NTT Ltd., a leading global IT infrastructure and services company, has today launched its 2022 Global Network Report, which found that 61 per cent of CEOs in the Middle East and Africa believe their network is slowing down business growth. Globally, 70 per cent of CEOs believe their network maturity level is negatively affecting their business delivery.
“Levels of investment in the network have surged, with the results of this research showing many organisations 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.
The adoption of hybrid, distributed work environments with multiple connected devices is erupting through enterprises but, despite investments, just two in five businesses say they are delighted 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 per cent) and support artificial intelligence (AIOps) (91 per cent).
Keeping Hybrid Environments Secure
With distributed hybrid work models presenting far more attack opportunities for malicious actors, the importance of network security has become a major component of network architecture. This has inspired organisations to move to more centralised, cloud-based security solutions and a managed endpoint security model, as well as increase 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 per cent).
Chris Barnard, Vice President at International Data Corporation (IDC) comments, “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, organisations are modernising their enterprise networks, allowing for more efficient use and management of the networks that underpin their enterprises.”
The Transformation To Network As A Service Models
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 per cent of senior executives prefer the network as a service model, citing the flexibility to scale up and down as a significant benefit. Additionally, the complexity in deploying effective AIOps and automation solutions, which simplify ongoing network operations but are complex to configure initially, makes the network as a service model more attractive.
Dhingra says that, “We are in the midst of modernisation of network services, however, many of the solutions that are currently in play for a minority will become standard in 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.”
“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 onto mainstream enterprise networking. While it can seem complex, service providers such as NTT can evaluate flexible deployment options that drive business value,” concluded Barnard.
The report concludes with considerations for executives to evolve and future-proof their network. Read the full 2022 Global Network Report here.