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How nurturing your network can grow your business

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14 April 2016

Mike Wrench

Blogs by author:  Mike Wrench , Senior Marketing Manager for Network Services, BT

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Too often, business leaders only think about their IT when a network goes down and production slows, or stops. Here’s why you may be missing a trick.

Networks are changing.

If there’s one message I’d like you to take away from this blog, it’s that networks and IT are no longer simply components that underpin some of your business’s processes. In fact, they’re fundamental to the growth of your business.

For you to take that message seriously though, you need to know the ‘why’. Why is your network now a catalyst for your business’s growth and future success?

How to handle all that data.

The answer, I think, lies in one particular experience I had with a corporate customer of ours. Working with them over a span of five years, I saw this organisation’s network traffic grow from 12Tb per week to over 250Tb per week. They were starting to conduct more research and development in Asia Pacific, more manufacturing in Eastern Europe and North Africa, and leveraging their skill-base in Europe and North America. Put simply, because their network was flexible, they could use it to grow, globally.

According to Mckinsey*, this is part of a developing global digital trend: “The amount of cross-border bandwidth that is used has grown 45 times larger since 2005. It is projected to increase by an additional nine times over the next five years as flows of information, searches, communication, video, transactions, and intracompany traffic continue to surge.”

In fact, I’d say that the relationship between networks and growth goes both ways — networks help companies to go global, while going global forces networks to evolve and improve, in performance, security and service.

How a hybrid network makes it all possible.

So if you want to grow, you need a network that’s flexible, powerful and secure enough to facilitate it. But here’s where you can hit a snag — and that snag is cost.

In your network decision-making, you need to balance cost versus performance, bandwidth, security and global reach — all of which are growing requirements. Thankfully, there’s a solution to this too — the hybrid network.

Hybrid networks consist of private, public and cloud networks. They let you identify the lower-priority traffic on your network so that you can pass it over the internet and other lower-cost routes, while keeping your high-performance multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) networks free for critical applications. This means that it’s dynamic and can evolve to meet your business’s changing needs on a daily basis.

Network like never before.

That’s how networks can help you to grow now. But what about the future?

With the same rate of data growth, plus a predicted explosion in the ‘Internet of Things’ resulting in over 50 billion connected devices around the world, that organisation I mentioned earlier could expect to handle 5,000Tb of network data traffic a week by 2020. To handle that, you’ll need the help of a networking expert. And that’s where we come in.

Increasingly, software will control networks in this new digital age, dynamically switching traffic over private, public and cloud networks to meet your organisation’s changing needs.

We provide the technology and services that let you network like never before. And we’ll make sure you’re leveraging your network as an asset, not just a tool.

Make sure you’re prepared for the future by finding out more about our networking services.

* Digital globalization: The new era of global flows.  Report - McKinsey Global Institute - February 2016