Deciding to start your digital transformation journey is half the battle; the other half is determining your network change.
Digital transformation projects vary from business to business depending on the end results you are looking for; some will involve varying scales of lifting and shifting applications into public and private cloud environments, with others it can mean the transformation of monolithic applications to modern, flexible micro-service architecture to become agile and leading edge within the markets you operate in.
However, no matter what kind of digital transformation
project you undertake, the end-user service experience is what will determine whether or not your time, efforts and expenditure were worth it. So, what is the key to your success? Your network! This mostly overlooked aspect of the digital transformation journey could be either your saviour or your barrier to success.
What is a ‘Network First’ transformation?
The first step in any successful digital transformation strategy is assessing your network infrastructure. Not knowing what state this is in before you start transformation could mean wasted time and money, and applications you may not need. Why would anyone put in a new heating system without checking you have enough pipes to support it? You wouldn’t; and this is a vital step that is often missed out when undertaking a digital overhaul of your business. So with your digital transformation, you should put your network first.
Delivering your end-user applications will require a flexible multi-network approach to ensure you have full control, can adapt and be agile in this ever-changing business environment. End users need to be able to access applications over a multitude of bandwidths as well having control of the network delivery at a push of a button.
Having a ‘Network First’ approach will give you the chance to really assess where to go next. Selecting your ‘Next-Gen’ network is no easy task, it has to be agile to allow visibility and performance to your customers, it also has to be scalable so that it can scale with your business.
To learn more about digital transformation, download our eBook, Embarking on a Digital Transformation Journey: 7 Steps for Success.
Why a network transformation is so crucial
You might live by the phrase “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it”, but when it comes to your network and IT infrastructure, you do so at your own peril. Putting your network first in your digital transformation will allow you to fundamentally improve the way your business works and closer align it to your business goals.
The benefits of network transformation include:
1. Increased efficiency. Transforming your network will allow you to change your infrastructure to better serve your workloads and applications. This not only leads to more effective operational processes, but it also allows your team to increase their efficiency, which enhances your overall business performance.
2. Reduced cost. In the world of technology, we experience that the older it is, the more it will cost you to maintain and update. While transforming your network will be an expenditure, it will pay off in the long run as newer network technologies are cheaper to upkeep.
3. Better agility and responsiveness. A new network infrastructure will not only be more closely aligned with your overall goals, but it will also allow you to be more flexible. Thanks to the improved setup, you will be able to enjoy faster deployment and delivery of new applications.
4. Enhanced security. Your modern network will come with better security than your old systems. The digital threat environment is constantly evolving and becoming more complex. If you transform your network, you can ensure you are covered with the highest security standards.
5. Increased customer satisfaction. If your overall business is becoming more efficient, your network has better connectivity, and your team has more time to focus on their work, it will trickle down and translate into better customer experience.
3 steps to transform your network
In order to enjoy the advantages, network transformation is a crucial step in your overall digital transformation. But you might wonder where to start. Next, we’ll cover the 3 steps to a successful network transformation.
Assessing your network before you undertake any digital transformation project will provide you with the luxury of knowing exactly what your businesses need from the beginning. In today’s complex digital environment, it’s no longer enough to simply have the goal for more bandwidth, you need a strategy that is far more holistic. It is crucial to not only take into account your current requirements but also keep the future in mind. As 2020 has shown us, business priorities and structures can change from one day to the next, so it’s important to plan your network strategy with flexibility in mind. Here is where you define your target operating model for your new network.
Now that you have outlined how you want to transform you can start with building your network transformation roadmap. The first step in the planning phase is to take an inventory of your current setup. What services are you using? Which service providers are you relying on? Once you have a full overview of your current inventory, you can move on to planning the transformation with your target operating model in mind.
Now you can set your roadmap. Define your priorities and draw up timelines but ensure you’re planning realistically. Big transformations almost always take more time than initially expected, so take into account unplanned roadblocks and unforeseen changes.
It is also crucial to involve all stakeholders in the planning of your transformation roadmap. This way you can ensure everyone not only knows what’s expected of them, but they also can give you more realistic insight into planning and timeframes.
The scope is done, the roadmap is set. You can now begin your actual network transformation. The more time you have spent planning your roadmap and setting your strategy, the smoother your actual transformation will be.
If you need some extra support during your transformation process, a good managed service provider, like Intergence, will be able to help you with your planning and execution.
A successful transformation with Intergence
At Intergence, it is our first priority that our clients get exactly what they need, individually set up for their unique business needs. Our managed network services
offer everything from consultancy to sourcing and managing.
If you’re looking for more information on transformation, reach out to our experts today or download our free datasheet about 7 strategies to successfully manage digital change.