Getting Started on your Network-led Strategy

The last big wave of digital transformation (DX) saw businesses investing heavily in the infrastructure needed to support the enterprise’s transition to the cloud. However, as the economic uncertainty realities of steep growth targets and increased operating costs emerge, leaders are critically reviewing their cloud network strategies, especially due to the ever-increasing reliance on data and connectivity. We discuss this in greater detail in the latest offering of our NextGen series, A network-led strategy for DX success: A guide to meeting your DX goals by modernizing network architecture.

As the need for better performance and cost-savings brings DX back into focus, enterprises are increasingly teaming up with reliable managed service providers (MSPs). In this article, we unpack the key considerations for enterprises as they get started on their network transformation projects. Not only will these considerations allow IT leaders to make the most of their strategic partnerships, but they will also ensure that their DX strategy continues to generate returns in the long term.

Planning and strong internal alignment

Robust planning can avoid common project pitfalls such as not taking an organization-wide view, thinking short-term, or not budgeting accurately. Clear organizational vision and well-defined business goals must be front and center in the planning stage and when consulting with potential partners. The importance of aligning stakeholders cannot be overlooked. This ensures that the DX project addresses the organization’s needs as a whole and aligns with actual usage patterns. It also provides clarity on timelines and a clear view of the outcome. Lastly, there is significant value in analyzing past network optimization efforts to avoid mistakes made in past projects.

Questions to ask

Questions to ask

Unlocking digital success with tailored solutions

Having the proper foundation and an appropriate technological framework aligned with specific goals customized per enterprise is critical, given DX strategies are at risk of failure due to inadequate support. In the manufacturing segment, for example, a smart factory featuring automation and IoT requires a network capable of securing bandwidth and low latency for cloud applications and has security protocols.  

DX can only be achieved by ensuring CIOs and IT leaders strategically employ industry benchmarks to determine the performance of business-critical applications, incident rates, bandwidth requirements, and availability and restoration metrics. Executives must articulate the level of customization, agility, and flexibility required to meet the demands of the ever-evolving digital landscape and the enterprise’s unique version of goal success. Taking stock of resources and skills that already exist within the business can help enterprises better gauge the level of support they will need from the MSP.

Thinking creatively is as important as thinking strategically when making decisions about which problems are addressed first and whether any quick wins can expedite DX benefits to gain the goodwill of stakeholders. Most importantly, conversations about DX cannot be had without due emphasis on security and leaders need to familiarize themselves with technologies such as SD-WAN and SASE that give them greater centralized control over network security.

Questions to ask

Questions to ask

Key considerations during and after the project

Once the project gets underway, it is important to take the time to optimize properly including rigorous testing protocols and creating detailed documentation for each milestone. This makes it easier when it comes to troubleshooting issues further down the line. Steps must also be taken to regularly monitor the network for performance, security, and other issues so that problems can be detected early on.

Enterprise networks and security, integral to DX initiatives, are vital to businesses that continuously strive to improve processes and user experiences. As the backbone of all digital transformations, network architectures must prioritize flexibility and agility.  Engaging MSPs is one of the most effective ways to manage this nuanced journey.

To learn more about how to fast-track your own DX journey, learn more from our detailed eGuide.