Performance, flexibility and security: a delicate balancing act

It has always been a juggling act between security and operations. But with the rise in complexity and the demand for an agile infrastructure to better support business outcomes, finding the right balance for many enterprises is proving more difficult.

Rethinking the infrastructure and how it operates is essential for successful digital transformation. It needs to be flexible enough to quickly adapt to business needs and respond to economic and geopolitical shocks, yet secure enough to keep malevolent actors out. An enterprise can find its transformation extremely limited without symmetry between prioritizing security while increasing flexibility and performance.

Digital transformation needs to start with the infrastructure

Infrastructure transformation isn't simply about buying a mix of best-of-breed solutions. It requires a carefully thought-out strategy that first considers the business plan and all the complexities and interdependencies involved in integrating the network, cloud and security to enable an optimized "user to application" experience. Moreover, it must provide the operational efficiency necessary to compete in today's dynamic digital markets.

Here at Orange, we take a holistic and vendor agnostic approach to transformation using a concept we call Evolution Platform. Explicitly tailored to an enterprise's unique requirements, Evolution Platform is far more than technical building blocks. It creates a composable, high-performance platform that delivers agility, security, personalized orchestration and an enriched user experience. At the same time, Evolution Platform provides streamlined connectivity and automation to the cloud, in the cloud, and from the cloud.

When and where to start with infrastructure transformation

The market is exploding in terms of vendors and solutions. This can be overwhelming for enterprises trying to put together an overarching infrastructure strategy.

Enterprises reach out to us for help with their strategies at various points. Some are at the beginning of digitalization, others feel their way with a hybrid approach embracing on-premises and cloud, and others have accelerated to purely data-driven.

Each will have different priorities and timelines for their network, cloud, security, service management and operations to meet their business ambitions and support resiliency. Some have the challenge of replacing near end-of-life infrastructures; others need solutions that work within budgetary constraints. A few have even been seduced by new technologies that have failed to exceed expectations.

One thing they all have in common is that without a robust and global transformation plan, they have found it impossible to put the right people, processes and technology in place at the right time to deliver on business outcomes.

By engaging with a trusted partner like Orange, enterprises can transform and customize their infrastructures within investment boundaries to support and create new digitally enabled business models.

At the same time, a partner can define a long-term roadmap, orchestrating the right set of actions alongside the best way to deliver quickly on them.

What should the infrastructure deliver

The first step in preparing a plan for what the infrastructure transformation strategy should achieve is to harvest data from the current network and analyze it and gather the challenges and ambitions of both the IT and business stakeholders. This will provide an overall picture of the infrastructure, its constraints, issues and required changes to support business goals as part of the modernization and transformation strategy.

A blueprint for how it is done

The next stage outlines the target and defines the strategy by selecting the best combination of technologies tailored to the enterprise's needs, context, maturity and scope. Each enterprise needs to map its own path to optimized performance, innovation and value.

This is also the time to look at an enterprise's security posture and ensure its alignment with the strategy without compromising either data protection or user experience. A security audit of the network can pinpoint any potential security risks.

Turning the strategy into reality

One of the important realities is the cost of transformation. What financial benefit will the transformation bring? How to optimize the transformation roadmap to minimize the cash-out? How to balance the performance, features, risks, benefits, etc., with the reality of the costs involved. Orange experts work with you to put together the complete package to present to business and C-level executives to provide them with the full plan and get their approval.

The final step is turning the strategy into a successful and efficient platform for business. But the journey doesn't stop there.

Here at Orange, our team of experts can help walk you through all stages, from infrastructure evolution strategy to pilot testing to rolling out the solution business-wide. A roadmap for continuous assessment is required to keep up with the dynamic nature of the digital economy. We understand that the value of a strategy can only be measured via a thoughtfully planned implementation.

According to IDC, 69% of tech leaders worldwide are very or extremely concerned about the growing amount of technology investments required to remain competitive. Orange can help you make the right choices and prioritize those investments.

We have learned from our experience that detailed, upfront and transversal planning on infrastructure modernization will save time and energy and accelerate your digital transformation journey. Find out how our consultants can help you find the right blend of cloud, connectivity and security for your business needs. Click here and find out more about Evolution Platform.

Michele Mercier
Michele Mercier

As Senior Manager and Head of Network and SDx Evolution Strategy practice at Orange Consulting in France, I assist our customers by delivering strategy consulting for the evolution of IT&Network Infrastructures. My team and I believe in IT strategies that deliver real business value and that are tailored to each specific operating context.