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Navigating Enterprise Networking Into the FutureIn our fast-paced and interconnected world of today, enterprise networking is becoming mission-critical in facilitating business operations and ensuring seamless connectivity. The urgency for enterprises to embark on their network transformation journey cannot be overstated. By proactively adopting new technologies, enterprises can position themselves for business success, unleashing the true potential of the digital era. 

A few notable trends 

As technology continues to evolve, multi-cloud networking, security, and AI/ML (artificial intelligence/machine learning) in network management are among key trends shaping the future of enterprise networking. Most recently, discussions around the integration of AI, SD-WAN (software-defined wide area networking), and the latest SASE (secure access service edge) – to enable the convergence of network and security technologies – are creating paradigm shifts as companies look at a holistic approach to addressing challenges as they enhance network connectivity, security, and user experience. 

Insights from industry experts 

AI is relevant to all forms of networking, including SDWAN. While it is highly unlikely that AI will autonomously control SD-WAN, it will play an ‘assistive’ role in predicting and addressing networking/application issues,” said  Nitin Acharekar, vice president of enterprise technologies at Twimbit. “Unified security and WAN architecture (aka SASE) will likely provide better fuel (more coherent data across networking and security) helping AI to make a variety of ‘assistive’ recommendations. The growing importance of AI/ML will likely force faster transition to unified single vendor SASE solutions.”  

According to Keri Gilder, CEO, Colt Technology Services, “We recently asked around 1,000 IT decision makers in 12 countries across Europe and Asia about their key priorities. Given the increasingly sophisticated global security threats we continue to face, more than one in two (53%) cited improving security as their highest priority. This was followed by network flexibility improvements, listed by 44%. With these technologies top of mind, it’s understandable and exciting that SASE is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 25% over the next five years. 

Challenges and solutions 

Despite these exciting trends, building enterprise networking into the future comes with its fair share of challenges. In addition to scalability, security, understanding complexity of emerging technologies, and developing new skill sets for modern networking, migration from legacy to a modern networking approach remains a major pain point.  

Upgrading to modern networking approaches, such as cloud-based services, SD-WAN, and virtualized networking, can be complex and challenging,said Acharekar. He emphasized the importance of careful planning and compatibility assessments, which often involve significant changes to the network infrastructure, applications, and workflows.  

SASE provides a comprehensive approach to securing enterprise networks – a perfect intersection for network security services and technologies, hosted in the cloud and connected to the edge,” Gilder added. “Right now, the smart thing for businesses to do is to build a flexible, secure, and scalable digital infrastructure that will help them reach their full potential.”  

Future-proof your network now! 

Navigating enterprise networks into the future is a journey that must start without further delay. Network transformation is crucial in today’s rapidly evolving technological landscape. While it is essential to approach the transformation process with careful planning, strategic budgeting, robust testing, and employee training, postponing network upgrades could result in missed opportunities, increased vulnerability to cyberthreats, and loss of competitive edge. By embracing new technologies, like SASE, and creating a unified cloud-based architecture, enterprises can build secure, resilient, and future-proof networks, to unlock new opportunities and position themselves for success in an ever-evolving digital world. 

Join us at PTC’24: 21-24 January 2024 to explore the latest developments and discuss key issues in enterprise networking. Don’t miss out!


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