Building adaptability into networking has never been more important
An organisation’s ability to scale its network reach and bandwidth has shown to be essential for business continuity.
Throughout 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the downside of traditional networking models. Organisations are experiencing dramatically changing user behaviours and unexpected surges. The normalising of remote working, increased content consumption and growing reliance on cloud-based services are putting strain on the network infrastructure.
Businesses of all kinds, both service providers and enterprises, are facing challenges in adapting to new demand while preparing for it to change as quickly as it arrived. It is possible that a global crisis has provided a step change in managing global connectivity as more organisations can no longer afford to be locked into inflexible long-term contracts and slow service delivery.
How does a digital media company deal with increased traffic in their customer service call centre while handling peak usage of their digital services and online customer support?
How can a service provider continue to support their enterprise customers’ connection to the cloud and manage the sudden increase in network traffic?
The knock-on effect has become obvious. Without a flexible foundation in networking, the applications and services that depend on it cease to function and can negatively impact the end user experience.
User behaviours are hard to predict and do not necessarily change gradually over time. Organisations must ensure that their network infrastructure is always ready to adapt to the evolving business environment while delivering a seamless transition to a new normal.
Business Continuity with NaaS
As we have seen in 2020, organisations that have not transformed their approach to networking are in a poor position when handling unexpected events. Cloud-centric on-demand networking enables them to not only adapt to the new business climate, but also reduce risk and deliver a consistent service experience for end users when they need it most.
Software-defined networking (SDN), in the form of network-as-a-service (NaaS), enables organisations to efficiently run their IT. They can access the network resources they need with a self-service model that can efficiently serve both the immediate and long-term needs. Digital transformation is also reaching a tipping point where it will account for more than half of all ICT spending by 2023, according to IDC. This outcome will continue to accelerate digital transformation and it is vital that it is reflected in networking strategies as well.
NaaS provides an array of benefits for organisations of all kinds:
Easily expand reach with on-demand access to network services
NaaS enables organisations to adapt fast and grow in new markets, with a simple approach to building and managing their network resources. NaaS offers a one-stop shop for procuring, delivering and managing global network resources, with access to voice services and a diverse ecosystem of data centres, cloud and internet exchanges (IX). It provides on-demand interconnection and fast and automated service provisioning, with a seamless connectivity model for all kinds of businesses.
Flexibility, scalability and adaptability
An SDN platform provides businesses with the flexibility to scale network services to support new end user demand, and the deployment of new applications and services. They can quickly scale with unexpected events by procuring and deploying network services at the click-of-a-button.
NaaS offers a “pay for what you use” model, ensuring businesses are never paying for bandwidth that isn’t utilised. They can scale up efficiently or reduce capacity when demand falls. This model helps organisations to save cost in the long run while meeting changing customer needs.
End-to-end control, transparency, visibility and monitoring
Organisations can respond to rapidly shifting demands with real-time analytics and intuitive network management. SDN platforms offer better visibility into the performance to immediately rectify any unplanned outages or fluctuations on the network.
Automation and control
With NaaS’ automation, organisations no longer need to wait for a circuit to be turned up or pricing to be shared by an account manager via email. The entire process has been automated and can be managed through a portal, giving the organisation control over their connectivity with greater efficiency and agility. A service that would have taken weeks to provision manually on the backend can be actioned in a matter of minutes.
Prepared for the Future
The future might be uncertain, but organisations can bring new levels of flexibility and adaptability to their network infrastructure. With fast, simple and powerful network solutions in place, remote workforces and the customers they serve can enjoy a seamless digital experience.
The underlying network infrastructure has also shown to be critical for businesses to stay up and running during the pandemic, along with the growing importance of the NaaS model and SDN platforms to support this.
This global crisis has completely changed the way we view our workplaces and truly brought our work into the future. Now that users have seen what is possible, there may be no going back. As an industry, it is crucial to adapt to the future of work with network infrastructure that keeps the world connected.
About the Author
Prasanna is a Product Management Specialist at Epsilon with over 9 years of experience in the telecom industry. He specialises in the management of technical and strategic product portfolios and possesses deep knowledge in network services such as such as Ethernet, Cloud Connect, API, on-demand platform, IP and Private Line Services.
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