70% of CEOs say their network is slowing business growth: study

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A total of 70% of CEOs believe their network maturity level is negatively affecting their business delivery.

This was among the key findings from NTT’s 2022 Global Network Report, conducted by Jigsaw Research.

The study, which surveyed decision-makers/influencers in IT and wider business roles across 21 countries in five regions, and across 16 industry sectors, also revealed that the adoption of hybrid, distributed work environments with multiple connected devices is erupting through enterprises but, despite investments, just two in five businesses say they are very satisfied with their current network capabilities.

This has resulted in a new era of network modernisation, with the majority of executives relying on it to enable business growth (>90%) and support artificial intelligence (AIOps) (91%).

With distributed hybrid work models presenting far more attack opportunities for malicious actors, the importance of network security has become a major component of network architecture.

This has inspired organisations to move to more centralised, cloud-based security solutions and a managed endpoint security model, as well as increasing their investments in network cybersecurity. Most business leaders believe new threats will drive increased security demands for their enterprise network, requiring a deeper level of access control and inspection (93%).

Respondents reported that their highest concerns, above even cost, are security, modernisation, and access to a full suite of services from their provider. In terms of managing the network, more than 90% of senior executives prefer the network as a service model, citing the flexibility to scale up and down as a major benefit.

Additionally, a complexity in deploying effective AIOps and automation solutions, which simplify ongoing network operations but are complex to configure initially, make the network as a service model more attractive.

“Levels of investment in the network have surged, with the results of this research showing many organisations are leaning towards key partners and managed service solutions to fulfil their requirements. This is primarily to drive security and gain access to skills that can both optimise capability and accelerate innovation-based advances,” said Amit Dhingra, Executive Vice President at NTT Ltd Network Services.

“We are in the midst of a modernisation of network services, however, many of the solutions that are currently in play for a minority will become standard inside just two years. Instead, organisations should turn their attention to a network as a service model. Businesses should consider security, skills competency, ability to scale, private 5G, and software-defined networking when selecting a network service provider. In the long term, blockchain, further AI and automation, AR and VR, quantum networking, 6G, and photonic computing will affect how networks are delivered,” he concluded.