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Modern Networks, Part 2: How to Achieve a Modern Network

In the first part of this series, we examined how legacy network connectivity has become a roadblock for companies looking to use cutting-edge technologies to improve resilience, efficiency, and productivity, according to the recent 42-page report, “Modern Networks: How to Fast Track Competitive Advantage in the Digital Future.” Now, Accenture explains how to build a modern network.



  • 89% of enterprises see a modern network as an enabler of trusted, secure IT architecture.

  • Companies that shifted their network spend towards modernization by 50 or more percentage points are 2.4 times more likely to be top industry spenders on innovation than their peers.

  • The provisioning time of sites could be reduced by 75%, based on a lean, cloud facing, architecture and infrastructure backbone with the use of SD-WAN.


What Does a Modern Network Look Like?

As summarized in Part 1 of this series, a modern network underpins all future performance for a business. “A modern network enables various layers of a company’s digital core comprising cloud infrastructure, data and AI, applications and platforms and incorporating other new technologies that will enable forward-looking capabilities,” write the authors of the Accenture report. “A modern network helps drive flexibility, resilience, innovation and, ultimately, Total Enterprise Reinvention.”

How to Build a Modern Network

  1. Flip the budget toward network modernization. Instead of repairing old legacy networks, companies need to flip the budget in favor of new, modern networks. This reduces capital and operational costs, according to the econometric analysis conducted by Accenture. A company can expect its annual total network spend to decrease by up to 21% when shifting network spend toward modernization and away from maintaining legacy systems by 30 percentage points over three years.

  2. Stabilize the current network. This includes improving application performance in an increasingly hybrid cloud environment to reduce incidents, eliminate network inefficiencies and enhance user experience.

  3. Modernize the current network. “Once stabilized, modern elements such as software-defined, cloud-based network infrastructure can be introduced to manage connectivity across different parts of the enterprise and prepare the foundation for innovation,” write the authors.

  4. Accelerate innovation. Business impact comes from accelerated deployment of real-time asset tracking, AI environmental monitoring and predictive maintenance, among other advanced use cases. “Each step enables the next one, releasing the benefits of business resilience, efficiency, and innovation led growth,” according to Accenture.

  5. Adopt network best practices across the lifecycle. By mitigating their risk exposure through network best practices, companies become more resilient, spend less, and experience greater innovation. These best practices include:

“Once the modern network is in place, it powers accelerated innovation,” conclude the authors. “A modern network is one which is built on the foundation of flexibility and agility, designed to seamlessly upgrade and innovate. It requires companies to constantly keep a finger on the pulse of technology and business needs and adapt their networks to keep pace with these changes. This approach can not only prepare a company for the next level of performance but is flexible enough to continually evolve for the future, releasing the benefits of business resiliency and efficiency and driving innovation-led growth.”


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