By Jeremy Wubs, Senior Vice President, Product, Marketing and Professional Services for Bell Business Markets
Overcoming the obstacles to optimized operations
I hear it all the time when talking to Canadian business leaders: network-driven optimization is key to keeping pace with today’s market.
Fortunately, there has never been a more favourable time to do just that. With the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of the cloud, the actionable insights that can be gained from IoT sensors and devices, and the speed and security of modern networks, the solutions are out there to enable any business to maximize performance and minimize costs.
But how do you identify the best solutions for your business? How do you secure, manage and support them? The answers depend on which industry and sector you’re in, though there are common roadblocks and challenges.
Optimize with care
Optimization requires knowing when the time is right to replace legacy technologies with newer ones, consolidate technologies, or add solutions on top of your existing infrastructure. That’s not always easy. It also requires knowing how to get the most out of advanced technologies like the cloud and IoT.
Unfortunately, companies in need of optimization often face skill gaps with respect to new technologies. That can lead to issues such as incomplete or haphazard implementations, with consequences far greater than simply falling short of peak efficiency. The cloud is a highly safe and secure way to store data and launch applications, so it’s no surprise that 70% of Canadian business leaders rank cloud services as a top strategic priority. 1 But an improper cloud implementation can lead to unintentional security shortfalls that will imperil a company’s network environment, reputation and profitability.
That’s especially dangerous in today’s sophisticated and ever-evolving cyber threat landscape. In 2021, one in three Canadian organizations suffered a data breach.2 Preventing such incidents isn’t easy because every new cloud, sensor, and device on the network serves as a potential entry point or “back door” for malware and cyber attackers – a challenge I touched on when I wrote about protection and compliance.
To facilitate operational optimization, the network itself must be secured. It should also be capable of supporting software-defined technologies that enable businesses to get the most out of automation and other optimization initiatives.
How to optimize your operations
So how can you drive efficiency without compromising security?
Start by identifying the right mix of solutions for your specific needs, which requires knowing the ins and outs of your network environment. Interrogate the connectivity you’re using for every application. Maybe you’re running your operations over Wi-Fi? However, offloading some devices and processes to a private wireless network could offer opportunities to increase the density of your operations. It could also help with critical improvements in areas such as speed, latency, scalability, and reliability.
Earlier, I mentioned that optimization often involves moving on from legacy systems that are part of your operations. As a practical example, adopting a next-gen network like SD-WAN can streamline traffic and application routing for better flexibility, control and performance.
Next, ensure you have the means to make the most of your technologies and to secure them. IoT solutions can offer unparalleled visibility into every area of your operations. But what you do with that visibility is what counts. To make the most of the information you gather, you will need the right management platform along with the right expertise to turn data into insights that can inform improvements to your operations.
Of course, it can be challenging and time-consuming to deploy staff to assess your corporate network, consolidate technologies, and implement and secure next-gen solutions. If this is true for your business, consider enlisting the help of a partner like Bell.
Partnering for optimized operations
I want working with Bell on business transformation to feel like a partnership. To get the job done, we need to see your goals as our goals. And to support those goals, we’ll provide more than solutions – you’ll get the expertise and deep understanding of network technology, cloud, IoT and security that true optimization demands.
We take a consultative approach to help you identify risks, weigh the pros and cons of possible solutions, and develop a plan tailored to your situation and requirements. We can assess your network architecture to identify the optimal configuration, tell you when it’s time to consolidate vendors or leave behind legacy technologies, and craft a strategy that will take you to peak efficiency. To support continued optimization, we can give you the tools to manage collected data in real time and convert it into actionable business insights. Our professional and managed services teams can also take the complexity out of implementing, managing, and securing your solutions so that you can rest easy knowing you’re getting the most out of your investments.
Wherever you are on your transformation journey, whatever you need your technology to do, we’ll be there with the solutions and all-around expertise that your business requires.
1. IDC FutureScape: Worldwide IT Industry 2021 Predictions, Doc # US46942020, October 2020
2. IDC ITA survey, 2021, n=314