Columnists

Companies must drop the legacy IT infrastructure

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Semiconductors Technologies company inside Dedan Kimathi University in Nyeri. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NMG

Summary

  • Today, data that used to live in the data centre now lives on the cloud, on the edge (users, locations, Internet of Things) and on cloud applications.
  • With the rise of distributed workforces, users need to be able to connect to resources from anywhere in the world without adopting complex workarounds or complicated security requirements.

Over the last 15 to 20 years, technology has rapidly evolved, driving rapid changes in the workplace. Unfortunately, the old model of network infrastructure with centralised corporate data centres secured by an on-premise network perimeter has brought challenges to today’s modern enterprises.

Today, data that used to live in the data centre now lives on the cloud, on the edge (users, locations, Internet of Things) and on cloud applications.

The emergence of Covid-19 affected organisations in a way never before seen.

Some enterprises were well organised to handle an unexpected pandemic, but most were unprepared for the challenges ahead. Most importantly, how can enterprises rise to and address the next wave of challenges?

When enterprises started embracing digital transformation, some found their networks had a limited ability to address cloud connectivity or access for remote users.

With the rise of distributed workforces, users need to be able to connect to resources from anywhere in the world without adopting complex workarounds or complicated security requirements.

Many companies in Kenya have come up with their own unique digital transformation projects meant to serve their unique needs.

But whether it is transforming a company’s marketing and sales processes, or building a seamless experience across sales channels and revamping distribution channels to provide the best products and resources to customers, big data analytics etc, any digital transformation project is likely to have a big impact on the enterprise’s network infrastructure, connectivity and security frameworks.

Digital transformation initiatives can vastly change network traffic patterns, connectivity, redundancy and bandwidth requirements, access locations, security frameworks, and regulatory requirements.

These changes might not be apparent until the project is fully deployed. Every organisation, therefore, needs a network infrastructure that provides adequate performance, visibility, security, agility, and manageability to support digital initiatives, now and into the future.

Kenyan enterprise connectivity challenges are many from adopting legacy and costly connectivity infrastructure to not having reliable connectivity especially at branch networks.

With the advent of better fibre technology, 4G LTE or even 5G, enterprises can now reduce connectivity costs, increase bandwidth allocation, provide better redundancy and optimisation.

Further, Kenyan enterprises face IT resource and budget constraints, expensive resource acquisitions, increasing IT investment costs and rapid technology evolution that impact overall business ecosystems.

Many companies assume their networks can handle these changes and challenges. But can they? Do these digital transformation projects strain the existing network infrastructure?

To address these challenges, companies are now embracing new technology platforms such as Secure Access Service Edge that converges the functions of network and security point solutions into a unifiedservice.