By Marcus Leach

Cloud computing is one of several ‘big bets’ chief information officers (CIOs) will be looking at in 2012. But with this development comes the challenge of networks becoming the most important, but also most vulnerable, aspect of ICT infrastructure.

2012 will see organisations needing more guidance from the industry and the channel on how to ensure consistent connectivity to maximise the benefits offered by technological advances such as cloud computing. Level 3 has developed the below top 5 resolutions CIOs should be thinking about in 2012.

2012 resolutions for CIOs

1. Crisis in the cloud: Prepare for the effects of cloud computing on network provisioning

Cloud computing promises a highly flexible way to manage IT with prices pegged to usage and ubiquitous access via the internet. However, any major adoption of this new paradigm will place more dependency on networks, creating a potential single point of failure for users who are dependent on connections. Are networks ready for a sea change in the way businesses access information assets?

2. Are you ready, and set to go for London 2012?

All businesses, whether located in the capital or not, need a strategy for business continuity during the Olympics, when network speed will drop significantly and staff will be forced to work from home. Do you have the necessary bandwidth to allow for video conferencing? Do you have a secure VPN to allow remote access? What cultural challenges need to be addressed across the business?

3. Ensure you are getting the best from your network and your providers

Revisit your managed service contracts to look where you can establish competitive tension in your estate in order to drive improved price and performance.

4. Prepare for a new look to your organisation

With the economic situation set to worsen, businesses will be looking to consolidate and rationalise headcount and office space which will present challenges for IT infrastructure and networks as businesses scale back their physical footprint. To counter this, build flexibility into your managed service contracts and consider retendering contracts if possible to realise the benefits of a technology contractual change.

5. Prepare for BYOD schemes

The proliferation of personal devices in the workplace is set to become ubiquitous. Are you aware of the risks to the corporate network? Do you have the security in place and are you’re your staff aware of the IT policies governing the use of personal devices at work?

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