Network performance for business performance: A symbiotic relationship
A recent IDG Pulse Survey, commissioned by business nbn™, found that well over half of Australian businesses have plans to further accelerate their digital transformation efforts in the coming years. Over the past 18 months, transformation has been seen as a pathway to resilience, answering questions about what businesses can do to continue normal operations through state-wide lockdowns. Now that enterprises have newly transformed environments, however, they are able to leverage those investments to deliver enhanced agility that can flex with market demands.
Agile represents a different way of looking at IT, as enterprises adopt an iterative approach to project management and software development; rather than a “big bang” launch for new services, the agile approach is to work in small increments, continually evaluating results and changing quickly as necessary.
This approach allows enterprises to address the needs of the market rapidly. However, it is also one that relies on having a scalable network; one that can leverage complex cloud environments for ongoing application development and roll-out, scale quickly with demand, and operate in real-time so that teams can quickly move on evaluations when necessary. Agile highlights just how critical network performance has become in achieving business performance.
Adopting an agile approach may offer businesses key advantages:
- Improved customer satisfaction, as the customer is better integrated into the decision-making process. Changes can be made rapidly with customer feedback, and therefore customer requirements can be better met.
- Superior quality products, as the ongoing testing and iteration regimen delivers a more rounded and dynamic product that can rapidly shift to meet demand.
- Faster time to market, with the agile methodology more focused on delivering a base-level product first, and then building on it, rather than trying to deliver full and final functionality up-front.
- Risk minimisation, because agile is iterative, and therefore red flags can be identified and managed early on. There’s also greater predictability, thanks to greater visibility of the project across the whole of the organisation.
However, achieving this relies on the enterprise first having a resilient and flexible IT environment, and one that is first backed by strong network performance.
The role of resilience in business performance
As noted in a Deloitte study, before 2020, only 24 per cent of CXOs felt completely ready to lead their organisation through potential disruptions.
This number has lifted significantly as organisations across all sectors have been forced to re-focus on resilience, and it quickly became evident that some of the best solutions to address resilience are technology-based and rely on a robust, and appropriately secure network.
So many organisations in Australia are now ready to target agility as part of their business resilience strategy because digital transformation has delivered them an environment that is prepared for it.
A resilient environment would be:
- Decentralised, as resilience doesn’t need to have a geographic component, allowing work to continue no matter where the disruption occurs.
- Transparent, because it’s important that workers and customers understand what’s going on through the disruption.
- Highly scalable, to account for surges in demand or greater strains on the network environment.
- Redundant, so that the organisation has a “back-up” for any circumstance that prevents work from happening.
From the business nbn™-commissioned Pulse survey, it suggests that business technology investments are being made with these goals in mind. Video conferencing (24 per cent), cloud-based productivity/collaboration tools (17 per cent) and cloud environments (16 per cent) were the three largest targets for investment for the surveyed participants. Close to two-thirds of organisations in the survey (68 per cent) believe that they are more agile and innovative than prior to the pandemic. With over 50 per cent of respondents planning to accelerate their IT investments, the link between the two is clear: those technologies that deliver agility also enhance resilience.
The network that underpins all of this is becoming even more critical to the organisation’s health.
The nbn™ network’s role
business nbn™ can help enable businesses to deliver both the resilience that they need now with robust network foundations, and the open access network style of the nbn™ network provides flexibility to change plans and service provider arrangements which can help lead to agility to achieve competitive differentiation in the future.
An open access, robust network across Australia helps enable organisations to diversify their operations and connect to the cloud services that have become key for a diversified IT environment to operate.
Working with a large network of service providers, business nbn™ is also able to offer highly scalable services to service providers, with additional bandwidth, data allowances, and enhanced support options offered to service providers for their business customers.. For example, business nbn™ wholesale product options include committed information rates, which can enable services providers to offer priority data services to enterprises. Priority data can be particularly valuable for businesses seeking agility for rapid testing and iteration of new features. Finally, with resilience solutions and agility taking place in the cloud, symmetrical upload-and-download speeds provide higher upload capacity than typical residential plans and can help enable a smooth working environment.*^
For one example of this in action look to ADW Johnson. The civil engineering firm was looking to to help better connected its headquarters to branch offices, and enhance collaboration between teams when working with large files. With three primary offices in Sydney, Newcastle and the Central Coast, ADW Johnson’s geographically distanced teams often need to collaborate on large AutoCAD design files. Working with their service provider, they decided business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet could help them reach these goals.^#
Meanwhile forest management organisation, Forico, investigated business nbn™ solutions to help address its digital transformation headaches.^ The company produces so much data that backup activities could take days – running beyond the length of an entire weekend – and this lack of rapidity in backups was introducing risk into the process. The team would often opt to transfer data backups via portable hard drives that were physically driven to backup storage sites.
Thanks to a business-grade fibre connection direct to Forico’s head office in Launceston, the company was able to achieve a high-speed symmetrical data solution that could support a safer, more efficient, and more resilient operation.#
“Today, we are able to look towards the future,” Shevaun Mackenzie, IT Manager at Forico, said, “and have started implementing technology that is overhauling the way we operate for the better.” (Read more about the Forico experience here)
Digital transformation, resilience and agility are all features of the modern, healthy enterprise. By enabling symmetrical speeds, allowing enterprises to distribute data fluidly across the enterprise, business-grade network connectivity can assist with the foundations that these applications will then sit on. In addition to strengthening the continuity and resilience of the business, those enterprises that can structure their IT environments in this way will be able to become the innovative disruptors in their space, earning significant competitive advantage as a result.
For more information on digital transformation and to read the full IDG Pulse survey, commissioned by business nbn™, click here.
* business nbn™ is not available on the nbn™ fixed wireless network. Not all providers offer plans based on the full range of wholesale business nbn™ products, product features and services, availability of which depends on an end customer’s access technology and area. Ask your preferred provider if they offer plans based on these products, product features and services in your area.
^ End customer experiences may vary. End customer experience may vary depending on factors such as their nbn™ access technology, internet provider, plan and equipment. Satellite end customers may also experience latency.
# business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet is only available in the nbn™ Fixed Line network footprint and at limited premises served by the nbn™ Fixed Wireless and Satellite networks.