Enhancing productivity sans borders
Avinash Purwar, Senior VP, Borderless Networks, Cisco India
Today's enterprise is becoming borderless; devices are brought in and out of the environment due to increased workforce mobility. The industry has witnessed significant market transitions which are changing the way we do business. Whether we work on smart phones or whether we have desktops, the distinction between what we do as a consumer and the devices that we use at work are blurring. Technology concepts like Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), also known as desktop virtualization, which decouple a user's physical machine from the desktop environment, are becoming the order of the day.
Mobility and changing workplace experiences are prompting organizations to break down the silos and borders that exist within their organization and between their organization and the outside world. Borders of location, devices supported on the network and applications are becoming obsolete. A new generation of employees which is multimedia savvy and socially connected is entering the workforce bringing highly mobile devices into the workplace, expecting video to be part of their interaction with employees, customers, and partners.
In today's workplace, primary business resources which include data centers, applications, employees, and customers, tend to be outside the traditional business perimeter. These workplaces are visual, mobile, and in the moment. Network service levels are judged purely by the quality of customer experience. Customers could be running any application, in any location, from any device and they could be internal workers, business partners, or external end customers.
New devices, usage models and changing business practices place huge demands on infrastructure. IT needs a better way to scale and manage users and customers in any location. As businesses break down the borders of location, of device and of application, the network has to meet the growing needs of scalability, availability, performance, security and manageability, which grow exponentially in terms of complexity. Addressing these requirements, in a world where the borders extend beyond the enterprise often into the service provider parts of the network or even of their customers, partners and suppliers, is not easy.
Benefits of a Borderless World:
Working in a borderless environment means removing the limitations from the network, the compromise from security, and the shackles from business. Borderless Networks enable today's workforce to stay productive, while helping businesses control the cost and complexity of network security. This architecture integrates security into a distributed network. Through threat intelligence, flexible solutions, deployment options, strategic partnerships and services, the Borderless Network extends security to the right people, devices, and locations, enabling customers to build solutions that keep their organizations secure, positioning them to address continuously evolving business and security challenges.
Deploying borderless networks architecture helps IT to unify its approach to securely delivering applications to users in a highly distributed environment. For IT and security professionals it will become easy to extend the desired security to the workforce. Borderless Networks help them increase productivity by providing flexibility and freedom of choice to their employees, enable the adoption of new business models such as SaaS without compromising security, help them mitigate risks and meet compliance objectives.
End users will benefit from deploying a borderless environment because it provides flexibility to gain access to information from anywhere and at anytime. Users can choose what device they want to use to access information and get work done, through a secure, "always-on" user experience and not worry about getting connected. New architecture capabilities of the borderless networks ensure that the network not only delivers a high-quality experience to the end user when needed, but also that it is ready for onrushing video demands and applications. Built-in intelligence offers adaptability and predictability, reliably and transparently providing high-quality media experiences to any device on the network.
Borderless networks optimize traffic flow and bandwidth utilization, while reducing the effect of network congestion, lowering the complexity and risk associated with video rollouts. Network-hosted applications ensure the effective and efficient delivery of premium service, no matter what the location or application. Extensible systems and integrated services combine to multiply the value of the borderless networks. Designed-in hardware assists along with network and service modules ensure that the network not only delivers rich services, but also provides consistent performance. This enables cost savings and operational efficiency.
Doing borderless networks right involves far more than picking the brightest technology, the best solution, or the least costly product. It is as much technique as it is technology. One must implement on a number of fronts to achieve success with borderless networks. Technology must be applied effectively and advanced continually, and operations must be implemented efficiently, while ensuring service excellence and user satisfaction.
Companies don't have to, and likely won't, eliminate borders overnight. Instead, their networks will evolve and gradually remove borders. To fully deliver on the promise of borderless networks, the solutions and services provided must accelerate workplace transformation, help ensure technology leadership, and promote operational excellence.