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The pandemic pushed the transformation of enterprise networks to new limits. Over the last two years, the evolution of the network accelerated as increased demand collided with remote work, reliability pressures and new security threats. Those organizations already on their digital transformation journey came out more robust, more able to adapt and flex where necessary to take advantage of new ways to thrive. With IT infrastructure gaining a more prominent position in the minds of executives, management teams need to consider the challenges and opportunities of what rapid transformation really means for their business.

Rapid network transformation at the physical layer

Today's networks are experiencing accelerated virtualization as software within the physical layer goes digital. The shift to software-defined network management and cloud-based control tools and applications allows deep device visibility like never before, showcasing insights and benefits from the CIO to the IT department and operations management. Businesses can manage multiple dispersed physical devices as simply and quickly as one. Rapid changes and support for upgrades and updates are done faster, with more telemetry and data becoming available to learn from and grow. 

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The shift to software-defined networking and cloud-based network control tools and applications allows deep device visibility like never before

Improving the way the hybrid network operates, forever

Digitization, IoT, AI and cloud combined with legacy technology make real-time network visibility and monitoring increasingly complicated. You need to be able to troubleshoot problems, validate service performance and identify security issues to take immediate action. Historically speaking, as networks have become more hybrid and complex, monitoring and management have evolved to be more siloed. Businesses have sacrificed control over mission-critical performance indicators and risked enterprise network security intrusions through this.

Networking monitoring and performance need to go hand-in-hand with security – adapting and scaling to function as a single offering across multiple physical sites, cloud environments and applications. While hybrid network architecture lends itself to more complicated security prevention than the traditional castle/moat approaches, new applications and tools are heading towards identity-based, zero-trust architectures.

It's now possible to widen the blast radius of security incidents due to more specific and targeted network functions. Gone are the days of reactionary measures. Early warning detection and ongoing status monitoring from AI-enabled widgets mean real security prevention is achievable.

A more effective network for today and into the future

Rethinking how networks have been managed in the past means implementing interfaces that build and connect complex systems and devices. As businesses look for speed and efficiency, new application programming interfaces (APIs) allow increased levels of automation across service and change management. And, there is an API for everything related to the enterprise network that serves to improve SLAs, access, interruptions and requests.

Network updates can be made in larger volumes in a shorter period than the traditional manual-intensive approach. Having APIs inherently integrated into your managed network means multiple environments can be easily connected, advanced configurations can be easily deployed and enable custom-built capabilities that work for your business.

Unlocking the power of data is one way to streamline business efficiency and success. Modern enterprise hybrid networks bring together multiple systems and sources that can be effectively analyzed and reviewed for future learnings and insights. Network infrastructure managers can gain visibility to internal, external, historical, and real-time network data patterns.

The richness of this data across event performance, configurations, and ticket resolution timing improves the network's overall effectiveness, helping businesses to stay ahead of changes and impacts. Filtering data to put the information in the hands of teams who oversee making decisions is critical.

In the following article in this series, we explore how APIs and data shape the trends of managed network services through automated operations across multiple industries.

Learn more about NTT’s Managed Enterprise Networks.