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Why Digital Success Depends on the Right Network

Many of us often gravitate to the “bargain”.  We’re intrigued by one-day only deals.  However, when it comes to long-term purchases, we’re typically guided by quality, brand, and safety.  We don’t want to “go cheap” when building a house or buying a car.  We recognise the importance of a strong foundation and company name.  It’s the same with our networks. Making networking choices based on what initially appears cheapest inevitably leads to undesirable outcomes. And this is particularly important in today’s digital era.

Network

All organisations are in the process of introducing new digital technologies.  For example, hospitals are adding lifesaving medical equipment, manufacturers are connecting their assembly lines, retailers are engaging customers through mobile technologies, and the list goes on. To remain competitive and relevant, organisations need to adopt these new initiatives quickly, dynamically, and securely, often with reduced budgets.

The network is the fundamental platform for these initiatives. They all use some combination of cloud, mobility, analytics and the Internet of Things, so they are increasingly dependent on a network that can constantly adapt to meet these new demands, securely, efficiently and at scale.

ZK Research has identified the top 10 criteria for choosing a networking provider to partner with on building your world-class “digital-ready network”. Here is the top 10 list:

  1. Intent-based networking solution
  2. Integrated, best-in-class security
  3. Automation that simplifies the network
  4. Architectural approach
  5. Total cost of ownership
  6. Deep visibility with machine learning to optimize performance
  7. Open and programmable
  8. Trust (consistently delivering on promises)
  9. History of innovation
  10. Broad set of services (including pre-deployment, technical and post-deployment services)

Short-term verses Long-term cost considerations

It’s important to understand how your short-term investment may have long-term cost implications before deciding on the right solution.

Let’s consider the consequences of choosing a low-quality vendor focused on near-term infrastructure price.  ZK research points to an example in the healthcare industry.  A hospital was looking for a wireless solution to send data directly from patient monitoring equipment to clinician mobile devices. The hospital chose a low-cost WiFi provider to save money.  As a result of this poor connectivity, patient alarm bells took longer to reach hospital staff, thus jeopardizing patients’ lives.  The hospital then needed to revamp their network, at a significant expense.

Furthermore, healthcare records are among the most hacked data in the world. It is estimated that medical information is worth 10 to 20 times more on the black market than credit card data because of its potential for fraud, identity theft, and abuse.  Healthcare organisations need to safeguard patient information.  This requires a secure network.

Just like you wouldn’t build a home on a weak foundation or buy a car that doesn’t function properly, choose quality when building your IT infrastructure.  The network is the platform that will accompany you today and for years to come on your organisation’s digital transformation journey.

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