Global research shows that demand on the business network is going to greatly increase in the next few years as organisations look to technology to aid their growth. It is expected that augmented and virtual reality traffic is likely to increase 12-fold by 2022, while regular business traffic will continue to grow 42 per cent annually up to 2022. By 2021, around half of all workloads will happen outside the enterprise data centre.
Digitally transforming to improve both customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) can be difficult for organisations in normal circumstances, however, without having an adequate network it can sabotage the considerable dollars spent on digital transformation programs across Australian organisations.
Business’ need to look to networks that can support their digital transformation. They need to be highly adaptive, letting the network scale with the changing needs of users, devices, applications and services. Digital ready networks can meet the high demand for a seamless user experience and provide fast, secure access to and between workloads wherever they reside.
For CIO’s looking to drive processes that improve both the customer and employee experience, the cost of not having an adequate network can be far-reaching and significant. For most businesses, access to cloud-based services such as Microsoft Office 365 depends on the organisation’s network architecture. Traditional hub-and-spoke network architectures do not efficiently support cloud-based applications such as Office 365. This means productivity lags for employees, not to mention latency issues with customer-facing applications, potentially leading to customer frustration and brand damage.
Cisco’s 2019 Global Networking Trends reports that only 19 per cent of network strategists believe their networks are very well aligned to meet the demands of digital business. This means over 80% are allowing their digital transformations to be sabotaged by an underperforming network.
So what can be done? Cisco outline four areas to consider in digital network readiness:
- Business alignment: the network facilitates new digital business initiatives and dynamically aligns to rapidly changing application needs.
- Simplification: the network simplifies IT operations and lets IT focus on creating business value.
- Performance assurance: the network consistently meets service performance and user experience requirements, and prevents network disruptions.
- Low-risk: the network prevents or contains security threats before they cause harm, and it meets compliance and regulatory requirements.
The emergence of software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WAN) and the NBN has created a perfect opportunity for businesses to enhance their networks. This negates the outdated perception among Enterprises with complex legacy networks, that becoming digital ready means starting from scratch, undertaking large upgrades, or having to wait until existing contracts expire. In reality, adopting a digital-ready network simply requires augmentation and enhancement, which can be done without disruption through software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN).
Finally, you don’t need to go it alone! Partnering with experts in this field such as TDL and Cisco, allows your network to be assessed objectively so that areas of enhancement can be identified and the business can be supported as it prepares its network for the digital age.
Organisations with stronger network maturity can achieve 2.4 times growth in revenue, up to three per cent growth in profit, more than five times growth in customer retention, and at least 1.6 times growth in productivity versus those at the beginning of the maturity curve. Simply put, when a business’ network is ready, it will be able to digitally transform successfully, driving business growth and opportunities.
To find out where you are on this journey take our free network readiness assessment or to read more on this topic
 Uptime Institute Annual Data Center Survey, 2019: https://uptimeinstitute.com/2019-data-center-industry-survey-results