Is your organization’s wireless networking in need of some modernization? Digital transformation has the power to boost your company’s productivity, bottom line, and even employee retention. While the concept may seem complicated, working with a trusted technology partner helps to simplify these concepts.
In fact, Zeus Kerravala’s ZK research recently outlined 10 important strategies to make the most of networking in the coming year. According to Kerravala, “Digital transformation isn’t a technology or a product. Rather, it’s a philosophy for using digital assets to change the way an organization runs. It involves realigning technology and modifying business processes to better engage employees, customers, and other constituents of the extended enterprise.” To ensure their network is digital-ready, plan to adopt the following 10 networking priorities; read on to find out what they are.
What Networking Priorities Should Your Organization Focus in 2018?
- Manage the Entire Network Architecture as One
Is your network created one device at a time? Many are, but this can slow overall performance. Instead, create the network as a whole and manage its architecture accordingly. As Kerravala explains, “[Creating] the network as a whole…ensures it can be adapted quickly to future business changes and technological advances, which is crucial in the digital era. The network architecture should be distributed throughout the enterprise.”
- Consider the Greater Network Ecosystem
Today’s cloud-based digital business relies on not one, but many service providers, creating potential confusion between technologies as users operate within the network. Kerravala says instead, “A standards-based, open solution guarantees the broadest range of choice for customers to support the new capabilities needed by the business.”
- Take a Wider View of IT
In 2018, to keep up with the pace of digital innovation, consider widening the scope of your organization’s IT mission. Instead of viewing IT as a singular application, “Develop a two-pronged approach that involves simplifying network support for current business operations, while also enabling new digital capabilities based on new, innovative technology with minimal risk.”
- Aim to Simplify
Networking today isn’t nearly as simple as it used to be. With the incredible scale at which it has grown, it’s harder than ever to manage. To make it more approachable, “Focus on simplifying design, deployment and operations network-wide through abstraction, virtualization, and standards-based interfaces.”
- Increase Network Agility
It should be a priority this coming year to increase your business’ ability to adapt quickly to changing environments. As Kerravala explains, “A network built on single-purpose hardware devices is static and inflexible. Networks must evolve and incorporate virtualization and containerization to become dynamic and agile—and therefore capable of enabling new functions and services quickly and consistently across all types of devices.”
- Implement Consistent Policies
Why is modernizing your network in 2018 so important? It’s because automation can save you time and money in the long run. As Kerravala shares, this will “Reduce the administrative burden on IT and free up resources to focus on business-enabling capabilities.”
- Strengthen Network Security
With increasing digitization comes increasing security risks, which is why many organizations are hesitant to commit to a cloud-first ideology. By improving network security, organizations can decrease the likelihood of a security breach while enjoying the convenient and cost-saving benefits of digital transformation.
- Analyze and Deploy Analytic Findings
Is your company neglecting to collect analytics, or are you not analyzing the data and using it to improve your network over time? If not, you should be. “Combining data gathered from the network with analytics can deliver real-time and predictive insights into users, applications and the network for the business and IT, uncovering new business-enabling data, potential problems and possible security threats.”
- Derive Context from Your Network
Want to know more about your users or customers? Your network can provide valuable insight if you read the data properly. Use your analytics to provide context on a grander scale for your organization by using data such as location and usage habits to build personalized profiles.
- Push Toward a Cloud-First Mindset
With digital transformation comes the need to alter your traditional IT approach; use this opportunity to leverage available cloud-based solutions and services. Kerravala says, “Shifting to a cloud-based approach to delivering services such as policy management, security and analytics can increase the agility of a network, while making it more scalable and agile.”