DX through Connectedness and Connectivity

The disruption was expected, but it was catalyzed by needs driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. Research by the International Data Corporation (IDC) found that, even without COVID, the scale of traffic traversing the network continues to expand as more users, devices, and applications flood the network, creating the need for higher bandwidth connections at faster speeds.

Businesses worldwide have been undertaking digital transformation (DX) efforts to embrace 3rd Platform technologies such as cloud computing, ubiquitous mobile connectivity, big data analytics, and Internet of Things (IoT) deployments—pandemic or no pandemic. The crisis merely pushed the timelines for these changes forward.

Significance of Network Technologies

Key elements of network transformation initiatives include security as a paramount concern, software-defined capabilities extending across all areas of the network—from the data center to enterprise campus, and out to the wide-area network—and a desire among enterprises for a network with cloud-like agility and flexibility to support the increasingly demanding needs of the business.

Connectedness and connectivity have become even more important in 2021, given that businesses are much more distributed in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Enterprises have had to quickly pivot to support remote workers, increasing their reliance on cloud platforms. Video collaboration tools turned into mission-critical applications. Connectedness is now the glue that holds the modern digital world together.

The Future of Connectedness

IDC gathered its leading telecommunications, networking, and services analysts to define what the Future of Connectedness looks like: The timely movement of data across people, things, applications, and processes to create seamless digital experiences.

IDC also created the Future of Connectedness Continuum framework, which is comprised of three separate, but interdependent, layers that must interact seamlessly and continuously. These include:

  • The Cycle of Data – these are the actions taken when data is in motion but requires agile, autonomous, pervasive, secure, and resilient connectivity.
  • Data Consumers – these are the consumers of the data in motion.
  • Connectivity-Driven Outcomes – these are the outcomes achieved when data is moved seamlessly and provide value to organizations and individuals alike.

The Future of Connectedness means organizations need to look to connectivity as a strategic element for maintaining, sustaining, and growing business operations, and this will require additional investment, more strategic planning, and greater oversight.

“Connectivity is the common denominator in how we interact with the world around us today. As digital interactions increase, it becomes clear that connectivity is not yet seamless, nor pervasive,” IDC Worldwide Telecom, Mobility and IoT research group vice president and general manager Carrie MacGillivray said. “The evolution of access technologies is going to accelerate the digital connection and in turn, unveil the Future of Connectedness—between people, things, processes, and applications.”

Future of Connectedness 2021 Predictions

Based on its research findings, IDC’s has released its top 10 worldwide Future of Connectedness 2021 predictions:

  • Through 2022, 40% of enhanced digital customer experiences will continue to fail because of underinvestment in intelligent, dynamic network architectures and technologies required for modern applications.
  • By 2022, 60% of all network resources will be deployed at remote edge or service provider locations, allowing business leaders to leverage the agility of their network resources, up from 20% in 2020.
  • By 2022, 90% of G2000 will revisit their commercial real estate footprint post-COVID-19, as many plans on augmented workspaces do not address the connectivity needs to support a hybrid work model.
  • By 2022, 90% of enterprises will still be struggling to find the “killer” 5G application and meaningful ROI on the up-front investment because of continued limited integration with tangential technologies.
  • By 2023, operational complexities due to enabling robust employee connectivity will shift 25% of connectivity budgets to CaaS solutions to bundle bandwidth, security, collaboration, and mobile services.
  • By 2023, enterprises will get a 30% boost in productivity by re-architecting networks to include a “branch of one” operating model, enabling the same secure application experience as they get on premises.
  • By 2023, 60% of enterprises will deploy AI-enabled tools and functions to manage network performance issues proactively to deliver improved performance of applications by as much as 35%.
  • By 2025, 75% of enterprises in industrial verticals like manufacturing, logistics, and mining will adopt private 5G networks to achieve network reliability/coverage and maintain data control and security.
  • In 2024, 85% of G2000 will see the network admin as strategic since it involves working with app developers, the CISO office, and line of business to ensure business continuity, compliance, and resiliency.
  • By 2024, 45% of large venues such as stadiums, airports, and campuses will adopt elastic, scalable on-demand networks to consolidate access technologies to seamlessly blend traffic between things and people.

“Data lubricates the digital economy,” IDC Vice President for Telecom and IoT research at IDC Asia/Pacific Hugh Ujhazy said. “All enterprises operate within the global economy and need to have visibility into the state of their business. This visibility, alongside data and analytics-driven insights, allows for the making of sound business decisions. The expansion of the data landscape to include increasing numbers of people and things is going to accelerate digital connection and in turn, unveil the Future of Connectedness.