Between rumors of a recession swirling and cost pressures abounding, it’s safe to say that as the business landscape grows more competitive, efficient investment and cost-effective innovation is key to staying afloat. Of course, with IT spending already being what it is (Gartner forecasts worldwide spending to hit $4.5 trillion in 2023, an increase of 2.4% from 2022), the thought of putting even more funds toward the network can be a painful one.
Despite the current financial landscape, there remains a strong case for never letting network optimization be pushed to the back burner. In fact, investment in the network almost always pays dividends — if it’s done intentionally, intelligently, and with the right insight. That begs the question: How do you invest in your network properly? How can you accomplish connectivity optimization in a way that works for your business without risking unnecessary spend?
Here are some key things to remember about why your network is so vital, and some tips for beefing up your network so that it can continue to help you and your teams work efficiently, reliably and with better agility.
What’s at the Core of Digital Success?
A digital world has created an expectancy for quick, on-demand service and unfailingly delightful experiences. For end users, this is a great reality to live in, but for service providers, it means the pressure is always on. Operations need to move more quickly, services need to be able to deliver the robust and real-time capabilities promised — and nobody even dares utter the word ‘downtime.’ All of this makes network investment more vital than ever.
It’s plain to see that the infrastructure used to empower day-to-day operations in the organization (regardless of industry vertical or service specialty) have become instrumental to enabling core pillars of success like speed, reliability — even cost efficiency. For example, think about how much it costs a business to repair the bottom-line blowback created when customers start to experience laggy, unreliable or lackluster services. Reports show us that compromised customer service can cost a business anywhere in the range of $75 billion to $1.6 trillion per year (and let’s be honest — that figure is from 2018, so just imagine how much that cost has ballooned in 5 short years).
Not to mention, we haven’t even touched yet on the potential losses that can be caused by outdated security strategies. Quality infrastructure in today’s age also comes with quality security — and without that, organizations are sitting ducks just waiting to be victimized by data security issues. In 2022, IBM revealed that the United States snagged the title for the highest cost of a data breach ($5+ million more than the global average) for a 12th consecutive year.
It’s comforting to reassure yourself that things like rampant customer dissatisfaction and security breaches will never happen to you or your teams. However, that line of thinking doesn’t keep anyone safe from the pressures of the global digital transformations that keep marching on around them. What’s really needed is the most up-to-date, state-of-the-art infrastructure.
The underlying network in itself is one of the cornerstones of daily operations. It’s the lifeblood of a business that is responsible for shuttling important data from place to place, for helping teams communicate effectively, and for delivering services to end users around the clock. With that in mind, let’s ask ourselves — is robust network investment worth it? With business success coming down to the consistency, speed, reliability and security of that connectivity, there shouldn’t be a doubt in anyone’s mind about the correct answer.
So, let’s talk about taking the next step in your network investment.
Ensuring Intelligent Network Investment
Like with any digital transformation decision or budget commitment, it starts with understanding the individual needs of your organization, the requirements coming from the customer or the unique use case your teams are trying to solve or improve. Without a clear goal or direction, money can be easily spent willy nilly and without strategy.
Fortunately, network investment comes with an advantage, in that it’s hard to make a bad investment move. Many network upgrades present a host of business-critical advantages, making connectivity more robust, reliable, quick and protected. In other words, shooting and missing the target is a lot harder to do.
So, if a business is looking to work more on its security — or it’s looking to batten down the hatches on high-stakes data in healthcare or government, for example — there’s more than one way to do it. A private connection through Dedicated Internet Access is always a great option, but some businesses are able to spend a bit more budget and take it a step further by investing in dark fiber. Either way, that network investment pays dividends in the form of protection against damaging security vulnerabilities.
Alternatively, if we look at network investment through a vertical-specific lens, let’s consider the transformative potential for educational institutions. New devices and online resources (not to mention more flexible, mobile distance education opportunities) are changing the game for education, and that means schools and universities need more bandwidth, speed and reliability to support those initiatives. Network investment in this case pays because it enables the delivery of substantially more value to students and administration, making operations more efficient and delivering better learning processes as well. Not to mention, as school districts grow and campuses add more locations, extending robust connectivity across that growing footprint is vital for continued success. These kinds of transformations can be achieved with fiber broadband builds, which deliver robust connectivity for a host of use cases and technologies. With that in place, congestion and lack of proper internet doesn’t get in the way of learning or administrative duties, helping educational institutions stay ahead of their goals.
Overall, it’s understandable that the upfront costs can sting. However, in the long run, they absolutely can and will save any business from unintended consequences of out-of-date infrastructure.
Of course, part of staying on track with network investment and not overspending on solutions that aren’t right (or right-sized) for an individual organization is having a trusted network partner on hand. That’s where Horizon comes in. Our local team delivers expert insight into how to best invest in and deploy game-changing network technologies for a range of industries and organization-specific goals. Not to mention, as a trusted network partner, we deliver tailored solutions and high-touch support to keep customers on track for success. With Horizon, customers can rest assured that they’re making the right moves for their business.
To learn more about our customizable, expert solutions, click here to request a quote.