The Riverbed Blog (testing)

A blog in search of a tagline

The difference between a lightning bug and lightning bug – linking access and performance with mobile workers

Posted by riverbedtest on September 23, 2009

The advent of "internet everywhere" is reflective of the interconnectedness of global business and like laces in a shoe serves to draw the world and business opportunities closer, while simultaneously increasing competition. Supporting workers while they are away from the office and looking to capture these opportunities can be the difference between IT acting as a competitive edge and IT acting as an impedance to business success. The difference between the two is not merely access but performance.


Forrester Research Analyst
Chris Silva recently wrote a piece on the ZDNet Blog "It's Flue Season: Connect and Optimize Your Workers" about the importance of considering both access and performance when supporting mobile workers. Composed at 30,000 feet while on a flight from St. Louis to San Diego Chris's experience working over a 5.5 miles in the air is by no means unique and underscores how varied the locations are where work is gets done.  As he points out, continuity of operations and disaster recovery plans only focus on access and not performance, when in truth access and performance are two sides of the same coin. Both are equally to important consideration to ensure that mobile workers operate as effectively away from the office as they do when they are in it.  


Workers maybe able access resources from variable locations, but when away from their carefully architected IT environments they face inconsistent connection types, costs and user volumes, low bandwidth links (eg 3G data cards) which are easily overwhelmed by application usage, and high latency all of which conspire against mobile worker performance. Silva refers to mobile WAN optimization products like Steelhead Mobile playing a crucial role in bridging the gap between merely allowing someone to work away from the office and enabling them to perform. As our always on society introduces greater competition between firms and the threat of any interruption in work demands well designed business continuity and disaster recovery plans Steelhead Mobile and its ability to ensure both access and performance become even more crucial.  

I thought that Chris Silva did a fantastic job articulating this point and encourage everyone to read this and all of his posts on the ZDNet site. For more information about how Steelhead Mobile can help you provide your mobile workers with both the access and performance that they need when they are away from the office check out http://www.riverbed.com/products/steelhead_mobile/
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