The Digital Communications Revolution

Are You Ready?
By Cisco Systems
Published 2008; Posted July 2008


Abstract:


Many companies invested heavily in networking technologies just before the turn of the century. And if they invested in routers and switches from Cisco, the likelihood is that those devices are still powering their networks today. However, the features and functions that are required to support today’s interactive, multimedia communications; to enable an increasingly mobile workforce; and to protect the network and the data that traverses it are much more advanced:
 

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Peer-to-peer communications and wireless communications have exposed networks to potential security risks that traditional firewalls do not address.

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New industry and government regulations require heightened security for data at rest and in motion as well as reporting mechanisms to validate such security.

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Video communications, including video conferencing, IP video surveillance, digital signage, and TelePresence, require increased bandwidth as well as advanced quality-of-service (QoS) mechanisms and deeper queuing buffers not offered by older devices.

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Business processes are morphing to adapt to a new fast-changing, always open, partner-inclusive, and global model.

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The need to shorten development cycles, decision-making processes, and the entire time to market is dictating the need for all employees to have on-demand access to applications, data, and each other regardless of their location.

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And an increased focus on the well-being of the environment is changing the way we all do business - from reducing travel to improving power efficiency, to ensuring the proper disposal of waste - including discarded IT equipment.
 

To address all of these factors requires an intelligent, integrated network with staunch resiliency and leading-edge technology support not found in turn-of-the-century networking equipment. However, there is another challenge - budgets. In times of current economic fluctuations, chief financial officers (CFOs) may consider curtailing IT investments. But as Jim Metzler and Steve Taylor of Webtorials point out in their paper titled "Is Your Network Ready for the 21st Century?":

"The successful company will look at this as a time to be proactive and to make a bold step to upgrade the networks in order to provide superior services at a lower total cost. Business demands will not get simpler, and competition will not decrease. The best way to establish and maintain a competitive edge is with a bold initiative to upgrade your network design so you’ll be ready for the next decade and its challenges."

Therefore, companies and organizations with an eye toward the future are reexamining their network to assess their ability to take advantage of new technologies and making smart investments that will serve their networking needs today and well into the future. Because newer solutions from Cisco provide features that enable improved productivity, heightened protection, and simplified operations, a growing number of Cisco customers are finding that a technology refresh can be a valuable investment for achieving technology readiness and lowering their network total cost of ownership (TCO).

 

 

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