How to Renew Your Focus on Your Network and Business Goals

CIOs don't need a crystal ball anymore to know the vast majority of technology issues and trends currently facing their companies in 2010. What they could need, though, is a renewed focus on the projects and priorities that can drive their business forward given the current economic environment. Here, Knowledge Center contributor Ted Raffetto outlines five network management and business goals CIOs should still be striving to meet this year.

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Whether you hold a pessimistic view of the economy's recovery or see encouraging signs of improvement, one thing is for certain: all savvy CIOs must balance common network requirements with the ability to facilitate key growth drivers such as extending new revenue streams and reaching emerging markets.

Therefore, as you think about the remainder of the year (and beyond), are you close to meeting your New Year's network management and business resolutions? If not, there is still time. Here are five goals that CIOs around the world should still be striving to meet this year:

Goal No. 1: Conduct a thorough network assessment

Outside of contract negotiations, when was the last time you did an informal audit of your network topology to determine whether your company has the right mix of technology and services? Have you assessed if you are receiving the consultative performance you need from your vendors across the globe? Chances are you're using multiple service providers and, if you are a global enterprise, you're likely spanning several geographies with a host of technologies.

You may have a mix of Layer 1, Layer 2, virtual private LAN service (VPLS) and IP/Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) solutions for your different business needs. While you may have realized improved TCO by entering into short-term, multicarrier agreements, the long-term consequence can be a complex Web of network providers-with little interoperability and high vendor relationship maintenance. What's more, if you have a network outage, are you notified immediately? Are you able to easily and quickly isolate the problem?

Your resolution: To take stock of your network solutions and vendors to determine if you need to consolidate. Turn to a single managed service provider (MSP) or move to a hybrid model. Ensure that you are reaping the benefits of improved customer service and have access to the right technology assets and expertise around the globe.