How often have you thought about your network in the past? Enterprise network architecture is a key component in today’s technology-driven world. It has a similar cool factor to plumbing. Although it is necessary, it is not an object that will be a novelty in a world filled with new shiny objects. It’s difficult to demonstrate its value as it is with new supply chain management systems or customer relationship management systems.
It’s tempting, even if your legacy network appears to be working well, to adopt an “if it isn’t broke” mentality. The network is silently working. It is invisible to everyone. All things move.
You can’t do anything until something goes wrong.
It can have devastating consequences. Security vulnerabilities Work stoppages. Customers and employees who are unhappy. It is a huge time- and money-consuming task.
What’s at stake
Although many companies choose to take this risk, it is not recommended. Although the potential risks associated with operating with a legacy enterprise network can be difficult to avoid, many people don’t realize what they are putting at risk.
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Legacy networks are more susceptible to internal and external threats. Organizations are left on the defensive and not thinking about Cloud First innovation or next-gen experiences. Legacy networks can also impede their ability to think about Cloud First.
Let’s look at three of the greatest risks that can be posed by failing to modernize your enterprise network.
1. Tech debt ongoing
Many clients have technology issues that date back to the 1990s and 2000s.
They say, “I have the network I can afford, and not the network that I want.” They say, “I understand that there is risk in my network, and it is old, but I don’t want to disrupt it.”
They believe that a transition to a modern network is more risky than an outage.
It is understandable but not acceptable. You are missing a lot of opportunities to get deeper into the Cloud Continuum. However, duct tape used to fix up a legacy network only works for so long.
Your network complexity will eventually outweigh the cost of replacing it.
Tech debt, the inability to adapt and evolve new capabilities, will catch you. You may find yourself in a situation where you can’t find the right equipment or people to fix it. It’s impossible to predict when your router will fail and what may happen when it does.
A major outage due to outdated network equipment could cause significant downtime, financial and productivity impact, and can result in a multi-day downtime. Refusing to act will only increase the risk of security threats and make it more difficult for others.
2. Security risks additional
Many legacy network architectures were designed to prevent outsiders from entering. It was thought that if I protected my perimeter, all on the inside would be safe. But this is no longer true.
Organizations must operate under a zero trust policy because the majority of threats today come from within. These cyber threats can cause major disruption to businesses and allow hackers to access sensitive data. Most legacy networks are not prepared for them.
Organizations must shift away from the “Trust but Verify” mentality of yesteryear to adopt a more flexible “Never trust but verify” mindset. This approach allows you to limit access to data, resources, and users by evaluating applications, users, and devices only when it is necessary. This new model places identity at the center of the security perimeter.
These new cyberthreats are not being found in legacy networks or systems. Modern zero-trust networks have.
Your network complexity will eventually outweigh the cost of replacing it.
Modern networks offer more than lower security risks. Clients spend a lot of time worrying about compliance in highly regulated industries such as financial services. Organizations can now follow regulations through new network architectures by pressing a button.
A solid security foundation can help you have better experiences and increase innovation. It will remove the “great inhibitor” of excessive security controls. You can securely enable higher system and business performance by incorporating security into the network’s fabric.
3. Cloud innovation opportunities are fewer
You can do things that you couldn’t in a legacy environment by moving to a software-defined network with zero trust. It is easier to automate. Cloud-native functions, for example, not only give you more value from cloud but also make it easier to align security and business requirements. Changes are easy to make and can be quickly adapted to new circumstances and situations.
Modern networks allow you to capture data and feed it back to central controllers. This allows you to see every aspect of your process, and you can use it to plan ahead.
- Find anomalies and determine where it might break.
- You can switch from a predictive to a proactive stance and auto-remediate as needed.
- You should be ready to deal with any situation that may arise.
This is the case
Take the pandemic as an example: Companies with modern networks were able to allow employees to work from anywhere and at any time. Businesses with legacy networks became crippled when employees couldn’t work remotely. It took weeks to get people up and running. It cost millions and frustrated customers and employees alike.
Cloud initiatives can be stalled by your network. One European company had to relaunch years of cloud initiatives because their network was unable to deliver the required performance.
Finally, while legacy networks were always about specific skills, cloud-native functions have a more intuitive look and feel, which makes them easier to use. Complexity has created many jobs, but these are disappearing. This means that you will need fewer niche workers, and software developers are able to manage more with less.
Do not miss out on the opportunity to meet with innovators
Although it may seem simpler to stick with a legacy network, the cost of maintaining it is increasing and there is a greater risk. The toll must be paid at some point. It is a risky business to rely on this aging network every day.
Modernizing your network is a matter of risk versus opportunity. Modern networks are more efficient and more secure. It is also the only way for the Cloud Continuum to truly unleash its innovation and value.
Good news! Modernizing isn’t as difficult as you might think. In the past, cloud hyperscalers provided network services and products for five to ten people. Today, there are more than 100. Third-party software solutions that can manage multiple clouds have also improved. Numerous companies have made the transition and achieved success.
There are many options to create a modern network that is reliable and efficient at a pace that suits your business’ needs. This approach is proving to be a success for many companies. They are seeing significant reductions in network operating costs. They are up to half the secure. They are also more flexible and ready to respond to new business needs in an uncertain world. It’s the right time to build a modern network.
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