Top 5 Business Transformation Trends Driving Network Transformation
The digital transformation has made the network indispensable. As your network goes, so your business goes. Everything is connected: static and mobile devices all communicate via the network. Extraordinary statistics suggest 51% of CxOs don’t know what their industry might look like in 2023; that there might be a 50% turnover in the S&P over the next five years.
Agility is survival. Traditional hub & spoke networks were designed for client-server access to centralized information by a set of known, stationary, IT-controlled endpoints. Today’s business does not operate that way. The number and types of devices have exploded, they—and their OSs and apps—are well beyond the control of IT. They move. They’re chatty. They’re everywhere. Businesses operate in the cloud, partly or wholly, with peer connectivity between private networks, private clouds, public clouds, hybrid WAN, the Internet.
1 Cyber Security
Endpoint and data center security (IT-controlled, tunnels, VPN) no longer function in this climate. Traffic patterns are meshed, devices are unpredictable and mobile, everywhere access to Internet is near-imperative. The network must provide the security, not the device. Anything that enters the network must be secured upon entry, upon transit, upon exit. The erstwhile perimeter of the network has disassembled. The network and security—critical with ever-mounting threats and breaches—must operate as one and the same.
Video has been steadily increasingly for years, but COVID-19 measures have accelerated it into an exponential surge. Users report they now feel odd talking to someone via audio only. The ease of use brought by Facetime, Skype, Zoom and other apps have made video communication ubiquitous. Users’ expectations are on par with the TV quality of yesteryear. Poor video is untenable.
Cloud architectures have forever altered network traffic patterns—for provider and corporate networks, and the Internet. Many newer businesses are cloud-native and cloud-only. More established businesses have private clouds connected to public clouds. Cloud drives mobility and mobility drives the cloud.
No one discusses IoT as a topic of the future, primarily because it has already happened. Billions of diverse devices are already connected to the network: consumer devices, business devices, cars, sensors, cameras, industrial monitoring, surveillance, doorbells, HVAC, utility usage reporting, warehouse inventory, tracking of every conceivable kind—an endless list. IoT has, and is, irreversibly changing network traffic patterns. Many devices lack security and open holes for hackers at network entry. Traffic from these devices will continue to surge in the years ahead, and security in the network will be ever-more critical.
5 Work from Home
COVID-19 has also put a hockey-stick into this trend. We now know that many more jobs can be done from home than we ever dreamed of. Society behavior of physically going places—offices, medical consultations, grocery shopping—may be permanently altered. This too has turn network traffic upside down. We have to re-engineer, rethink, redesign. The network is at the core.
Watch this engaging webinar where industry expert Zeus Kerravala discusses these trends with additional customer insights from Michael Wood, CMO of Versa Networks. Make your SD-WAN truly agile: software control, hardware-independence, cloud-native, single-stack routing and security, real-time analytics. To quote Darwin, “…to survive… is to be responsive to change.”