What is currently undermining digital transformation in the enterprise?

A survey from Cato Networks suggests that legacy telco systems are undermining network transformation

Enterprise digital transformation requires a business network to become more agile and responsive, but legacy telco systems could be holding companies back.

In today’s technological age, enterprise digital transformation requires a business network to become more agile and responsive. However, the Cato Networks survey Telcos and the Future of the WAN in 2019 found that legacy telco systems are not meeting customer expectations in regards to agility and value.

WAN and enterprise digital transformation

Overall, 1,621 respondents participated in the survey between December 2018 and January 2019. However, the report focuses on 432 of those who work in IT, purchase telco services, and whose organisations possess “MPLS in their backbone.”

The number of organisations transforming their networks has reportedly increased dramatically over the past year. In fact, 44% of respondents said that they were considering deploying SD-WAN in the next 12 months.

In comparison to last year, this figure amounted to just a quarter of the total respondents. An additional third said that they were considering SD-WAN but did not currently have any plans to deploy the technology.

46% of respondents cited improved Internet access as their primary motivation for SD-WAN. 39% said that they had a need for additional bandwidth, while 38% wanted to improve last-mile availability.

Enterprises “grudgingly” rely on telcos

As the report notes, global telcos must orchestrate, monitor, and manage many technical domains. However, respondents said that telcos provide just an “average service level” and rated their experience with global telcos the lowest out of all organisations.

With telco, troubleshooting issues require close coordination with suppliers which inevitably impacts customer experience. 71% of respondents thus expressed frustration with the time it took telco customer service to resolve their problems.

47% also said that “high bandwidth costs” was one of their biggest frustrations when working with telcos. In addition to this, 48% complained about a lack of visibility into the telco network.

Nevertheless, new management models have begun to emerge in order to address these issues. 56% actually preferred the co-management approach to WAN, in which both the telco and enterprise have the ability to change the WAN.

Security is essential for WAN transformation

In order to achieve the goals of a digital transformation, however, companies must consider security. Indeed, the major motivations for considering SD-WAN require secure Internet access.

However, SD-WAN is unable to address the main security challenges that IT organisations experience. 70% of respondents said that their priority was defending against malware and ransomware, while 49% wanted to enforce corporate security policies on mobile users.

In order to address this, enterprises must thus incorporate additional security tools into their defence strategy. Despite this, 45% said that the cost of buying and managing security appliances and software was a major challenge.

What does the future hold for digital transformation? Check out our podcast with Antonio Grasso, CEO of Digital Business Innovation, to find out