Insight and analysis on the information technology space from industry thought leaders.

The Technology (Not Trends) Driving Digital Transformation in 2023

When discussing the future of digital transformation, the focus must be on the platform it's being built upon and the capabilities pushing it forward in 2023.

6 Min Read
"transformation" button

We know the trends driving digital transformation. Challenges with IT talent, regulatory compliance, resource efficiency, collaboration in the new normal, and the evolving demands of customers have been discussed at great lengths.

What's interesting to me, however, is while everyone has been focused on the problems, many have lost sight of the solution forming under our noses: the intelligent enterprise network.

Digital transformation isn't just about migrating to the cloud, installing IoT devices, digitizing IT tickets, or building more resilient and responsive customer experiences. Digital transformation is all of these things and more — all of which start and end with the network. So, if we're discussing the future of digital transformation, we need to also focus on the platform it's being built upon and the capabilities pushing it forward in 2023.

Low Code/No Code Solutions

The arc of innovation is often defined by early leaders tackling complex problems through whatever means necessary. Once said leader demonstrates a path to success, a second wave follows close behind to build the infrastructure that opens the benefits to the masses. Pandemic-related challenges fast-tracked the innovation arc's second wave for nearly everything touching the network, with low-code/no-code solutions enabling users to build the automated network infrastructure that brings digital transformation benefits to the masses.

Related:Benefits of Digital Transformation: 5 Tools for Software Development

Multi-cloud, multi-domain, multi-vendor — the demands placed upon the network are best visualized by the number of qualifiers one has to say before they get to "network." Low-code/no-code approaches enable users to automate the management of network systems and infrastructures without needing to code from scratch, leading to easier, faster, and more focused results. Instead of writing code to interact with the network, low-code/no-code platforms leverage code to make the network deliver a business outcome. This significantly simplifies service delivery by skipping lengthy coding processes and risk-riddled in-house support of the technology interaction layer.

The proliferation of low-code/no-code solutions will only continue to accelerate. With critical developer skills in short supply, accelerating complexity and high failure rates in large-scale automation programs, companies need a flexible, efficient, and fast way to achieve business outcomes; low-code/no-code solutions provide precisely that.

Pre-Built Vendor Ecosystems

Network infrastructure is no longer confined to office desktops and a dark basement at company headquarters. It lives on cloud servers distributed worldwide (and across cloud providers); it operates in employees' homes and their favorite coffee shops; and it cooperates with various vendors up and down the stack to keep everything running smoothly and efficiently.

Modern networks have not taken on this complexity simply to ensure employees can read the corporate handbook on the company intranet. This complexity has emerged to provide a platform for the ongoing digital transformation of critical business operations and services. The flexibility of cloud environments, the automation of tedious yet vital network maintenance, the efficient allocation of resources, and the applications that enable business service modernization all must integrate seamlessly with the network. This is often achieved through pre-built CLI interfaces and API controllers that enable northbound bridges to vendor integrations on the management plane and southbound bridges to API endpoints.

The critical word above is "pre-built." The alternative is developing custom, in-house scripting to bridge your network systems with each vendor. Most often available through network automation and orchestration platforms, pre-built integrations do the heavy lifting for enterprises and ensure a rapid ROI on any digital transformation projects that touch the network. These platforms enable IT professionals to coordinate and control their environments from a single dashboard, significantly reducing the time spent on coding, facilitating new tool implementation, and accelerating innovation.


Growing complexity brings heightened risk. Network engineers are now faced with modernizing systems while also ensuring the stability of critical legacy features. They must also deal with an explosion in the number of network devices, which are more distributed than ever. These factors, among others, stretch enterprise resources and increase the likelihood of a security breach or outage due to a misconfigured, outdated, or unmonitored corner of the network.

Auto-remediation is one of several types of automation that has emerged to advance digital transformation initiatives. Rather than accelerating proactive initiatives, auto-remediation focuses on fixing issues as they arise and before they become critical problems. A simple example is identifying a misconfigured network device that has the potential to disrupt business service. Using intelligent automation, the network can detect and remediate on its own, or submit a ticket to the IT team, allowing the team to authorize the recommended remediation steps.

Implementing auto-remediation is inherently enabled by both robust vendor ecosystems and low-code/no-code solutions. The network must have visibility and control across its vendor ecosystem, and network engineers rely on low-code/no-code process automation tools to develop the auto-remediation workflows. Once implemented, auto-remediation capabilities act like a digital immune system that sends signals and resources to address problems before a human could even begin to act. Network "sick days" can cost enterprises millions of dollars per hour, so acting swiftly and minimizing service disruption are critical to ensuring resilient operations and a modern customer experience.

The Indivisibility of Networks and Digital Transformation

There is no avoiding the role networks play in enabling and accelerating digital transformation. While this has always been true, IT leaders are now benefiting from emergent capabilities that bring significant efficiencies, risk reduction, and rapid ROI to these modernization initiatives.

Build versus buy network automation decisions take on even more weight. Enterprises that take a DIY pure play approach are no longer just competing with other enterprises taking a DIY approach. They are competing against forward-thinking companies that capitalize on the benefits of low-code/no-code solutions, robust vendor ecosystems, and auto-remediation capabilities before in-house projects have even identified the right engineering talent.

The capabilities of networks to absorb complexity and advance digital transformation will only accelerate as network engineers invest the time gained from automation back into future innovations. This recursive potential puts terms like hyperautomation in a new and exciting light. Only time will tell what the network advancements of 2023 will unlock for the future of enterprises. However, if our starting point is any indication, then the future is bright.

Traci Soward is CMO at Gluware. She has led a career developing and delivering thought leadership, partner advocacy, innovative strategy, and operational excellence. During her time at Cisco, Traci architected and launched the Cisco Solution Partner Program. This initiative expanded Cisco's addressable market with ISVs and technology companies to take share in the Internet of Everything (IOE) and IOT space through creative and compelling programs. This work would see her win notable industry recognitions, including two CRN awards for her innovative programs and results. Traci has also held leadership positions at WebEx and Intel. During her time at Intel, Traci helped build and launch many new business capabilities. This included Intel's B2B e-Commerce platform, which premiered as the largest e-commerce capability in the world at the time.

Sign up for the ITPro Today newsletter
Stay on top of the IT universe with commentary, news analysis, how-to's, and tips delivered to your inbox daily.

You May Also Like