In past centuries, communications network infrastructure included ships, foot messengers, pigeons, telegraphs. The world seemed much larger than it does today. Just as ships dominated global communications logistics back then, IT network infrastructure is now the central nervous system that transports data around the globe from data centers to businesses and consumers.
Without a global IT network, the Internet of Things, cloud computing, edge computing, big data analytics, digital banking, e-commerce, data centers, digital transformation projects, social media, and many other aspects of our day-to-day business and personal lives would not exist.
And the stakes are high; if infrastructure doesn’t work as one, the whole system runs the risk of breaking down. The technology large businesses rely on must be able to work in unison with the technology of partners, customers, suppliers and even competitors. And in the world of IT network infrastructure, this places huge importance on network and cabling standards.
“Few organizations can airlock themselves from the rest of the world,” says Clive Longbottom, Client Services Director for analyst firm Quocirca. “Even for those still wedded to an owned facility model, they need to access the rest of the world via email, telephony, internet access and so on. Without effective standards covering the entire IT stack, this just won’t work. With the growth of cloud (particularly hybrid cloud), the need for effective and agreed standards is unavoidable”.
However, with networks come industry-specific concerns. Latency equivalization and the growing need for immediate access to trade data stored in multiple locations creates a unique infrastructure requirement for modern banks. Procurement leadership and their teams must be aware of these sensitivities when rostering suppliers.
This paper takes a closer look at why infrastructure innovation and standards development is important to the creation of fast and efficient IT network infrastructure. It will also examine what the rapidly changing technology landscape means for procurement leaders. We’ll also discuss what suppliers should be able to demonstrate beyond the quality of their network and cabling designs, and how procurement and technology leadership teams can ensure they engage with the right suppliers. And the problems that can be caused by compromising on costs.