According to Wikipedia, Digital Transformation is the use of new, fast and frequently changing digital technology to solve problems often using cloud computing and SaaS (Software-as-a-Service).
This definition in itself sounds quite straight forward and in today’s business world is critical to every kind of business, but Dell Technologies  surveyed 4,600 business leaders across 40+ countries to delve deeper into what the landscape looks like for most industries. Here are a few key takeaways:
- 91% of business are facing persistent barriers to digital transformation
- 78% say digital transformation should be more widespread within their organization
- 51% will struggle to meet customer demands in 5 years
- 49% worry their organization won’t prove trustworthy in 5 years
These numbers provide a sobering account of the concerns of business leaders, but what are the barriers in digital transformation that drive these concerns. Lets take a look at them:
- Data Privacy and security concerns
- Lack of budget and resources
- Lack of the right in-house skill sets and expertise
- Regulation and legislative changes
- Immature digital culture
In this blog, we plan to address the expanding network traffic flow challenges created by many industry’s digital transformation plans and focus on a few of these concerns.
Digital Transformation is heavily dependant upon cloud computing, physical computing, location, data partitioning and scaling to communicate data, whether through SaaS or IaaS(Infrastructure-as-a-Service), as well as SD-Wan (software-defined networking in a wide area network) which simplifies the management and operation of a WAN by decoupling the networking hardware from its control mechanism.
Gartner analysis shows the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for SaaS and IaaS will grow at 17% and 27% respectively through 2022, and that is the critical driver for SD-WAN technology. In its own right, SD-WAN will enjoy a 30% CAGR through 2022. As a result, enterprise traffic flows will continue to shift from on-premise data centers to an external cloud. In turn, this will create non-centralized traffic flows that the WAN architecture was never designed to support. This new shift means that in a cloud or internet integrated WAN it makes the legacy system look expensive, perform poorly with increased latency and does not scale well.
Customers tell us that not a day goes by where a new request isn’t coming into the IT function for new resources, whether it be providing computing, storage, and networking support for a new software roll-out, that is if shadow IT doesn’t just deploy it without notice.
We are led to believe that deploying another SaaS application across the business (offices, campuses, or remote locations across the country or indeed the world) is straight forward. Digital Transformation is sold to us on the basis that in addition to efficiencies via automation, new types of innovation and creativity will enhance and support traditional methods…sure it will! The trouble is by shifting the network traffic flow outside the core network and putting more emphasis on a distributed architecture it means our customers are moving away from expensive, traditional MPLS and instead using Direct Internet Access (DIA)/SD-WAN as part of a hybrid WAN in order to support mission-critical applications with high quality such as voice or video.
As the network is decentralized and traffic flows change, more reliance is put onto remote sites to be able to resolve technical issues themselves. And unless a simple power cycle fixes the problem, the business will suffer.
Digital Transformation is indeed being heralded as ‘the king’s new clothes,’ BUT with all the innovation and new business models technology can support, we always come back to one consistent observation. Which is whatever network architecture is being utilized, especially a decentralized SD-WAN, our customers need a way to connect, monitor, manage, and repair the network should a network outage occur.
Inspite of all the decentralization of network traffic flow and the use of SaaS and other cloud-based technology to drive digital transformation without the network, you’re done. Andrew Learner, Research VP at Gartner, says that a network outage can cost as much as $5600 per minute depending on the severity of the outage. To prevent network outages and be able to resolve network issues as they come up, an Out of Band (OOB), Advanced Console Manager can help. 
Advanced Console Managers provide your IT infrastructure with streamlined remote management of network, server, and power, in data centers, branch offices, and remote sites, ensuring business continuity and secure reliable access to your network traffic flow. Console managers need security to include options for special audit logging, self-terminating security strings and instant remote access to network equipment.
Lantronix sees our customer’s digital transformation challenges as critical stepping stones to their overall success. With Lantronix Out of Band solutions such as the SLC 8000 modular console server and SLB for branch offices, along with introducing the newest member to our line the EMG™ Edge Management gateway, a small form factor console server, Lantronix can provide your infrastructure with the network readiness to handle the digital initiatives of transformation to secure business success.
To learn more about the OOBM solutions that Lantronix offers and how we can assist you as your business embraces the challenges and rewards of digital transformation, check out our solutions here.