The agile network is the foundation of #MyIndustry

This article was originally posted on LinkedIn: The Agile Network is the Foundation in #MyIndustry

Business arrived this year at Mobile World Congress, the annual event in Barcelona that hosts about 100,000 telecom executives.

I’ve attended this event several years now, and I noted a meaningful shift this year to a B2B focus.

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As I walked around the floor, visiting vendors and partners, I saw many exhibits centered around enterprise-oriented services, applications, and emerging technologies. This included our AT&T space, where we highlighted all the work we’re doing with connected cars, asset tracking, security, analytics, virtualization, and on-demand capabilities. I’m glad to say that our innovation with customers is at the front of the class, with one constant to all these new technologies: the integrated network.

I’ve concluded that businesses should view emerging technologies, such as the Internet of Things, as a new part of a bigger single integrated network, rather than as a collection of distinct solutions. For example, a manufacturer should view the connectivity of robotic equipment on the factory floor as an extension of the virtual private network they use for managing other mission-critical communications functions. Otherwise, seams develop in the IT infrastructure that open the manufacturer to cyberthreats, performance issues, management complexity, and, ultimately, higher total costs of ownership. It’s much more elegant and efficient if the plethora of connected endpoints are part of a single, comprehensive network.

If you think of the network as an organism, you need to be able to identify and prevent vulnerabilities in the complete system, just like a doctor needs to be able to identify and address infections and viruses in a patient’s body. That means you need visibility into the end-to-end network, all the way to all those connected endpoints, to identify possible issues and prevent them from affecting other connected devices within the system.

This is the way we think about our AT&T global network as well, and that’s why we are transforming to a completely software-driven network. This will provide us an integrated approach to network management and allow us to create and deploy a wide variety of customer solutions faster, infusing agility into our customers’ own operations. For customers, that means a competitive advantage, where services are agnostic to whether the endpoint is connected via wireless or fixed line, and people and machines are as secure as they would be in a locked-down data center.

I’m lucky to spend a lot of time with many very smart CIOs and other business leaders, all of whom are driving us to innovate around speed and agility. As a result, our new solutions are helping businesses turn trade-offs of the past into winning combination plays of the future. With the network as our foundation, we’re positioned to help our business customers succeed like never before.

Steve McGaw Chief Marketing Officer AT&T Business Solutions About Steve