Network shortcomings slow business growth
Modernisation essential to support new ways of working, found an NTT study
published : 26 Oct 2022 at 04:00
newspaper section: Business
Hybrid, distributed work environments with multiple connected devices are now widespread but, despite investments, just two in five businesses say they are very satisfied with their current network capabilities, according to NTT Ltd, a global IT infrastructure and services company.
Some 70% of the chief executives responding to the company's 2022 Global Network Report say they believe their network maturity level is negatively affecting their business delivery.
The adoption of hybrid work has resulted in a new era of network modernisation, with more than 90% of executives saying they are relying on investments in modernisation to enable business growth and support artificial intelligence (AI).
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 increasing their investments in network cybersecurity.
In fact, 93% of business leaders surveyed believe new threats will drive increased security demands for their networks, requiring a deeper level of access control and inspection.
Respondents' 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 now prefer the network-as-a-service model, citing the flexibility to scale up and down as a major benefit.
Additionally, while AI and automation solutions simplify ongoing network operations, they are complex to configure initially, making the network-as-a-service model more attractive.
"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," said Amit Dhingra, executive vice-president of NTT Ltd Network Services. "This is primarily to drive security and gain access to skills that can both optimise capability and accelerate innovation-based advances.
"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 inside just two years. Instead, organisations should turn their attentions 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, augmented and virtual reality, quantum networking, 6G and photonic computing will affect how networks are delivered."
As new ways of working drive transformation, high-performing enterprises realise the value of investing in strategic technologies -- core enterprise networks, 5G, edge and AI, said Chris Barnard, vice-president at International Data Corporation (IDC).
"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," he said. "While it can seem complex, service providers such as NTT can evaluate flexible deployment options that drive business value."
NTT will host its latest APAC iNTTerconnected virtual summit -- "Enable the connected future through smarter networks" -- on Tuesday, Nov 8 from 1-2.30pm (GMT+8). To register, visit https://bit.ly/3z4VOWY