The past few years have been a transformational time for the business world, presenting countless challenges as well as opportunities. And in 2023, this era of uncertainty is only set to accelerate – from growing inflation and economic recessions to 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, going into 2023, many leaders know they need to focus on strategizing ways to make their enterprise systems ever more resilient to constant change – and network modernisation is one crucial element.
With that in mind, here are the top trends that will determine how enterprises approach their network architecture in the new year, in an effort to imbue their operations with greater flexibility, agility, and resilience.
1. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning 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.
Companies and staff are starting to feel the impact on performance that comes with navigating between increasingly disparate multi-cloud environments. So, in response, many enterprises will look at artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) solutions to help elevate connectivity experience for 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 (RCA) to identify, isolate, and fix problems in their complex work environment.
“With more than nine in 10 businesses reporting to already have an ongoing investment in AI, it will continue to grow in popularity as businesses’ look to infuse their management solutions with greater flexibility and reactivity.”
These improvements will be essential to make enterprises more resilient to evolving market conditions and future regulatory and compliance demands.
2. Simplification – More choice and control with greater breadth of on-demand services and intent-based networking
Many businesses have seen their work environments not only grow in size, but in complexity. As a result, it’s become tougher for many enterprises to manage and optimise their offerings to the needs of the business or employees.
So, in 2023, we’ll see more firms lean on providers and solutions that can give them greater control over their services with simpler terms. Whether a business wants to change the class of service for different kinds of application traffic or decide on which latency path to take, or which cloud application they need to connect to, leaders will look for providers who can give them the power to choose what’s right for them at that moment and in as straightforward a manner as possible.
“AI and ML will be integral in bringing these solutions to fruition, by adding intelligence to drive on-demand decision-making.”
As such, 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 and may want each one to have a specific response time to its customers. So, in this case, a solution that embeds this level of flexibility of choice into the infrastructure so it can cater to rapidly changing needs is the main requirement.
And by also imbibing better connectivity technologies such as 5G and Wi-Fi 6 that offer faster speeds and lower latency, more reliable network connections will be established.
So, we can foresee a move from fixed contracts that offer minimal flexibility and agility to react to traffic changes or real-world events, to ones built on the firm’s intent. As intent is often connected to the analytical insights derived from customer activity. The ability to make changes helps enterprises better align their strategies and objectives with their costs.
3. The rise in embedded capabilities
While the past few years have seen a lot of new challenges, two challenges that pre-date the pandemic and have only become greater priorities for businesses are cybersecurity and sustainability.
As a result, more and more businesses will seek partners and tools that have already factored them into their offerings.
“Enterprises are increasingly evaluating the partners they work with in terms of their sustainability framework.”
For example, at Tata communications we saved our power consumption globally by approx. 6.2 million kWh in FY 2021-22. So, technology’s ability to enable firms to reach their environmental objectives has become a key decision-making criteria.
However, not all new, exciting technologies will dominate in the new year. For instance, satellite internet rose to popularity earlier this year. And while it may bring much needed connectivity to rural parts of the world, it will not replace submarine telecoms cables.
And 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 is fit for purpose and one that puts end-user experiences at its core. The world is shifting quickly and an offering needs to be end-to-end, we need to simplify it for the customer, that’s the key takeaway. The future will be bright for businesses who lay the groundwork keeping in mind the above trends to guide their network progress. The winners will be those that make their network future proof- by improving their connectivity solutions, adopting new age tech like AI and ML.
And moving to on-demand and intent-based networking – while embedding sustainability and security into everything.
To learn more about Tata Communications network solutions, click here.