The Network and its Forces
I have started looking CCDA information and some of it is interesting, towards the beginning the material started out at design methodologies. It talked about the "forces" of a new network framework and in this post I'll focus on the business forces that make a new framework necessary. I find it interesting when looking at companies because although customer service is important to sustain a company, I also think it will and may already have depend on who embraces the technology wheel, those that do will ultimately win. There's a catch, just because you have a nice low-riding sports car you wouldn't want to drive it on a rocky dirt road would you? That's same thing with some big applications and services running on a network. You don't want the network to be your own enemy and unfortunately that usually is the last thing people look at. If a company is serious about their goals there are several things a company will look at to improve their business. Having a strong infrastructure to be able to handle the CEO's wrath is good, but this infrastructure has to handle the competition and any new services and applications the organization decides to throw at it. You are only as strong as your weakness link, so the network is especially important because it's the means of communication with application data, voice, and video. If the network is unavailable so is your applications and services and ultimately your company. There are usually three key areas an organization will look at before moving forward on purchasing an upgraded/new network infrastructure, and usually any other services and products as well:
- Return on Investment is a big one and most companies and most won't go ahead until they can see money down this path instead of nothing. What's in it for me? How will this improve our business? How will this make money instead of draining it?
- Regulation is another big one, Why would a company change anything if there already on the top? Sometimes Uncle Sam has to come along and must companies to be compliant, or they are fined and may even be shutdown. (This adds the twist in the game but this usually helps out the common folk like you and me in the end :)
- Being competitive; You can't beat a company if you are doing the exact some thing as your competitor. Being faster, smarter, and changing your techniques often with the competition will make you different from the rest and may even give you some extra steps forward from everybody else.
In the end it all comes down the cost and this cost is investment it's not something lost forever, if done correctly this investment would pay off. Although we may not see it physically you will see an increase in how much scalability the company can handle, the availability of products and services, the performance of application and services and the overall efficiency of whole network infrastructure. It's simple fact, less downtime equals more productivity and in the end equals money for the company. There is always a balance however, you could argue less downtime equals the more money you have to spend to keep it up and running. That's where the balance begins, does it take more money then what the company can produce to keep the systems up 99.99 percent of the time? Is it worth to drop it to 95 percent up-time to save a couple of thousands or are you now loosing more money than you are saving? These are all questions where everyone has to come to the table and discuss, because it is no longer just an IT problem its an organization problem. The business force for the network is important but there are others, check back to see what technology-related forces exist with the network framework.