John Terra
John Terra 3 August 2015
Categories Technology

The Borderless Enterprise And Its Impact On IT

The borderless enterprise is the new reality for businesses and their IT departments.

As exciting, dynamic, and versatile as the concept of the borderless enterprise is, it does open up a whole new dimension of challenges for IT departments. One can simply chalk it up to a trade-off: the convenience of a borderless enterprise means more elaborate measures on the part of IT to keep everything running smoothly.

Trade-off or not, it’s important to identify and quantify those challenges so that IT professionals know what they’re up against.

But First, A Definition
Unfortunately, a borderless enterprise has nothing to do with Star Trek. Cisco defines it as a globally connected ecosystem that spans time zones and firewalls. Fluke Networks calls it "... a seismic shift of how new applications or services are supplied today compared to legacy approaches."

Components of a borderless enterprise include Cloud-based platforms, wireless devices (including BYOD), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), to name a few.

The Biggest Problem With A Borderless Enterprise Is ...
With the loss of the infrastructure-centric approach characteristic of legacy systems, centralized management and visibility are lost. It becomes increasingly difficult to monitor problems and address them in such a way that promises minimal downtime.

Put in non-technical terms, it’s hard for parents to keep track of the kids and deal with their individual crises when they’re all out of the house and scattered around town, instead of all collected under one roof, where they can be watched closely and problems can be quickly nipped in the bud.

But on the other hand, who wants a house full of kids?

The Borderless Enterprise Challenges
Here are some of the primary IT issues associated with borderless enterprises.

Increased Mobile Usage: Specifically, the rise in the number of unsupported mobile devices, including the common trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and the resultant strain placed on company resources, such as network accessibility.

Lack of Control of Downtime/Availability: If your in-house systems or software crashes, your IT department gets right on it. If a third party is providing these resources, they usually can only promise best-effort availability, and you really can’t do anything about it.

Lack of Control of Customer/Employee Access: With the entire system scattered every which way instead of being centrally located, it becomes difficult to see and control who’s using the resources and what they’re accessing.

What Can Be Done?
For starters, it requires rethinking IT’s approach to the issue. Instead of the inside-out network-focused approach, today’s IT professionals need to adopt an outside-in vision, starting with the end-user experience, and working their way back to the IT components.

This requires IT to measure the end-user’s actual experience, validate and isolate the problems, determine the cause of said problems, and make changes based on the findings.

It helps if the IT department has a good set of network monitoring tools that can monitor the availability and performance of on-premises, cloud, and SaaS applications. This helps IT to take back a little of the ability to monitor resources, while still letting the company enjoy the benefits of a borderless enterprise; a little of the best of both worlds situation.

The borderless enterprise is the new reality for businesses and their IT departments. The benefits it brings are well worth any downside, especially if measures are taken to mitigate those difficulties. For some more insights into the mobile computing aspect of borderless enterprises, check out "How Mobile Enterprise Apps can Transform Your Business."


Find out more on the future of Technology at our DLUK - Trends Briefing on the 24th September 2015



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