NTT Ltd, a leading global IT infrastructure and services company, on 21st October released its 2022 Global Network Report, which found that 61% of CEOs in Middle East and Africa believe their network is slowing down business growth. Globally, 70% of CEOs believe network maturity level is negatively affecting business delivery.
The adoption of hybrid, distributed work environments with multiple connected devices is erupting through enterprises but, despite these investments, just two in five businesses say they are very satisfied with their current network capabilities. This has resulted in a new era of network modernization, with most executives relying on it to enable business growth (>90%) and support artificial intelligence (AIOps) (91%).
With distributed hybrid work models presenting far more a****k opportunities for malicious actors, the importance of network security has become a major component of network architecture. This has inspired organizations to move to more centralized, cloud-based security solutions and a managed endpoint security model, as well as increasing their investments in network cybersecurity. Most business leaders believe new threats will drive increased security demands for their enterprise network, requiring a deeper level of access control and inspection (93%).
Transformation to network as a service models
Respondents reported that their highest concerns, above even cost, are security, modernization, and access to a full suite of services from their provider. In terms of managing the network, more than 90% of senior executives prefer the network as a service model, citing the flexibility to scale up and down as a major benefit. Additionally, a complexity in deploying effective AIOps and automation solutions, which simplify ongoing network operations but are complex to configure initially, make the network as a service model more attractive.
“Levels of investment in the network have surged, with the results of this research showing many organizations are leaning towards key partners and managed service solutions to fulfil their requirements. This is primarily to drive security and gain access to skills that can both optimize capability and accelerate innovation-based advances” said Amit Dhingra, Executive Vice President at NTT Ltd Network Services.
“We are in the midst of a modernization of network services, however, many of the solutions that are currently in play for a minority will become standard inside just two years,” said Mr Dhingra. “Instead, organizations should turn their attentions to a network as a service model.”
He said businesses should consider security, skills competency, ability to scale, private 5G, and software defined networking when selecting a network service provider. In the long term, blockchain, further AI and automation, AR and VR, quantum networking, 6G and photonic computing will affect how networks are delivered.”
Chris Barnard, Vice President at International Data Corporation (IDC) said: “As new ways of working drive transformation, high performing enterprises realize the value of investing in strategic technologies – core enterprise networks, 5G, edge, artificial intelligence. To support the networking requirements of emerging digital services and applications, organizations are modernizing their enterprise networks, allowing for more efficient use and management of the networks that underpin their enterprises.”
Enterprises that have not invested risk negatively affecting their growth opportunities. As the network plays a fundamental role in digital transformation strategies and distributed working and processing, more enterprise network upgrades are expected as technologies such as AI and security defenses are layered on to mainstream enterprise networking.