Why growing companies are looking to the network of the future

As shown in a recent AT&T Business survey, the vast majority of international companies struggle to develop network migration strategies.
As shown in a recent AT&T Business survey, the vast majority of international companies struggle to develop network migration strategies.
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Outdated network infrastructure can be paralyzing for growing midsize organizations that are eager to capitalize on emerging technologies, boost output, and expand their geographic footprint. Determining the best way to update your systems without the right information, however, can be equally challenging.

As shown in the AT&T Business Global Survey above, 77% of IT leaders understand that the success of digital transformation depends on their network’s migration to more intelligent technologies. Yet, only a handful (8%) have actually developed a roadmap to guide their transition. Without a strategy in place, businesses may find themselves experiencing insufficient bandwidth and inadequate connectivity across office locations: Signs that are symptomatic of a looming tipping point—network productivity that has slowed or, worse, stopped completely.

With insights from AT&T Business, we outline the signals to watch and proactive solutions to deploy when your midsize business is eager to grow.

Three signs it’s time to consider network virtualization

What are the biggest indicators that your midsize company is approaching the tipping point and ready for the next stage of growth? These three signals are early warnings it’s time to reevaluate your networking system:

🔍 Your business has run off the same router for seven years.
Most network hardware appliances have a life cycle of about five to seven years, representing a hidden and recurring expense. The fluid, dynamic nature of SD-WAN (software-defined wide area networking) negates the need for continuous and costly hardware upgrades; a software-first approach ensures businesses can keep up with shifting network demands and technology trends as your team’s employee count and device requirements grow.

🔍 Your IT team is overwhelmed by mounting bandwidth demands and security concerns.
Technical hiccups like stalling connections, clunky connectivity for remote employees, and security loopholes are hindrances that mid-market companies simply can’t afford at a pivotal point in their growth process. These obstacles are also damaging to productivity—no employee operates efficiently in a constant state of buffering.

🔍 Your company leadership is unsure how your current midsize tech stack will evolve over the next six months.
Business needs for emerging technologies such as IoT, analytics, and edge computing are difficult to project. A flexible network architecture enables businesses to experiment and scale their solutions with multiple devices, network types, applications, APIs, and cloud environments without redesigning their core platforms.

Three steps to modernize your network

If the above symptoms sound familiar, it may be time to upgrade to the network of the future. AT&T Business has an intelligent, edge-to-edge approach to networking that gives companies comprehensive control over all running applications. It also supports cloud migration and robust data storage and allows businesses to move away from multiple vendors toward a single, hosted solution.

For a smooth migration to a modernized network, midsize organizations need to develop a strategic vision and long-term plan. AT&T Business suggests the following steps to introduce a virtualized network:

💻 Perform an audit of your existing system.
Assess pain points, pinpoint and prioritize critical applications, and identify “musts” and “nice to haves” for the upgrade. A thorough solution blueprint is essential for determining what apps and traffic will utilize which connectivity options.

💻 Decide whether to migrate networks gradually, all at once, or to use a hybrid system.
It’s worth considering implementing software-defined solutions across your business while maintaining its existing infrastructure for mission-critical operations. Seamless operational handoffs and clear communication in the implementation process help ensure connectivity changes don’t pose security threats.

💻 Balance in-house and external resources.
It’s critical to find a trusted third-party provider that can guide a business through complex, transformative initiatives to modernize network infrastructure.

In a constantly evolving technology landscape, flexibility equals competitive advantage. Midsize businesses in growth mode can’t afford to let a lagging network drag down productivity or obstruct output and should instead use this tipping point to propel their growth to the next level. While SD-WAN is the capstone of forward-looking software-centric networks, AT&T Business has other efficiency-boosting solutions in their Internet and Networking portfolio that provide stronger application, performance, and reliability. Networking should be simple and customizable for any company, and with the speed and scalability of SD-WAN, it can be.

To learn more about cutting-edge network solutions, visit AT&T Business online today.