Digital transformation (DX) has become a key initiative for most enterprises. According to Statista, global spending on DX is expected to reach $2.4 trillion by 2024. Digital transformation is an ongoing process that changes the way businesses operate and how they deliver, interact with, and engage customers by integrating digital technologies in all operations of the organization. It requires companies to do things differently by adopting new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), or blockchain to stay relevant.
Many of these new technologies require hybrid networks to work correctly. Hybrid networks are created by combining private data centers, public network infrastructure, and edge computing. According to a Flexera 2021 State of the Cloud Report, most enterprises have embraced a hybrid network strategy.
In the following discussion, we will explain how utilizing hybrid network infrastructures can help enterprises implement successful DX initiatives, offer the best use cases, and explain how they work and why they are important.
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Understanding Hybrid Network Infrastructure
A hybrid infrastructure, also known as a hybrid cloud, is an IT architecture and environment that combines on-premises data centers, private clouds, or public clouds. Depending on the company’s needs and requirements, you can deploy operating systems and applications anywhere in this environment.
Hybrid infrastructure involves utilizing hybrid IT infrastructure services, also known as cloud services, to manage and monitor an organization’s entire IT infrastructure. This is critical for digital transformation because IT environments and demands are becoming more complex.
The Benefits of Hybrid Infrastructure
There are many benefits to using a hybrid network infrastructure for digital transformation.
Flexibility allows companies to use the right tools for the job. For example, if a company wants to use AI or machine learning (ML), they need access to large amounts of data. This can be done by leveraging public cloud services such as AWS or Azure. However, these services can be expensive and may not offer the needed performance for certain applications.
In this case, a company could use a private data center for their core applications and then use public clouds for AI or ML workloads. This will allow them to get the best of both worlds without sacrificing performance or security.
Hybrid networks are more resilient to outages. For example, if a company experiences an outage in their public cloud, they can still operate using their private data center. This is because the private data center is unaffected by the public cloud outage.
Businesses can use a hybrid cloud approach to protect sensitive data while taking advantage of the power and services of a public cloud, which may decrease the risk of revealing vital information.
While data stored in a private environment will likely still have to run on a public cloud for analytics and applications, you may utilize encryption techniques to limit security breaches. Based on policy, regulation, and security standards, organizations can also choose where to place their data and workloads in the cloud.
Performance and scalability
Hybrid networks offer better performance and scalability than traditional networks. This is because public clouds provide massive amounts of bandwidth and storage that can be used when needed.
A hybrid architecture allows a firm to take advantage of the flexibility and power of the public cloud while still maintaining business-critical data and operations in the private cloud or on-premises data center. In addition, changing hardware and software is considerably faster and easier in the cloud than traditional network infrastructure, where upgrading may take weeks or even months.
Management and control
Hybrid networks are easy to manage and monitor. This is because all devices are connected to a single management platform. This makes it easy for companies to track and troubleshoot network issues. In addition, instead of entrusting a third-party cloud provider with managing the company’s entire IT infrastructure, an IT department may tailor and modify its hybrid model to match its needs while retaining control over critical operations and data.
Hybrid cloud storage is a compelling alternative to a purely private cloud, which may be difficult and expensive to maintain. Companies can reduce their IT expenses by using public clouds for non-critical applications. And many hybrid cloud providers let organizations pay for public cloud services only when utilized.
Hybrid cloud environments allow the public cloud to handle workload spikes, so private servers won’t get overwhelmed as computing demands rise or suddenly surges as the organization transforms into a digital-first company. Companies may also back up data by duplicating it to the cloud. This guarantees that business operations will not be disrupted if a disaster or technical failure occurs.
DX Applications that Require Hybrid Network Infrastructure
Many different types of digital transformation applications can benefit from a hybrid network infrastructure. Some of these include:
Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
ERP systems are essential for companies looking to transform their businesses digitally. They manage and automate critical business processes, such as order processing, inventory management, and human resources. A hybrid network can help companies running ERP systems speed up the deployment of new applications and improve performance. In addition, using a public cloud provider for nonessential workloads can save the company money on IT spending.
Customer relationship management (CRM)
CRM systems manage customer interactions and track sales data. They can help companies improve customer service, marketing campaigns, and product development. A hybrid infrastructure can help organizations quickly deploy new CRM applications and speed up their time to load customer data into the system.
Predictive analytics is a process of analyzing past performance data to make predictions about future events. It can be used to improve decision-making across all aspects of business operations, from marketing to product development to human resources. A hybrid network can help firms run predictive analytics applications by providing them with the bandwidth and storage to analyze large amounts of data in real time.
Internet of Things
The IoT is a network of physical objects, such as vehicles, appliances, and buildings, connected to the internet. They can be controlled and monitored remotely using sensors and software. A hybrid infrastructure can help companies deploying IoT applications quickly deploy devices to the network and manage large volumes of data from sensors.
Also read: 5 Examples of IoT and Analytics at Work in Real Estate
Big data analytics
Big data analytics is the process of analyzing large amounts of data to find patterns and trends. It can be used to improve decision-making across all aspects of business operations, from marketing to product development to human resources. Hybrid networks allow firms to store, access, and analyze large data sets that are typical of big data analytics applications.
Implementing Digital Transformation with Hybrid Architectures
Integrating digital technologies across all company operations, enhancing current processes, creating new operational procedures, and providing greater value to clients represents a cultural shift toward more agile and smarter ways of doing business fueled by cutting-edge technology.
Hybrid network infrastructures are essential for digital transformation success, and enterprises should carefully evaluate their needs before making a decision. Many DX applications require a hybrid infrastructure, so it’s important to understand which ones your business relies on the most. By deploying a hybrid network, you can improve performance, speed up application deployment, and reduce costs. Digital transformation is a journey, not a destination, so make sure your business has the best foundation possible for success.
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