Or was the network architecture transformation insufficiently hyperconnected to support fast contextualization of data in motion?
In the digital era, how can organizations participate in digital ecosystems and unlock efficiency improvements and innovation opportunities?
A critical lever is for organizations to develop their “digital fabrics”: the intersection of interconnected network devices, systems, and platforms that serve as the foundation for digital businesses and their external ecosystems.
Digital fabrics enable seamless communication and collaboration for sharing data, applications, and operations inside and outside corporate boundaries. Compared with legacy networks — which tend to be static and isolated due to being designed for centralized applications and workforces, digital fabrics support data in motion.
Drawing from IDC’s Future of Connectedness framework, data in motion refers to the high-volume and real-time transmission of structured and unstructured data to coordinate value stream activities across distributed systems, edges, and locations.
Notably, when organizations are able to create, capture, contextualize and consume data effectively, value creation is enabled, which delivers game-changing outcomes such as anytime/anywhere access to applications and services; pervasive digital experiences for customers, employees, and partners; real-time insights and information; and business continuity and reliability for mission-critical processes and transactions.
To fully tap the potential of their digital businesses and digital ecosystems, organizations need to develop their hyperconnected digital fabrics.
A missing element in DX
Many organizations often focus on digital transformation (DX) without according consideration to the importance of concurrently transforming their network. In other words, they embark on DX first, with any network transformation relegated to secondary considerations.
Our advice to organizations is to pursue digital transformation and network transformation initiatives in unison. This means both initiatives should be developed together to minimize the need for rework or retrofitting, and to avoid being separately led by two different technical groups (such as a network team and an applications team). The two transformations should be viewed as ‘two sides of the same coin’.
For instance Software-Defined Networking in a Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is a solution that offers ease of deployment, central manageability, reduced costs, as well as improved connectivity to branch offices and the cloud. At a time when online threats abound, SD-WAN can also improve security by making it easier to ensure consistent policies across sites.
For the larger organizations undergoing DX, SD-WAN is also useful for segmenting network usage. For example, a hospital may want to offer patients Wi-Fi access that is separated from the corporate network.
Contextualization data in motion
Despite the current challenging economic climate, digitalized organizations can and should advance their transformation by investing and implementing the right network modernization strategy powered by a hyperconnected digital fabric.
This critical connectivity will enable them to create, connect, consume and contextualize data in motion, helping to drive fast business decisions and outcomes, while adhering to security and compliance requirements.