In today’s increasingly distributed enterprise, connectivity is key. Even short periods of network downtime can have an immediate impact on revenue and can leave a company exposed to a range of compliance, regulatory and security risks. Gartner estimates that every hour of downtime can typically cost an organisation $300,000 per hour, but in severe cases, damage to brand reputation and customer loyalty is incalculable.
The danger of a network outage due to a failure in Internet connectivity is a real possibility for many enterprises; large Internet service providers offer just 98.5 per cent availability as standard, corresponding to a downtime of up to 10 hours a month. The question is not if the Internet connection will fail, but when.
There are a number of options available to IT managers to help solve this problem. Upgrading existing network technology, for example to T1 lines, can reduce downtime, but these lines do not offer enough bandwidth for most enterprises to run all of their day-to-day applications. Installing wired redundancy solutions is another option, but the implementation and maintenance of E1 or E3 lines is unaffordable for many companies.
Crucially, most wired lines are laid in the same trench and are subject to the same physical damage as primary wide area network (WAN) connections. Selling this option internally – particularly as a business continuity solution – will not be an easy task for many IT managers.
IT managers should look to a wireless solution. For instance, 4G LTE technology offers always-on, cost-effective connectivity. Compared to wired failover solutions, wireless offers speeds fast enough to keep an enterprise network humming at a fraction of the price. The relatively low cost of 4G LTE for business continuity means IT teams can achieve a greater return on investment, while meeting the scalability needs of a distributed enterprise.
A growing number of enterprises are also deploying 4G LTE networks for permanent primary connectivity. IT and network managers are finding they can optimise and pool data usage among multiple distributed locations, deploy the network faster than the competition, and manage the network remotely to reduce the need for on-site?IT support. The key is agility. This type of network architecture is agile enough to be moved without running more cabling, making it possible to change direction without delay. In today’s enterprise environment, wireless could be the perfect solution.