Business transformation. Digital transformation. Network transformation.
What does it all mean? And why is all this meaningful?
Well, business transformation became necessary when companies like Airbnb, Amazon, Google (News - Alert), and Uber began to capture some serious market share from traditional hospitality, retail, software and networking, advertising, and transportation entities and industries. And digital transformation and network transformation, if grounded in well-thought-out strategies, can enable those entities and industries to transform their businesses to better compete with these digital natives and perhaps even do some innovating of their own.
What business transformation looks like varies by the company and industry. But as-a-service models; connected endpoints; and data collection, analysis, and action are typically among the approaches and technologies at work in such efforts. And robust, scalable, secure, and flexible networks can act as the foundation for that.
In fact, many tech and business experts say networks are a business transformation linchpin. And they suggest that businesses and connectivity service providers need to invest in new technologies and approaches that will allow their networks to be more agile and automated, and to be able to adapt to changing conditions and business policies on the fly – and sometimes without human intervention.
Ciena uses the term adaptive network to describe this kind of thing. Cisco (News - Alert) tends to prefer the terms intent-based and intuitive networks.
As Cisco has noted, networks have traditionally been focused on speeds and feeds, and provisioning boxes to deliver faster connections. But the focus of intent-based networks will be on business outcomes and enabling applications and services as opposed to individual appliances.
“With the pace of growth in capacity, devices and mobility, defining adaptability – the right mixture of automation, intelligence, and scale – is frankly the answer to survival,” says Joe Cumello, vice president and head of global marketing at Ciena. He goes on to explain that network analytics and intelligence, software control and automation, and programmable infrastructure are the three keys to enabling the adaptive network.
Edited by Maurice Nagle