Home | Background | Mapping | Enabling | Awareness | Infrastructure | Standards | Contact IPv6logo

Activity 2. Enabling

Activity 2 provided Enabling Tools such as Business Case Scenarios, ROI Evaluator, Transition Checklist, and an Easy Access Device, to help Australian businesses plan and deploy IPv6 in cost-effective and efficient ways. Development and testing in Activity 2 took place in cooperation with small and medium sized enterprises working in the construction industry.

Every organisation has different priorities, management, clients, locations, requirements, skills, complexity and infrastructure. Ultimately, every organisation must decide for itself the value and timing of a transition to IPv6.

IPv6 will unquestionably become part of Internet communications 'plumbing' over the coming years: it has compelling technical advantages in scale, flexibility and mobility. But organisations must time their transition to IPv6 to best advantage. To hold back and wait might be a good strategy for some businesses, but others may find that if IPv6 is suddenly required, then urgent equipment upgrades and experienced staff may cost them far more than if IPv6 had been implemented slowly and carefully over time.

For instance, much computing and network hardware is IPv6-capable today, so a constructive approach might be to choose such hardware during the normal business upgrade cycle, and systematically phase in IPv6 training across the organisation. However, successful transition to IPv6 will only be possible with strategic understanding at boardroom levels, long-term planning at management levels, and professional resources at technical levels.

The requirements, risks and returns of IPv6 must first be understood before resources can be implemented. The Enabling Tools below offer a sequence of analysis that organisations can work through before decisions are made on IPv6 deployment, and a device to assist in IPv6 connectivity. (More detail on each Enabling Tool is linked from the headings below.)

1. Business Case Scenarios
The Business Case Scenarios offer different approaches to IPv6 implementation, to help businesses strategically examine their own positions in regard to developments in Internet technology. Seven scenarios are considered:
  1. The 'do nothing' case
  2. It's inevitable, may as well go with the flow
  3. Competitive differentiation
  4. Competitive protection
  5. Return on investment
  6. Known opportunities - understood and tangible
  7. Unknown opportunities - preparing fertile ground
2. ROI Evaluator
The intent of this application is to effectively estimate the financial impact of IPv6 adoption on businesses in order to facilitate the uptake of the IPv6 protocol. The application will calculate the value potentially delivered or enabled by an implementation project by evaluating net present value, return on investment, and payback period over a defined time period (nominally 15 years).

3. Transition Checklist
Every business needs to consider its own requirements in transition to IPv6. Below are some steps that will help in successful deployment. Note that the actual phasing-in of IPv6 equipment is only one of them - most steps refer to strategic decisions and activities that need to take place across the entire organisation, not just in the technical area.
  1. Assess business requirements, risks and benefits
  2. Survey existing network infrastructure
  3. Educate technical staff professionally
  4. Resource network and security infrastructure
  5. Phase-in and test IPv6-capable devices
  6. Inform and set policies for general staff
  7. Monitor and maintain procedures and infrastructure
4. Easy Access Device
The prototype Easy Access Device provides infrastructure to allow IPv6 connectivity with a 'tunnel appliance' for small businesses and home offices. It allows straightforward, inexpensive IPv6 connectivity, without time-consuming and technically complex site-by-site deployments, and is implemented on an open standards device.

In early 2007 testing took place with small and medium sized enterprises, including BuildersNet, working in the construction industry, fundamentally connected into a broad range of businesses in the Australian economy. By focusing initially on the needs of SMEs, the IPv6 for e-Business project gained greater understanding of adoption issues across a wide range of sectors.

Click here for information on the design of the EAD
Click here for the full EAD Description Document
Click here for the full EAD Testing Report.

Dr Kate Lance
Internet Society of Australia

The IPv6 for e-Business project is supported by the Australian Government through the Information Technology Online (ITOL) Program of the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts.