Thursday, 23rd May 2019
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Transforming Networking to Accelerate Connected Industries

Legacy networking is focused on connecting the user, but the future of networking is in connecting industries. It has been forecasted by Gartner that there will be over 20 billion connected devices globally by 2020. As we move into the era of connected devices, networking needs to be agile, flexible and hyper-scalable to support transformation across industry verticals. By Mark Daley, Director, Digital Strategy and Business Development, Epsilon.

Legacy networking is focused on connecting the user, but the future of networking is in connecting industries. It has been forecasted by Gartner that there will be over 20 billion connected devices globally by 2020. As we move into the era of connected devices, networking needs to be agile, flexible and hyper-scalable to support transformation across industry verticals.

There is potential in new technologies that will change the way we live and work. However, the challenge is to make them a reality. The rapid adoption of Cloud, AI, Big Data and IoT technology brought about the need for a new networking model that can accelerate innovation instead of hindering it. Connected industries will require a network that can evolve from serving a finite number of customers to rapidly scaling to serve billions of networked devices.

Accenture estimates the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) could add $14.2 trillion to the global economy by 2030. To support these connected industry IoT applications, Service Providers need to change their networking model to go beyond just connecting users.

Legacy networks were not built to support the demands of new technologies. Long lead times and rigid contracts associated with legacy services restrict the ability to quickly serve growing demand. For example, if a logistics company is successful in their pilot IoT deployment and wants to roll it out to sites globally, they will need networks that can deliver new levels of agility, flexibility and scalability. They need to be able to do so without having to wait months for the network to be ready for deployment.

The future of connected industry will be delivered by Service Providers that can support innovation and the development of new solutions. This is not just some piece-meal change, but rather an entire shift from traditional networking to a new networking model. Being resistant to change simply means being stuck in a commoditised market selling traditional services that will eventually lead to declining growth year-on-year.

Future businesses have to adopt a network-centric mindset to rapidly deploy, connect and scale their operations. In fact, their future depends on it. The uptick in connected technologies promises a new era of solutions that can become the revenue drivers of the future. If Service Providers can deliver networking with a new model, they will be positioned to grow in the long term and go beyond the run-off-the-mill telecom services.

With a new networking model, connectivity will be more flexible, agile and hyper-scalable. On-demand connectivity allows industries to deploy and scale solutions at any time. This access to instant deployment will lead to higher service quality and experience for end users while mitigating risk for industries. Instead of being tied down by year long contracts, businesses should be given the flexibility to turn up or down network services with scalable bandwidth capacity that meet their needs. The traditional way of provisioning network is no longer relevant in this new era.

The success of connected industries will rely on the speed of developments in networking. If the network can support transformation, we will see aspirations for smart manufacturing, autonomous vehicles, data-driven product development, global AI-powered logistics and smart cities become a reality.

By supporting connected industries with a strong global network fabric, self-service model and click-to-connect provisioning, Service Providers will become the driving force behind industry innovations. If they can provide an agile, flexible, and hyper-scalable network that accelerates transformation, they will be able to forge a stronger future for their partners in the ever-growing connected world.

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