Internet has truly transformed the way individuals and organizations communicate. When one looks at how the Internet has changed so many of the things people do daily, it is hard to believe that it has only been around for most people for about 20 years. In earlier times, before the rampant availability of internet, organizations and small businesses largely relied on print marketing to make consumers aware of their products. These programs were expensive and varied in effectiveness. Cut short and look at today’s scene how companies target their audience.
Most businesses have an Internet presence where consumers can learn about their products, read reviews from other customers, and order products directly from the website. Social networking sites partner with businesses to promote products and services. Bloggers partner with businesses to highlight and endorse products and services. Most of this product placement is targeted to the potential consumer, rather than to the masses.
There are several networking trends that are and will continue affect the SMB and consumers at large.
BYOD: Fad or Future
There is literally not a single presentation from a service or technology provider for enterprise mobility that does not begin with the premise that BYOD has changed ‘everything.’ BYOD is neither a panacea nor a curse: neither simply bringing down equipment costs for businesses, nor bringing about total chaos and inevitably leading to security breaches. The truth is somewhere in between, it surely not a fad.
Giving his views on BYOD concept, Mr. Vishal Joshi, Channel Development Manager, ESDS Software Solution Pvt. Ltd. says, “BYOD initiatives are certainly putting employees at an advantage by giving them the freedom and flexibility to select their own devices. This leads to a comfortable work style which can be a true catalyst for change and innovation.
By enabling BYOD in a secure way, organizations can enjoy the benefits in terms of employee satisfaction and productivity. This is the time for all organizations to act upon BYOD initiatives by getting the right infrastructure, applications and access policies in place. Security at both data and network layer should be well handled by designing right network access policies. Failure in doing so can lead to loss of control and data leakages. An effective BYOD solution can help your employees work better and think innovatively.”
Agreeing with Mr. Vishal, Mr. Subhodeep Bhattarcharya, Regional Director, India & South Asia, Netgear Inc, says, “BYOD is not a Fad or trend. It is actually a change that is happening in the society. Earlier Laptops, Desktops were provided by the company but with the advent of broadband, a whole new segment of users have come up.
Also, the variety of devices has increased. People now access internet on smart phones, tablets. Basically the mobility factor has increased. Today one accesses internet for anything or everything.”
Subscription based service model and cost effectiveness are two important factors that drive more and more Indian companies and SME’s to enter and utilize cloud-based applications. The Indian market for cloud computing is expected to grow by $16 billion in 2020. About two-third of this growth will be due to new businesses and the rest will come from existing service lines. According to IDC, digital data in India is expected to be around 40,000 petabytes in 2010 and this number is projected to shoot up to 2.3 million petabytes in 2020. This slowly leads to an information explosion with cloud in the middle, as more and more Indian companies are looking to leverage the cost advantages of the cloud.
Mr. Madhukar Swayambhu, Sales Head – India & SAARC at ZyXEL Technology India P Ltd, says “With mobility increasing amongst the end users, Cloud Computing has become like a mandate for them. Millions of Apps are being downloaded daily. This is the entry step of cloud computing in our day to day lives. With the user interface becoming lighter and smarter, companies are opening to cloud so that the physical hassles can be avoided. As far as SMB segment is concerned, privacy issues are the only barriers for them to accept cloud. In west, this issue has been addressed by personal cloud. One just requires storage server (NAS) connected to the internet, cloud can be managed. This way the entire control is in the hand of user and the data get physically lying in the customer premise.”
Throwing some on the future of cloud computing in India, Mr. Joshi, says, “Right strategy while choosing a cloud service provider can deliver savings, flexibility, performance and security. Few years ago, companies ran away from the cloud technology based on the hype of security fears. Today they’re finding that some cloud providers have developed industry-leading security capabilities which is superior to the security polices they used to apply in-house. Right implementation strategy, selection of cloud model, security architecture, data encryption at access and storage level, firewall policies, ISO compliances are some of the majors which are being taken by enterprise level cloud service providers to ensure top-level security.”
Centralised Network Management Platform
With vast IT infrastructure, co-ordination amongst the various facilities for an organization is of utmost importance. Companies are looking for a complete solution for their infrastructure needs. SMB segment are demanding a cohesive tool that gives IT managers the power to control their network and get the speed and reliability that, before now, only the big enterprises could afford.
Talking about the way how a single tool can simplify management of network, Mr. Bhattarcharya, says, “Coordination of different IT components is a major challenge, with network communications, storage, and security all in need of alignment. There is a need for a single and simple interface to address all the networking needs. With the BYOD presence increasing in the companies, clients are looking single, simple console for extensive visibility, better control and seamless automation across an entire business network. On the other hand the openness/closeness is defined by the company. So this way the company has the complete control.”
