How enterprise networks can drive growth

The enterprise network is not what it used to be. As businesses accelerate towards organisation-wide digitalisation, it becomes increasingly clear that the enterprise network plays a critical role in enabling business innovation. Acting as the software backbone for digital communications and forming the foundation for key technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, the right network infrastructure can be a business-boosting asset. It can deliver a seamless and securely connected work experience, an appealing perk for attracting new talent and strengthening job satisfaction for existing employees.

However, the wrong network infrastructure could also just as easily hinder an organisation’s digitalisation efforts.

To better understand how organisations are approaching the network, HPE Aruba Networking commissioned Sapio Research to conduct a survey across 21 markets globally, speaking to more than 2,100 IT leaders. Interestingly, the report found that while 91% of organisations in Singapore believe in the need for a high level of digital transformation to succeed, 79% have concerns about their ability to keep up. In comparison, only 66% globally share a similar concern.

At a time when IT leaders often find themselves struggling to articulate the value of the network to the business, the real question is—how can they help their colleagues understand the critical role a modernised network plays in fuelling their organisation’s digital transformation journey?

Leveraging the network as a revenue-driving asset 

The benefits of network utilisation extend beyond strengthening employee experiences and attracting top talent. In fact, harnessing the network can lead to better-informed business decisions by more efficiently delivering data insights.

For example, consider the Digital Connectivity Blueprint recently launched by Singapore’s Ministry for Communications and Information. This comprehensive plan for digital connectivity infrastructure paves the way for increased adoption of emerging technologies across various industries.

As Singapore’s digital infrastructures continue to advance into new frontiers, the success of emerging technology trends, such as generative AI and autonomous systems, will rely heavily on a robust, modern network. To unlock the full potential of these technologies, it is imperative that organisations direct resources towards the right network infrastructure to connect diverse data sources, establish seamless connectivity, and secure all data.

Reframing network discussions around future-proofing

Despite general acknowledgement of a network’s impact on business outcomes, HPE Aruba Networking’s report finds that IT leaders and business counterparts continue to struggle with aligning network goals with business objectives. According to 44% of surveyed IT leaders, their organisation and leadership primarily view the network as a tool for digital transformation, while 23% say their organisation recognises the network only for its functional connectivity.

To effectively highlight the significance of a modern network in delivering outcomes beyond digital transformation, IT leaders must look to reframe the network discourse. Shifting the narrative towards the network’s potential to unlock data-driven innovation, reduce costs, and uncover new revenue streams is key to reframing these discussions in the boardroom.

In addition, creating strong C-suite connections and leveraging the relationship between the enterprise network and various C-suite members is crucial for business success. CHROs, CFOs, CEOs, and others all face unique challenges. CIOs and IT leaders can only help each executive see the tangible benefits and business outcomes enabled by the network when leadership views the network as a joint responsibility that every CxO cares about, understands, and invests in. By providing insights into each executive’s specific pain points and priorities, IT leaders can better engage their business counterparts in the collective drive towards a smarter, faster, and more secure enterprise network that delivers on business goals.

Harnessing the power of networking for what comes next

Despite the high demand for IT teams to deliver data-driven insights for new revenue streams and services in the coming months, HPE Aruba Networking’s report finds that only 67% of IT leaders who have invested in the network over the past two years express high confidence in their organisation’s ability to leverage data insights.

By redefining the network discourse, IT leaders can help stakeholders better understand the network’s true potential and position it as a strategic asset rather than just a connectivity issue. Only then can businesses truly harness the power of the network and future-proof their operations in an increasingly competitive landscape.

With Singapore’s information and communications sector witnessing 8.6% growth in 2022, outpacing the 3.6% growth of the overall economy, businesses must seize the opportunities arising from the digital economy.

As Singapore continues to advance its digital infrastructure, a strategic approach to the network empowers organisations to navigate their digital transformation journey with confidence, thereby driving innovation, efficiency, and ultimately, long-term success.