We are in the midst of a remarkable transformation facilitated by technology. With a rise in digital initiatives and remote working models, the network has assumed a greater significance.
As every business process or application’s performance is dependent on the network, there is immense pressure on network administrators to improve the quality of access and improve performance.
Network resources at the edge will increase substantially: Edge locations are in huge demand as applications demand faster response times and users expect lesser latency. An IDC report, ‘The Business Value of Edge in a Digital-First World,’ says that nearly 6 in 10 (59%) enterprises in Asia Pacific are planning to integrate edge fully into their cloud-based infrastructure.
In the next two years, IDC believes that close to 30% of new enterprise infrastructure deployment in Asia Pacific is likely to happen at the edge.
Wi-Fi 6 will make huge inroads into the enterprise: Estimated to be more than 30% faster than Wi-Fi 5, Wi-Fi 6 can make a huge difference with huge improvements in speed and reduced latency in environments (stadiums, airports etc.) that have a higher density of devices.
In an era where enterprise connectivity needs are set to accelerate, Wi-Fi 6 will enable organizations to create high speed networks for their offices, manufacturing setups and retail outlets.
Wi-Fi 6 can enable IoT devices to transfer data at a faster pace with reduced latency and response times. For example, in a manufacturing setup, data relayed by sensors can be captured and analyzed at a faster pace due to reduced data latency.
5G will unleash a new wave of innovation: 5G has an estimated theoretical speed of 20 Gbps compared to 1 Gbps for 4G. This can significantly change the way businesses operate and lead to the growth of several innovative business models.
As 5G can enable smooth functioning of high bandwidth applications, it can create a fertile ground for encouraging development of Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality apps. This can have a huge impact on sectors such as healthcare (telemedicine) or education (remote classrooms) where high bandwidth applications are deployed.
For example, in healthcare, personalized telemedicine practices can be encouraged by closely monitoring the health of a patient conditions with embedded sensors.
SD-WANs will continue to dominate with SASE beginning to make headway: In a remote working scenario which has become more common now, enterprises typically have struggled with respect to managing bandwidth consumption and reducing latency. If there are more remote locations, then the cost of bandwidth can be very expensive.
There can also be huge latency issues, as enterprise traffic gets routed from the location to the data center, which is then routed to the cloud. With SD-WAN, enterprises can decide to route the most optimum way or the most cost-effective path.
Not surprisingly, SD-WANs have surged in popularity and are expected to dominate enterprise networking ecosystems in 2022 as well. A recently published report by Dell'Oro Group says that the worldwide SD-WAN market grew 45 percent in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the prior year.
With 40% of organizations (& growing) having multi cloud access, the adoption of SASE in conjunction with SDWAN is only going to gain momentum in 2022 and beyond.
AI will be a default choice for network automation: With the growing complexity and a huge increase in traffic, AI will be a default choice for automating many manual processes done by network administrators.
AI will increasingly be used by organizations to automatically provision and setup networks without any manual efforts. This is extremely useful in remote locations where networks or devices can be easily setup without any on-site support.
From automated traffic analysis to detecting anomalies to block malicious threat actors to helping enterprises identify the root cause for network performance degradation or downtime, AI will at the center of almost every network related initiative.
The following article has been written by Manoj Chitgopeker, Head, Managed Networks and Collaborator Services, NTT Ltd., India.