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Home > Five Steps to a Future-Ready Network in an agile landscape

Five Steps to a Future-Ready Network in an agile landscape

8 December, 2021
Many enterprise networks are holding the business back, limiting engagement, connectivity and collaboration. Digital transformation, particularly today in the Age of Information, depends on agile, nimble and scalable networks that are reliable and secure.

As the dust settles on the world’s largest unplanned remote and distributed work trial – the global pandemic – it’s clear that business and technology strategies can no longer be separated. The acceleration of business digitisation has led many to discover that their legacy technology is limiting their strategic ambitions and business agility. Now they’re exploring architectures and implementations that ensure their choices are aligned with their overall business strategy. This is a sentiment echoed by research – according to Deloitte’s Tech Trends 2021, 40% of CEOs are looking to their CIOs and other tech leaders to be key drivers of their business strategies, and networks are key to the success of these strategies.

Leading-edge technologies and the business strategies they support – apps, devices, automated data analysis, AI, automation – are left in the cold without an adaptable, nimble, scalable and future-ready network with underlying infrastructure to support it. But how can the business adapt its networking strategy? What kind of access points do you need? How does your business deal with multiple branch locations effectively?

1. Make Cloud Work for You
You might be planning to run everything on premises for a while yet, but the future is clear: Networks will be software-centric and cloud-compliant if they are to drive sustainable business agility and growth. If your network architecture is designed with cloud workload migration and end-user access in mind, whether this public, private or hybrid cloud, you could open up the benefits of network visualisation. This allows you to deploy customised services on demand, and real-time scaling of network resources is easy with zero-touch provisioning capabilities.

These capabilities include Software as a Service (SaaS) over the internet and are a strong step towards enabling secure, seamless communication between cloud resources and end-users. Cloud networking solutions include SD-LAN, SD-WAN and data centre networking solutions, so you will want an expert assessment of your landscape before designing a solution.

2. Get Rid of Bottlenecks
Many legacy networks rely on MPLS circuits from their telecom service providers to connect their sites to main their applications and internet gateways, located in corporate data centres. If the business has geographically distributed sites, the squeeze is on those data centres. Too much traffic.

The answer could be a hybrid WAN architecture, with both MPLS and internet-based connections. Now all sites can have direct access to the internet but keep their dedicated MPLS connection to the corporate data centre. Internet capacity can be easily ramped up or down, according to need without bottlenecking the MPLS connection capacity. But those connections will need extra security though.

Software Defined Networking applied to the WAN transforms these challenges. According to Deloitte, Software Defined Networking (SDN) applied to the Wide Area Network (WAN) holds the key to addressing many challenging demands of the digital transformation era. It’ll improve traffic management across both MPLS and Internet links using automatic, dynamic routing path selection. It ticks the boxes of seamless and high-end security too.

3. Make it Easy
Your network tasks don’t all have to be handled manually, and they can’t be without immense stress as workloads become increasingly complex. Automating network operations, security and management may be the answer – SD-WAN deploys network services and provides resources that are scalable in real time and security and routing are centralised, which means they can be automated

4. Ramp Up the Security
Your networking solution should provide end-to-end traffic encryption with security policies defined centrally and applied automatically across your entire network. With SD-WAN, these layers of security can be intelligently applied and customised to suit very specific business requirements.

5. See it all
Cloud services can bring you a centralised management platform that provides visibility over the entire network. Now you can understand the who, what, when and where of your traffic, receive proactive solutions to bottlenecks and generally reduce the vulnerability of your network.

You need a networking solution that reduces latency and improves management control. One that brings security, automation and efficiency benefits too. In the end? Users are happier, whether they are internal or customers, centrally located or dispersed. And you’ll be readier for a future where business strategies and digital strategies are synchronized.

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