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Building a distributed global enterprise: the role of technology

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Building a distributed global enterprise: the role of technology

The explosion of online, social and mobile technologies has resulted in a 24/7 worldwide workplace. Long gone are the days when business was confined to desktop PCs and a 9-5 working day. Today, organisations are increasingly operating from multiple locations and on multiple time zones.


In a global marketplace characterised by speed, efficiency and follow-the-sun operations, today the distributed workforce is a critical business enabler. In such a landscape, business models are triggering a redesign in IT architecture; flexibility, simplicity, security and continuity are key imperatives that are enabled by trends such as application growth, virtualisation, cloud computing and enterprise mobility.


However, where productivity is the name of the game and speed is how you win, are CIOs focusing enough on end-user experience and employee productivity? For example, a large Internet company recently calculated that a page-load slowdown of just one second could cost up to $1.6 USD billion in sales each year. This shows that by enabling fluid global collaboration, quick downloads and speedy cloud-based applications, CIOs can directly demonstrate real business impact. As they strategically redirect their IT investments to bring their ecosystem of employees, partners and customers closer together, CIOs are at the centre of a radical rethink in IT – one that caters to the demands of a global business and a highly distributed workforce.


There is no silver bullet that can enable a CIO to accomplish all the large goals of an enterprise. Applications, storage, networking and security all play into the mix. The network itself has evolved from simple HQ-branch architectures to now include Internet VPNs, and business class internet services, leading to a complex hybrid network. But no matter which technologies are used, an optimised network is the one that ultimately ties it all together, matching applications to the right path with the right characteristics. Dispersed businesses demand a LAN-like environment across the hybrid WAN; one that enables employees to experience IT in a manner that makes them feel that the applications, files and data they need are always local. Regardless of bandwidth limitations, application design, distance or latency, the environment not only demands high performance levels, but it is a critical imperative for survival.

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