Reducing the hidden cost of innovation with
network emulation

Innovation in business has been a hot topic for a number of years, underpinning the ability to become a ‘digital business’ and compete in a global market that is fast paced and continually changing.

Investment in emerging technologies is high on the agenda for what Gartner recognise as ‘Top performers’ – those that have achieved “digital escape velocity” moving their digitilization efforts so fast compared to peers that they escape their influence and accomplish their goals.

Gartner also state that one of the key enablers in reaching the ‘top performer’ status is having interoperability and extending the core technology to be ‘digital ecosystem ready’.

The challenge facing a lot of businesses in their quest to achieve this is the complexity of moving from their current operating models with legacy IT and ‘old’ ways of working to having interoperable infrastructure which is digital ready and enables a ‘new’ working model.

Bimodal IT

A solution many are adopting is Bimodal IT, an approach favoured by 68% of those Gartner top performers. This approach is focussed on managing two separate but coherent styles of work. Mode 1 is focused on predictability, using what is known and exploiting it while renovating the legacy environment to get it into a state that is fit for a digital world. Mode 2 is exploratory, experimenting to solve new problems and optimizing solutions for areas of uncertainty.

Being able to run both enables an business to continue to provide stable, secure, high performing IT services whilst also delivering, innovative, technology-intensive services at a fast pace.

The financial consequence of this approach which was recently highlighted by Gartner is that the cost of deployment across both Mode 1 and Mode 2 is often overlooked and not considered at the initial funding stage or throughout ideation. Innovation may be high on the agenda but the associated costs of implementation, integration, operation and management can significantly outweigh the initial innovation costs.

Gartner have actually anticipated that through 2019 for every $1 spent on the digital innovation/ideation phase, businesses will spend on average $7 on deploying the solution.

Network emulation to test early

A possible solution to reducing the cost at deployment is to build testing into projects at an early stage. Using network emulation could enable those focused on both Mode 1 & 2 to test out how their applications and platform solutions will perform across their business network and under real world conditions. Getting insights and analysis of this at an earlier stage can provide teams with time to trouble shoot and resolve issues before projects get too far down the development path and without any associated considerations being given to their deployment.

With interoperability being a key enabling factor in getting a business “digital ecosystem ready” it is essential that testing across all applications, networks and platforms in development is undertaken regularly. With network emulation, testing can be carried out in to the extent of deploying the solutions on an emulated network at an early stage, reducing the need for re-work, preventing any release delays and reducing the risk of failure in a live scenario.

Getting indications on how each will perform on an individual basis, and together once live, is the only way to mitigate any associated risks and the consequent hidden deployment cost of innovation.

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