The Stack Archive Article

The biggest pitfalls of digital transformation (and how to avoid them)

Tue 9 Aug 2016

Tackling the obstacles to digital transformation starts with identifying them. We’ve mapped out some of the main challenges to digital initiatives at medium and large organizations: and how to overcome them.

Digital transformation is essential for any organization to retain its competitiveness. Doing nothing is simply not an option. Here, we tackle five of the most universally relevant challenges.


The old-fashioned “fortress” approach to security no longer works in a world where the network perimeter expands and contracts in real-time. And that change explains many of the fears around security.

But properly implemented, future network technologies actually increase security. To give just one example, SDN allows security policies to be determined centrally, then pushed out to the entire network instantaneously, ensuring global compliance.

Inadequate network resources

Making changes to a legacy network typically requires new hardware to be purchased and installed in a time-consuming process. Future networks get around this problem in two ways. First, many hardware functions are virtualized, meaning a firewall or a security layer can be requested via a portal rather than installed as a box.

Second, new technologies help maximize existing hardware, whether by using resources more efficiently (think directing different kinds of data over the most appropriate connections) or by scaling bandwidth up or down in real-time to ensure performance during peak demand but reducing the cost of excess capacity when you don’t need it.


Like anything new, future network technologies can seem complicated, but the reality is that they actually reduce complexity. Hardware functions are virtualized meaning that changes to the network can be made in near real-time.

SDN protocols such as OpenFlow allow the creation of a vendor agnostic network, with decisions based on effectiveness rather than concerns over compatibility.

Lack of skills

It’s true that new network technologies operate in different ways, requiring different skills, but the learning curve is not as steep as may be supposed. And it can be made gentler still by finding the right partner to help architect, orchestrate and manage your network and digital transformation efforts.

Verizon’s complimentary workshops on both SDN and SD-WAN can be a great place to start to help you build your knowledge and confidence.

Poor results in the past

Before embarking on any new solution – whether a trial or a full-scale implementation –you first need to do the groundwork. This is complicated by a new trend identified by IDC. While network planning traditionally involves the Chief Network Officer or CIO to CEO and CFO, digital planning is increasingly handled by newly-created roles. That can lead to poorly coordinated efforts which are likely to result in failure.

Digital transformation is vital to remain competitive, but it is not without its obstacles. Choosing a partner such as Verizon can help you overcome them. Read more.

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