70% of CEOs believe their network maturity levels are slowing their business growth, according to NTT’s 2022 Global Network Report.
Enterprises are embracing hybrid, distributed work environments with numerous connected devices, yet despite investments, just two in five companies claim they are extremely satisfied with their current network capabilities.
This has resulted in a new era of network modernisation, with the majority of executives relying on it to enable business growth (>90%), and support artificial intelligence (AIOps) (91%).
“We are in the midst of a modernisation of network services, however, many of the solutions that are currently in play for a minority will become standard within just two years. Instead, organisations should turn their attention to a network as a service model. 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,” said Amit Dhingra, Executive Vice President at NTT Ltd. Network Services.
Upgrading enterprise networks to keep up with digital transformation
As companies continue to embrace hybrid work models, it is presenting more attack opportunities for threat actors, meaning the importance of network security is increasing.
According to the research, this has inspired organisations to move to more centralised, 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%).
Respondents reported that their highest concerns, above even cost, are security, modernisation, 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.
Chris Barnard, Vice President at International Data Corporation (IDC) comments, “As new ways of working drive transformation, high performing enterprises realise the value of investing in strategic technologies – core enterprise networks, 5G, edge and artificial intelligence. To support the networking requirements of emerging digital services and applications, organisations are modernising 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, we can expect to see more enterprise network upgrades as technologies such as AI and security defences are layered on to mainstream enterprise networking. While it can seem complex, service providers such as NTT can evaluate flexible deployment options that drive business value.”