The network has become a key enabler for the organisation. A differentiator that ensures that digital and data can flow smoothly, and that connectivity and collaboration remain seamless and accessible.
It is the network that enables the future of the company, and it is the network that ensures cloud, services, systems and solutions are consumed and delivered on time and to impeccable standards. This is the new frontier, where the war for customer retention and engagement will be won or lost by networks that are nimble, adaptable and scalable.
Customers expect their technologies, applications, devices, systems and solutions to work perfectly across multiple cloud architectures and virtual environments. Organisations need networks that are defined by their agility, flex and scale so that they can meet these ever-evolving customer demands, and stay ahead of the trends that are shaping the future of compute and networking in 2022.
The IDC and Limelight Networks research paper entitled ‘Outlook for Edge Services’ found that there is likely to be a 40% increase in edge network deployment by 2022 with 60% of all network resources deployed at the remote edge, or service provider locations. The same research also found that while edge is very clearly a burgeoning trend, so is the need for a network that allows for organisations to fully realise this potential.
According to McKinsey, another trend that’s likely to gain momentum in 2022 is the use of 5G broadband networks and the Internet of Things (IoT) to increase network availability and business capability across multiple sectors and applications. This, in turn will see organisations pivot their thinking to increase digitisation for improved service delivery and innovation.
By investing into high-level network agility, organisations will see improvements in mobility and scale, as well as gain the ability develop innovative solutions that are driven by automation and intelligence. This ties in with the trend that has dominated 2021, and will likely continue to gain ground in 2022 – responsive and resilient connectivity that’s capable of handling and interpreting immense volumes of data and translating it into business value.
Smart networks that can learn and adapt are also likely to see increased uptake in 2022. These leverage intelligent technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and robot process automation (RPA) to streamline systems and improve customer experiences.
This taps into the trend for faster, better more; and into the growing need to provide personalised customer experiences. This is the space where organisations will battle it out for the customer heart and mind, where retailers and B2C companies will seek out new ways of connecting customers and data to deliver unique touchpoints in experience and engagement.
Finally, one of the biggest trends shaping the future of the network lies in the arms of emergent technologies such as IoT, AI, machine learning, and smart cities. According to the TrendForce Tech Industry Trends for 2022 Report, network connectivity will form a key component of driverless solutions and smart city systems.
Networks must leverage the right technology and infrastructure to outsmart the future – to be capable of delivering innovation at scale. This intelligence will evolve at scale to provide smart services, healthcare and connectivity – agile networks in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom are already in place – and this ubiquity will trickle down into the workplace and organisation to empower every employee and delight every customer.
While these trends are shaping the global landscape, this is the time for South African organisations to look to connectivity products and solutions that can be architected to fit the local context.
The past two years have seen companies invest and adapt, now it is time to evolve. Moving onwards into 2022, companies are still facing the same complexities and uncertainties imposed by the pandemic in 2021, but there is investment into into agile networks and intelligent solutions then the business is on a solid foundation to increase speed, innovation, and digital business transformation.