In 2023, businesses will make strong strides towards reclaiming control of their networks, including ramping up cloud connectivity and transitioning towards on-demand and intent-based services.
The past few years have been a transformative period for the business world, marked by both challenges and opportunities. In 2023, this era of uncertainty is set to accelerate further, as businesses face growing inflation, economic recessions, the ongoing global chip shortage, impending regulatory changes, and the expected consolidation of providers.
However, enterprises have also become increasingly comfortable with uncertainty. As a result, in 2023, many leaders recognise the need to focus on strategising ways to make their enterprise systems ever more resilient to constant change – and network modernisation is one crucial element.
In this piece, we’ll cover three top trends that will determine how enterprises approach their network architecture in 2023, in an effort to imbue their operations with greater flexibility, agility, and resilience.
- Utilising AI, ML to ramp up flexibility, resilience and compliance
To cater to the hybrid workforce and the growing desire for greater flexibility by employees, many businesses have continued to move towards hybrid cloud and SaaS models over the past few years.
Many companies and their staff are starting to feel the performance impact of navigating between increasingly disparate multi-cloud environments. In response, enterprises are looking at AI and ML solutions to help enhance the connectivity experience for their employees.
AI can identify patterns and detect anomalies more effectively, and provide intelligent actionable insights that elevate the performance of connectivity services. It also enables enterprises to conduct a much faster root cause analysis to identify, isolate, and fix problems in their complex work environment.
As more than nine in 10 businesses report ongoing investments in AI, its popularity will continue to grow as companies seek to imbue their management solutions with greater flexibility and reactivity. These improvements will be essential to make enterprises more resilient to evolving market conditions, as well as future regulatory and compliance demands.
- Simplification – more choice and control with greater breadth of on-demand services and intent-based networking
Many businesses have seen their work environments grow not only in size but also in complexity, making it tougher for enterprises to manage and optimise their offerings to meet the needs of the business and its employees.
So, in 2023, more firms will lean on providers and solutions that can give them greater control over their services with simpler terms. Leaders will look for providers who can give them the power to choose what’s right for them at that moment. Whether a business wants to change the class of service for different kinds of application traffic, decide on which latency path to take, or which cloud they need to connect to, they will prefer options that are as straightforward as possible.
Again, AI and ML will be integral in bringing these solutions to fruition, by adding intelligence to drive on-demand decision-making. As a result, the next generation of networking will be a lot more intent-based to meet the specific needs of businesses and end users.
For instance, an enterprise may have 10 different applications, each requiring a specific response time for customers. In this case, a solution that embeds this level of flexibility and choice into the infrastructure — so it can cater to rapidly changing needs — is the main requirement.
By also imbibing better connectivity technologies such as 5G and Wi-Fi 6, which offer faster speeds and lower latency, more reliable network connections will be established.
Thus, we foresee a shift from fixed contracts that offer minimal flexibility and agility solutions to ones that align with the firm’s intent. Intent is often informed by the analytical insights derived from customer activity. With greater ability to make changes, enterprises can better align their strategies and objectives with their costs.
- The rise in embedded capabilities
Cybersecurity and sustainability have been ongoing challenges for businesses, and they have become even more pressing in recent years. Despite the new challenges that emerged during the pandemic, these two issues remain top priorities for businesses today.
As a result, businesses are increasingly seeking partners and tools that prioritise cybersecurity and sustainability in their offerings. Many enterprises are evaluating their partners in terms of their sustainability framework, and technology’s ability to enable firms to reach their environmental objectives has become a key decision-making criterion.
However, not all new, exciting technologies will dominate in 2023. For instance, satellite internet rose to popularity earlier this year. While it may bring much-needed connectivity to rural parts of the world, it will not replace submarine telecoms cables.
On that note, as businesses continue to expand into less advanced economies, they’ll look for partners that are able to expand with them and optimise their networks to thrive in these regions, despite their less developed digital infrastructure.
An exciting future for networks
Businesses need a network that prioritises end-user experiences at its core. The key takeaway is to simplify the offering for the customer, ensuring an end-to-end solution. The future will be bright for firms that lay the groundwork by considering the above trends as a guide for their network progress. Winners in this space will be those who future-proof their network by improving connectivity solutions and adopting new technologies such as AI and ML.
Ultimately, businesses can stay ahead by moving to on-demand and intent-based networking, while embedding sustainability and security into everything.