Now, networks must address the challenges of both multi-cloud and digital. Traditional network systems and topologies no longer fulfil the ever-growing demand for new-age services and features, underscoring the need for a network transformation service for businesses and customers.

For that, organisations must go back to the drawing table and tweak their network strategies to ensure long-term sustainability in the contemporary world. The network is the cornerstone that links edge devices and applications across multiple clouds. Any at-scale digital shift starts and ends with the network. Furthermore, according to Market Research Future, the global market value of network transformation services will balloon around 10X during 2019-2026.

Why is network transformation important?

Connecting places, people, and things have never been more crucial. Organisations all around have rethought what it means to remain agile, increasingly banking on technology to sail through the hurdles of the past few months.

To meet the promise of digital transformation, businesses must bet on SD-WAN solutions, automation, and better security. However, it has taken a global health crisis for several companies to understand the importance of the network as a workhorse and how it is fundamentally associated with successful digital transformation initiatives. By cashing in on dynamic network transformation now, businesses can cut down their expenses, boost workforce efficiency, and remodel and channelise their efforts more effectively. Moreover, network transformation is foundational to developing and empowering new services on your platforms that help form additional revenue sources. When you transform your network, you roll out the red carpet for new avenues.

Related Read: Every unique Network Transformation journey starts with these three steps

How to achieve successful network transformation?

The time to transform networks and the enterprises they power is now. And since the stakes are high, being strategic is paramount to delivering groundbreaking results. Transformation is much more than just technology. While there is no single, across-the-board approach, businesses can implement certain common aspects in every successful network transformation. Let us delve into those aspects.

Define your transformation objectives

Understand your business goals to guide your transformation journey accordingly. For instance, in the current remote working era, you will need an IT connectivity that lets users securely access the data and applications no matter where they are. In a setting where quick mock-ups are essential, you will require a network posture that drives virtual testbeds considerably fast.

Moving ahead, make sure you adequately demonstrate the role of your network transformation in obtaining ROI and adding value. Prioritising outcomes over features will enable you to prevent restricting your choices when it comes to technologies or service providers.  Furthermore, any secure network transformation plan needs to be significantly sophisticated. Ideally, you can fuse your third-party internet circuit with the SD-WAN setting, linking it to the SD-WAN layer as a secondary or tertiary circuit. As such, you will have a comprehensive view of the entire traffic, whether it is extending to another cloud vendor, reaching the HQs, or it is simply navigating. Whatever it is, you can see and gauge it to ensure your metrics and reporting are complete and accurate.

Also read: The growing need to adopt SD-WAN architecture for network transformation

Know your traffic flows

Now you must know your traffic flows and their effect on your network demands. Which traffic is vital? What connectivity should you utilise for your diverse applications? Which traffic requires more compliance?

While legacy WANs do not allow network management at a granular scale, SD-WANs enable the same to the minimum scale. By properly collecting your data, thanks to WAN optimisation devices, NetFlow, and SD-WAN pilots, you can leverage the full advantage of the SD-WAN capabilities. Additionally, you will have a better understanding of what your SD-WAN policy should factor in.

After having the traffic flow insights, single out the top five apps that run on your network, at the very least, and the service-level agreements (SLA) underpinning them. As such, you can decide the underlay type you need to support apps that might have bandwidth or latency beyond the guarantee.  

Creating a traffic hierarchy based on importance will understand your network priorities. Here, the guidance of a system integrator or managed service provider (MSP) will come in handy.

When you have implemented SD-WANs across the network infrastructure for a few locations, MSPs will establish cloud gateways to drive transformation. The SD-WAN sites communicate with the cloud gateway on an SD-WAN layer that further communicates with the non-SD-WAN sites, completing the connection string.

Evaluate solutions

You can evaluate the existing SD-WAN and network solutions in several ways, depending on the vendor. With demonstrations and virtual proof of concept (POC) settings, you can easily understand a solution’s attributes and compare them with peers. Moreover, virtual POC settings let you try out the attributes on your own instead of just seeing them in the demos. Consequently, this should leave you with lesser options from your potential shortlist.

After considering a solution, on-prem testing becomes crucial since you must verify its compatibility with your current IT infrastructure and business goals. And here, a pilot becomes the critical final leg of the procedure, letting you perceive and analyse the overall service management capacities and the SD-WAN provider offering the solution.

During a pilot – and the regular management and traffic inspections - you can also analyse the program management, migrations, installations, and low-level design. As such, shifting right from a virtual POC or demo to a pilot will place you perfectly to harness scads of data and make a sound decision.

Need help?

In this digital economy, businesses today hinge on their network infrastructure. And with the fast-paced advancements of cloud technologies, applications, and IoT, the performance demanded from your network infrastructure has never been higher. Unfortunately, coping with these increasing demands on your network agility, bandwidth, and speed is effort and cost-intensive, as well as triggers security concerns.

At Tata Communications, we drive secure network transformation to help you future-proof your network posture and trim your maintenance and support expenses. Our SD-WAN solution portfolio will refine your overall connectivity from the grassroots, offering increased service levels and notable performance improvements in tandem with sustainable cost-cutting. You will experience better collaboration and efficiency alongside the support for Bring Your Own Network (BYON) needs - over both the internet and MPLS. Ready to discuss network transformation? Call our network specialists today.

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