29 Jan

Competitive advantage - the evolving role of the IT network

Cisco recently published their 2020 Global Networking Trends Report

In this insights series, we’ll provide a high-level summary of the key findings – together with our own viewpoints and local market observations.

This first installment examines the evolving role of IT networks in delivering competitive advantage, and the key global mega trends which are shaping this evolution.

Digital disruption – more data – network performance critical

Firms operate in an environment that is increasingly permeated with digital technology. The incorporation of digital technology into products, services, and operations has significant implications on how firms can attain and sustain competitive advantage.

This surge in digital business leads Cisco to predict that the average amount of data consumed across a network per computer will shortly be 60GB per month.

As the amount of network data explodes though, there are increasing concerns about the ability of IT teams to manage and secure networks.

Increasingly, we’re realising a need for a new type of network.

As well as new ways of managing and securing these networks. Network performance is no longer a nice to have – it’s a business necessity. For many of our customers it’s a core capability leading to competitive advantage.

Certainly, there are ongoing technology changes – which we’ll explore in the next installment of this series – but it’s important firstly to note some key business trends that are impacting how we build, tweak and manage future-ready networks.

We’re already seeing the impact of these trends on businesses within the Australian market, and are actively working with many customers across a range of industry sectors, guiding them on the journey to a future-ready network.

The new IT network

The evolution of IT networks is impacted by both business and technology trends. In this installment, we focus on some of the global business trends impacting the future state of IT networks:

The New IT Network

Global trends and their impact on the network

Globalisation

Globalisation

The transition of commerce into the digital realm has created new opportunities for businesses across the globe at an unprecedented scale – but with increased access to global markets and supply chains, as well diminishing costs of entry across many verticals, businesses are also faced with an erosion of their competitive advantage to both established and emerging competitors.

Network impact

The quality, speed and resilience of the network now directly affects the economic value of any individual business. New competitors will spring up ignoring traditional geographic boundaries.

Digital Business Transformation

Digital business transformation

Technologies such as analytics, AI, IoT, mobility and cloud solutions are no longer merely supporting the business – in many instances they ARE the business.

Network impact

Businesses and their competitive landscapes are continually evolving – the network needs to be capable of responding, able to adapt quickly to changing business needs, enabling new services, processes and models.

Business Automation

Business automation

The use of automation and robotics will only increase for businesses as they strive to remain competitive against existing and emerging competitors – particularly in industries such as automotive, retail, utilities and manufacturing.

Network impact

As businesses increasingly automate processes and adapt the use of robotics – the data packets carrying instructions become both mission critical and time sensitive. These packets must be delivered reliably and on time.

Business Operational Resilience

Business and operational resilience

Businesses now have an increasingly complex web of customers, supply chain partners and other stakeholders. Communications and interactions are primarily electronic.

Network impact

Networks need to be resilient and agile, able to quickly recover connections and respond when required.

Sustainability

Sustainability

Today’s global community is increasingly judging businesses on their ability to protect the planet. Sustainable business practices have evolved from a point of brand differentiation, to that of an end user expectation and demand.

Network impact

Future-ready networks are designed and built from the outset, to minimise energy consumption, resource usage and emissions.

What next?

  1. Download the full research report
  2. Request a network consultation to discuss how these trends may impact the future-readiness of your business network.

Next in this series

The next installment in this series will examine the key technology trends driving network evolution – and how businesses are responding in preparation.

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