In today’s data deluge, every connection poses the potential ability to derive business value, or to add further complexity, depending on your perspective.
As a strategist that data represent information. As a network operator it is another connection on your already overloaded network. Society is at a point in time when organisations, governments and communities are progressively transforming into digital entities, seeking to connect the unconnected and capture the exponential opportunities that processes, data and things currently present. It is here where the network plays a fundamental role. In this era of digital disruption, the network serves as a crucial engine for delivering business growth.
However, the network itself must evolve if it is to be fit for purpose. While it once required human skill and intervention to power and manage the network, that is practically no longer feasible.
The billions of new connections – according to the latest Cisco Visual Networking Index there will be over 27 billion connections and devices by 2021 – have brought a different set of challenges that require a more evolved and automated network infrastructure.
Fundamentally, for the network to underpin the digital economy and support business innovation, it’s time for it to be able to drive, connect, learn and protect itself.
Learning from the past to drive into the future
Recent high profile IT failures are perfect examples of how a network that is not fit for purpose in the digital age can lead to extremely costly business downtime and tarnish a company’s reputation.
The network as we know it has reached a tipping point. For it to support today’s fast-paced digital transformation, it has to have a level of focus that is reflective of its vital role.
Today’s enterprise network requires new thinking, new ideas and a new way of looking at business infrastructure that will respond to the organisations’ specific demands and allow them to stay ahead of the game.
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For example, IDC report that companies that have invested in modern network capabilities are experiencing 2-3 times the rate of growth in revenue, customer retention and profit.
They have also deployed twice as many digital transformation initiatives compared to companies with legacy networks. By deploying a simple, automated, and reliable network, that allows greater visibility, businesses are ultimately future-proofing their organisation.
Digital ready network-no longer a choice, but necessity
Digitisation has opened up new doors for service innovation. We are currently working with the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University (ABMU) Health Board to digitise healthcare in South Wales and the South West of England, and in turn help improve services for more than 500,000 patients across the region.
Underpinned by Cisco’s Digital Network Architecture technology, the programme connects four acute hospitals, in addition to more than 300 doctor’s surgeries, community and mental health services, primary care, air ambulance and home care services.
The aim of the project is to simplify and automate management tasks, proactively monitor and control network usage, improve the working environment and optimise patient care.
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It is allowing hospital staff to communicate quickly and efficiently, regardless of location while at the same time enables swift and speedy diagnosis, and helps remove the burden of endless paperwork.
With the network the enabler of every organisations digital journey, it is crucial that it is able to provide the agility and the flexibility to learn and adapt to meet the needs of thousands of new data connections. As in the case of ABMU, this results in improving productivity, increasing efficiency and supporting streamlined services.
Time for automation
Businesses today have to look beyond their traditional network boundaries, to ensure that they are digitally ready. Network automation is key; there is an increasing need for the network to shift from its manual, hardware-centric and static structure, to an automated, software-driven and more dynamic model.
Ultimately, organisations’ must make sure that their network becomes self-learning and automated to ensure that they thrive in this digital age.
Sourced by David Goff, Leader, Enterprise Networks, Cisco UK and Ireland
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