By Paul Savill, Global Practice Leader, Networking & Edge

Networks connect every aspect of a business. Yet some companies will overlook their networks during a digital transformation. That’s a mistake.

In today’s digital-first, anywhere-and-everywhere connectivity world, businesses must migrate to next-generation networks. Doing so can reduce IT costs, increase performance and better secure IT infrastructures.

At Kyndryl, we’re debuting two offerings today that will provide enterprises with the flexibility to select the technology services that best meet their business needs. With Fortinet, we are offering Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), a category of network security that integrates networking and security capabilities into a unified service that is delivered via the cloud. And with Cloudflare, we are enabling enterprises to streamline connectivity to multiple clouds and data centers, while providing robust network security capabilities.

As businesses across the globe aim to modernize digitally, it’s important to have the right strategy and technology in place. Here are five reasons why organizations must migrate to next-generation networks.

1. Improve agility and innovation

Leaders at many large companies say IT issues are keeping them up at night. Many of these companies have made big investments in SaaS applications and multiple cloud solutions. Yet, they struggle to see a return on these investments due to the complexities of connecting all these technologies. It’s time to start thinking about networks as the key product that allows you to easily bolt on new services and applications, and shed old ones. Cloud networks help secure, streamline and simplify IT environments — operational efficiencies that help companies be agile and innovative.

2. Capitalize on advanced cloud features and networking technology

As more companies have moved their workloads to the cloud, the need for flexible, scalable networking solutions has grown. Combined with the increased focus on security and compliance, recent advances in cloud features and networking technology — such as hyper-scaling, network and edge services, private wireless, software-defined networking (SDN), Wide Area Network (WAN)-as-a-Service and others — organizations have the unique chance to simplify and better secure their infrastructure overall. That means running complex environments more effectively, with greater resilience, and with a unified platform to access, gain control and visibility of an organization’s IT infrastructure.

3. Reduce overall costs

Data centers and traditional networking equipment, such as switches, routers and licensing, are expensive to maintain — and when a piece of equipment is no longer supported by the vendor, there is no customer support to call. By moving a company’s networking services to the cloud, also known as Network as a Service (NaaS), organizations move from a capital expenses (CapEx) operational model to flexible operating expense (OpEx) subscriptions. Instead of owning and maintaining their own on-premises network infrastructure, companies can also subscribe to a NaaS provider, which not only reduces IT costs but improves operational efficiency.

4. Access data anywhere

The traditional boundaries of what IT used to be are all blending. Users and companies alike want to connect seamlessly to the applications and data they need, wherever it lives, from wherever they are. From a hospital that needs to pull a patient’s data instantly to provide them with the proper care, to a financial institution executing millions of trades, all these use cases depend on highly reliable and secure cloud networks.

5. Gain new skills

As networks continue to evolve, companies must upskill and reskill their people to make the migration to next-generation networking services. After all, networking is a complex and nuanced field, and even small mistakes can have serious consequences. Cloud networking involves a deep understanding of networking protocols, security and architecture that requires a different set of skills than cloud engineering. To prevent misconfigurations and ensure proper use of your cloud networking investments, partner with a specialized cloud networking vendor who has the expertise and resources to help design and support the product.

Paul Savill

Global Network & Edge Leader, Kyndryl