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2022 networking and technology: The next generation of Digital Transformation

2022 networking and technology: The next generation of Digital Transformation

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Organisations far and wide share the same priority when it comes to their business goals: achieving successful Digital Transformation. Simon Waller, Regional Director, EMEA & US at Epsilon, discusses how the continued increase in remote working has accelerated the adoption of cloud services and why businesses in these sectors must gain awareness of the trends that will shape how they operate.

Digital Transformation has become imperative for all businesses, with the enterprise IT market significantly changing in the last two years. There was an urgency to meet Digital Transformation goals and organisations had to adapt quickly to disruptions. In 2021, business strategies developed and put a focal point on the continued development of business operations and technologies.

A recent Statista report estimates that between 2020 and 2024, global investments in Digital Transformation will almost double.

Businesses needed to establish a foundation for continual transformation and adapting to new ways of working. Long-term remote workforces are one of the many reasons that cloud adoption is accelerating faster than ever, along with an array of other networking technologies, 5G, automation, Artificial Intelligence and security. These are predicted to have a large impact on the networking and technology market in 2022.

The era of hybrid multi-cloud

In today’s cloud-first world, it is not just about connecting to the cloud, but about connecting multiple clouds efficiently. Businesses have already started to understand the benefits of having private, direct cloud connections, as many are now way past the adoption phase.

Organisations are expected to manage clouds across their infrastructure even more effectively in 2022, as visibility and security become even more important. They will also need to decide between integrated security vs. standalone security and hardware (appliances) or software.

With increasing productivity and efficiency, organisations will continue to use remote working models, which will further accelerate adoption of cloud services in long-term transformation strategies.

Hybrid cloud models will push enterprises to use Software-Defined Wide-Area Networks (SD-WAN) for managing access and connectivity for:

  •  Remote workers
  •  Offices
  •  Branches
  •  Clouds and data centres

Meanwhile, IT teams are facing increasing cost and efficiency challenges with an increasingly distributed workforce.

The continued rise of 5G

More companies are transforming into cloud-first organisations, making the right underlay network a necessity to support them. They need a simple, efficient and effective way to connect their network infrastructure.

2022 could also be an interesting year to use more 5G for last mile connectivity. 5G eliminates the last mile barrier through faster speeds and lower latency, enhancing enterprise connectivity end-to-end in the most challenging situations.

With 5G, provisioning and deployment issues commonly associated with last mile connectivity could be eliminated. It allows businesses to get the connectivity they need instantly, where they need it, without needing to wait for physical connections to go live. In addition, it reduces the risk of physical disruptions while maximising performance and efficiency.

The shift from MPLS to SD-WAN

TeleGeography’s latest WAN Manager Survey found that MPLS usage across enterprises dropped by 24% between 2018 and 2020, while SD-WAN saw a 25% growth in the same period. We can expect this shift to continue in 2022.

When looking at their continual transformation strategies, enterprises are seeking more cost-effective ways to maintain or even improve control and security across their networks. Long term, SD-WAN can simplify the WAN infrastructure and make it easier for businesses to manage multiple locations and cloud-hosted applications with app-driven security features.

Complying and transforming with innovative tech

Complying to regulations is already a challenge for enterprises. As the year progresses, we can expect an increasing number of complex regulations for enterprises to manage.

As a result, we will continue to see a push for software-based solutions that incorporate analytics, automation and Artificial Intelligence to address compliance. Businesses can address compliance challenges with deep insights, advanced technologies and evolving intelligence and refocus their energy on other business aspects such as innovation and continual transformation.

An increasing number of organisations will also choose to implement Anything-as-a-Service (XaaS) solutions in order to gain:

  • Added flexibility
  • Scalability
  • Cost-effectiveness

Using Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) will allow the deployment of network services to be automated, replacing manual processes for repetitive tasks.

With an XaaS model, enterprises will be able to use whatever solution they need without heavy upfront investments or in-house specialists, helping them to put a sustainable transformation roadmap into place.

This year, we will also see a growing focus on designing and tailoring applications to meet the specific business needs of customers. With the business environment becoming increasingly complex, providing businesses with expert support and unique solutions will be even more important.

Ramping up data security

2022 will also see data security become a stronger focus, both because of the rise in security breaches as well as the increasing costs associated with them. The impact of even just one hack can be severe for a business’ reputation and bottom line.

As a result, risk management will heavily shift from reactive to proactive. Increasingly, organisations will seek Business Continuity solutions that can guarantee 24x7x365 protection and provide them with the steps to move forward in the event of a security breach.

Moving to the cloud may offload some security issues to cloud providers, but that may simply increase the uncertainty over who is responsible for securing client data. It is crucial to ensure client data is handled with the utmost care, all year round. Having the right Business Continuity plan in place will help you maintain long-term success and brand confidence.

Enterprises will be seeking more security solutions, and service providers will be implementing and integrating higher levels of security into their offerings for customers. Additionally, these service providers are likely to establish and invest in customer experience functions focused on service delivery, user satisfaction and other value-added services.

2022 will ultimately be an interesting year for all types of businesses. With the use of leading-edge technologies, enterprises can advance their operations, while service providers can improve customer experiences and win more business by offering comprehensive solutions to customers.

Cloud, SD-WAN, automation, Artificial Intelligence, 5G and security are just some of the technologies that will enable more companies to continually transform and achieve new levels of success in the future.

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