Network technologies are evolving faster than ever and the changing consumer preferences are forcing enterprises to embrace new networking technologies faster than ever before.
According to Hype Cycle for Enterprise Networking, 2021, the concept of building a stable network infrastructure that will last for 5 to 10 years is no longer in practice.
As you can imagine, by the time an enterprise stabilizes the implementation of a brand new network solution, there are a dozen other technologies promising better results and greater flexibility to ramp up business operations!
The rapid evolution of networking technologies also gives rise to increased complexity as enterprises are forced to rely on point solutions if the primary solution provider is behind the curve in critical emerging technologies.
Managing complex systems is expensive and often requires access to niche talent which increases the cost of network operations.
That’s why enterprises are embracing managed network services providers as they attempt to keep pace with emerging network technologies while minimizing implementation and support risks.
For example, there is already a significant uptick in enterprises relying on managed network service providers for SASE. According to Gartner, “By 2024, 30% of enterprises will adopt cloud-delivered SWG, CASB, ZTNA and branch office firewall as a service (FWaaS) capabilities from the same vendor, up from less than 5% in 2020.”
Multi-location enterprises have complex networks that are often difficult to upgrade. Managed network services providers with proven expertise and the backing of the solution providers or hardware vendors are well suited to pilot untested technologies, demonstrating ROI before implementing the solution on a large scale.
Identifying the most relevant technology and successfully implementing it is just one side of the coin. The ROI of the new technology implementation is dependent on predictable outcomes on an ongoing basis.
Network service providers with the required domain expertise and process maturity can ensure the ongoing success of any new solution implementation that’s measured through service level agreements (SLAs).
In general, SLAs cover the following aspects of service delivery:
- Scope of services
- Performance metrics
- Reporting procedures
- Roles and responsibilities/division of responsibilities
- Escalation process
- Penalties and remedial steps including legal recourse
- Engagement governance
SLAs are meant to provide clarity on the success or failure of the engagement and in some cases can also be tied to business metrics. Enterprises should definitely put in the effort upfront to have well-defined SLAs in place and also review the performance for streamlining the process and graduate to a more meaningful set of SLAs as the business evolves.