An Adaptive Network Is Key to Powering Your Enterprise Data Strategy
Today’s leading innovative enterprises drive their critical business functions with data. From improving the customer experience (CX) to enabling real-time data-driven decision making, your enterprise data strategy forms the core of long-term success. As organizations have put more focus on the technology needed to enable data collection, processing and use, there’s one important part of the conversation that’s consistently overlooked. Here’s a closer look at why building an adaptive network is the key to powering your enterprise data strategy.
Understanding Today’s Enterprise Data Analytics Strategy Landscape
Organizations fight an uphill battle developing effective enterprise data strategies. There are a wide range of obstacles and challenges that need to be overcome. As Harvard Business Review noted in 2017, “Cross-industry studies show that on average, less than half of an organization’s structured data is actively used in making decisions—and less than 1% of its unstructured data is analyzed or used at all. More than 70% of employees have access to data they should not, and 80% of analysts’ time is spent simply discovering and preparing data. Data breaches are common, rogue data sets propagate in silos, and companies’ data technology often isn’t up to the demands put on it.”
Increasingly, thanks to technologies hitting the market that offer better visibility and control, and wider adoption of best practices, these challenges are improving. Organizations are strategically focusing on the data they need, getting it out of silos and into cross-platform systems and finding strategies to get the right data to the right person, at the right time and with the right access. Newer technologies have enabled a deeper level of business and data integration, from how we collect and leverage customer data to the way that real-time data powers AI solutions, management decision making and more. However, these same technologies are also critical to ensuring we use this data in alignment with the regulatory and legal obligations that attach to the data itself. Because all of these advances offer better visibility and control, we can enable machine learning, AI and other tools to empower non-IT teams to transform their traditional workflows into intelligent work streams that combine insight with automated decisions and actions.
What Problems Does an Adaptive Network Solve?
When shaping your enterprise data strategy, focusing on an adaptive network can help you plan for success in specific ways:
Power the devices and applications needed to increase productivity: The explosive growth in devices and cloud-based apps is at the forefront of disruptive change — with people, devices, processes, sensors and systems needing constant access to information. To deliver the real-time data that drives productivity, always-on application access is essential — as are networks that offer insight, control and data integrity.
Adaptive networking combines distributed resources to create a single platform connecting multiple clouds where data resides to a wide-array of networked devices where it is consumed or generated. That means that an adaptive network provides an IT environment that’s agile, efficient and secure, making it possible for these devices and applications to have constant access to data without bogging down the IT processes and applications essential to enterprise success. Data that’s accessed, analyzed and acted on immediately drives the organization forward, while delays or performance issues can have long-term, devastating consequences.
Meet customer experience expectations: As enterprises leverage adaptive networks for intelligent extension of cloud-based workloads to support emerging, low-latency use cases that collect, process and secure data closer to its source and combine that data with applications that reside in other data centers, the enterprise can disrupt their industries with ground-breaking, innovative digital customer experiences. In an environment where customer expectations are shaped by always-on, highly personalized experiences, customers have come to expect this in-depth, individualized service in every interaction and that has become table stakes in retaining their loyalty. An adaptive network helps you deliver digital experiences that allow customers to self-identify and self-serve while significantly reducing the risk of downtime and interruptions. According to IDG, businesses that deploy adaptive networking see improvements in application uptime of up to 30%.
Migrate beyond legacy technology limitations: In many cases, enterprise network infrastructure has been built as a patchwork of solutions over the years. Through acquisitions, mergers and constantly changing technology, many IT organizations are working with a mix of network infrastructure. It can be difficult for this hodgepodge of technology to keep pace with the speed, agility and responsiveness needed to interact with the plethora of devices and applications present in today’s business landscape. Further changes are constantly redefining the edges of the network. As companies integrate new technologies such as IoT devices, mobile technologies and edge computing into their architecture, the edges of the network are moving far beyond traditional data centers and cloud solutions. By enhancing legacy networks with an adaptive network approach, brands ensure they have the technology in place to support their data strategies and facilitate long-term business success.
Support data security: Data security is a central concern of every enterprise strategy and essential to sustaining the overall health of the organization. While an adaptive network enables sharper data strategies and executions, 79% of organizations surveyed by IDG also saw improvements in multi-layered network response to security threats of up to 31% driven by SD-WAN implementation. An adaptive network isn’t simply reliant on your team to spot and respond to threats. Instead, security is built into the overall network architecture. Threats are constantly monitored, isolated and mitigated before they reach your data and put your customers’ information — and your enterprise’s reputation — at risk.
Strategically partner with providers to deliver services and experiences: More than ever before, every aspect of the enterprise experience is powered by technology. IT teams are increasingly expected to take a seat at the table and deliver on the promise of new tools, experiences and services. Adopting the right technologies and identifying partners that enable companies to affordably deliver the networking solutions is crucial. For example, when organizations adopt an adaptive network approach, they report in the IDG survey seeing benefits such as a 28% improvement in network costs. Software-defined networking solutions help streamline the management and support of complex functions such as cybersecurity response, giving your IT teams back valuable bandwidth. Because your team is freed up from the daily work involved in managing a network, they’re able to get involved in key business discussions earlier and focus their attention on the strategic implementation. These cost and time savings will continue to be reinvested into your network to further drive programs that enrich your customers’ engagement and drive bottom-line results.
Powering Your Data Analytics Strategy With an Adaptive Network
For many IT leaders, it’s important to have a plan in place to explore why adaptive network investments are a cornerstone of the larger data strategy conversations. Often, data conversations happen at the level of “what information needs to be collected” or “how the information will be applied”. By focusing on the adaptive network, you can help ensure your ability to deliver the speed, security and connectivity needed to keep that data flowing at every point in the process.
Investing in the underlying technology infrastructure enables your larger enterprise data strategy, enhancing the depth and breadth of its impact on your organization’s growth and goals. An adaptive network powers every layer of success, from connecting core devices and applications to data, to making it easier to anticipate and prevent security issues. Don’t leave this critical conversation to an afterthought; instead, leverage an adaptive network as a differential advantage to help your organization grow and capture the full benefits of putting their enterprise data strategy into action.
Learn more about how software-defined networking solutions can advance your digital transformation.
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