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The Seven Myths of the Good Enough Network


Cisco Blog > The Platform
The Seven Myths of the Good Enough Network
Originally Published by Mike Rau
Mike Rau | April 27, 2011 at 2:15 pm PST

There is a debate raging in the IT industry about the role of the network.

In the same week that a gaming company’s network was hacked and the personal information of 60 million customers was leaked, there is a debate raging about whether the network matters.

In the same moment that the iPad is being adopted by 65% of the Fortune 100 — obliterating conventional wisdom about how corporate networks support consumer devices and mobility —there is a debate raging about whether the network matters.

On one side we have newcomers to the networking industry and some industry commentators who believe that the value of a network should be determined only by the cost of its components.  They argue that customers should focus squarely on acquisition cost, not the value of their network assets.  They argue that customers should focus on capital cost, not network capability and innovation. They believe the network has become a utility; that ‘good’ is good enough.

We all understand that negotiating the best price for goods and services always makes good business sense.  But this debate is about more than that.

The debate is about making a choice between a tactical network where getting the lowest possible price up front is paramount – and a strategic network investment that enables customers to adapt quickly to new business imperatives and to handle the increased demands on their business.

This debate has fueled numerous myths and misperceptions in our industry.  Here are the seven most misleading Myths of the Good Enough Network.

1. The Application and Endpoint Ignorant Myth: Good Enough Networks typically operate on the notion that data is data—all just ones and zeroes.  More sophisticated next generation networks are built on innovative products that adjust to the application being delivered and the endpoint device on which it appears.

2.      Basic QoS Myth: If a company has no plans for video applications or rolling out virtual desktops, a Good Enough Network and basic QoS may suffice. If, however, the business wants to take advantage of voice, video or mission critical applications then they need to invest in the QoS capabilities available in an Enterprise Next-Generation Network.

3.      Single Purpose Myth: Customers investing in networks for a single purpose are missing opportunities to use the power of the network to improve carbon footprint, save energy costs, and provide unified management for wired and wireless networks.

4.      Basic Warranty Myth: Service contracts and warranties are not created equal. You usually get what you pay for. Unfortunately, you never realize how good a service contract is until you need it. Be prepared and look at the fine print.

5.      Security as a Bolt-On Myth: Network security has to keep pace with an ever-changing threat profile and the increased use of mobile devices. When different security elements don’t share information, it magnifies the challenge of creating consistent security across the entire IT environment and can leave the customer exposed to costly security incidents.

6.      Acquisition Cost Myth: When building an IT network, about 20 percent of the budget is for acquiring the hardware and 80 percent is for operating costs. If customers don’t assess the complete financial impact, building a tactical network can quickly become the more expensive network. Perhaps even more importantly, companies that settle for tactical networks will miss out on the business benefits and customer engagement enabled with a next-generation network.

7.      Just Look for Standards Myth: While industry standards are extremely important, relying only on existing standards as you plan for future needs is misguided.  When companies lock themselves into standards-based, good-enough networks, they miss out on higher-level service innovation.

Have you had any experience with any of these “good enough networking” myths?  What are some of the other myths that you’ve hearing in the industry?

If you’re interested in learning more about the seven myths Cisco recently held a 45-minute webcast hosted by Cisco EVP of Worldwide Operations, Rob Lloyd, and Bob Cagnazzi, CEO of NYC-based BlueWater Communications.  Cisco also recently released a white paper designed to debunk the myths of the good enough network.

Read the White Paper: When Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough

View the IPTV Broadcast: Debunking the Myth of the Good Enough Network

What do you think? Are there other Myths you've experienced?

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