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The four pillars of digital transformation.

Published: Mar 02, 2017
Author: Danny Johnson

Remember the fax machine? It wasn’t all that long ago when that was how we shared documents. It meant standing next to a machine for 10 minutes, checking it didn’t misfeed—and then hoping the right person would pick your fax up at the other end. It feels like a century ago, now that we can share and edit documents from any device in near-real time. But it was only around 20 years.

That’s just one example of how advances in technology have changed the way we work. And the next wave of change is likely to be far more disruptive. Virtual reality is already improving staff training in complex procedures. And artificial intelligence is augmenting human intelligence to help us do our jobs better—how long before it’s doing our jobs for us?

The organizations at the forefront of digital change will be the ones with competitive advantage. But to get there, you need to put firm foundations in place. We believe there are four pillars supporting successful digital transformation:

1. The network

Every one of the technologies that’s transforming your business relies on the network. And they’re putting it under more and more pressure. But you can’t just throw more bandwidth at the problem.

Better network management can get more out of your existing capacity. An agile network that can handle the peaks and troughs in demand that occur when employees are accessing apps in the cloud. An intelligent network that reroutes traffic around blockages to keep your apps available and performing well. A network that can connect you to multiple cloud solutions from multiple service providers securely.

That’s why new networking technologies, like software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV), are in the top three of organizations’ digital investment priorities 1.

2. Cybersecurity

You shouldn’t let security hold up your digital transformation, but you shouldn’t neglect it either. You’ve got critical systems hosted in different clouds in different global locations. You’re connecting to more and more Internet of Things (IoT) devices. You’re giving employees, partners and customers more access into your systems—and from multiple locations, many outside your control.

It wasn’t easy to defend your assets when you had a defined perimeter, and now your perimeters are an anachronism.

The latest cybersecurity solutions recognize that you can’t just build a wall and hope that it will keep the criminals out. The solutions you need will help you identify the signs of an attempted breach so you can respond before major damage is done.  

3. Your people

The people most affected by digital transformation are going to be your employees. Some will relish the opportunity to work with new collaboration tools that make their jobs easier. Some will long for the good ol’ days. You need to take them on the journey with you. And that means talking to them, listening to their views and acting on them—not just sending them an email after the fact.

Your employees also play a pivotal role in cybersecurity. 18% of security incidents are the result of unintentional actions that compromised security. 16% involve insider and privilege misuse 2.

4. Your partners

Digital transformation is simply too big a job to handle on your own. You need reliable partners—not least to help you transform your network, reinforce your cybersecurity and help you engage your people.

We can help. We’re leading the way with Managed Software Defined Wide Area Networking (SD WAN), Virtual Network Services (VNS) and secure cloud connectivity capabilities. And we also have a portfolio of cutting-edge security solutions, including Security Monitoring and Management and Incident Response, which provide end-to-end detection and response capabilities.

We believe that’s why we’re the only company positioned as a leader in both Gartner’s Network Services and Managed Security Services Magic Quadrant Reports. Read Gartner’s reports for more on what’s happening in the Global Network Services and Managed Security Services markets.

1. IDC White Paper, sponsored by Verizon, Digital Transformation Obstacles and How to Overcome Them, July 2016

2. Verizon 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report


Danny Johnson is director of networking services product marketing for Verizon Enterprise Solutions.