Verizon Reports on the State of Digital Network Transformation

If you want to enable digital transformation, you need to think about the network.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Sep 28, 2015
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There are many pressures on enterprises of all sizes today as the pace of innovation and competition continue to accelerate. To help organizations get a handle on the state of transformation, Verizon is publishing a new report today on Digital Transformation. The Verizon study was conducted by Forrester Research and is based on responses from 604 decision makers at large enterprises around the world.

Transformation isn't without challenges, and the Verizon study respondents identified the rate of change as being the main obstacle to IT supporting the business. In second place is lack of budget, which was identified by 38 percent of respondents, while 37 percent reported that attracting and retaining talent is their main obstacle.

In terms of opportunities, 65 percent of respondents will be expanding enterprise mobility as part of digital transformation. Security remains a top of mind concern for all sectors of IT. 85 percent of respondents indicated that improving data security is a high priority.

Another key challenge that digital transformation needs to overcome is legacy network infrastructure itself. 67 percent of respondents indicated that legacy networks are a bottleneck, particularly for cloud enablement.

Not surprisingly, the Verizon study found that 79 percent of respondents see IT's primary responsibility as making sure that the network is able to support any digital transformation efforts. Companies not only see the value of IT but are also investing in their networks to advance transformation. 49 percent of respondents indicated that they have already invested, while 39 percent indicated they have plans to invest in their network.

"The network is at the core of any digital initiative," Chris Formant, global president, Verizon Enterprise Solutions, said in a statement. "So when it comes to what any company’s network has to deliver, performance, reliability and security are key."

Verizon has seen significant growth of its own network. The company reported that its public IP network has been growing at a compound annual growth rate of 44 percent over the past four years.

In terms of figuring out how best to improve IT operations and the network, Verizon is suggesting a very simple three step plan. The first step is to create the right environment. The study found that 48 percent of respondents viewed the need to have IT and business priorities aligned with the help of cross company groups.

As a second step, Verizon suggests that organizations make use of emerging technologies like Software Defined Networking (SDN). Lastly, Verizon suggest that organizations identify and use strong partners to execute plans.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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