• United States

Companies face impediments to convergence but a new form begins to emerges

Feb 28, 20062 mins

* Technical and organizational impediments to convergence

The term convergence gets used frequently in our industry. Perhaps the most common example of convergence is the coming together of voice and data onto a single network infrastructure. We started talking about the benefits of this form of convergence several years ago and guess what? We are still talking about it. In particular, while the majority of companies have made some movement towards implementing a converged voice and data infrastructure, only a small minority of companies has deployed a converged infrastructure throughout their entire organization.

The benefits of voice and data convergence are well known and are significant. However, it is not possible to predict the success of any new technology or approach to deploying technology by looking only at its benefits and ignoring the technical and organizational impediments.

From a technical perspective, supporting high quality voice on a data network has proven to be quite difficult. Many companies have also struggled with integrating what had been totally separate voice and data organizations. The bottom line is that these two impediments have been difficult for companies to overcome and so this form of convergence will continue to spread slowly.

In a newsletter published last summer, we talked about an emerging form of convergence. In this case it was the convergence of typical computing functionality such as message broker into the network. Proponents of this approach are promising myriad benefits including improved application security, easier application deployment, better business visibility, and a reduced total cost of ownership.

We do not think that technical issues will be as much of an impediment to this form of convergence as they have been to the deployment of converged voice and data infrastructures. However, we do think that the organizational issues will be significant. While it is too early to say with any certainty, we believe that this form of convergence will take at least three to five years to become mainstream.

In our next newsletter we will discuss yet another form of convergence – one that involves the coming together of security and application acceleration technologies.

Jim has a broad background in the IT industry. This includes serving as a software engineer, an engineering manager for high-speed data services for a major network service provider, a product manager for network hardware, a network manager at two Fortune 500 companies, and the principal of a consulting organization. In addition, Jim has created software tools for designing customer networks for a major network service provider and directed and performed market research at a major industry analyst firm. Jim’s current interests include both cloud networking and application and service delivery. Jim has a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Boston University.

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