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Businesses need to realign their IT priorities to support the network, report says

By Max Burkhalter
February 7, 2012
Cloud computing and virtualization are changing the way organizations operate. More resources are being delivered from remote facilities to the corporate LAN, WAN infrastructure is becoming more important and more data is being pushed through the network on a regular basis. At the same time, businesses are increasingly emphasizing continuity and security efforts, neglecting the network's role in ensuring availability, Voice and Data reported.

The problem with such strategies, according to the news source, is that the network provides the critical connection point that organizations use to access almost all of their data. This is especially prevalent as more companies move to the cloud, keeping less content on individual computers and moving even more content to remote or third-party servers. When companies work to develop their business continuity strategies, they tend to focus on what they will do if a server fails, the power goes out or a natural disaster hits the area. They often forget to realize that networking issues also need to be considered within the plan.

There are a few hurdles that organizations need to overcome when working to overcome the challenges associated with upgrading the network to support continuity plans. One such measure is finding a way to get business leaders to understand the value of network infrastructure and make room for upgrades and management tools in the budget. The news source explained that most network managers are left toiling in an out-of-the-way place, expected to keep things running with minimal funding and little support. As a result, the networking team and corporate management often have disparate goals, making it difficult for IT to get enough funding for networks.

The report said much of this neglect for the network comes because few outside of IT actually understand the complex layers that go into the network. As a result, they think problems and deficiencies can be dealt with easily, and fail to recognize the importance of making network investments to sustain and improve operations.

These measures are especially important when dealing with cloud computing and virtualization. The two technologies not only put more data into storage environments, they also depend on businesses delivering more data-rich applications and services to end users. As a result, networking infrastructure becomes critical for day-to-day operations as well as business continuity efforts.

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