It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement — and more than a little concern — about digital transformation, the business phenomenon being enabled by cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), big data and analytics (BDA), mobility, social media, and security.
What’s not to like about enhanced business agility and responsiveness — i.e., a 33% increase in speed to market; 40% increase in customer satisfaction; and 37% increase in new business revenue — in the emerging 24×365 connected world?
The network has moved to center stage, when it comes to digital transformation and customer experience, says Andy Ingram, Worldwide Data Center Solutions Lead, Juniper Networks. A decade ago, you didn’t touch the customer in an online fashion, so if there was a network problem, it didn’t impact the customer experience very much. Today, the customer experience is online “and it becomes an issue of the delivery of the service. It’s part of the user experience, so that makes a huge difference.”
Today, a network outage or disruption means you have unhappy, frustrated customers, who may abandon your business, which has a direct impact on revenues. Now more than ever the customer experience (CX) will determine your business success. Consider:
• Companies with superior customer experience grow their revenues faster, lower their service costs, achieve greater pricing power, and reduce risks around regulatory compliance;
• A bad digital experience negatively affects the future buying behavior of more than 90% of customers.
“My user experience is how I compete, and I’m competing against other smart people doing the same thing,” Ingram says. “Differences in performance matter. People struggle to live their typical lives without the network; it’s part of our fundamental lives that we depend on.”
Ensuring that your network is resilient by eliminating or reducing network outages and delays will also result in increased speed and functionality and lower service costs. That will lead to improved customer experiences and a healthier bottom line.
Not only can a network that’s responsive, agile, easily managed, and automated, help companies adapt to shifting business needs, it can also be surprisingly affordable. A recent case study of Juniper customers reported an average return on investment of 349% over five years and payback in as little as six months. The IDC study also found that customers lowered their networking costs by 33% using network automation solutions from Juniper.
Costs matter to customers, Ingram says: “I want to be able to deliver the most reliable, most high-performing, most secure, most agile network. And at the same time, I want to make sure I’m doing it at the right cost point.”
The reality is that while up to 90% of IT resources are devoted to keeping the lights on, 80% of businesses still experience network errors at least six times per month, caused by human fault. Automation can significantly reduce the 20% of networking tasks that take up to 80% of the staff’s time, but only 16% to 30% of daily network administrative tasks have been automated.
The economics of optimizing your network for digital transformation are compelling. However, the benefits of high ROI, low TCO and quick payback pale beside the improvements you can realize in providing a superior — and lasting — customer experience.