides the proximity that reduces latency. In addition, it offers the ability for enterprises to locally peer with cloud providers and access and integrate multiple clouds at the edge. This architecture also enables organizations to provision cloud services quickly and improve end user experience.
Interconnection and Cyber-Security
Direct and secure interconnection also significantly eases cyber-security concerns, which was by far the biggest disruptive trend cited by Enterprise of the Future respondents: 64% reported cyber-security could drive them to consider re-architecting their IT infrastructure over the next 12 months.
Reducing risk, in general, was a major priority of survey respondents:
- 71% said minimizing exposure and improving security was a very important business challenge
- 55% said vulnerabilities in cloud and mobile architectures were a very important barrier to their IT agenda.
- 50% said maintaining data sovereignty was a key obstacle to achieving their IT priorities.
Direct interconnection can lower a company’s risk profile in ways that meet these specific concerns. It shrinks the “attack surface” – reducing the number of hops required to interconnect locations and closing off attack points. It bypasses the public Internet, eliminating vulnerabilities between cloud and mobile providers and their partners. And it allows enterprises to maintain data within geographic borders near their partners and users. That keeps IT compliant, safe and under control.
While the enterprise IT barriers of today feel familiar, a new approach is required to remove them. Interconnection is the key to clearing these obstacles, reducing risks and freeing enterprises to achieve their greatest ambitions.