Network Investment Priorities Shift Due to Pandemic-Related Disruption

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a mixed effect on enterprise networks. Many organizations have put network upgrades on hold or canceled them altogether due to the current economic uncertainty. At the same time, the need to support a remote workforce and enable contactless operations is creating demand for new networking capabilities.

Despite the downward pressure on their budgets, IT decision-makers are prioritizing investments that will improve network performance. Because many IT teams are working from home, remote monitoring and management tools and greater automation have become essential to operations.

Improved Performance and Automation

In an IDC study of enterprise networking decision-makers conducted in May and June of 2020, 32 percent of respondents reported plans to increase investments in data center networking equipment, and 31 percent said they are planning to spend more on network management tools. A recent Omdia survey of data center network operators identified four must-have features for today’s networks:

  • Increased port speeds. Organizations need to continue to upgrade and evolve their networks to remain competitive and current. Networks are becoming increasingly diverse, creating the need for more open, standards-based equipment.
  • Application awareness and automated tracking of virtual machines. As more data center traffic gets routed from central data centers to the network edge, administrators need to monitor network traffic independent of the physical location.
  • Support for AI. Data center operators believe that AI can improve the way their networks handle increasing amounts of resource-intense traffic.

Data center network operators said that data center traffic is surging, and they have mandates to improve application performance and support innovative new services. Greater network performance combined with increased automation and streamlined administration are critical to meet those mandates.

Great Visibility

VIAVI’s 13th annual State of the Network study finds that the surge in remote work is also creating a need for comprehensive visibility into the network infrastructure. Visibility into remote user experiences is particularly important, cited by nearly 60 percent of study respondents. Network teams say the top troubleshooting challenge they now face is understanding end-user experience.

The global pandemic is also bringing a rise in cybersecurity threats, and networks are more exposed to vulnerabilities due to increased connectivity. In light of that, 73 percent of respondents said they need comprehensive visibility into network infrastructure to enhance cybersecurity efforts and speed remediation.

More than half (54 percent) have already deployed Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and another 24 percent plan to do so in the next 12 months. However, only 57 percent have a mechanism in place to monitor those devices. Increased network visibility is critical to ensuring the performance and security of IoT applications.

Valuable Expertise

Technologent’s consultants and network engineers can help you make the business case for network upgrades and look for ways to balance capital outlays with reductions in total cost of ownership. We will sit down (virtually) with your IT team and business stakeholders to discuss your needs and requirements and gain insight into what’s working and what’s not. Our experts will then conduct a detailed assessment of your existing infrastructure and provide an unbiased analysis of where your network is today compared with where it needs to be.

The disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging IT to maintain optimal service delivery while keeping a lid on costs. The right network upgrades coupled with monitoring, management and automation tools can help you meet these demands and support today’s work-from-home strategies. Technologent is here to help.

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