We are living in an era of digital transformation, evolving business environments, and a growing need for connectivity, forcing us to be constantly alert to new technologies to streamline supply models. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused companies to rapidly change their working practices and accelerated the transition to digital and cloud, underscoring the value of their capabilities for enterprise networks. Today, WAN, SD-WAN, and cloud connectivity services are transforming the enterprise network, but what’s next?
While most vendors have a comprehensive view of the market and its various competencies, at Lumen – named Leader in the 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Network Services, Global, for the second consecutive year – we believe that the key to staying ahead of the curve is to anticipate trends that will improve operations, as identified in Gartner’s report.
Anticipate or perish
Gartner’s prediction that enterprise data networking services will represent $131 billion this year – a 3% increase over 2021 – gives us a glimpse of the magnitude of this rapidly evolving market. Therefore, as part of our strategy, we continue our progress toward including and analyzing the seven trends below:
- Supply chain
The approach is to use a visible and self-service software-based model, through portals and APIs.
Refers to the investment in continuously improving customer experience, from quoting to streamlining installation delivery times.
- Network transport
We are witnesses to how Internet services are replacing MPLS lines as the primary WAN transport technology.
- Access technologies
Replacement of traditional optical Ethernet lines by MPLS and internet, mainly because of their differences in prices and capabilities.
- Network overlay
SD-WAN services are expected to be based only on a hybrid combination of MPLS and Internet, or simply on underlying Internet links.
- Managed services
ISPs and enterprises will tend to split network management functions, thus avoiding congestion of workload.
The downward pressure on network services is relentless, therefore there’s an expectation of reduced investment levels to compete in the market, and more opportunities for the participation of smaller providers.
Leaders of the Future
There’s no doubt that these trends must be considered for us to continue evolving the services we offer as global network providers. However, we keep seeing changes in business requirements and buying criteria, so we must remain focused on existing needs to allow companies to capitalize on emerging applications and drive them through the 4th Industrial Revolution.
This is certainly a great area of opportunity for all of us looking to drive global connectivity, strengthen execution, determine plans for the future or rethink approaches. As leaders, we must continue driving the market, aware of global needs, and developing new business models that will help us further boost the industry.
Jaime A. Durán
Director of Connectivity, Media, and IP Products for the Northern Cluster