Enterprise Cloud: Data Center networking

Published on 03 Sep 2020

The role of IT is fundamentally changing from a cost-efficient enablement technology to a more strategic element of the enterprise. For companies born before the digital era, IT is a key player on their path to digital transformation; for more recent businesses designed with technology at their core, IT represents a foundational pillar on top of which everything else is built. With this shifting role, IT’s decades-long emphasis on TCO is being eclipsed by a new-found focus on security and automation. Whether it’s the continuous risks posed by a dynamic threat landscape, the threat of digital disruption, or an inability to keep pace with the latest trends, virtually every enterprise needs to be more agile. 

Shifting Priorities:

As technology evolves, it drives changes in what companies expect from—and how they approach—IT. This, in turn, changes the way solutions are seen and evaluated. A recent PwC survey of enterprise IT leaders reveals their top priorities for data center networking solutions

Major Insights into Networking Priorities:

This research into IT leader priorities yielded a number of valuable insights into how data center networking solutions must evolve.

Insight #1: Security is more than just a CISO consideration:

That security tops the list of enterprise priorities is not surprising. The industry has been rattled by a constant barrage of breaches and attacks, all of which seem to be increasing in both frequency and impact—to the point that security is now a board-level discussion at virtually every enterprise. What is surprising is that it’s not just security teams that consider effective defense a top priority. The PwC survey found that networking leaders consider security the top priority for their data center networking strategies. This signals an all-hands-on-deck mentality. Within IT, you’re either part of the solution, or you’re part of the problem.  

Insight #2: Automation has overtaken TCO as a priority:

Automation has overtaken TCO as a primary driver for enterprise IT, ranking just behind security for both CIOs and VPs of IT. However, it’s worth noting that both agility and technology innovation rank in the top five for both sets of stakeholders. Considered collectively, automation, agility, and innovation suggest that future benchmarks for data center networking will be more about IT’s ability to keep pace than to contain costs. If the network interferes with digital transformation and new service delivery, then CIOs and their networking teams will find corporate life more difficult.

Insight #3: Cloud is here and now:

Cloud will be the context against which all of these changes play out. Companies will not simply retool their existing environments to create a more secure, more automated network; it will require a greater commitment than that. Enterprises not already in the cloud will have to move some or most of their workloads to either public or private clouds over the next three years.

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