|Latin America III 2000
|Enterprise Networks – The Strategic Value of Information Deployment
|Vice-President for Latin America and the Caribbean
The largest companies in the world are not those that sell technology, but those that use it to enhance existing businesses. A companys understanding of and ability to leverage, IT and more importantly, electronic communications will be the defining factor in their ability to compete in the future. Industry needs to promote a new school of thinking based on the idea of information primacy in business practice and the promotion of information delivery systems within the corporate decision making process. As much as a company invests in information technology today, it is only as good as the connected infrastructure it is deployed on.
During the last 10 years we have seen rapid growth in the connection of users, departments, locations and businesses. In the next 4 years we will witness the elevation of communications as the number one priority of global business. Enterprise implementations are now fundamentally changing the landscape of the enterprise information technology Ecosystem. Changing it by recognising that the expansion of IT-driven Companies is building the global e-Business economy. In a recent Business Week Global 1000 business review, the top ten revenue-generating companies in the world are all non-technology-related businesses, Oil, Motor Vehicle, Retail, and Engineering led companies. Eight out of the top ten most profitable companies in the world also come from this traditional global business sector. Quite simply, the largest companies in the world are not those that sell technology but, those that use it to enhance existing businesses. Enterasys Networks was founded on the belief that a Companys understanding of and ability to leverage IT and more importantly, electronic communications will be the defining factor in their ability to compete in the future. The importance of communications solutions has grown continually over the last several years, driven by the escalating importance of information to these substantial businesses. Can General Motors build a motor car, or Wal-Mart sell clothes? Can PDVSA produce 3.5 millions barrels of petroleum and 6.4 billion cubic feet of gas per day or Embraer build 72 airplanes per semester, manage a worldwide supply chain and grow 212,2% per year, without the continual transfer of billions of important pieces of information? If you strip-bare the basics of business related communications and redefine what you believe to be the business fundamentals, you can find solutions that underlie the future of a communications driven business. Deployment success will lie in the ability to exploit information as the key business differentiator. And as information now drives businesses, governments, public services, healthcare and many other vertical markets, the way in which we manage and prioritise this information, I believe, will be pivotal to success. An Information vision Industry needs to promote a new school of thinking based on the idea of information primacy in business practice, and the promotion of information delivery systems within the corporate decision making process. The success of your information delivery strategy in 2005 will mirror the success of your business over this same time period. Economic success will be dependent on your information-business ability. What are a few key areas that will change the face of networking or justify their continued expansion? IT Ecosystem No longer can we talk about the elements of IT as separate systems. IT now operates as an ecosystem, with all parts reliant on each other. The core reliance is now upon the communications networks and having everything connected everything dependent, on the network for its IT quality-of-life. Business depends on communications infrastructures. Enterasys Networks believe that IT will only continue to be seen as a business asset by senior executives if a business needs approach is taken to the underlying communications infrastructure that supports it. The network has to co-operate with vendors such as SAP, Citrix, Siemens and Microsoft to be fully ecosystem aware. Vendors need to develop intelligent communications solutions that co-operate intelligently with the information systems that they support – holistic information systems. Next generation business practice Where do we work? How do we work? How do we interact with our colleagues in the work place? How do we interact with our customers? How do we interact with our suppliers? Business practice is changing to reflect the constant changes in business communications – whether this is the Internet, e-Business, supply chain management, CRM, e-mail, or videoconferencing. Business practice improvements are a fundamental of deliverable enterprise strategy. Our innovations in communications have driven and will continue to drive the future of good business communications practice. IT cost vs. business investment Global Enterprise now spends billions of dollars per year on IT, this is underpinned by a communications infrastructure services. As much as a company invests in information technology today, it is only as good as the connected infrastructure it is deployed on. How good is your communications infrastructure? Does it constantly deliver service that the business can depend upon? Does it play its part in the successful investment in wider information systems? The secure Info-Business The proliferation of highly important information systems has led to an increase in the number of malicious attacks being made on them. Whether this is externally from the Internet, or internally from local LAN ports these attacks are increasing in frequency and in aggressiveness. Malicious attacks are not always meant to steal information. In fact, most attacks are made internally and are designed to disable key business systems. Security is the NUMBER ONE priority of most corporate customers, government agencies and public services today, and the development of a business communications security programmes, designed to protect the information systems at all key access points are now beginning to surface. The power of mobility Just as the term “personal computer” now has little meaning in a business setting, we are also starting to see the demise of desktop as a viable business practice. Workforces are increasingly mobile, information is needed on a just-in-time basis, and the deployment of laptops has increased to a point where physical wiring is a constraint that limits many computer users. Companies need to harness the power and flexibility of a wireless workforce and producing communications solutions that meet the needs of an itinerant workforce. I believe that network providers need to advance the deployment, control and distribution of information technology solutions, and enhance the business processes of customers that use them. It is easy to see why a Chief Information Officer (CIO) would be confused by current market dynamics, and why they are probably waiting to see which suppliers will take up the challenge of producing truly enterprise focused solutions. Many CIOs are wondering about the future of technology and of solutions built specifically for their businesses. Current enterprise network solutions need much stronger support of such features as security, application support and user management, to name just a few. However, as they are the most important customers of the communications industry, they should not despair, satisfactory solutions, enabling new business processes, will be found for them. Conclusion Why? Because the growth and strength of the world economy and the massive growth in e-Business, is fuelled by the new business processes adopted by global business enterprises. It is not just Internet service providers, the ISPs, or the Dot Com Internet businesses that are fuelling the huge increase in e-Commerce. The growth in e-Commerce has an organic base. Existing enterprises are finding new ways of reaching their customers and suppliers; they are finding new ways to grow, not with mortar and brick, but by jumping across global boundaries.