Jun 03 2013

At the Core of a Thriving Business: A Reliable Network

Companies find the ability to easily connect with customers and employees essential to success.

As mobile devices proliferate in the work environment — both through the deployment of corporate-owned tools and through bring-your-own-device programs — they create new demands on the network.

For now, at least, these are often additional devices drawing on network resources. It’s not uncommon today for an employee to have a smartphone, a tablet, a notebook and a desktop. And they want to access corporate resources from all of these productivity tools. But productivity is enhanced only if the user can effectively and speedily access applications, services and data. Ultimately, that hinges on network availability and reliability.

Several articles in this issue of BizTech reflect that reality.

When Terrence Robbins joined construction management firm Structure Tone six years ago, his charge as CIO was to deploy the latest business applications and create an environment that allowed staff to use those apps efficiently in the field. But first, he and his IT team had to revamp the infrastructure to support that type of mobile environment.

“An investment in the business apps environment would have been at risk unless the underlying plumbing was upgraded,” Robbins says. Today, that new infrastructure provides the kind of high availability that, in part, allowed the company to maintain operations despite a power outage that shuttered its New York headquarters for a week following Hurricane Sandy. To learn how, check out "How 3 Companies Disaster-Proofed Their IT Ahead of Superstorm Sandy."

It's Game On for IT

Similar networking challenges were the focus of not one but two sports venues featured in this issue.

For the Houston Rockets, the need to bolster its network services at the Toyota Center became a priority as the team prepared to host the NBA All-Star Weekend this year. “We were looking at upgrading to smarter technology,” says Okpara Young, the Rockets’ director of IT and telecommunications. “We wanted to future-proof the network and grow beyond the All-Star event.” To find out how the IT department retooled the network, read "Houston Rockets' Network Upgrade Is a Slam Dunk."

And at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome, preparations for the NCAA Final Four tournament led to plans to blow out wireless services to boost the fan experience. IT Director Sam Brown describes the rollout of the venue’s new Wi-Fi service as the “ultimate BYOD project.” To see why, go to "The Georgia Dome's High-Density Wi-Fi Is Ready for the Final Four."

Your business might not serve 72,000 simultaneous users, but it no doubt faces a similar demand — for secure, reliable network connections. We hope that these stories, along with the insights to be found in this issue’s other articles, offer lessons learned that your own business can build upon.