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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.

Warning sign #3: Struggling to manage costs versus performance and end-user experience
Installing the infrastructure required to support mission-critical applications at each branch or remote site is a costly endeavor to both maintain and administer. To make matters more complex and business limiting, several challenges around data security, data backup, and speed of deployment have been reported by organisations when it comes to maintaining and rolling out services at branches and remote sites.

While buying more bandwidth is often thought of as a cure-all, it can prove to be an expensive proposition. Bigger pipes don't necessarily solve these issues but instead, might add on to a lack of visibility and control. Adding to the issue, remote sites are often without skilled IT personnel who can quickly troubleshoot and resolve performance problems when they occur.

Warning sign #4: Taking days or weeks to recover sites when downtime occurs
In the event of an outage, companies want assurance that sites can be restored as quickly as possible with minimal data loss and little to no impact on employee productivity and core operations.

However, the reality is that site recoveries take days, or even weeks, to complete. To paint a gloomy picture - servers and physical hardware need to be replaced; underlying operating systems need to be rebuilt and patched; applications and data need to be reinstalled. And in the time taken for systems to be back online, customers are lost and business deals cannot go through. With the velocity at which the business landscape evolves today, downtime must become a thing of the past.

Warning sign #5: Remote sites are becoming mini-copies of existing data centres

Teams are forced to manage individual servers, storage devices, backup systems and networking equipment. The result is a footprint not too dissimilar from the corporate data centre, and because so much data and infrastructure still resides at the edge, expensive storage arrays and other investments in the data centre go heavily underutilised. In order to successfully make applications and data accessible to remote office end users, the actual maintaining of these islands of infrastructure can be an administrative nightmare.

Is it time to rethink branch IT? 
Business expansion can have its initial teething problems, but it shouldn't be causing consistent pain points. Organizations have been locked into these traditional approaches of deploying and managing branch IT, but now is the time to challenge these conventional ways. If your organisation has encountered one of the five above warning signs, it's probably time for you to rethink your approach to branch IT and consider a Zero Branch IT model.

Implementing a Zero Branch IT model enables higher-performing, more reliable, disaster-resistant branches that address today's ever-evolving business needs, while also reducing costs, removing corporate risk, and improving customer and employee satisfaction.


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