Let’s start by stating the obvious: all business communications depend on IP addresses – including that BlackBerry or iPhone you are always checking. Without an IP address, you simply cannot communicate over the network. No IP address means no access to your email server, no access to your website and no smartphone access. You can also forget about that new VoIP system your company installed last month. What does that mean to your customers? The answer is simple: efficient IP address management (IPAM) is critical to their business success. IPAM, DNS and DHCP are the cornerstones for network management and business continuity, and, while organisations may have the basics in DNS and DHCP, most do not have a robust enough solution to handle today’s networking demands. Studies show that even a couple of hours of downtime in one of these core services can cost thousands, or even millions of dollars in lost business revenue.So, with the increased dependence on devices that provide anytime-anywhere network access, ensuring IP addresses are readily available and easily managed is critical to business.As wireless solutions, VoIP, virtualisation, and new IP-enabled devices, like IP security cameras, become increasingly common, networks will only get harder to manage. Each device requires the allocation and use of at least one IP address, and deployments of next-generation applications such as VoIP and unified communications can double IP allocations overnight.What does this mean for you as the reseller? With the number of IP-enabled devices increasing rapidly, organisations have outgrown ‘band-aid’ IPAM solutions. Organisations can no longer operate effectively if they cannot accurately and efficiently provision, track, manage and monitor all IP addresses. It is impossible to efficiently manage IP addresses with homegrown solutions and spread sheets. To maximise productivity, organisations must deploy automated IPAM technology. And, as the reliance on 27/7 network access via wireless devices increases, the need for IPAM will only become stronger.The simple truth is that as networks grow, the risks associated with not knowing who is using a particular IP address, or the fact that there are more IP addresses connected to your network than your network discovery tools report, grow with them. Managing IP addresses using spread sheets these days makes about as much sense as developing business documents using a typewriter. So what is the alternative?Today’s IPAM solutions eliminate the near-impossible task of managing the rapidly-increasing number of IP addresses via spreadsheets. They also enable businesses to keep network-centric data and IP information synchronised at all times.Leading IPAM solutions also include important features such as high availability, failover capabilities and central management of DNS and DHCP servers, including Microsoft Windows.They also make it easy to model domains for the purpose of planning, tracking, and managing IP addresses and associated data; provide IP reconciliation; workflow delegation and enforce naming policies to enable any enterprise to minimise its core network services footprint, reduce its operational costs and maximise its business continuity.So, when you consider that your business runs on IP addresses, the message is clear. Take IP Address Management seriously; your customers’ businesses depend on it.