Trends in IP Convergence
IP convergence is transforming business communications. Convergence allows IT organizations to consolidate their data, voice and multimedia resources on one standard backbone and then build exciting new applications that leverage those integrated services. IP convergence is transforming the way companies do business today.
Convergence allows organizations to improve their productivity and efficiency by collapsing multiple networks and services such as voice, video, and data all onto one common application-aware network. By allowing all forms of communication (voice, video and data) traffic to converge over a common infrastructure using Internet Protocol (IP) technology, IP convergence is leading to the unification of networks, thereby resulting in resource optimization.
The public and private sectors are both playing critical roles in the increased adoption of IP video surveillance. The government is taking the lead with efforts such as simple traffic rule monitoring, using cameras to survey roads, intersections and stoplights, and installing surveillance cameras to control crime and terrorist activities.
Business applications that run on IP networks are popping up everywhere, and the possibilities are virtually endless. From voice, data, and security to building management and even industrial systems, IP is bringing systems together over a common twisted-pair cabling infrastructure for improved data sharing, manageability, and cost savings.
Giving his views on the factors that are driving the growth of IP convergence in the country, Mr. Levis Wilson, COO, *astTECS, says, “Today, there is a practical explosion of media applications on the IP network that is sustaining varied combinations of Voice, Data and Video transmission. Organizations are leveraging their IT investments by converging all these applications on a single IP Network by creating and disseminating data, voice & video content and this clearly confirms that the future demands and dynamics of the IP convergence market would intensify.”
Continuing, he says, “We also see integration of Video Conferencing to existing VoIP platform to facilitate real-time collaboration. Asterisk based Open source solution is emerging as a key technology enabling a crucial part of business communication. Traditionally, the network design architecture was more suited for data applications, however to support video over IP, the network requires a more scalable, reliable, robust and agile design and the infrastructure planning needs to be more futuristic. The current IP convergence design also requires a comprehensive strategy to ensure quick ROI and high quality of service.”
On the other hand, Mr. Swayambhu, says, “IP surveillance is one segment that can become a part of everyone’s life. With the current changes in the social structure, and nuclear family becoming a reality, IP surveillance has become the need of the hour. IT is turning out to be a user friendly and cost effective model. A simple and handy IP camera costs 1000/- and once the device is connected to your mobile device, one can keep a tab on his home from anywhere.
As far as Video Conferencing is concerned, it is more popular on mobility platform than IP platform. Android, iOS everyone is offering their own video conferencing tools. Video chat over IP has some market in niche areas like institutional segment. The number of individual users is far more than enterprise users in case of Video communication, thanks to the smart phone and tablets.
Cable TV integration into an IP network like GEPON is also happening in a big way. This is the begin of the new era into IP convergence, wherein instead of IPTV, the cable TV or the coaxial signal are getting encapsulated and travelling in the same pipe as IP data & voice. While the IPTV didn’t get many buyers, the Cable on GEPON has many takers and is opening up a huge market in green field deployments.”
Managed Security Services Trends
Network security is an integral part of computer networking, regardless of whether the network is limited to a home environment with a single connection to the Internet, or as large as a corporation with thousands of users. The network security implemented must take into account the environment, as well as the tools and requirements of the network.
Elaborating on the security trends in the country, Mr Sonit Jain, Founder and CEO at GajShield, says, “Managed Security Services has been on the rise. The market of Managed security services is expected to reach $24,127.1 million by year 2019. The major driver being security as a cloud service. Though developed countries have taken a lead in security cloud services, countries like India are catching up. Managed security services are currently delivered through on premise equipments based, cloud based and hybrid models. Cloud based service delivery model will grow at a much faster pace as it is easy to implement, maintain and is lower cost. GajShield manages cloud services for more than 10,000+ users in India, both in private and public cloud.”
Also, there is a dire need for Application Security as more and more organizations are increasing their dependence on third party for their sotware requirements. Because organizations have little control over third-party source code, the company must blindly accept the risks inherent in third-party software. So by buying an application security program procurement departments to develop some verification teeth using application testing methodologies to determine the actual software risk.
Elaborating on the reasons behind application security, Mr. Sonit continues, “Hackers often use the vulnerabilities in applications to leak data from organisations. It is therefore important that enterprises look at securing applications that they would have bought, built or outsourced. The first step in securing data breaches is to implement Data Leak Prevention (DLP) at your network gateway. Not only does this ensures on what applications can connect to the outside world but also gives visibility into the data being sent. With application based policies implemented on the device, it protects the enterprise from data breaches. And finally, organisations have to keep security as a priority in their day-to-day business activities which helps in the longer goal to secure an organisation.”