High-speed Internet Connectivity Everywhere
A decade ago, you connected to the Internet via a modem that was running at a screaming 14.4kbps (kilo bits per second). I thought it was cool to Napster music on my expensive ISDN modem running at 110 kbps, with a song taking five minutes to download. The corporate network was running at 10 Mbps (megabits per second), 700 times faster then the modem, so you saved your big file transfers for work.
Today, you can get 30 Mbps mobile downloads from Verizon LTE (theoretically up to 100 Mbps) and most people can get 20 Mbps or better at home through DSL or cable modems. (At 30 Mbps, you can download a song in less than two seconds.) This means that users can reliably connect at high speed to servers from anywhere.
Here’s the shocking news: mobile internet service might be better with a wireless connection than a corporate wired connection depending on the age of your corporate network infrastructure. The odds are good that you’re paying for high-speed wireless connection for your power users now. Depending on your organization, it may not take too much to roll out high-speed mobile internet to the rest of your mobile workers.
You might be concerned about security. There are plenty of ways to make sure that the connection is secure and private. I’ll discuss this in a later post.
Third-party wireless service providers have the incentive to deploy redundant and high-availability systems at a competitive price. If you had to design and build an equivalent system, it would cost you millions of dollars and still it wouldn’t measure up to what they’ve got in place.
Since you can easily build a fast, scalable, inexpensive, and redundant network around third-party wireless providers, you no longer have to depend on managing your own corporate network to provide a reliable server connection.
In fact, I predict that over the next several years, companies will elect to go completely wireless for most applications and locations because it will be cheaper, more efficient, and more reliable to tap into a third-party network than to manage and maintain your own wired or wireless network. I expect that small and remote offices won’t even have a wired network, nor any hardware on site other than user access devices–such as a laptop or tablet–and printers that will connect to the user devices wirelessly without any infrastructure required. Everything will connect through third-party wireless services.
What all of this means is that you don’t need your own network infrastructure to reliably connect to cloud-based servers. It doesn’t matter where you or your team is located, they most likely have a high-speed connection to what ever server you choose, where ever you choose it to be.
Ask Yourself or Your Board…
- What would it mean to our operation if we had secure high-speed access to our business systems anytime and anywhere?
- What if we could do this for less than we’re spending on networking and support right now?
- What would you think about exploring outsourcing our user network connections to a third-party?
Ask your CIO…
- What does our networking infrastructure, management, and maintenance cost us today?
- What are we spending now to provide mobile access to our people?
- What will that look like over the next three years?
- What major overhaul in our network infrastructure do you anticipate over the next five years?
- What do you think we need to budget for that?
- How much of our network could we outsource to a third-party wireless provider?
- What impact would that have on our operating costs?
- What impact would that have on our reliability?