Sunday, 31 May 2020 23:02

Preparing for the new norm beyond COVID-19

GUEST OPINION by Kristian Thyregod, vice president, Silver Peak: While it can be argued that we’re still only beginning to understand the medium-to long-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, most businesses in Australia will have to contemplate material changes to their strategies, business models and operations moving forward.

There seems to be a growing consensus among analysts that businesses across several industries will have to win back markets, segments and customers, particularly those in retail, tourism and hospitality. Accelerated innovation and enhanced marketing will be required to be successful; both of which rely on critical applications and services.

If you’re not currently in the process of transforming your wide area network (WAN) to support your applications and services, you run the risk of emerging from the current situation with impaired capabilities to successfully operate in whatever “the new normal” will be.

Bolstering for change

Prior to COVID-19, one could argue that the global economic outlook was ever so slightly tilting towards declining growth prospects. Now, most industries and sectors in Australia are adjusting to the new reality, which suggests a staged restart of the economy and also a sobering alignment to what a post-COVID-19 economy will be like.

Consensus, however, seems to be that we’re not going back to how things were before. If you weren’t convincingly down the path of accelerating digital transformation prior to COVID-19, and business continuity planning (BCP) has now taken a hold in your company, it will be in your long-term interest to restart your transformation initiatives as soon as possible.

The digital components of your business transformation should ideally include the progressive adoption of cloud applications and services to bolster your chances of diligently sustaining, leveraging, defending and ultimately growing your business. Obviously, there’s a need to do so at an increasing pace in a setting that can only be described as an unstable and abnormal business environment.

Reality as we know it

One potential strategic imperative in a post-COVID-19 economy may be that businesses must contemplate re-engaging with customers and prospects in an entirely new setting. Maybe even having to ponder how to engage with them not only on different terms, but also in different ways.

No doubt that will force an assessment of business model design and delivery – and the WAN will play an increasingly important role in defining success.

Technology continues to both define and redefine the nature of work, as well as the characteristics of both professional and personal engagements as we know them. As such, technology is a business model enabler, which makes it a key component of facilitating relationships. Particularly how we connect, relate, interact and transact.

Forward-thinking companies continuously plan and execute their enterprise architectures to not only accommodate current requirements, but also foresee developments of future requirements, such as a temporary, or even permanent, shift in business model design and execution.

The connecting tissue

The WAN is the connecting tissue across the enterprise architecture, delivering the capability to connect users, locations and applications. This must all be automated so that the WAN conforms continuously to the needs or intent of the business. That is where software defined WAN (SD-WAN) comes in to play.

SD-WAN helps businesses across multiple and diverse industries in Australia respond to their specific business challenges, particularly when it comes to effectively, efficiently, automatically and continuously connecting users to applications, services and locations. This is done using any combination of transport available such as broadband, multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) and 4G LTE, while observing mandated security requirements.

An SD-WAN platform enables businesses to build a unified WAN edge that is business-driven, delivers the highest quality of experience, continuously adapts to changing business needs and network conditions.

Times are changing … and rules are too

We know that most companies operate in both dynamic and competitive markets with B2B and B2C customers now displaying frugal spending habits given the current unstable economic environment.

We also know that in times like these, most leaders are seeking agility and efficiency in terms of gradually easing into the new normal.

SD-WAN edge platforms are purpose-built to support your connectivity requirements, while enabling you to realise the maximum return on your digital transformation and cloud initiatives.

About the author

Kristian Thyregod is a vice president at Silver Peak. For more information, visit: https://www.silver-peak.com/

 

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