When making strategic decisions, IT professionals could be ignoring a key element – and that is whether their existing connectivity infrastructure will allow them the freedom to proactively tackle the new IT utopias.

So says Hendrik du Plooy, general manager – sales of Broadlink, who notes that the IT landscape is dynamic and characterised by various exciting and challenging trends at any given time.

“Some trends are nothing more than hype and excitement, others stick and evolve into larger trends that impact our, and our customers’ businesses on a day-to-day basis,” says Du Plooy.

“Knowing which is which is tricky, and the challenge for IT decision makers is to determine the best way forward for their business to deliver the best value, offer longevity, and ensure better business efficiencies.”

For example, he argues, it is imperative that IT professionals ask themselves if their delivery network has ability and scalability to cater for these new tools, technologies and applications. A carrier-grade access solution, able to carry high volumes of traffic, fast and reliably is as crucial to your company’s plans as any of the applications or services you will layer over it, he adds.

Key trends

Du Plooy elaborates: “We see a few key trends driving much of the decision making when it comes to the ICT environment. Businesses expanding into Africa have driven requirements for new access technologies and network architecture, such as satellite to reach more remote areas.

“The ‘social’ explosion has impacted all spheres of our technological interactions, as has the mobility trend. Both of these trends not only change the way a business is expected to communicate to its customers but it also changes the way employees engage with the world.

“These global phenomena have impacted the local industry in a myriad of ways. BYOD [bring your own device] has become more accepted in the workplace, causing IT managers sleepless nights over the security concerns that come with it.” According to Du Plooy, the IT landscape is even further influenced by the hype of cloud computing, cloud applications and all the associated mobility and cost saving benefits it promises businesses. Another big buzzword is big data, he says, adding that everything is about data and everything we do uses data. Increased mobility and use of cloud technologies means more data and more requirements for secure and scalable data storage facilities – either physical (in data centres) or virtual (cloud based data storage), he explains.

Into the future

Du Plooy, however, warns: “Taking your company into the future must never be about jumping on the next trend wagon. It is important to have a firm, long-term IT strategy in place and from there, decide on tools and technologies that will enable the business to best capitalise on the benefits they promise to deliver – be it lower costs, increased productivity, or a more mobile workforce.”

“There are new technologies, tools and trends, promising a number of benefits. Be sure that you know what it is your business needs, and build a strategy around implementing the ones you believe will be most beneficial to your organisation, in the shortest time frame.”

He also encourages businesses to ensure that their connectivity infrastructure can handle the demands of the business. “The demands of new technologies, cloud, mobility and the way people work have led to increased data demands.

“Make sure that your network is able to handle the load – this extends to your network, your voice communications infrastructure and your business continuity plan should your business suffer a serious setback.”

Du Plooy also calls on organisatios to ensure that business involves the IT department or decision makers in key business decisions. More than ever, he argues, businesses are driven by technology. Make sure that businesses decisions are not made in isolation as the impact of these decisions on the IT environment might not be considered, and often IT and business systems are an afterthought, he urges.

“Based on what is happening in the market place, I think companies need to look at public or private cloud solutions, both from an application as well as storage, from reputable providers with a proven track record.

“But only if it makes sense for your organisation. Don’t jump on the trend wagon unless it will benefit the business,” he concludes.

By Admire Moyo, ITWeb’s portals editor