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Revolutionising network innovation for tomorrow’s digital needs

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Technology, governance, e-governance, transparency, efficiency, citizen engagement, digital innovations, policy-making, responsive governance, inclusive governance.

In the midst of a modern era How organizations can promote effective network innovation.

Network innovation is being driven by the quick pace of modern change. The question is whether your network can support the expanding business demands needed to run the most recent smart business apps. As technology leaders, our responsibilities are changing from ensuring that the lights are on to making sure that our solutions are flexible enough to handle the upcoming stage of the modern transformation.

The blueprints used to move ones and zeros approximately have been used by network architectures. Despite the fact that networks have changed over time, it is all too common for us to build our networks with a core switch, access switches, and possibly distribution layers, depending on the size and results of the business.

But in order to manage and produce productive results, we need more creative and intelligent networks due to the complexity of artificial intelligence, increasingly advanced apps, and hybrid working.

Revolutionising network innovation for tomorrow's digital needs

Creating intelligent networks in the modern age

What then does network innovation entail?

Before we respond to this, we need to alter how we think about the purposes for which we create our networks. One way to look at networks is to consider them in terms of workplace which is where we have experienced the most disruption in recent years, as well as workforce (people). workload (applications) and tools the workforce is trying to access. These can be referred to as our three Ws. To enable the business to run efficiently, networks must connect all of these components in various ways.

In the past, networks were designed to allow for everyone to be in the same location while also allowing for rural access via a VPN or by connecting the company to an internal DC that hosted our company’s data and applications. This strategy did not fit with our conventional networks as our three Ws changed.

Even more therefore, we’ve transitioned from building dependable infrastructure and keeping the lights on to business transformation. To ensure the success of our businesses, we cannot adopt the exact mindsets as we previously did. As a result, the network’s driving force enables business results, necessitating the need to rethink the networking strategy.

In light of this, connectivity and security are now essential components that must guarantee a satisfying user experience while assisting in the pursuit of greater sustainability. We realized that as the workplace environment changed as a result of the epidemic, connectivity could improve. Workplaces can now be found anywhere — at home, in a coffee shop, etc. — rather than just in the office.

We must think about integrating home users with our SD-Wan fabric or offering someone in a coffee shop the same level of protection as we do at work, where we may have recently made significant investments in firewalls and security tools like IPS, etc.

Revolutionising network innovation for tomorrow's digital needs

How does network innovation manifest itself?

To meet these shifting needs, businesses must create more powerful infrastructures with automation and better integration. Whether it be a change in the location of the workforce or the workload, the network’s adaptability and the agility we can offer with software-defined fabrics are assisting in dealing with this change. Automation drives change from the perspective of networking infrastructure, reducing manpower hours on particular tasks and re-energizing time for various activities.

Automation can range from infrastructure as-a-code (managing and provisioning infrastructure through code rather than manual processes) to an engineer using straightforward Python to automate a repetitive task they would have previously performed manually. The benefit of automation lies in the time savings that normal tasks can be automated.

Better programmability, or the capacity to interact with commercial software like a network solution management node, is another requirement for modern networks. The capacity to extract data and cram data in is what matters.

While integration involves moving data from one location to another, either bi-directional or vertical, to improve business processes, automation is about saving time. For instance,”I’m going to make policy changes to improve it because I’ve noticed some poor network conditions.”. It might add some more context between security solutions that will provide better threat protection from a security standpoint.

Adding Software as a Solution (SaaS) to the network can benefit the company more because it makes it possible to produce better business results. For instance, it ensures security around the working area of the home by integrating basic security with fresh security layers. Making sure your network can adapt to these SaaS solutions is essential.

If you already have the necessary computing power and the flexibility to increase and decrease workloads as needed, you don’t always need to build a new network to handle today’s complexity. It’s crucial to make sure that a great user experience is achieved when you update software or attempt to integrate innovative software into the network.

The success of your network depends on the user experience. Chatbots, for instance, are highly sought-after according to Chat GPT and similar services, but you can still accomplish a lot with straightforward ones. People prefer results that are driven by language. For instance, network engineers want to be notified via message when there is a network issue so they can respond to it via chat because doing so is more healthy and fits into their workload.

Additionally, because it has already been created elsewhere and is accessible to a wider audience, it is quick to get up and running and doesn’t require them to code.

Another method that enables network innovation is containerization. Network innovation is crucial because it offers a consistent runtime environment, enables constant integration and constant delivery, and is more effective than virtual machines, such as creating virtual firewalls inside of switches or using directly installed apps to produce quicker, more secure results.

Containers are more resource-efficient and use fewer resources, which promotes sustainability. Additionally, it makes it simpler to scale applications as needed, which is crucial for contemporary network architectures.

Adapting to changes in technology

Network innovation requires network engineers to switch from coding to working with scripts, which calls for a different way of thinking. They won’t need to start from scratch if they can concentrate on the advantages of working in this new way and see the network as its software platform. Many of the materials are now readily available off the shelf through network communities like the Cisco DevNet community as well as from vendors and managed service providers.

IT teams must determine how using automation and AI to transform their network will improve business results. Working with a managed service partner can help show ROI because it can be challenging to do so.

What happens after you have a network that has been completely transformed, using automation and innovative tools to produce new results, an excellent user experience, and high levels of security? Plug it in, then you can leave, am I correct?

No, problems will also occur, regardless of the best designs in the world, such as network outages or user errors.

By making sure you have a solid assurance plan and the right monitoring tools, you can immediately identify any problems. A sophisticated assurance solution, such as Cisco’s ThousandEyes, can prioritize and categorize risk and cost-related issues. This is accomplished by using machine learning or intelligence to assist in the data interpretation of the network. Everyone today has access to this visibility of what is happening throughout your network, which can help you shift your response to problems from reactive to proactive. The ideal objective of an intelligent network is to begin predicting probable problems that can be fixed before they happen.

Our networks must put in more effort and be smarter as technology develops in order to produce profitable business results. You can lead innovation to ensure ongoing business success by utilizing automation, containerization, and assurance throughout your network.

By doing this, we can promote network innovation and, as a result, deliver the best user and business results rather than merely shifting zeros and ones.

Matthew Boyle

Matthew Boyle is a distinguished Smart City Consultant, renowned for his expertise in IoT (Internet of Things) and cutting-edge urban technology solutions. With a deep understanding of Smart City initiatives, Matthew excels in leveraging IoT innovations to transform urban landscapes into efficient, sustainable, and connected environments. His strategic insights and hands-on experience in urban planning, data analytics, and IoT implementation make him a trusted expert in the field. Matthew Boyle is your go-to consultant for navigating the complex world of Smart Cities, ensuring seamless integration of IoT technologies, and unlocking the potential of data-driven urban solutions. With his guidance, your city can thrive in the digital age, enhancing quality of life and fostering a sustainable future.

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