Enterprises must ditch silo computing

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Enterprises must ditch silo computing

Organisations are moving from traditional hierarchies based on command and control to looser structures requiring collaboration and team work, according to a study by research firm Butler Group..

The report claims that enterprises now require a common IP-based infrastructure to capitalise on increasingly mobile and flexible modes of computing.

Employees are no longer remaining in one place for any great length of time, and the report suggests that "existing infrastructures in separate silos are no longer the answer".

"The need for new and enhanced service provision to support business requirements must drive infrastructure and technology deployment," said Mark Blowers, enterprise architectures practice director at Butler Group and co-author of the study.

"There should be a move towards the provision of common integrated communication services, which are ideal for a complex and distributed environment. Web services can also be utilised to mobilise information to all stakeholders."

Blowers maintained that moving away from proprietary solutions for voice and data to a horizontal communications architecture will break today's communications environment into separate layers.

This will make use of industry standards to integrate the hardware, common services and administration tools.

"A componentisation and services-based approach increases flexibility, enabling services to be developed independent of the equipment," he said.

"Using IP-based components instead of vendor-dependent solutions improves scalability and drives down infrastructure costs with price/performance optimisation."

Blowers warned that the need for organisations to extend complex interactions with partners, suppliers and customers, along with the increasing popularity of IM and social networking with consumers, represents a major challenge for IT managers.

Fax, email, pager, SMS, web conferencing, video conferencing and conventional teleconferencing are all in use today, but many business processes are still hampered by ineffective collaboration, according to Blowers.

"There is pressure on the IT manager to provide enterprise presence functionality due to the availability of consumer instant messaging," he said.

"Social networking techniques and web 2.0 functionality used in the consumer environment will be demanded by the enterprise workforce, which will expect these new tools and technologies to be readily available at any location and on any device."

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