By 2021, at least 50 percent of global GDP will be digitised, with growth in every industry driven by digitally-enhanced offerings, operations, and relationships. Yet, market research company Ovum, found that among enterprises pursuing digital transformation, only 8 percent consider themselves successful. Despite the drive behind digital transformation, there’s still a long way to go.
Driving transformation is the need to give customers better, deeper and more personalised experiences. Furthermore, senior leaders need to find ways to create greater efficiencies across the organisation to remain competitive. And, to facilitate greater productivity, collaboration tools need to be embedded seamlessly.
Given the desire to create better experiences, there is a temptation for many organisations to focus on the latest, innovative technology products. They are important and have their place in an overall strategy. Big data, analytics, social, mobility, cloud and IoT all play their roles in the emergence of the ‘digital-first’ business. More devices create more data. All of this helps shapes more decisions at an accelerating pace.
The core of the digital transformation journey
Yet, to achieve all of the above and to be a ‘digital-first’ organisation requires speed and agility. And, there’s only one thing that can facilitate this. A high-performance network that connects devices, data, people, and processes.
The network is the foundation for your organisation’s digital transformation journey. It brings agility to decision making, connects customers closer to your business and speeds the adoption of innovation through collaboration.
As organisations rely on more technology to support their business, digital transformation adds more pressure on the network to support the technology. To reach a state where the business is engaged in real time with customers, the network requires more consistent latency. Availability is essential.
A recent ZDNet study found that among the top digital transformation priorities for organisations include cloud and cybersecurity. Given these critical changes, here’s a deeper look as to why the network is so important to the wider digital transformation conversation.
The move to cloud - Better business performance with a managed network
The need to drive greater operational efficiency and increased productivity to serve customers faster, better and in a more personalised manner has seen cloud adoption rise at meteoric rates. Public cloud service and infrastructure spending is expected to hit USD$210 billion world-wide this year. Closer to home, public cloud spending in Australia increased at a rate of 18.5 percent on the previous year in 2018.
The transfer of workloads into the cloud has been a major focal point for organisations to help them achieve these goals. As part of this, the network is critical to connect people, resources, and applications in the cloud - thus driving all of the benefits organisations desire. It’s no longer viewed as a set of boxes and cables managed in the basement. A dynamic network facilitates the increasing desire to run workload-intensive applications in the cloud. This helps organisations avoid bandwidth blockages that stall innovation.
Yet, despite this, many organisations have put their cloud environments at risk by connecting to them to sub-optimal networks. Considerable focus is placed on successful migration of workloads or applications. However, many fail to consider the deeper challenges of connecting to a reliable network. In fact, network problems only really surface after a migration has been completed.
So, what happens if you continue to change your infrastructure and application environment, yet the network remains an afterthought? The result is a slow and frustrating experience for your people. And more than likely for your customers too. Bringing your network into the 21st century to cope with organisational demands requires careful planning and consideration. This is where a managed network can pay huge dividends.
What questions do you need to ask to plan correctly for your managed network?
One of the obvious starting points is bandwidth. How much do you currently need to cope with the number of applications your organisation will run in the cloud? Not only that, but how do you plan to balance requirements at any given moment?
To be efficient, you don’t need all your applications running at optimum levels, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Understand what Quality of Service you require on every link, enabling you to prioritise and optimise your most important traffic. Ensure you have low latency too, enabling quicker data transfer to make faster and better decisions.
However, it’s not just about current capacity. What kind of network will you require for the next five years? If your organisation plans to scale and expand, the network needs to cope with the increased demands of data production and collection.
A managed network also means you can access the expertise necessary to keep your IT systems not only running but to future-proof and innovate. You can be confident that your business is using the latest technologies and equipment, and that your systems are functioning at their optimal level to stay competitive.
A strong network is essential to your digital transformation. You need access to data instantly, improved business agility, capacity to support application growth, and enhanced connectivity to cloud-based applications. A managed network helps enable all of these things.
Keeping your data secure with a managed network
While cloud offers many benefits, including greater agility and lower infrastructure costs, security risks remain top of mind for many a network manager. Any form of attack that brings significant downtime is going to cause loss of productivity, revenue, reputation and ultimately, customer trust.
Consider this, the cost of the average data breach to companies worldwide, according to the Ponemon Institute, is USD$3.86 million. The average time it takes to identify a data breach is 196 days. And for many organisations, security breaches are discovered by accident. But it’s not just cyber-attacks that compromise the security of the network. In today’s environment nearly 97 percent of organisations experience network faults caused by human error. Issues come from all angles.
The requirement for agility, scale and cost efficiency has to be weighted with security, managing risk and achieving compliance. To support this, networks have evolved to remove the barriers of legacy systems, to focus on being responsive, adaptable, configurable, automated and easy to manage. A managed network is an excellent option for this. It provides you with fast and secure access over your choice of Premium Ethernet and Wireless Ethernet.
Regardless of which connectivity method you choose, secure access to your critical business applications is essential, not a nice problem to have. Standard connectivity solutions are not always the best answer to drive digital business needs in a secure manner.
Harness the power of a managed network
Digital transformation heralds a new way for organisations to operate and interact with customers and stakeholders. With more people working remotely for example, the need to access cloud-based data and services has increased too. Both employees and customers have changing needs and expectations, pushing the limits of the network.
Harnessing the power of a managed network - through the reliable delivery of secure applications and innovative technologies - will help you make the transition with as few bumps as possible. The network is the underlying foundation needed to make the whole operation succeed.