RealTime IT News

How To Survive The 'Perfect Storm'

LAS VEGAS -- Juniper Chairman and CEO Scott Kriens sees what he calls a perfect storm brewing for enterprise networks.

The keys to surviving? Users and user choice, he said during a keynote address at the Interop conference here.

Kriens was talking about the converging challenges bearing down on enterprises today: global competitiveness, data center consolidation, the need to support legacy applications, security concerns and regulatory compliance issues.

Supporting multiple applications is another challenge, too. Kriens said in Juniper's own environment, IT managers are tending 100 applications from 35 different vendors and over 150 integration points.

"We have ended up with a collage of apps," Kriens said.

So what's the secret to managing all these challenges? Open standards, he asserted.

"Networks have to get big and they have to be fast and they have to be safe and they have to be smart and it has to be proven," he said. To achieve this, "we have to change from multi-competing proprietary things to a more open standards-based way, which presents the elements of a network so they can intersect through the services layer. That allows us to build scalable solutions to run a business."

In his view, this is not how the industry has built systems for customers. Kriens challenged the audience to let go of customer lock-in from proprietary systems.

"People will do more as we make their choices available to them."

Open standards and freedom of choice are also very important for another reason, he added: they provide freedom of choice and protection against future unknowns.

Users must demand that vendors deploy open standards so customers can retain control over their own business priorities, and be flexible to make changes as they see fit.

"If we insist that the industry open up, and we only pay when it does, we'll retain control in the re-planning that goes on," Kriens said.