When it comes to enterprise networks, technology isn't standing still. Over the last few years, the pressure that IT departments are under has increased hugely as the technology sector undergoes a major transformation to support a digital-first future.
The impact of mobile devices, cloud computing, big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) will all greatly increase the demands being placed on the next generation of enterprise networks, so it will be vital that businesses have the right solutions in place to cope with these - and crucially, are able to scale up to handle the requirements of years to come.
The changing network environment
One factor that almost every business will have to consider is the huge growth in the number of devices on their network. This will cover not only end-user items such as smartphones and tablets, but also a wide array of IoT sensors sending information back to data centres on a range of metrics.
Managing this large number of devices will prove challenging for many businesses. According to recent figures from IDC, the majority of businesses underestimate how many devices they have in their data centre by up to 50 per cent, so gaining a full understanding of exactly what your network looks like will be a critical first step.
Indeed, Gartner estimates that by the end of this year, there will be more than 6.4 billion 'Things' in use around the world, a 30 per cent increase from 2015. With so much data coming in, businesses will need robust networking solutions in order to ensure they can cope with the influx.
IoT will also present a challenge as it represents a complex convergence of technological and physical systems. Demands related to device connectivity, data analysis and security and integration with existing IT systems will all put pressure on networks.
The demands of tomorrow's networks
As a result, choosing the right platform will be critical if businesses are to successfully meet the demands of tomorrow's networks. For instance, strong wireless capabilities need to be a top priority as mobile and IoT come to take up a larger proportion of business' IT landscapes.
The need to collect large amounts of data and analyse it in real-time will also present challenges for enterprises. For analytics tools to be effective, they demand fast, latency-free solutions.
The right tools for the job
Businesses will therefore need to develop advanced networking solutions that are able to react to growing demands from new devices and ensure a smooth service. To do this, it's important that they choose the right networking partner.
In order to be successful, enterprises need a partner that understands the unique demands of the business and is aligned with their strategy. The landscape and the rules of business have been fundamentally transformed by the digital era.
As such, a network by itself is no longer a source of competitive advantage for the enterprise. Rather, it is a critical component of an overall business strategy, and will need to support everything a company does. Employees and stakeholders don't expect to have their activities held back by poor connectivity, so having the right solutions will be essential in building the right foundations for tomorrow's businesses.
If you need help choosing the right connectivity for your business call us today. Or why not watch Jon Nowell, Head of Product Management at TalkTalk Business, explaining: How to deliver quality of experience through the network of the future @ IP EXPO Manchester.