August 2017 – Prepared by Zeus Kerravala

Digital transformation has become a top mandate for almost every IT and business leader. The ZK Research 2017 IT Priorities Survey found that 84% of businesses currently have a digital transformation initiative in progress (Exhibit 1). In the digital era, competitive advantage is no longer determined by which company has the best products or even the best people. Market leadership is based on an organization’s ability to analyze information, gain insights and make fast decisions to capitalize on market transitions.

One important step in the journey to becoming a digital organization is transforming into an agile business—and it is impossible to do so without having an agile IT infrastructure to enable it. This is why businesses spent more than $14 billion on technology in 2016 to make IT more agile, according to ZK Research.

However, one part of IT that has yet to evolve is the network. Evolving the network must be a priority for every IT and business leader because many of the digital building blocks—such as the Internet of Things (IoT), mobility and the cloud—are network centric in nature. Therefore, in many ways, the network is the foundation for a digital business. Also, differentiation for digital businesses will come from the creation of new contextual applications that utilize information such as location and identity that create experiences that delight users.

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