The three network topics that should be on every CIO’s agenda

27 November 2017

Mark Hardy, director, cloud networking, Northern Europe, Citrix

Mark Hardy, director, cloud networking, Northern Europe, Citrix

We are now incredibly close to a future where everything will be connected to the cloud. This is moving beyond traditional servers and clients but now includes any kind of device, building or machinery. Always-on networking will ultimately transform all industries. With this in mind, there are three topics that every CIO should be considering:

The network will be the future business platform: the next five to ten years are going to see businesses transformed by digital technology. Everything is moving towards a globally connected IT infrastructure. Whatever the industry, the IT network will provide the foundation of every business. The IoT can provide data for near real-time interconnectivity.

We are already seeing this with the rise of car manufacturers who are preparing for a future where vehicles are not simply hardware designed to take us from A to B but an interconnected platform that can provide a personalised experience. 

The network is software-defined: data paths are no longer pre-defined connections. Instead, they are made much more agile by being dynamically determined by software. Previously, branch offices used to be connected to headquarters via leased lines. Now, modern offices communicate via multiple IP connections with a device that uses algorithms to decide which connection to use. By doing so, data paths can be diversified on technical necessities, such as balancing traffic loads, making the network more powerful and cost effective. 

Network performance does not always equal business performance: it may seem logical to assume that the faster the network, the more efficient business processes are. However, the network is simply the vehicle to transport data between applications. For a successful digital transformation, it is vital that there is full control of how applications are delivered. Deploying an ‘application delivery controller’ will allow for the granular management of application behaviour and security as well as digital perimeter policy enforcement. 

Data is the new currency and facilitating the unhindered flow of data is essential for the modern enterprise. Digital transformation and the IoT are rapidly progressing across all industries with network infrastructures providing the foundation of many business operations. Robust network connectivity and software-defined networking is needed to make this infrastructure agile enough for evolving business needs.