As enterprise networks grow, so does the challenge of effectively managing them. This is giving rise to increased security, fraud, and other concerns, as noted by IT and telecom leaders, according to a new Oracle Communications survey report titled “Enterprise Networks in Transition: Taming the Chaos”. Companies are increasingly looking to emerging technologies, such as biometrics, artificial-intelligence, and blockchain as opportunities to improve security and control, said the study.
In June 2018, Oracle surveyed 277 IT, telecom and network decision makers globally regarding their perspectives on key business and network trends and the solutions that will help them compete and thrive in a digital world. Sixty-six percent of respondents represented companies with at least 11 locations and 62 percent managed operations in multiple countries.
Separately, software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) was also listed as a critical technology underpinning the evolution of enterprise networks. Yet, North America lags other regions in software-defined networking (SDN) deployment (50 percent versus 65-78 percent).
“In today’s digital economy, enterprises face increasing operational complexities, heightened customer expectations and an unprecedented amount of chaos in the form of security breaches and communications overload that require a higher level of network sophistication than ever before,” said Doug Suriano, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Communications.
Some of the key issues addressed in the report include:
Security poses an ongoing challenge: 91 percent of respondents ranked security as a top three challenge, particularly in Asia and Latin America, where mobile usage is most popular. Additionally, more than one-third of respondents ranked security as their top challenge in relation to planning, deploying and managing their enterprise networks. As mobile devices continue to expand and redefine the network edge, security continues to be a top-of-mind issue.
Emerging tech seen as possible solution: Seventy-six percent of respondents agreed that they require new solutions to improve visibility and control over their entire network. Sixty-nine percent of respondents noted they will use biometrics in network security use cases and 57 percent artificial intelligence (AI). In tandem, AI and machine learning were also identified as key technologies in supporting quality of service and cost efficiencies (30 percent each), while blockchain was identified as a top technology to improve network control by 27 percent of respondents.
Channel proliferation drives greater complexity: 76 percent of survey respondents stated that the breadth and reach of their enterprise network is expanding. Network users increasingly have more channels available to them, which means that managing time and productivity is becoming increasingly difficult. While voice and e-mail are the predominant communications channels, video, chat, and other in-app communications are growing increasingly popular. This impacts how the network is deployed and managed and what defines the edge of the network.
Leaders are focused on fraud: At least 83 percent of respondents identified virtually all types of network and telecoms fraud as a serious issue, with more than half citing identity fraud as a primary concern in relation to real-time communications. Solutions must adapt and evolve in anticipation of current and constantly evolving threats, particularly as network complexity increases.
SD-WAN is critical for evolving enterprise networks: The majority (71 percent) of respondents agreed that SD-WAN is critical for their enterprise networks to evolve, and a greater share (88 percent) of respondents from global companies with 101 or more locations said the same. Amongst large, global companies considering SD-WAN, convenience and ease of deployment was the top driver for 48 percent, followed by reliability (36 percent) and traffic-related flexibility (34 percent).