Not to mention that, in the age of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the new site’s data security should be air-tight from day one – as non-compliance can incur hefty fines, in addition to other damages.
To reconcile the competing priorities of speed, flexibility and best practice, global businesses need to rethink their networks’ architecture – or risk falling behind their more agile competitors.
Preparing your international network for tomorrow
Now that cloud dominates the delivery of computational power, applications and services, the architecture of any network which can meet your business’ global needs will be reasonably complex, making changes and expansion difficult.
However, by taking the principles of cloud and applying them to your global network, you can ensure the network remains as agile and easy to manage as possible.
This means designing your network as a platform that underpins the quality of your application performance and user experience, providing you with the information and controls you need to optimise your business’s international layout.
Additionally, technologies such as SD-WAN and software-defined networking (SDN) can help you replicate the scalability, flexibility, application visibility and centralised management we’ve come to know and love from cloud in physical dimensions.
The speed of change has challenged ICT operating environments to respond with accelerated plans to simplify, consolidate and modernise the enterprise network. Find out how to adapt and thrive with Ovum’s Networks 2020: The foundation for the global enterprise digital journeyFind out how
Simplified global management
It goes without saying that the simpler your network is to manage, the more time you have to focus on delivering core business applications that drive revenue. But unfortunately, global networks can be some of the most complicated systems in the world.
With most sites’ data passing through multiple network providers and connection types as they cross borders to reach the cloud or your head office, just ensuring everything works can dominate resources better devoted to optimising performance and improving security.
One of the most effective ways to simplify and automate routine network management is to leverage a managed network service provider – ideally one with a similar global scope to your organisation – who can directly deliver your international traffic and source local providers on your behalf.
No-matter how complicated the country’s network topology is, this means you’ll have a single contact and contractually responsible party to ensure connections are reliable, optimised and secure-in-transit, as well as handle any network faults that occur.
“A global high-performance network remains one of the top criteria for service provider selection for MNCs, with many paying a premium to engage with service providers that have the credibility and track record in providing consistent high-performance networks globally.”– Networks 2020: The foundation for the global enterprise digital journey, Ovum
Whether you leverage a managed service provider or not, you need good network visibility and data to effectively address problems that arise. If you’re managing yourself, this will involve setting up digitised reporting workflows which allow you to consolidate data from different sources into a useful dashboard.
If you’re working with a service provider, it’s important to find one who can expose the data you need to collaborate together on network performance. Setting up the right data regime now will also simplify your business’ future expansion.
Expand at the speed of fibre-optic
Through its central management, virtualised security functions and the ability to deploy a network essentially ‘from template,’ SD-WAN dramatically reduces the time and expense of getting a new site up and bringing it into your wider network.
Additionally, its dynamic application routing is an effective way to not only prioritise mission-critical traffic, delivering a better experience for employees and customers, but to effectively manage the variety of connections we use today.
Whether imposed by the geography of the site in question, or adopted to provide cost-effective resiliency, SD-WAN allows you to neatly combine a mix of transport options, such as traditional broadband, IPVPN, Ethernet, LTE and Satellite.
However, it’s worth noting that this kind of redundancy can’t compensate for a lower-quality base connection – which will ultimately cost your business more in lost productivity over the long run.