What is your IT department doing about IPv6?

In the second of a three part series, Lucas Pinz, Senior Technology Manager at PromonLogicalis in Brazil assesses global progress towards IPv6 adoption, pointing out – if you don’t know what your IT department is doing about it, it’s time to find out.

IPv6 - Are the IT department in control?

In short, if your business has not developed a plan for implementing the new internet addressing protocol, IPv6, on your network - you're late. But you are not alone.

Data released by the Synergy Research Group on June 6, the official World IPv6 Launch Day, revealed that just under 20% of the world’s installed base of enterprise routers were IPv6 capable, as the table below demonstrates:

Worryingly, Ovum’s IPv6 Update 2013 found that not much progress has been made since. It found that 40% of those who have started an IPv6 project reporting that they have not made any progress in the last 12 months.

As we pointed out in part 1 of this IPv6 series, failure to secure IPv6 readiness is as much a business issue as it is a technology one, on two fronts. First, the ‘old’ internet addressing protocol, IPv4, will ultimately be phased out, so there is a technology risk associated with failure to get IPv6-ready. Second, IPv6 opens the door to growth opportunities – quite simply businesses that are not ready to embrace IPv6 now risk being left out in the cold.

All the same, it is easy to understand by IPv6 might not be top of many CXO agendas. After all, we don’t even know when IPv4 will be phased out, and the two standards, for now, work side by side. That, however, is not the point – and here are five issues that will certainly help focus some mind:

  • Avoid Increased Costs: Coping with the shortage of IPv4 addresses, whether through workarounds, acquiring networking kit or buying more IPv4 addresses is expensive now, and will get worse
  • Protect Your Websites: Businesses that have not committed to IPv6 transition, and taken the proper steps to kick the process off, put their websites and other internet-dependent resources at risk of accessibility problems – with potentially far-reaching consequences
  • Don’t be left behind: The use of IPv6 is fast becoming a requirement for companies looking to tap into growth opportunities in emerging economies where IPv4 has already run out
  • Look after your customers and supply chain: Sure, whilst IPv4 and IPv6 work side by side, most users won’t notice any change – but don’t be complacent. Those still operating on IPv4 will have a diminished experience sooner or later
  • Get ahead of your competitors: If the research from Synergy and Ovum is correct, and there is no reason to assume otherwise, then there is still a real opportunity to steal ahead of the competition, by getting IPv6 ready early. Who wouldn’t want a head start when it comes to getting a foothold in significant growth markets, such as those in APAC and LatAm?

For all these reasons and more, it is critical to prepare for the adoption of IPv6 sooner rather than later. That means undertaking some detailed technical and financial planning, which clearly requires CXO input and oversight.

One thing is for sure. Doing nothing is really not a sensible option.

Related IPv6 Readiness Articles:

IPv6 - Is there an internet-shaped hole in your growth plans?

IPv6 readiness. First steps for your IT department

Are the heavy weight economies coming to the IPv6 party?

Logicalis US Warns - The US must do more to prepare for IPv6

Tags IPv6, Strategy, technology innovation, IT trends, IT Trends