Customers who are making due with existing networks during a downtime dont ask for much in the way of new functions from their vendors. "Lower demand from customers means we can apply resources to R&D to generate big conceptual leaps instead of incremental advancements," he asserted. And companies that spend more heavily on R&D during a downturn gain the most ground when the economy picks up. "R&D is a core investment in the future of the company," he said.The first is a massive proliferation of devices that will "want to connect to your network." Those devices will go far beyond the obvious PDAs, IP phones and storage devices to include noncomputing devices such as building management systems integrated with environmental control systems linked on the network, he predicted. The second great transformation will come from new and more demanding applications on enterprise networks. And the problems those applications cause will happen on a user-by-user basis. "Rich media, voice over IP, data mirroring, will change the way you do business if they dont bring the network down or interfere with other applications," he forecast. In the third transformation, the role of the network in business will change. "More business operations have been moved there. It is a core productivity tool to the way your business works. It has to adapt to changes. You need a network that can accommodate both the need to operate on a least cost basis and on a full speed ahead basis," he said. "The companies that can build and sustain competitive advantage are those that take the time to plan for their transformations," he asserted. In concluding his talk, he urged users to "see out the vision behind the innovation. Ask, what do you think the network will look like in three years?" In answer to the question posed in his theme, Stitt concluded: "Absolutely." Latest N+I News:
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Bringing out his own crystal ball, Stitt believes that in three to five years the industry will see three fundamental transformations.