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The 'New IP': Key to Reducing the Risk of Restrictive and Shadow IT

By NFVZone Special Guest
Yarob Sakhnini, regional director, MEMA at Brocade
July 13, 2015

However organizations’ goals are measured—by market share, cost savings, shareholder returns, or customer satisfaction—they all have one thing in common: Restrictive IT. Organizations cannot take the risk of not addressing restrictive technology, absorbing the growing cost, and mitigating the impact of a failing network.

Balancing Needs and Demands with Reality and Budgets

The CIO is the broker between the needs of the business, the demands of the business units, the reality of the technology in place, and the budget required to get where the business wants to be. 

Restrictive IT makes this a difficult balancing act. You can see how it prevents business goals from being achieved and inhibits business units’ ability to respond to opportunities and risks, but it is often just too complex and costly to replace.

Information, data, and the applications that employees and customers use today aren’t just business tools, they are business. Organizations have become less reliant on the physical office spaces, retail outlets, product samples; and more reliant on virtual remote working, websites and online shopping. However, when it comes to the network infrastructure, enterprises still rely on decades-old physical infrastructures that are slow, costly, rigid and unwieldy.

Organizations need to be fast and agile to act on opportunities or to counter all risks. The physical infrastructures they have in place can’t support this. The virtualization of technology in response to the virtualization of the business has only highlighted and increased the pressure on the infrastructure.

The Impact on CIOs and their Organizations

According to a recent CIO survey commissioned by Brocade, 98 percent of CIOs admit they are worried about how they can enable their organization to remain or become more competitive. Two thirds are concerned about supporting organizational growth geographically or in employee numbers.

These issues often stem from problems such as patchy security updates, an inability to deploy new applications at the speed required, and challenges in enabling access to services, applications and systems via multiple devices. All of it is caused by the limiting effect of restrictive IT.

Image via Shutterstock

Old, inflexible infrastructures and lengthy time to deploy have left many business units within enterprises feeling there’s no choice but to step outside or around the IT department to meet their goals. The result is Shadow IT. It includes any deployment or use of technology devices, solutions or services not sanctioned by IT and any they may be completely ignorant of.  Over 80 percent of CIOs believe business units will adopt cloud services without IT’s involvement in the future.

Security breaches and failure to comply with data protection and management regulation are two of the most common results of Shadow IT. Over 71 percent of CIOs report “security issues” as a major factor in time spent reacting to problems instead of creating solutions.

Balancing Risk: Time to Talk About the Network

It’s likely that CIOs already know what is the most restrictive IT asset in an organization. In spite of significant advances in networking technology, in most organizations the legacy systems they have in place cannot support the business needs of today, let alone tomorrow. Costly, complex, but vital, old style network architectures have resisted attempts to improve their performance through the application of virtualization or the deployment of more network devices.

While business units in many organizations race to embrace the cloud as a seemingly viable work around, a complete transfer of the organization’s data, services, communications and applications is unlikely to be feasible. The only way forward is to address the network issue. Only by building a solution that provides the agility, security and access to the organization’s needs, can goals be met while reducing exposure to risk.

Simply adding new solutions to an overburdened, under-utilized, and fundamentally flawed system won’t provide the organization with what it needs. A new approach to the old network is needed. One that encompasses financing and transitional technology, while reducing complexity and cost. Organizations today have an ‘old IP’ infrastructure—systems, methodology, and a design that is no longer effective. What is needed is a “New IP”—transitional solutions that when brought together provide an infrastructure that is agile, affordable, and automated.

About the Author: Yarob Sakhnini is regional director, MEMA at Brocade. 




Edited by Dominick Sorrentino


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