Staying business resilient—Now and for the future
You may have heard that CIOs are under more pressure than ever before to ensure their technology investments keep their companies resilient, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. During a recent CIO Network conference sponsored by the Wall Street Journal, the CEO of software maker Box, Inc., Aaron Levie, elaborated on what he called a business-first approach to technology—delivering value quickly, keeping remote employees productive, and delivering customer solutions digitally.
Levie’s concerns are not unique, as enterprises of all sizes grapple with business challenges that never stop mutating. For us, being business-first means listening to what our clients want and delivering solutions that validate their buying decisions. But to keep customers truly resilient, you need to help them move their perspective from the “now” by providing solutions that are resilient for the long run. Three particular solutions come to mind.
Ensuring connectivity: Even before the pandemic struck, customers were talking to us about the need for speed and performance because of growing demand for more data-intensive processes, such as medical imaging, real-time machine learning, automated operations, and augmented reality. We’re making investments in the technologies that matter today and into the future, such as our commitment to extend our network through Edge computing nodes designed to cover 98% of the U.S. enterprise demand within 5ms of latency. Not too long ago, low latency may have been viewed as a nice to have. In a world with self-driving cars, online medical records, and financial digital transactions, the ability to transfer data quickly will be an essential attribute for resilient companies.
Ensuring security: Because Lumen Technologies owns and operates a large IP backbone, we are in a unique position to identify and respond to cyberattacks in real time. As we like to say, we see more, so we can stop more. One of the biggest cyber-threats, according to Forrester, are Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, which accounted for almost a quarter of external security threats in 2019. When Forrester talked with five of our existing DDoS customers, they found our service offered a net present value of roughly $1.1 million over three years with a return in investment of 222%. Keeping customers safe while saving them money in the process is a true win-win.
Ensuring productivity: Remote working won’t be going away soon. In fact, over 70% of our customers in a recent survey told us they expect to continue their “work-from-home” policies through the end of the year and beyond. While they recognize that fiber-based networks (like ours) provide robust home connections, they also want “industrial-strength” solutions to make sure their employees stay productive with simple and secure ways to connect to their corporate networks. So, we recently launched our Remote Connect enterprise connectivity solution, which workers can easily install themselves on their existing internet services. And we have more solutions in the pipeline as part of our ongoing efforts to provide managed solutions for this new enterprise work model.
Keep in mind that providing the right technology is only half the solution. A true business-first approach requires partners who exceed their promises by combining humanity with technology. Business resiliency depends upon people who can provide insights and expertise to help make sure you don’t miss future opportunities during this age of transformation. Customer success needs ongoing, organic relationships to make it happen. Identifying and delivering the next “big thing” eliminates one source of worry for CIOs dedicated to driving value for their stakeholders. A strong human touch helps ensure companies can pivot when they need to, because as baseball great Yoga Berra so eloquently put it, “The future ain’t what it used to be.”
Ed Morche is President of Lumen’s North America Enterprise and Public Sector team. Ed brings more than 25 years of experience to this role which focuses on delivering technology solutions and helping businesses build for the future. His responsibilities include medium, large and multinational enterprise customers, as well as government agencies, large educational institutions and research networks. Ed previously served in several senior leadership roles at Level 3 Communications. Prior to joining Level 3, Ed held global and North American roles at Sprint Corporation, Sprint International, Global One, Teleglobe and Igaea Communications.