Today’s enterprise networks exist to support the business. Whether the imperative is driving a superior customer experience, enabling business growth through acquisition or any other number of goals, the business looks to the network (and those behind it) to advance its vision.
The IT leader, then, is the chief enabler of the business strategy. It is their job to ensure other leaders and business units fully understand and appreciate what it takes to bring the strategy to life, whether it’s a relatively small upgrade or a massive transition with big implications for cost, time and effort.
Big or small, isolated or far-reaching, all growth-oriented organizations are undergoing some level of digital transformation. And while no two organizations—or their networks—are ever exactly alike, in our work with leading organizations, we’ve seen similar challenges come up again and again. Here are 3 scenarios in which an expert consultant is well suited to help navigate a successful network transition.
Scenario 1: You need to make critical infrastructure decisions (but don’t have all the answers)
Is your network optimized for superior application performance? Is it compliant with industry regulations like PCI DSS or HIPAA? Is it vulnerable to security breach? Without a crystal clear picture of what your network looks like today, it’s tough to know—and of course, build—what’s required.
IT leaders must know their network like the back of their hand: its strengths, weaknesses, gaps and opportunities. However, many organizations lack the in-house resources (be it headcount or expertise) to effectively evaluate network performance, security and compliance, or to implement corrective actions to get the network up to snuff.
An outside consultant (operative word being “outside”) brings an objective perspective. They’ll ask crucial questions and conduct audits that identify network challenges, and then recommend designs to meet current and future needs. They can take a look under the hood and assess existing security infrastructure, networks, applications, vulnerabilities and threats. And they can evaluate and validate industry requirements to ensure the network continually checks all the required compliance boxes.
Scenario 2: Your migration is losing traction, or worse…
Many IT leaders have had the all-too-scary experience of being elbows-deep in a project when, suddenly, “the wall” appears. It might be a physical wall—a 30-foot concrete wall that wasn’t accounted for that now requires a re-engineering of the network design. Or it might be a logical wall—the firewall, the security requirements that are being driven by a new application that another team already purchased… without IT’s knowledge.
Many IT leaders have had the all-too-scary experience of being elbows-deep in a project when, suddenly, “the wall” appears.
A network migration has a lot of moving parts, but there is simply no time for a timeout. Superior network performance demands optimized deployment and installation, from the wiring on up. Yet many organizations are short on specialized expertise, and in-house IT resources don’t have the time (or often, the appetite) to focus on gathering installation and cabling requirements or performing wiring installations.
An expert consultant can support site configuration as well as equipment installation and roll-outs. They’ll assess the impact of assets like CPE, IP phones and mobile devices that access the network. And they can ensure application performance, plus make recommendations for cost optimization. Translation: Less worrying about tactical stuff. More time focusing on strategic priorities.
Scenario 3: You’ve got a behemoth on your hands
It’s big. It’s complex. It’s high-visibility. It’s a full-scale network transformation. Migration projects can be daunting if you don’t have a handle on the network, solutions and support needed to bring the strategy to life. But large-scale transitions don’t have to be overwhelming. As the old saying goes, there’s only one way to eat an elephant: one bite at a time.
Getting it right starts with requirements. What are the current business realities, and what does the business need from the network to reach its goal? From there, it’s about designing, deploying and managing a solution that serves the business’s current needs and future ambitions.
An experienced and qualified consultant can help gather business requirements and design a customized solution that’s tailored to the organization’s needs. If it makes sense for the IT team, the consultant can take the lead on the network project life cycle from beginning to end and act as a single point of management, helping move projects on the IT roadmap ahead faster while allowing internal teams to focus on the core business.
Advance your vision with Professional Services from Windstream Enterprise
From requirements gathering, to cloud-optimized network and communications solutions, to implementation and ongoing management, Professional Services from Windstream Enterprise can help you achieve a network that delivers against your business strategy. Our team of diverse experts can help deliver a needs-based network strategy and design that’s compliant and secure, freeing up internal resources and enabling business and IT agility.
About the AuthorFollow on Linkedin More Content by Justin Piotroski