Beyond the Cloud: Why Optimisation Is the Missing Piece of the Digital Transformation Puzzle

Digital Transformation has been a mainstay in enterprise boardrooms across the world for the past decade or more

Regardless of industry, whether they realize it or not, every business has already begun their digital transformation journey.   

For some, this will mean improving the customer experience through integrated CRM suites, turning data into actionable insight and making it accessible to all. For others, the journey toward digital maturity will lean more into collaboration and productivity, ensuring the business has everything it needs to streamline and scale its operations. In both instances, cloud connectivity is crucial – but is connectivity enough?  

Migrating apps to the cloud holds all kinds of benefits in terms of accessibility and security, but how those apps are deployed, monitored and optimized can have a huge impact on cost and productivity. How much-untapped potential is there that businesses either aren’t aware of, or simply don’t have the resources to take advantage of? 

Most businesses approach cloud migration in a reactive manner, making the change because they need to. For example, it’s increasingly common for large scale businesses to have their applications customized or even tailor-made to perform specific functions, such as accounting or reporting. These apps become integral to the business and its operations, but as the business moves on, those apps get left behind and are often dependant on legacy operating systems. This makes them a huge security risk. One solution is ‘cloud encapsulation’, which involves moving the legacy app onto the cloud and creating a safe virtual environment for it to run in. Many businesses would regard this as a core part of their ‘digital transformation’ solution, but moving apps into the cloud is really only the first step. In terms of what’s possible, it’s the very tip of the iceberg.  

When it comes to scalability, usability and performance, more and more enterprises are adopting SD-WAN as part of the digital transformation strategy. According to Prescient & Strategic (P&S) Intelligence, the SD-WAN market generated revenue of $676.9 million in 2017, and it is projected to progress at a CAGR of 54.1% during 2018–2023. There are numerous reasons for this. For one, the modern workplace demands more agile network environments to accommodate app distribution and usage. For traditional WAN businesses, this means a big leap toward IaaS and SaaS technology. For those already invested in SaaS and IaaS, SD-WAN offers a unique way to optimize and automate the way apps are trafficked to various branch sites around the globe. With 5G on the way, we’re likely to see this potential multiply exponentially.  

However, despite all of the benefits SD-WAN offers, we’re still only focused on software migration, SaaS, security, and monitoring. Yes, performance can also be improved – particularly when compared to a traditional MPLS solution – but isn’t there more that can be done?  

That’s where Expereo’s Cloud Acceleration platform really starts to change the game. Even with the best monitoring tools on the market, a business would still struggle to streamline their operations if the underlying connectivity was poor.  What Expereo’s Cloud Acceleration does is offer control to the internet underlay as well as the in-depth application performance insight you’d expect from one of the world’s leading cloud solutions providers. In short, it’s the perfect addition to any SD-WAN solution.  

We’ve all been in situations where we’ve waited for a web page to load and gotten frustrated. At work, if you’re using SaaS, this is a common occurrence. Waiting a few seconds for a page to load so you can carry on with a task might not seem like much, but multiplied by thousands of users over thousands of working days, it starts to become a problem. That’s because any webpage, including SaaS products, has to contend with general internet congestion. The internet isn’t simply one giant network; each individual network that is part of the larger internet has a unique identifier called an Autonomous System – currently, there are about 99,000. That’s what makes it so vulnerable to congestion during busy periods, and that strain can make things slow even if your connection is fast and stable. Cloud Acceleration from Expereo dramatically reduces the impact of this congestion on your chosen SaaS by continuously monitoring all destination networks so it can select the most optimal route for your data in real-time. So not only are your apps safe and secure on the cloud, ready to be accessed anywhere, they’re also lightning-fast and incredibly responsive.  

This acceleration element is the missing piece of the puzzle when it comes to digital transformation for businesses worldwide. It’s often not talked about, but even if you manage to perfect an SD-WAN solution for your global enterprise, you still might not be getting the best return on your investment in terms of connectivity and productivity.  

About the Author

Jean-Philippe Avelange is Chief Information Officer at Expereo. With over 20 years of telecom IT experience, Jean-Philippe has a focus on cloud solutions, digital transformation, and agile methodologies. Starting as an IT manager at Capgemini Telecom, he has been dealing with complex information system architecture throughout his career. With an eye for business, he founded InovenAltenor and Avelto and has also worked as an independent IT consultant before deciding to join Expereo, back in 2017. 

Featured image: ©Alexander