Supporting the IT edge is expensive, full of potential security risks

Organizations are facing multiple challenges when managing the IT edge – at remote and branch offices. A Riverbed survey asked IT professionals about the various challenges they face in provisioning and managing remote and branch offices (ROBOs) and found supporting the IT edge was expensive, resource-intensive and full of potential data security risks.

IT edge

IT at the edge continues to be provisioned and managed largely as it has been for the past 20 years, with distributed IT spread out across potentially hundreds of remote and branch locations. However, this approach can bring data risk and operational penalties to companies at an extremely high cost, and in today’s increasingly distributed enterprise with a primary focus on data and security, past approaches may not be ideal for business success.

Given the various challenges associated with managing remote sites, organizations have their hands full in supporting the edge. The top three challenges of managing ROBOs in order of importance are:

1. Handling ROBO disaster recovery (54%)
2. High costs of providing ROBO IT (46%)
3. Providing adequate IT staff to support ROBOs (46%)

By all indications, today’s ROBO IT practices are significantly impacting the bottom line. Companies face substantial financial losses when recovering from an outage or struggling to provision new services or apps to hundreds of sites – along with the cost of supplying IT staff onsite at each location. Respondents were asked to rank the degree of financial impact of individual challenges related to managing ROBOs. The percentages below reflect the respondents who ranked each item as having an “extremely to somewhat large” financial impact:

1. Delays in provisioning infrastructure, apps and new services to a ROBO (45%)
2. Delays in recovering from ROBO outages (44%)
3. IT staff time taken to manage ROBO backups (39%)

IT edge

The survey also found that respondents would like alternative options to storing data generated at remote office locations locally in the ROBO. When data is stored locally on physical servers in remote facilities or branch offices, it is especially susceptible to security risks, such as theft, human error or natural disasters. Not surprisingly, three quarters (75%) of respondents said that it would be “somewhat to extremely desirable” to store their remote data in the data center or in the cloud.




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