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What Comes Next: Future-Proof Your IT Infrastructure

Today’s wide-area network is being challenged like never before. These environments are required to handle an unprecedented volume of data – adjusting for customer demands in real-time while staying on the cutting edge of innovation. The ultimate goal is agility, aligning resources for whatever challenge comes next.

By now, most IT leaders are familiar with the term “digital transformation.” It refers to a company’s ability to capitalize on a range of digital technologies. Across every industry – from financial services to healthcare – businesses can work smarter, serve customers in new ways, and accelerate innovation. And with today’s corporate strategies so closely aligned with IT, there’s renewed focus on the underlying network itself.

The new strategy is quickly becoming “network-first.” In fact, a recent survey of IT professionals indicates spending will not only increase for core network functions, but also for advanced innovations like virtualization. Most respondents expect to channel efforts into upgrading existing infrastructures, with nearly 50 percent looking to expand software and systems investments on top of current IT foundations. The trick is evolving the network, rather than conducting a “rip-and-replace” of the entire environment.

ctl-tranfom-blog.jpgLeveraging advancements like Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Software-Defined Networking, these “new” networks become more flexible and more intelligent – while providing advanced hybrid networking by integrating into disparate underlying transport technologies under a single control plan.  In fact, more than 25 percent of respondents in a TechTarget survey named “network redesign” a top priority. And with the growing adoption of multi-cloud and requirements for hybrid IT services, network functionality must match requirements of emerging platforms.  Self-service provisioning, usage-based billing, and automated capacity or quality of service (QOS) are no longer merely capabilities within the cloud. Leading clients are actively deploying these capabilities into the network as well.

Published reports estimate 90 percent of organizations will incorporate hybrid infrastructure management functionality by end of this decade. Effective hybrid IT strategies incorporate a hybrid WAN strategy while injecting enough agility to align for future growth. Teaming with an experienced managed service provider is a proven approach to making this happen – lowering costs by shifting from capital to operational expenditures, and easing the burden placed on internal IT departments. The model is also a spark to innovation, enabling partners to fill voids in infrastructure and/or networking expertise.

Not every business (or network) is the same, so a trusted partner determines the right level of outsourcing – such as managed hybrid WAN, managed security services, virtualized cloud infrastructures, or cloud managed services. This provider brings a depth and breadth of experience and services, ensuring internal resources focus on growing the business – rather than developing and managing the IT platform and network. As requirements evolve, your trusted partner works to engineer infrastructure and network solutions that are flexible and reliable – enriching overall customer experiences while improving operational excellence at the same time.

The “new” network is here – and it powers hybrid infrastructures that meet current and future demands. Where does your hybrid journey begin? Reach out to take the first step together with your prospects and customers today.

Check out more technology, product and industry-related articles at CenturyLink’s ThinkGig blog.