Making a Strong Case for IPv6

By John Curran

Consumers want a lot from their technology today and have high expectations for it. How people consume content, shop and access the Internet is ever changing too. Mobile now accounts for 12 percent of Americans’ media consumption time, and the Internet of things (IoT) is quickly moving from an interesting concept to today’s reality.

As technology and business leaders, you already know all of this is true. You also know that the foundation of the Internet is changing.

The Internet was never designed to carry the volume of devices and Websites now in use throughout the world. As a result, the current addressing scheme for the Internet, known as IPv4, or Internet Protocol Version 4, will soon be entirely depleted and unable to accommodate continued growth.

For organizations, having Websites just reachable via IPv4 is not enough anymore. They need to adopt Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), which will enable companies to continue to successfully grow their business.

Otherwise, customers attempting to reach an IPv4-only Website via a smartphone or tablet are increasingly likely to be forced through transition gateways as more mobile providers turn to IPv6 to grow their networks. The result? Slower connections and services, leading to a negative impact on customer satisfaction, retention and acquisition.

According to research by the Aberdeen Group, just a one-second delay in page-load time results in 11 percent fewer page views, and a 16 percent decrease in customer satisfaction. To remain competitive in today’s marketplace, businesses must update their public-facing Websites to support IPv6—or else they risk loss of revenue and customer loyalty.

For many IT professionals and technology leaders, the writing is on the wall. But how can you convince skeptical CMOs and CEOs that the expense and effort of implementing IPv6 is worthwhile? For many, the benefits might not be immediate or appear to justify the costs of adding and supporting IPv6.

Three Ways to Make the Case

Here are three ways IT professionals can help make the case for the IPv6 transition:

First, adopting IPv6 now will ensure that your corporate Websites have the best performance possible. Without adopting IPv6, businesses risk accessibility issues of their Websites as more and more consumers attempt to reach the Internet through mobile sources.

Second, IPv6 is critical for analytics. Business unit leaders, executives and board of directors want to make informed decisions about where to place emphasis in the business and how to grow the organization. The analytics that businesses use to make decisions is incomplete for Websites that are not IPv6-enabled, instead returning location information on the compatibility gateways.

Finally, IPv6 maximizes your return on your existing Website investment. By enabling IPv6, businesses will ensure that their Web applications are future-proof and will avoid a major upgrade in the future to catch up with their competitors.    

It’s up to you as a tech leader to plan the steps needed to IPv6-enable your Website and add IPv6 to your network infrastructure. Discuss IPv6 implementation with key partners in the planning process, whether that is your CMO or CEO.

In the meantime, look at your hardware and make sure that any upcoming technology purchases support IPv6. It will make it that much easier when you make the actual transition.

The Internet is growing at an amazing rate. In order keep up, it’s critical that companies include IPv6 in their strategic planning, and this falls to tech leaders within their organizations. For companies and brands that want their Web content to be accessible to and optimally experienced by a global audience, it’s time to reach the whole Internet, not the old Internet.

John Curran, President and CEO, the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN.)