In recent years, it has often been said that the network is a “utility” much like heat or hot water. It’s a necessity to the needs of daily life for much of the world’s population.
In fact, the United Nations has called for universal internet access to be accepted as a basic human right by 2030.
But as the network becomes more ubiquitous, there’s risk of it being taken for granted. Organizations that do this, however, will be putting themselves at a disadvantage. They’ll miss out on the emerging technologies that can help them revolutionize their business models and achieve better outcomes from back-office to front-end.
The continued proliferation of technologies such as IoT, AI, mobility, Big Data, and SaaS—alongside seismic shifts toward remote work and omnichannel customer strategies—mean that organizations of all sizes will need to ensure that their networks are prepared for today’s challenges and adaptable for the ones to come.
In fact, according to 2023 research from BT and Microsoft, 87% of business and IT leaders surveyed acknowledge that adopting Big Data, IoT and AI will require a network upgrade. This is on top of these networks having to adjust to the realities of remote and hybrid work. According to Auvik’s Network IT Management Report, 86% of surveyed network and IT managers support a remote workforce at least some of the time.
Curious about where you stand on the network innovation continuum?
Check out Auvik’s Network Innovation Profiler.
4 business outcomes your network can support
At a high-level, it’s safe to say that these technology trends are fairly well understood. Their momentum has been building for years.
However, it is worth taking a look at the digital transformation outcomes that the network can help enable for your business:
- Transforming business operations. Many of the emerging technologies touching the network aim to create new efficiencies for the business. For example, IoT devices are being deployed to control energy costs, smooth out seams in the supply chain, and reduce losses through better physical security.
- Enabling new ways of delivering products and services. Digitally transforming organizations leverage the network to deliver value in new ways. Telehealth, omnichannel retail, and 1:1 device programs in education are examples of where network innovation is needed to stay on the cutting edge.
- Revolutionizing customer experience. From being able to deliver connected experiences in retail stores to assisting customers with wayfinding and location-based offers, network innovation helps customer-facing organizations keep consumers engaged and stay competitive in increasingly fragmented omnichannel markets.
- Supporting the needs of remote and hybrid work. While the pandemic forced many hands, many digitally transforming organizations had already been dipping their toes into the hybrid work water. This meant redesigning the network to accommodate greater VPN connectivity, a wider security perimeter and more robustness at its core to accommodate the “anywhere network”. Organizations truly pursuing network innovation are thinking beyond the on-premise network and are seeking to create a network without boundaries.
3 ways to build an innovative network
How do you build the kind of network that supports the business innovation and outcomes you’re looking for?
While this will look different depending on the size and industry of your organization, there are a few things you can do from a network management perspective that will serve most organizations very well:
1. Understand where your network is today
A common obstacle to network innovation is not having a clear picture of what the network looks like in its present state. Pairing ongoing, dynamic visibility with automated mapping and documentation will allow you to smartly build your network for innovation, as you can understand how new devices will impact the current infrastructure and reduce any blind spots that can result from rapid innovation.
Consider seriously evaluating your current network management solution from this lens to see if you’re in need of an upgrade or replacement.
For example, Auvik Network Management helps you achieve visibility by automatically discovering your network and providing an always up-to-date map showing how devices are connected alongside a comprehensive inventory.
2. Automate wherever possible
Innovation is time-consuming work where you have to move fast. You don’t have time for manual processes and troubleshooting. By automating common network tasks such as mapping, problem alerting, and configuration backups, you’re saving time on manual tasks that can be spent on strategy. You’re also resolving network troubleshooting tickets faster to keep the digital business running smoothly and keep customers and employees happy.
In addition to automated mapping, Auvik Network Management comes with 58 out-of-the-box automated alerts to notify users of common troubleshooting issues, while also automating configuration backups.
3. Keep a pulse on network traffic
With digital transformation obliterating many of the traditional boundaries of the network, it’s even more important to keep tabs on where traffic is coming from. One of the most important reasons for this is to ensure that non-mission critical applications are not consuming outsized amounts of network bandwidth. Traffic monitoring also helps detect when traffic is originating from unexpected locations, assisting the security team in managing its expanded perimeter.
Auvik TrafficInsights provides all of this data at the click of a button, making it easy to take action when traffic trends necessitate it.
Ready to be an innovator?
Network innovator (n.)- A strategist who has created an adaptable dynamic network that can easily adopt any next-generation network technology and applications that can move their business forward. A network innovator often relies on cloud-based network monitoring that evolves in lockstep with their network.
Is your organization ready to take the jump into network innovation?
User our Network Innovation Profiler to understand where your network is at today and how to level up.
After you determine where you stand on your network innovation journey, explore how Auvik Network Management can propel your organization as you move forward with digital transformation.