Paul O’Farrell, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Riverbed, discussed the importance of bandwidth and latency during a Thought Leadership Spotlight Presented by Riverbed at the 2014 Chief Information Officer Leadership Forum in Chicago on June 19. In his presentation, O'Farrell noted Riverbed's goal has been to reduce the amount of bandwidth its customers need to manage their applications, and more businesses can follow his company's example to boost their productivity.
According to O'Farrell, bandwidth is challenging because there never seems to be enough of it. However, the economics of bandwidth are changing how many businesses connect with their customers: "Those economics are really putting pressure on service providers and causing IT organizations to really rethink how they manage their networks and how they deliver their applications. If most of your traffic’s going to the Internet anyway, it’s hard to think through why you should be paying all that money to put your traffic over an MPLS network."
The cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS) are major challenges for many organizations, O'Farrell added. IT departments need visibility into what applications employees are using, O'Farrell said, but this data often is unavailable. As a result, O'Farrell said, the role of today's CIO is changing: "The CIO really devolves to being a strategist ... but at some level, you’re devolving just to a glorified contract negotiator. The point is that you can’t even negotiate. The only thing you can negotiate is price at this point because [cloud and SaaS providers are] not going to give you any guarantees around performance and they really aren’t accountable for how those applications are going to perform."