As the digital economy continues to transform the business landscape, radically altering the structure of competition, no organisation is immune to the disruptive innovation taking place across almost every market. Against this backdrop, and driven by mobile connectivity, cloud computing and social media, new customer experience models allow businesses to have an opportunity to engage with their consumers like never before but reaction times are critical.
In this new world order, characterised by unrelenting competition, every organisation needs to adapt to rapidly changing market conditions and, where necessary, even find new ways of doing business. Such is the momentum from service innovation and new business models that every organisation is at risk of being disrupted, especially from ‘born in the cloud’ start-ups not constrained by legacy systems, or legacy thinking.
In this digitally-driven era, everything is about speed. Some companies are even talking about a culture where they have an idea in the morning, and put it into the marketplace by the afternoon.
Harnessing the performance of data centre network resources to ensure end-to-end visibility of the business is paramount. Although for many businesses, IT strategies are often being pulled in different directions, both to support existing business needs, while also driving innovation. Yet from discussions with many CIOs, gaining intelligence from networks has never been more critical in helping to understand business performance, cost drivers and commercial risk. And there are two key aims – to ensure that greater agility and greater flexibility are firmly built into their IT infrastructure. Their priority is to enable decisions that can help re-shape, or re-engineer, their business at ‘cloud speed’.
As a strategic asset and driver of new business models, the high performing data centre network is central to providing transformative change, and the means to stay ahead of unfolding trends and disruptions by defining, or more likely, re-defining, a new business future.
Five things you should know:
1. Business agility: While only part of a complex picture, defining the IT infrastructure and the network platform needed to deliver genuine business value will mark out the most successful digital business. Able to deploy changes quickly and smoothly, with fewer risks and lower costs, an intelligent data centre network can provide the business agility needed together with the rapid – almost instant- evolution of business processes, products or services.
2. Virtualising the network: With over-lapping generations of technology, evolving your network resources can represent a significant challenge. One approach is to move away from a purely hardware-based architecture to a software-defined, or ‘virtualised’, infrastructure – one that doesn’t rely upon racks of dedicated, physical network devices. Virtualisation means having fewer devices, with each able to be re-programmed according to the function and capability needed dynamically, allowing data centres to deploy an agile, responsive and intelligent network that evolves with the business strategy.
3. Cloud-powered IT: Whether on-site or co-located, the intelligent data centre network has long supported business growth. But with cloud architecture able to provide flexible, fast-to-deploy, provisioned services, a great many organisations are now making cloud adoption part of how they do business. Without the need to own a physical network (although options exist to have a blend of both), the cloud environment provides a cost-effective, pay-as-you-go, network resource that can scale quickly, with service deployment that can be rapidly spread across multiple, geographically distributed sites or cloud environments.
4. Multi-vendor support: Traditionally viewed as carrying higher risks than proprietary software, advances in open source network architecture now provide a best-practice approach to multi-vendor network support. While businesses appreciate the underling benefits of interoperability, freedom of choice and value, the vendor agnostic platform not only simplifies network evolution, but provides access to best-of-breed solutions – all within a unified, agile network environment that’s built to last.
5. IT as a strategic asset: Businesses must be able to integrate and process the sheer volume and velocity of data generated by an increasingly data-intensive world. And at the heart of every organisation, a network platform built for the digital economy can provide the means to adapt to changing market conditions, in ‘cloud time’. Whether it’s a physical data centre network, or a highly virtualised, automated cloud infrastructure, an IT resource that’s able to scale, perform tasks faster – and seamlessly – while anticipating and adapting to change will ensure your business remains at the forefront of the digital economy.