How liquid infrastructure will unlock tomorrow’s digital economy

30 August 2016 | Rajiv Datta

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Rajiv Datta

Blog Author | Colt; CTO


Technology is continuing to play a major role in all aspects of business – shifting from what once was an operational support function, to shaping product and service delivery, customer interaction and business transformation. As such, the stakes – driven by the needs of the new digital economy – keep getting higher and IT is under constant pressure to adapt and improve.

Technology is continuing to play a major role in all aspects of business – shifting from what once was an operational support function, to shaping product and service delivery, customer interaction and business transformation. As such, the stakes – driven by the needs of the new digital economy – keep getting higher and IT is under constant pressure to adapt and improve.

So how should IT professionals react when their business begins to place Digital Transformation (DX) firmly at the top of the boardroom agenda?

While much talk has been about cloud computing, big data and the Internet of Things, to really undertake and sustain digital transformation, on-demand high speed networks will be the foundation for the new digital economy. There are two key paths to success – virtualise your voice network and embrace on demand networking. By replacing legacy voice communication systems and legacy networks, you open the gates to a future where your network infrastructure seems to flow to where it is needed – like liquid – and where it can evolve and reconfigure itself as business changes.

Find your voice

Legacy voice systems are holding back innovation. The PBX hasn’t actually changed much in 30 years – this makes it a costly millstone:  expensive to purchase, maintain and upgrade. Plus it can only be scaled in the one direction, which is not ideal for the cost-conscious CFO. 

This model certainly doesn’t lend itself well to a modern business, inflexible to change and unable to cope with requirements that fluctuate from one month to the next. A hosted, cloud-based network is the only sensible route to modern telephony. If an organisation requires a more collaborative way of working across the businesses, or manages multiple territories, this can only be really achieved by a nimble, cloud hosted option. 

The network of the future

Effective network connectivity is key to success for the growing and ambitious enterprise of today. With innovative services and applications absorbing more bandwidth than ever, this is the way to future-proof a business. 

As with voice systems, many conventional networks are still hierarchical. This worked when client-server computing dominated, but this static architecture is ill-suited to applications that need to access a myriad of cloud applications, databases and servers. This is why Ethernet delivery, exploiting Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN), is now automating these connections, speeding implementation and lowering costs. SDN delivers agility to enable the rapid deployment of new applications and business services, while NFV lowers cost and increases certainty by virtualising services that were – up until now – locked into proprietary, dedicated hardware. 

Better together – the liquid infrastructure

Voice and data can no longer be run on separate infrastructures.  There needs to be a change of approach. Modern companies can’t be limited by such antiquated network infrastructure. The more elegant, cost-effective solution runs on one network. 

It offers a single global platform that supports integrated cloud based services for all applications – voice, data, messaging, conferencing and video – enabling collaboration, innovation and faster time to market.  It’s clear that business need such digital building blocks for future growth and competitiveness: DX isn’t simply a change management programme or a short term fix. It is a way to secure long term prosperity for the company, and to ensure that you don’t become one of the 30% of top firms that are forecast to cease to exist by 2020.