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Editor’s Question: What are the current barriers to Digital Transformation?

Editor’s Question: What are the current barriers to Digital Transformation?

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Editor's Question: What are the current barriers to Digital Transformation?

Binesh George, CEO of Redvine Networks, explains how CIOs can overcome the current barriers to Digital Transformation.

CIOs are telling us that the move to Digital Transformation can be hampered by a number of barriers, including general understanding of next generation cloud technologies, dependency on service providers due to lengthy contracts, security, reliability and uptime, costs related not only to routing traffic but also cloud infrastructure requirements and complexity.

Thought needs to be given to whether businesses can afford to remain on traditional MPLS networks. The migration to SD-WAN, we believe, is a critical step to Digital Transformation because it not only removes the dependency of businesses on their incumbent service providers by providing multiple paths for applications but provides the scalability, agility and manageability that can transform organisations.

But before the transition can be made, decision-makers must understand their network operations to be fully able to leverage the new technology. They must be cognisant of how much their running costs are when it comes to routers, firewalls and the associated network infrastructure. Also, what is the return on investment they are currently getting as opposed to the potential of transitioning to a digitally transformed environment?

Customers are increasingly cost conscious and we need to think about solutions that make sense, that is not just about moving away from MPLS. Many companies, like retail and public sector for example, have branches in small towns and although the connectivity costs are higher in more remote towns/ cities, there is a growing need to provide a solution that keeps the total cost manageable and uniform across.

Part of this is to gain an understanding of not only the cost implications of outages but also risk exposure of remaining on the old technology versus migrating to a new environment. All this points to how much the business is prepared to evolve with technology or risk falling behind.

Connectivity is critical. Across the continent, there are fewer types of connectivity available in smaller, more outlying regions, so CIOs will need to ensure they have multiple types of connectivity available to build redundancy across the network. Choosing to work with agnostic SD-WAN providers enables businesses to put in place a minimum of two different service provider links paired with the right technology for African customers and make sure redundancy is built across the organisation.

We believe that CIOs need to drive SLA and performance management from their service and/ or solution partners as a matter of course. They should no longer be satisfied with solutions that don’t consider the performance of their business critical applications.

Change management becomes a significant challenge as there are those organisations who feel comfortable in the status quo and are unwilling to adapt to new data centre requirements. But if they are to remain relevant in a world where data access and connectivity are fundamental to success, they must move out of their comfort zones and embrace the new way of networking.

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