Console Connect by PCCW Global, a Software Defined Interconnection® platform which powers digital business, commissioned Applied Futurist, Tom Cheesewright, to explore how technologies like cloud, application integration and network automation have accelerated a fundamental reshaping of the enterprise.
The report, Building Tomorrow’s Interconnected Enterprise, investigates the Interconnected Enterprise model, a vast ecosystem of cloud providers and SaaS partners that operates as a complex web of interactions. The Interconnected Enterprise represents an environment that allows organisations to rapidly adapt to changing conditions and is defined by five core principles.
Critically, the Interconnected Enterprise is one that leverages digital communications technologies to demolish the barriers of geography, time zone and language. However, as businesses embrace technological change and engage with a much wider ecosystem, the report identifies that the Interconnected Enterprise will encounter more complexity at the network, infrastructure and application layer. It explores the role that Software Defined Interconnection® platforms, such as Console Connect, can play in removing these complexities and improving overall control, performance and security of their interconnections.
The report finds that the Interconnect Enterprise has five critical characteristics, or principles, derived from its nature as a complex ecosystem rather than a monolithic whole. Many organisations are likely to have taken their first steps on the journey to being an Interconnect Enterprise. These principles, offer guidance on where an organisations is on its journey and how to accelerate the transition:
Clearly defined functional units: To maintain future flexibility and transparency, every component of the ecosystem needs a clearly defined function with inputs, outputs and interfaces. This means the Interconnected Enterprise will be built out of building blocks to quickly be broken down and reassembled to meet new challenges and customer requirements. The Interconnect Enterprise will have defined a unit’s core capabilities and requirements, and identified what it will deliver and how that will be measured.
Low friction interfaces: Frictionless interfaces are the foundation of the Interconnected Enterprise. The organisation relies on efficient communication between functions and business units, with APIs and machine to machine communications used to automate these interactions. These technologies allow organisations to operate as networks without high overheads in communication. The added flexibility means organisations can rapidly add new components to ecosystems at scale, a critical driver of the ecosystem model.
Globally and digitally distributed resources: The Interconnected Enterprise has adopted real-time interconnection and application integration to facilitate access to the right technologies, skills and partners wherever they may be. Despite difficult conditions for international trade, the most successful organisations are not limiting their horizons when it comes to finding the best partner for each task. Coupled with frictionless interfaces, the Interconnected Enterprise is taking advantage of the best global resources, whether in the cloud or on the ground. Resources might come from inside or outside the organisation, but with low friction communications the operational differences are minimal.
Distributed power: Freed from the friction of physical infrastructure, the Interconnected Enterprise is built to be cloud native and operates with distributed decision making where possible. Employees across the globe are empowered by access to applications, clouds and shared digital workspaces to find the best mix of training and development to increase capabilities and autonomy of those persons at the edges of the organisation – particularly supporting those working remotely. Future-ready organisations are equipping people with skills and giving them responsibility. The Interconnected Enterprise recognises the importance of using technology in skills development, rule setting, providing support and creating a culture of trust.
Accelerated decision making: Enhanced connectivity and site-to-site interconnection has enriched the information feeding business leaders, to provide greater transparency across organisations. Leaders of an Interconnected Enterprise draw upon strong information flows and tools to process and analyse data for better decision making. Software tools to aggregate, analyse and present data have augmented cognitive abilities.
“The Interconnected Enterprise model creates significant new considerations for IT professionals and system and network architects, including understanding new protocols and standards, managing integration and interoperability between many partners, and keeping control and visibility over a rapidly-expanding IT environment,” says Paul Gampe, Chief Technology Officer, PCCW Global. “Console Connect is enabling tomorrow’s interconnected enterprise to interconnect seamlessly at the network, application and commercial settlement layer. By automating these processes and network connections, the platform is a meeting place for tomorrow’s interconnected enterprise where they can quickly and easily turn up, flex, and reconfigure services to meet all their business needs.”
Tom Cheesewright, Applied Futurist, commented: “The pandemic catalysed changes that were already coming to the way we structure and run businesses, because it made plain the need for greater agility. Enterprise leaders who want to build sustainable success will be investing to change their organisations into ‘Interconnected Enterprises’ – flexible networks of components that can be rapidly adapted to meet changing market conditions. Console Connect understands this shift and has created the perfect platform for organisations to rapidly build, manage, and disconnect the critical links that hold their interconnected enterprise together.”
To find out more about tomorrow’s interconnected enterprise and ecosystem-based future, download the full report