Chris Alberding, is VP of Product Management at FairPoint Communications.
Technology is the lifeblood of business and government organizations as they strive to transform operations and increasingly become digital entities. The cloud and fiber networks are being woven into the central nervous systems of these organizations to operate more efficiently, deliver new service models and enhance the experience of customers.
This market landscape is pushing organizations to examine and adopt new enterprise technology approaches at an accelerating rate. Working against this backdrop, here are five business tech trends to watch:
The Push to the Hybrid Cloud Accelerates
While the public cloud has proven to be massively successful, many companies maintain business applications that they are not ready to move to public cloud environments. Those applications include legacy solutions that can’t easily be adapted to the public cloud and ones with strict compliance requirements. Organizations are creating hybrid cloud environments to manage select systems in house while also developing and deploying new applications in a public cloud. This approach delivers on the flexibility and scalability of the cloud and the peace of mind of maintaining sensitive applications and data in a private environment.
Data Center Colocation
For applications that companies don’t want to move to the cloud, data center colocation is becoming the clear choice over on-premises environments. For most companies – except specialized web services – maintaining your own data center makes little sense. Data center colocation provides organizations with data center space without requiring them to invest capital for new construction and infrastructure, and can be an important part of a business continuity and disaster recovery strategy. The combination of cooling, power, physical security and on-site amenities – all at a competitive monthly cost – will drive an increasing number of businesses to a third- party data center colocation model.
High-Speed Bandwidth Demand Grows Unceasingly
Demand for increased bandwidth for large and small organizations has grown exponentially in recent years, and this growth trend will continue. Cloud computing, mobile access, and video will place increased stress on enterprise bandwidth needs. Fiber and Ethernet-based services allow for increased bandwidth and are becoming an absolute requirement for financial services, healthcare, education, retail, hospitality, and more. In healthcare, for example, we’ll continue to see the need for high-speed bandwidth to address remote healthcare demands through telemedicine capabilities that can instantly share potentially life-saving information. K-12 school administrators will also focus on their ability to provide high-speed Internet up to 100 Mbps in the classroom as they increasingly embrace digital learning programs.
Dark Fiber Seen as Strategic Asset, Not Commodity
Companies, municipalities and higher education entities will do their homework on dark fiber network solutions compared to traditional lit services as they look for ways to manage their networks and future costs in the face of increasing demand for bandwidth over time. While dark fiber can prove difficult for owners to maintain, network service providers that offer a secure foundation, experienced local field technicians and other construction services will be in the best position to capture this business.
Voice over IP Spreads to the Enterprise
Over the past few years, IP-based unified voice and data communications solutions have been on an upward trajectory with small businesses as the primary driving force. Now, enterprise deployments will increase as these organizations look to replace aging phone systems with feature-rich technology. Additionally, they want to eliminate large up-front capital investments and ensure long-term scalability as their business and available technology evolves. In the last two years, many large organizations have started considering hosted Private Branch Exchange (hosted PBX) and Session Initiated Protocol trunking (SIP trunking) solutions. With improved capabilities, like full-featured automatic call distribution (ACD), video integration and robust reporting, it is becoming more practical for larger organizations to go with IP-based solutions over a traditional on-premise system.
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