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5 warning signs it’s time to rethink Branch IT

Simon Naylor, Vice President, ASEAN, Riverbed Technology | March 18, 2016
Simon Naylor of Riverbed Technology shares 5 warning signs that organisations need to look out for when it’s time to re-evaluate their branch IT strategy, and instead look towards adopting a “Zero Branch IT” model.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Branch offices, customer service centers and other remote sites are a company's lifeblood. In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, they need to be agile and quick to respond so as to better serve customers, transact business and enable employees in far-flung locations. As remote sites continue to proliferate, organisations will find themselves purchasing and deploying more infrastructure to reliably deliver applications and data. Today, nearly half of annual IT budgets are spent supporting these remote operations.

However, engaging in branch IT has its own set of challenges - from protection of applications and data, application performance management as well as difficulties in ensuring business continuity - all of which result in costs that quickly diminish margins and even impede future growth. Organisations need to start rethinking their branch IT strategy and instead look towards adopting a "Zero Branch IT" model. This is a transformative approach that enables organisations to dynamically project applications and data from the centralised data centre, dramatically reducing corporate risk with no compromise to performance at remote locations.

Not convinced? Here's 5 warning signs to look out for when it's time to re-evaluate branch IT.

Warning sign #1: It's become increasingly difficult to protect data at remote sites
As organisations continue to expand their business footprint, annual data volumes across the enterprise are expected to grow by 40 percent. A proliferation of sites and therefore data, results in an increased complexity tied to managing this data sprawl, ultimately undermining the value of remotes sites in driving business productivity and growth.

With the average corporate data centre supporting 55 branch offices or remote sites, additional points of failure and exposure are likely to be created. This is particularly relevant for organisations with that house highly sensitive and critical financial data at branch sites, as it increases their susceptibility to data loss - imagine if your local bank's branch stored critical data on-site, and experienced a server failure!

Warning sign #2: Backup processes are outdated and/or difficult to manage
With rapid growth, approximately 50 percent of corporate data is expected to reside in branch offices and remote sites. This could eventually lead to fragmented processes where many offices are performing their own backups on different schedules, using different method and technologies, or even worse, not completely executing them at all.

As the cost of furnishing each site with the necessary infrastructure capabilities can be excessive, backups also tend to be expensive. Another downside to backups lie in their inefficiency, such that in the event of downtime, new data created between the outage and the last captured backup is gone. Suppose that a huge transactional amount has just been deposited into your bank account, and was gone the next minute due to an outage!


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