The next 12 months will see the enterprise IT market continue to adapt and grow, as new networking and connectivity technologies become available across multiple industry verticals. There is a great opportunity for organisations to pivot their business operations with new levels of automation, security, and intelligence. In this article, we will examine the latest connectivity trends for the next 12 months, including AI integration, multi-cloud networks, and hybrid workforces.
With hybrid working making its mark in the world, we can expect the next 12 months to continue having a strong focus on powering global networks with solutions that can enhance remote work. These solutions will have lower latencies, stronger cloud capabilities, security, and integrated Artificial Intelligence (AI) for automated decision making.
Service providers will have to keep up to speed with technology trends and enterprise demands to stay competitive in the market and meet their customers’ needs. They must stay adaptable in their approach, as customer demands can change at any moment.
Here are six trends to look out for in the networking and connectivity market:
1. More AI Integration
The next 12 months will provide more opportunities for AI functions to be integrated into networking solutions. Networks will become more intelligent and automated with smart autonomous controllers and programmable logic blocks.
There will be more investments in Machine Learning (ML) and AI, and many organisations will begin using and building on the smart intelligence to improve their business performance. By strategically guiding the network to behave, intelligent software can benefit all kinds of industries and support a business in achieving its goals.
For example, in the manufacturing sector, AI has the power to automate processes with enhanced quality and precision, minimised downtime, cost-savings, and higher efficiency. MarketsandMarkets predicts AI in manufacturing to grow from $2.3 billion in 2022 to $16.3 billion in 2027 – a huge CAGR of 47.9%.
2. Multi-Cloud Optimised Networks
Cloud-defined networking solutions and virtualised networking functions are also set to grow to support the growth in multi-cloud globally.
There is likely to be more mergers and acquisitions in this space, with newer cloud networking players being funded or acquired, as well as IT experts re-engineering their networks and applications to enhance cloud capabilities.
3. Integrating Overlay and Underlay
For technologies such as software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WAN), we will see a stronger focus on the integration between the overlay and underlay network.
SD-WAN can work with all kinds of underlay networks, including legacy Multi-protocol Label Switching (MPLS), Ethernet or cost-effective Direct Internet Access (DIA). This can reduce cost and complexity, while maintaining a similar Quality of Service (QoS).
Enterprises will continue to adapt their network architecture based on their mission-critical applications, cloud strategy, business needs and objectives. More networking solutions with a reliable underlay and flexible network infrastructure will be available to support both private and public cloud services across multiple locations.
4. Extending the Cloud Globally
Cloud providers will further extend their footprints globally, particularly to hard-to-reach destinations.
We can expect to see a growth in cloud edge computing – extending cloud data closer to where it is being consumed for a better user experience. More on-premises cloud technologies will be explored, as providers look to complete more local cloud deployments on their own premises or in third-party data centres.
5. Stronger Focus on Security
In the next 12 months, security solutions will grow in complexity and become more widespread – particularly Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) components. SASE combines Security Service Edge (SSE) and SD-WAN capabilities in a secure network fabric, utilising cloud-native security features spanning secure web gateways, firewalls, and zero-trust network access.
Strong security architectures such as SASE are beneficial across all industry verticals to protect customers’ data and minimise the risk and impact of hacks. It is particularly vital for the banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) market, where security spending rises year-on-year due to the ultra-sensitive data involved. Future Market Insights estimates that the BFSI security market will grow from almost $62 billion in 2022 to a staggering $214 billion in 2032.
Another security function that will continue to grow is Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), for both consumers and businesses alike. As security breaches grow, adding more security layers has become vital for business applications, platforms, and portals.
6. Enabling Hybrid Workforces
With hybrid working here to stay, companies will begin to re-engineer their network architectures. They will adapt their network to align with lower bandwidth use in office, while growing their unified communications strategies to enable seamless and secure collaboration across multiple remote locations.
The cloud will continue to become the centre of the network universe, and the offices, devices, and users revolving around it. This leads to the continued growth of more application-oriented architecture for optimised hybrid and remote working.
The next 12 months will enable enterprises and services providers to utilise up and coming technologies to push their businesses to new heights, while simultaneously enhancing performance and efficiency.
More automation, AI, enhanced cloud capabilities, security and underlay and overlay network integration will provide enterprises and service providers with the advanced connectivity needed to transform their operations on a global scale.
This is the time for service providers to offer new solutions and extend their portfolios with new capabilities to meet changing demands.