by Gary Beach

Information on the Edge of Your Network

Nov 15, 20022 mins
Data Center

Are you an edgy CIO? Most of the best CIOs I know are.

I don’t mean edgy as in nervous or fidgety. I mean edgy as in focused on the information demands on the edge of the network infrastructures linking employees, partners, suppliers and customers.

Most businesses and institutions are proficient at creating, analyzing, storing and securing information at the data center, the epicenter of their IT infrastructure. But what about the information gathered at the edge of the network? Some would argue that the information gathered at the edge is the most valuable yet least often thought about.

I spoke recently to a group of CIOs in San Francisco. I asked them to raise their hand if they back up on a daily basis the information in their data centers. All hands rose. Then I asked them how many had more than 200 employees who computed primarily on notebook computers. Most hands remained raised. Finally I asked them if they back up daily the data gathered from those mobile workers; most hands fell.

The edge of your network is dynamic. It constantly changes as your workers move about and your mix of customers, suppliers and partners changes from day to day and week to week. Information that employees originate and gather on the edge of your network leads to?or has the potential to create?competitive advantage. So why do many CIOs leave that data unprotected?

A well-known term in the financial services industry is “T plus one,” as in transaction plus one day. It means the IT infrastructures in many financial services companies are built to process financial transactions within 24 hours.

CIOs outside the financial services industry should adopt an “E plus one” strategy, as in edge plus one. With E plus one, CIOs vow to make sure that all information gathered at the edge of their network is sent to the data center, stored and backed up within one day.

What’s your company’s current strategy for gathering information at the edge of the network? Does your company practice an E plus one philosophy? Or does it take your company longer than one day to account for the data at the edge of the network? Drop me a note detailing your company’s approach.