In the age of multicloud, network transformation is on many CxOs’ minds. Public clouds, private clouds, SaaS providers—they’re coming together to help enterprise organizations accomplish amazing things.

They’re also placing game-changing demands on existing networks.

Legacy infrastructure lacks the modern technologies required to support the demands of multiple links to cloud providers, increased traffic, distributed data, complicated security and compliance needs, and other necessities for effective multicloud IT.

Network transformation isn’t just needed: it’s inevitable. But the capital outlay required for a network overhaul causes many organizations to think it’s impossible. Instead, they incrementally add infrastructure—resulting in increased complexity across controls, rules and operations.

However, based on our experience with enterprise clients and our own internal network delivery, we find that continuing to operate on outdated technologies actually costs organizations more in the long term than it would to dramatically reinvent their network infrastructure.

The longer you wait, the less you gain

Delaying inevitable projects, such as the provisioning of secure, high-speed direct cloud access to a business-critical application, means your business waits longer to realize the value of the initiative, and that value shrinks in the interim.

On large-scale transformation projects, we’ve seen the business impact of a six-month infrastructure modernization delay cost organizations between $5 and $7 million per year. This doesn’t take into account impact to revenue and risk.

Caring for aging infrastructure is costly

The term technical debt refers to the hidden cost of choosing less-costly solutions to IT problems, such as stop-gap measures to keep operating infrastructure that’s past its time.

As your organization continues to use a legacy network, it becomes increasingly more complex and difficult to manage, particularly as it grows with multicloud requirements. You exert more time and money to stay in fighting shape—and end up spending more in the long run than you would on a wholesale evolution.

For example, piecemeal implementation of Wi-Fi in the campus results in the continued need for existing fixed and wired ports, plus cabling, maintenance and project costs to keep it up to date, as well as the costs of adding wireless—increasing costs, complexity and impacting the end-user experience.

We’ve seen organizations reduce their infrastructure by over 20 percent as a result of switching to new architectures.

It all comes down to this: The longer you wait to transform your network, the more you spend in the long run.

Why further investment in piecemeal infrastructure fails

Money invested in piecemeal infrastructure rarely delivers discernable benefits. The example of adding wireless is a perfect illustration of why.

Addressing technical debt with multiyear piecemeal upgrades can’t enable the new capabilities of automated, software-defined networks—because the network constantly remains in an incomplete state. In some cases, we even see the technical debt continue to increase, as the level of investment being made can’t keep up with technology reaching end of life.

You don’t have to build your network transformation business case alone

We’re dedicated to helping our customers overcome the financial challenges of network transformation—and ensuring they can move on from costly legacy architectures.

To do so, we’ve collaborated with our enterprise customers to develop a framework called Cisco Performance IT.

It’s designed to help you accurately assess the financial realities of network transformation and identify a highly cost-effective path forward.

After going through the process, many of our customers find that their network transformation can actually pay for itself over a five-year period.

We’re ready to help you build a transformation and economic road map.

Read more:  Cisco Performance IT makes multicloud possible for your digital transformation


To get started, visit the Cisco Performance IT homepage.



Mark Dodds

Senior Vice President

Global Services and Software Sales