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How to Manage Network Complexity

By John Lytle, Director

Until now, telecommunications services have been largely viewed as a commodity service, but today’s telecom and network environments are far more complex. Traditional voice and data operations have evolved rapidly into intricate networks that must deliver ubiquitous connectivity, support mobility integration, enable internal and external collaboration and multiple forms of conferencing, all while ensuring data security and integrity.

ISG benchmarks show that up to 35 percent of a multinational enterprise’s IT budget goes to telephony, including voice (5-10 percent), video (5-10 percent), data (25-35 percent) and mobile telephony services (as much as 45 percent). With increased traffic on wired networks and ever-increasing demand from mobile users with new devices to support, multinational enterprises face challenges in adding sufficient bandwidth and improving network management.

The following Top 5 ideas guide CIOS toward an effective mobile strategy.

1. Match mobile technology management to business benefits. Some enterprises reimburse employees for mobile devices. This approach offers flexibility and employee satisfaction by allowing individuals to choose their preferred devices and shop for the best local price, but it also presents challenges in managing security, increases internal administration costs and reduces marketplace leverage. The alternative – managing mobile services centrally - can limit options but offers the benefits of leveraging scale, garnering discounts, managing applications or securing data stored on the devices and more closely monitoring a growing business cost.

2. Align corporate culture and mobile strategy. Decide whether you are willing to impose choices on Millennials who have strong opinions about their devices. Consider your long-range plans for business-technology enablement and how your mobile strategy can best support them.

3. Consider regulatory and data control issues. Personal and business data exist on employees’ devices. Design a plan that will separate and secure data to minimize the legal and regulatory risks to the business and to individuals.

4. Understand local conditions. Organizations operating in international markets must keep pace with rapid changes in local market costs, capabilities and regulations. The pace of change and technology innovation varies by country, as do regulatory and business climates. Some countries still have telco monopolies and duopolies, while others are highly competitive, with variations by technology. In many cases, not understanding the true Total Cost of Ownership, inclusive of all commercial and technical dependencies, is the greatest risk to multinational programs.

5. Think outside of the Request for Proposal (RFP). CIOs are finding that traditional approaches to RFPs and contracting are ill-suited to addressing the wide range of network management challenges. In today’s evolving and demanding connectivity environments, clients don’t always know what the best solution will look like. ISG has found that leveraging the Request for Solution (RFS) sourcing model can be an effective alternative. With an RFS, the customer describes the characteristics of their current IT architecture and operational environment, overriding strategic objectives, major concerns and vision of the desired future state. By asking providers for a solution rather than telling them what’s required, clients can encourage fresh thinking and innovation.

ISG has helped many enterprises structure mobile networks that fit their increasingly complex needs. Contact John Lytle to discuss further.

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