Digital transformation (DX) is changing how businesses of all sizes operate across all industries. This has led to the elimination of redundant processes, a shift from repetitive day-to-day tasks to more strategic work. And if businesses want to stay competitive in this fast-moving digital era they must embrace digital transformation.
Growing Network Demands
Most of current networks are designed for fast and reliable connectivity but not necessarily for the demands of digital transformation:
In DX businesses need to move fast to keep up with new innovative applications, services and business processes. Most of the networks today are not designed to cope with the constant need to support change and provide continuous service assurance throughout.
Digital transformation allows organisations to offer new customer experiences and optimize operating models. This will increase investments in mobile and the Internet of Things (which are the main components of these platforms) meaning that networks will be made up of 10 to 100 more endpoints. Secure connection of throughout massive network distributions require improvements that are challenging for current networks.
The modernization of critical business systems will demand the migration of those applications to a hybrid cloud model. This will push the network to not only ensure smooth performance from site to site but also provide a reliable and satisfactory performance of specific applications for the end-user.
High numbers and diversity of devices and applications will add a level of complexity that can easily overwhelm network assets. Organisations need a way to simplify and automate network operations otherwise the network team will be too busy just keeping the lights on instead of providing innovative support for new IT and business capabilities.
Adoption of new digital assets such as mobile, cloud and the Internet of Things allows space for new challenges and opportunities for attack. A DX-ready network must be strong in defence and have a unique platform for rapid detection and response to threats.
All of the aspects above show that your network needs to be aligned with your business intent and be able to quickly respond to change. Instead of being the weak link in the organisation’s IT infrastructure, the network has a chance to become the most valuable part of digital transformation.
However, a strategic vision and a detailed plan is not enough to succeed. The network is a key enabler of digital transformation. There’s no place for outdated infrastructure features like management processes and manual configuration. Before beginning a DX journey organisations must ensure that their network is really digital-ready and can dynamically align with the needs of the business, allowing more agility, better security and improved operational efficiency.
How Can You Prepare Your Network For Digital Transformation?
Usually, the most time-consuming part of fixing a network problem is finding its source. And that’s especially true for a unified communications(UC) network. While a standard issue IT monitoring tool might seem tempting, UC networks require active monitoring for both the UC system and the IT infrastructure of servers, routers and switches. That is because typically issues in UC performance such as poor voice quality are caused by events in the IT infrastructure so only an active end-to-end network monitoring will help you spot the problem.
Testing Before Deploying New Services
There are a lot of the unknowns in the network when we layer on new UC capabilities. Pre-deployment network assessment allows to see what we can expect in terms of , however, most available bandwidth and speed testing tools won’t tell you what will happen to voice quality. For this, you must use a web-based site qualification tool specialised to UC which will test what will happen to voice quality as the number of simultaneous calls increases. This is crucial information to have prior deployment, allowing you to increase capacity or bandwidth and prevent future problems.
Welltel offers Quality of Service (QoS) that provides a priority channel for the voice traffic so that quality can be maintained while also allowing general traffic flow. Click here to find out more.
User expectations have changed for reliability and easy access and your support model has to keep up. Digital transformation requires organisations to be proactive when it comes to network performance. Knowing that there’s a problem before your users do allows IT resources to be used more efficiently and increases adoption of new services. To become more proactive use threshold-based monitoring of key performance metrics such as voice quality. Set thresholds lower and you will be notified when there’s a problem before it reaches the user.
To redefine the role of the network in digital transformation organisations must align it to ever-changing business requirements. Fortunately, the technology needed to achieve that vision, such as automation, self-protecting, programmability and self-healing are becoming more available every day. Failure to prepare your network for digital transformation will leave organisations competitively exposed to companies that have a plan to move forward.