> 2021 Networking Trends with Mike Fratto from 451 Research

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2021 Networking Trends with Mike Fratto from 451 Research

With the unexpected shift to remote work, there is no doubt that networking infrastructures have evolved drastically over the past year. We sat down with Mike Fratto from 451 Research at our Virtual Sales Kick off, to find out more about current trends in the networking space and the transformations that have taken place in this new work-from-home reality¹

What do you see as the top three networking trends over the next 12-18 months?

  1. The distribution of application architectures continues to be a major trend and work from home initiatives due to Covid-19 have sped those plans along. Applications are driving everything that is going on in the networking space including performance management, connectivity requirements, and supporting end users and remote workers. Work-from-home has resulted in a gap in remote connectivity because of the increase in VPN capacity required by a much larger remote employee base has caused scaling issues which has led to a demand for companies looking to service providers or cloud services for their connectivity needs.
  2. Increased use of cloud computing has caused the distribution of application architectures to grow and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. For instance, an application may be hosted in more than one cloud service or network edge. As a result, connectivity is becoming increasingly more complex, and IT workers will need to address a more architecturally complicated application infrastructure.
  3. Organizations require highly skilled employees with broader knowledge that can maintain organizational simplicity amid a convoluted infrastructure. In general, companies are focused on operationalizing themselves in a way that will allow them to benefit from software driven services, flexibility in networks and consumption pricing.

What are the top networking challenges for businesses moving forward?

  1. One of the biggest challenges for businesses is re-thinking and maintaining their access and security architecture to be able to accommodate remote work and support the use of distributed SaaS applications.
  2. Companies are putting more emphasis managing remote users connected via broadband which will cause a shift to front-end cloud services and will want tools to track and monitor end-user traffic to aid in performance management and troubleshooting.
  3. There is also increased pressure on the role of IT managers, as they need to expand management and support into the end users home network. Organizations need their networks to be more responsive, with improved security, provisioning, and automated control for employees to maximize their productivity remotely at home.”

The transition to remote work has resulted in increased complexity in networking infrastructure. Now more than ever, organizations require highly skilled IT teams that can manage this scaling infrastructure while maintaining high-level security. As remote work will remain the norm for many corporate cultures, organizations will continue to seek adoption of new services that will allow them to increase flexibility and improve performance.

Mike Fratto is a Senior Analyst at 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence.

¹451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, Voice of the Enterprise: Digital Pulse, Coronavirus Flash Survey, October 2020