A recent Computing webseminar came to the conclusion that companies are content to accept the ‘status quo’ of a legacy telecoms business model. Peter Richmond, director of customer experience at networking firm Colt, said that momentum is much to blame:

“It’s mainly a case of ‘that’s how it’s always been’. As a result, enterprises had a system that was painful but it worked and so there’s been a certain reluctance to disturb it.

“However, digital transformation is forcing all companies in all sectors to move with the times and the penalty for failing to keep pace is harsh: slow movers become easy prey for more agile competitors, become irrelevant, or worse – extinct. Colt is no different to its peers in the challenges it faces and while we have been able to meet the demands of technological evolution head on, this isn’t a differentiator. What makes Colt different – makes us unique – is our culture… We don’t believe that enterprises should put up with the status quo because ‘that’s how it’s always been’. We’re challenging that.”

Research presented in the websem showed that almost 50 per cent of firms renewed their networking contracts only every two or three years. In today’s fast-changing digital world, that is a losing strategy, said Colt product manager Mike South:

“Enterprise networking is still largely based on a traditional model, similar to the enterprise IT market before the cloud. Lead times are still measured in weeks, bandwidths are fixed and configuration changes need to be manually requested.

“Technological developments in software-defined networking have enabled the introduction of on-demand network services, bringing the cloud experience to connectivity. Customers have direct control over their services via a customer portal, and new connections can be delivered in near real-time with bandwidths that can be flexed up and down to meet application demand.”

South did, however, list reasons why businesses might not be ready for a full jump to the cloud just yet:

“An increasing number of businesses are now using the cloud to consume and deliver applications and services from the likes of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google for Business. But not all businesses are new, so enterprises typically have some ‘born in the cloud’ apps, mixed with a more cumbersome application legacy, which is less straightforward to manage in a cloud configuration.”

The recent announcement of a new hybrid cloud offering from Google and Cisco, specifically designed to bring legacy apps and services to a cloud environment, might prove the impetus that these companies need.