The network is key to a business's digital transformation: report

As the world becomes more digital, enterprise networks are being stretched by more data traffic, a growing mobile workforce and cloud-based applications and tools that need to work reliably for customers and employees anywhere and anytime.

Traffic on Verizon’s public IP network grew nearly 300 percent over the past four years, a compound annual growth rate of 44 percent.

This digital transformation and how enterprises should approach it is the subject of a first-of-its kind report from Verizon called “Digital Transformation Powers Your Business.”

The report looks at issues facing enterprises as the digital evolution marches on, then outlines key drivers of digital transformation, encourages CIOs and leaders across organizations to rethink their network, in order to drive results.

“Customers and employees demand responsiveness and speed in every interaction, making it even more important for enterprises to reinvigorate their interest in building and maintaining flexible, robust and reliable networks or finding the right managed network services partner,” said Chris Formant, global president , Verizon Enterprise Solutions. “The network is at the core of any digital initiative. So when it comes to what any company’s network has to deliver, performance, reliability and security are key.”

More than two-thirds (67%) of IT leaders surveyed for the report told Verizon that legacy networks can be a bottleneck to success. Nearly 80 percent of them said that it was IT’s responsibility to ensure the network can support a company’s digital transformation plans, and a vast majority of respondents said that the network is integral to the competitive advantage of a connected business.

And, importantly, preventing network failures is imperative, as it is estimated that just an hour of critical application failure can cost a large enterprise up the $1 million.

The report shows that any network should go beyond just connectivity and align directly with business needs. The technologies and platforms that emerged over the past several years continue to grow on their own, and taken together provide the core of any digitally-focused enterprise.

Eighty percent of businesses said that improving customer experience was a critical or high priority for their business. Seventy-four percent agreed that poor network quality translates to poor user experience. Nothing ruins a customer’s digital experience quite like a timeout, particularly when everything is stored in the cloud.

Cloud, mobile, the internet of things, big data and advanced analytics and virtual reality and collaboration solutions are critical considerations when doing network planning. And, the network is arguably the single most important focus for enterprise technology investments in the next five years.

Verizon offered an outline of what companies can do – starting now – to help their companies be more efficient and deliver the best customer experiences. It can be as simple as a three-step plan:

1. Create the right environment;

2. Leverage new technologies like SDN where it makes sense to benefit the business and customers;

3. Identify and use strong partners to execute plans.

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