In the third of a three part series, Lucas Pinz, Senior Technology Manager at PromonLogicalis in Brazil looks at the simple steps your IT department can take in working towards an IPv6 readiness plan.
As we pointed out in part 1 of this series, failure to secure IPv6 readiness is as much a business issue as it is a technology one – it creates technology and business risk. In part 2, we saw just how few businesses have made any real progress towards readiness and identified the competitive advantage that could be realised by getting ahead of the game, and dealing with the issue now.
But what should IT departments be doing to prepare for IPv6 readiness?
Well, as is usually the case, they’ll get nowhere without a plan – and as with every good plan, preparation is everything.
Clearly, however, every business is different, so every plan will have its own subtleties. There are, however a number of preparatory steps that every business should take, as follows:
- Train your IT staff: Make sure they understand IPv6, its implications and how its features differ from IPv4
- Audit your devices: Finding out if the devices the business and its employees rely on are ‘IPv6-compliant’ is half the job. It is vital that the IT department also considers whether any action must be taken to activate IPv6 functionality and what impact that might have on the user experience.
- Audit business applications: Work out whether your business applications are likely to be adversely affected by IPv6 conversion? That includes looking at interdependencies, any configuration changes that might be required – and any knock on effects they may have
- Consider network and server performance: Will IPv6 create additional bandwidth requirements and will performance be affected if the issue is not dealt with?
- Assess any outsourced contracts: Are you suppliers IPv6 ready and could service levels be affected by a switchover to IPv6?
- Plan your readiness programme carefully: For instance, with all the information above to hand, you can work out whether a phased approach might be the most cost effective, taking into account any risks of disruption.
Obviously, this is not an exhaustive guide to creating an IPv6 readiness programme. However, if your IT department is yet to take action, the list of tasks above is certainly a good starting point. It will bring home to the team the importance of the task, and it will arm the CXOs with a detailed view of the risks associated with failure to prepare (and the risks associated with a poorly executed readiness plan).
Perhaps more importantly, it will set your organisation on the path to readiness – and open the door to the advantage that could arise from dealing with IPv6 ahead of your competition.