According to research released today by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, one in four (25%) business leaders admit to having only a functional or limited understanding of the enterprise network – resulting in a potentially dangerous disconnect around digital transformation initiatives.
The finding comes as 84% of South African CEOs say they are pursuing an aggressive digital investment strategy to maintain high levels of innovation and secure a first-mover status, but have deep concerns about their ability to keep pace with the rate of transformation. In fact, local business leaders cite disruptive technology as the greatest threat to their organizational growth in the next three years, according to KPMG. Consequently, around 41% of South African CIOs say modernising their infrastructure is a top tech-driven priority.
Meanwhile, the pressure to digitise has never seemed higher. In fact, around 60% of South African leaders maintain that their most important growth objectives over the next three years include innovation and new products.
Aruba’s new survey examined a number of areas in which the network has the potential to deliver against these demands and assessed the recognition of this outside of IT leadership.
The network as a tool for productivity and innovation
Business leaders agree that technology and enhanced digitalisation are now essential to employees being able to do their jobs. However, despite its role in connecting both employees and the technology they need, only 61% of leaders globally say they fully understand the relationship between employee productivity and the network.
Similarly, 53% stated that they don’t fully understand how the network can help drive innovation – despite 50% believing that access to data is fundamental to unlocking new revenue streams over the next 12 months.
Feeling the disconnect
The potential consequence of this disconnect can be seen in organisation investment strategies for the year. While 50% of international business leaders say they are planning to increase spend on digital initiatives in 2023, only 25% say they’ll be putting corresponding investment into their network infrastructure.
With many respondents (59%) saying employees experience weekly workplace connectivity issues, only 29% believing their organisation is capable of seamless connectivity, and only 21% strongly agreeing that their organisation has the necessary flexibility, the danger of this disconnect starts to become clear if networks are allowed to languish in need of modernisation.
“In response to pressure from all sides, organisations in South Africa have big plans for their digital transformations this year. They want to increase employee productivity through hybrid working, deliver better data analysis to uncover new revenue streams, unlock operational efficiencies to make cost savings, reduce their energy output to become more sustainable, and much more. And they know they need to continue to invest in technology to make this possible,” said Mandy Duncan, Aruba Country Manager South Africa. “But to reach their business objectives they need the support of an innovative, agile, and optimised network. With that in place, the likelihood of a successful digital transformation is greatly increased.”
About Aruba, A Hewlett Packard Enterprise company
Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, is the global leader in secure, intelligent edge-to-cloud networking solutions that use AI to automate the network, while harnessing data to drive powerful business outcomes. With Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform) and as-a-service options as part of the HPE GreenLake family, Aruba takes a cloud-native approach to helping customers meet their connectivity, security, and financial requirements across campus, branch, data center, and remote worker environments, covering all aspects of wired, wireless LAN, and wide area networking (WAN).
To learn more, visit Aruba at www.arubanetworks.com. For real-time news updates, follow Aruba on Twitter and Facebook, and for the latest technical discussions on mobility and Aruba products, visit the Airheads Community at community.arubanetworks.com.