Staff training and administrative costs are likely to constitute the largest expenditure of upgrading to IPv6. It is therefore tempting for managers to dismiss their need for IPv6 by stating that there is not a sufficient business case for implementation. However, not adopting IPv6 could have disastrous consequences on growth of the Internet but also the competitiveness of your organisation.
According to the Office for National Statistics, SMEs represent over 99 percent of UK economic activity; providing 59.1 percent of all private sector jobs and generating 48.7 percent of total public sector turnover. In today's technology driven world, many businesses rely on the Internet.
As the RIPE NCC reaches the last /8 of its available IPv4 address space, organisations run the risk of damaging their business if they are not IPv6 ready. For instance, a company running on IPv4 may find that once users start to come online with IPv6 only devices, their site will become inaccessible - as IPv4 and IPv6 addresses are not backwards compatible. This potential loss of accessibility can have a hugely detrimental impact on any business.
What do businesses need to do?
To ensure that your business is not adversely affected, the first step is to assess where you are in relation to IPv6. You should start by making sure you have answered the following:
- Are you and your IT staff aware of IPv6?
- Is your Internet Service Provider ready to provide IPv6 connectivity?
- Is your own network equipment IPv6 compatible, and if not, what steps are necessary to make it IPv6 compatible?
- Have you considered IPv6-readiness in your technology upgrade cycle?
Businesses should make it a priority to adopt IPv6. A carefully planned and strategically executed implementation of IPv6 will be far less disruptive for an organisation than a last-minute, rushed roll-out. For more information on IPv6, please visit IPv6 Act Now.