Advances in technology have always driven changes in the business landscape. For instance, the development of the PC, fax machine, internet, and mobile phones have revolutionised how businesses are conducted, leading to new ways of working and collaboration while providing enterprises with more ways to connect directly with their customers.
We are now at the edge of another major transformation, with the next driver being 5G mobile connectivity. Besides driving end-user applications and concepts like the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence, the increase in internet speed and connectivity afforded by 5G will unlock new use cases and business opportunities for enterprises. This revolution cannot be timelier with the pandemic and hybrid working causing increased bandwidth requirements and growing demands for reduced latency.
To stay ahead of the competition, enterprises need to start building their network of the future to drive growth and deal with changes in their industry.
The era of data
Global data creation and replication is expected to grow 23% between 2020 and 2025, where much of this growth will come from IoT data such as security cameras and social media. In an era where increasing amounts of data are generated by businesses today, the way to pull ahead is to extract as many insights as possible from data.
Mobile communications have evolved greatly as well, with the current 4G networks allowing consumers to stream high-definition videos and surf the web on the go. However, 4G is mostly limited to the consumer as business use cases require much faster speeds and lower latency than what can currently be provided.
5G can transform enterprises, but only with the right network infrastructure in place. By deploying a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) that focuses on end-user applications, enterprises can revolutionise many aspects of their business. For instance, the manufacturing sector can automate its factories and set up smart offices. Power and energy enterprises can monitor the conditions of their solar and wind farm equipment at remote locations through IoT. Logistics enterprises can have real-time updates for their tracking, supply chain, and inventory systems.
Navigating the hybrid, data-driven world
With the marketplace for IoT-related services expected to reach a total of $96 billion in the APAC region by 2023, more enterprises with facilities and factories in remote locations will be looking to gather more value and insights from their data through IoT. A modern network that utilises SD-WAN with a cloud infrastructure can process large amounts of data quickly.
By analysing data at the edge robustly, enterprises can quickly adjust and improve without a drop in system performance. Through improved connectivity, enterprises can use data to react faster to unexpected events and do so with data-driven decision making.
As enterprises deploy more solutions and technologies that ride on 5G, network management can become increasingly complex. This is especially true for enterprises with a global presence. Enterprises can achieve greater business efficiency and meet evolving data demands with SD-WAN.
With hybrid work becoming more prevalent and accepted, there will be days when offices are full, and others when most of the workforce is working remotely. Videoconferencing is also likely here to stay as people work remotely. All these factors will cause bandwidth demands to fluctuate, requiring network management to be more fluid and dynamic.
However, there is no need to start buying more bandwidth, as SD-WAN’s efficient traffic routing ensures that corporate networks remain fast even with more remote workers. Productivity across the organisation will increase through digital transformation, and will result in 24/7 management access to corporate networks that are fast, stable, and secure regardless of employee location. This also helps deliver both a better customer and employee experience overall.
Security should not be overlooked as well. As bandwidth demands and remote access to corporate networks increase, enterprises need to ensure that their public or hybrid cloud environments have secure protocols and policies in place.
The time is now
The state of your network is critical to ensuring how connected your business is, how secure your business’s data is stored, and how employees can collaborate effectively with the choice to work from anywhere. Regardless of whether you want to expand or be more efficient in your business, SD-WAN and 5G can set your enterprise up for success by improving the performance and agility of your connectivity.