Two 2011 Wildcards for IT

Thinking IT Through

Two 2011 Wildcards for IT

By David H. Yedwab, Founding Partner

Market Strategy and Analytics Partners LLC  |  February 01, 2011

This article originally appeared in the Feb. 2011 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY Magazine.

Many of my industry colleagues already have written extensively about the key issues, opportunities and developments that IT will likely have to address in 2011. (By the way, what ever happened to the first decade of the 21st Century anyway?). However, I have seen little on two issues that I believe may take significant IT time, resources and budget during 2011. Both may be viewed as largely exogenous to your major issues of delivering quality services to your end users.

The two issues are:

· the imminent exhaustion of IPV4 addresses, and the need to transition to IPV6 addressing; and

· the impact of the net neutrality decision of the FCC (News - Alert), and the legal and political turmoil it is likely to cause to business IT plans.

First, while your enterprise’s private address space behind your firewalls/NATs may likely be OK during the transition to IPV6, your network and your users do connect across a WAN and the public Internet to other address spaces (customers, partners, etc.) that may be affected during the transition.

Some key questions that need to be asked:

* Have you been assured by your service provider(s) that none of your critical applications nor any of your planned transitions to public or private clouds will be affected?

* Have you been assured or notified by your equipment provider(s) as to whether any of your routing or switching equipment (hardware and or software) needs to be upgraded?

* And, the third question, when must we do something?  

At least you should be sure that you have comfortable answers to these key questions and have a plan in place to react, if you need to.

Regarding net neutrality, the concern is really whether your service providers (traditional telcos, ISPs, MSPs and cloud providers) are going to be providing consistent levels of service or are going to be distracted over potential business model changes stimulated by the net neutrality ruling (initially likely to be more smoke in legal challenges). And will wrangling over the ruling delay the launch of capabilities or services that enterprises might desire? And finally, let us not forget that these same service providers also are channels to market for the many solutions offered by the UC vendors as well as likely candidates to be providing cloud delivery of services – will these activities be changed or delayed?

Hopefully both these issues ultimately will amount to little more than smoke, but certainly they’re worth asking about to be sure that they are not wild cards that will disrupt your plans and programs.

David Yedwab, a technology marketing industry veteran with more than 25 years experience providing business strategy advice to major tech firms, writes the Thinking It Through column for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi