Amid higher levels of local technology infrastructure roll out and adoption, the corporate network has emerged as the pinnacle of IT control and sustainability in the workplace, writes Robert Sussman, joint MD at Integr8 IT.

To describe the network as the ‘lifeblood’ of IT is not an exaggeration, especially if one considers some of the predictions around IT, as published by Gartner (Jon Brodkin, Network World).
In this piece, entitled 10 key predictions of developments for IT –Gartner the author reflects on the advent of Software as a Service (SaaS) and notes “early technology adopters purchasing forty percent of their infrastructure as a service by 2011.”
Furthermore SaaS is expected to account for at least one-third of business application spending by 2012.
SaaS is really a by-product of development and growth driving the local telecommunications & ICT markets. Providers of services outsourced by businesses are now forced to bring to the party a more rounded, solid offering – there is simply no longer any room for traditional means of outsourced services.
The fact that the old ‘bodyshop’ approach no longer adds any real value is not really news. This approach is loosely defined as service providers simply completing projects and managing environments without any specific outcomes.
This particular way of conducting business has always had a limited shelf-life. In retrospect it was simply a matter of time before innovation in communications technology allowed for a more practical, more effective and logical step in next generation business software & system integration.
One of the main benefits associated with SaaS is that mission-critical resources like bandwidth, broadband and multi-media applications are generally more affordable and accessible.
Cost of ownership, accessibility and the ability to reach the right market at the right time affect IT and network administration. The fact is that downtime and loss in productivity due to network/ connectivity issues can cripple a business.
Furthermore, whilst network administration, management and technology provision continues to represent an area of growth and strength within ICT, it is still heavily reliant upon skilled practitioners.
International technology vendors and suppliers continuously launch new solutions and product roadmaps into the world’s markets, but the successful adoption and integration of these technologies is dependent on the quality of skills pool and HR.
It goes without saying that training and skills development is crucial to the growth of the network and networking space.
Skills application and capability will come to the fore as advances in technology result in the increased adoption of gigabit and the proliferation of the 802.11n wireless standard. Mobile and wireless integration to boost digital lifestyle technology will drive the adoption of HSDPA and 3G.
The short-term implication of this advancement in network technology services is that companies are obliged to get their houses in order as far as this critical area of business is concerned. It is fundamental to both the external and internal communication process.
This is because no matter what advancement is made, or just how centralized the infrastructure becomes, the network will remain the cornerstone of any credible organisation.