The NS1-sponsored study conducted by IDG examined enterprise network and application modernisation efforts, defined as the transformation of IT platforms of all types, applications, governance, and processes to achieve desired business outcomes. Results revealed that 80% of organisations are struggling to reach application delivery requirements with their existing infrastructure. But, amid pandemic concerns, efforts to modernise networks and applications to address this challenge are accelerating with 83% of all respondents reporting budget increases for these initiatives over the next three years.
In the UK, while 31% said that they had made significant progress with IT modernisation, 15% reported that either no progress had been made at all, that it was on their radar, or that it had just reached the planning stage. Only 10% had achieved their initial objectives and were optimising operations. Looking forward, however, 75% of UK respondents reported that IT modernisation budgets were expected to grow over the next three years.
“Modernisation was already on the radar for many organisations, but the pandemic has shocked the system and created a heightened sense of urgency,” said Kris Beevers, co-founder and CEO, NS1. “Our research shows that IT leaders are accelerating projects aimed to increase efficiencies and business agility, improve application performance and user experiences, and drive additional revenue.”
Within the broad scope of IT modernisation, companies are prioritising transformation initiatives for mobility (70%), remote data access (68%), automation (65%), security (61%), and IT resilience (60%). Other areas where efforts are accelerating include public and private cloud deployments (58% and 57% respectively), improvements to scalability (58%) and deployment velocity (56%). In the UK, the priorities are slightly raised for automation projects where 67% of organisations expect acceleration in the year to come.
Challenges to modernisation include a talent and skills gap, in particular for US companies (45%) compared with the UK (26%), and competing priorities, which 37% of UK firms cite as an obstacle. Aging networks and the outdated, inflexible organisational structures that often come with them are also highlighted by 40% of German respondents, compared with 36% in the US and 27% in the UK.
“Static, legacy tech drags down modernisation efforts because it lacks the flexibility and agility necessary to support dynamic, scalable applications and IT environments,” added Beevers. “Successful digital transformation starts with the underlying enterprise network and application infrastructure — DNS, DHCP, and IP address management. When purpose-built for speed, reliability, and scalability, these foundational technologies are critical in expediting modernisation projects, automating network management tasks, and increasing efficiency and operational velocity in complex heterogeneous environments.”
Adoption and Trends in the Modern IT Landscape
The NS1 study examined the adoption of modern technology across mid- to large-sized companies and uncovered the following trends.
DNS, DHCP and IP Address Management (DDI) Adoption and Use Cases
Although the study found that 45% of all respondents are currently using DDI, this figure is lower in the UK at 32%. However, whilst 48% of the full cohort plan to adopt the technology within 12 months, this figure rises to 57% in the UK. Adopters reported the most common use cases to be accelerating service discovery in microservices environments (60%) and connecting cloud and on-premise applications and data (56%). Those with plans to implement DDI cited the following use cases as the most appealing:
Modern Application Stack
Nearly all companies are adopting modern application stack solutions, many of which are aimed directly at addressing network and application performance requirements. In the UK, however, companies have fallen behind when it comes to network monitoring with just 51% reporting that they have already implemented these tools, compared with 77% in the US. There is also a wide discrepancy in the deployment of multi-CDN with 27% of UK firms having completed implementation compared with 41% in the US and 39% in Germany.
The survey suggests that this will change over the next twelve months, as 52% of UK organisations plan to implement multi-CDN and 42% to implement network monitoring tools.