Business Connectivity: Where is it up to, and where is it headed?

Oct 9, 2023 | News

Business Connectivity is fluid, constantly changing with evolving technologies and customer expectations. In recent years, bandwidth and the performance of critical cloud applications have emerged as two of the prominent market shifts as businesses switch their cloud infrastructures from datacentre servers to 100% hosted cloud environments.

Bandwidth

Over the last five years, bandwidth demand on Vaioni’s network has increased by around 200%. Likely due to increased cloud adoption and the pressures of the pandemic, customers are consuming, on average, twice the volume of online data compared with 2018.

Much of this bandwidth increase has been organic. There are now many more devices with internet access, computing power has improved to cope with heavier usage of demanding applications such as Teams and Zoom, and adoption of SIP is quickening ahead of the 2025 switch-off.

Cloud Applications

At a considerable scale, businesses are moving away from traditional cloud strategies and migrating their entire infrastructures to hosted environments like AWS and Azure. CIOs and IT Teams appreciate the value these migrations bring to user experiences, performance, and security.

As performance and security control can be lost when an application is accessed online, many security-conscious CIOs and IT Teams require performance SLAs on their critical applications, especially with the adoption of SD-WAN and home-working. User experience for applications such as Salesforce and MS Office365 and uninterrupted access to VoIP, SIP, and video facilities must also be ensured.

How can channel businesses differentiate their connectivity offering?

Though there are several actions channel businesses can take to differentiate their connectivity offerings, but two stand out above all others: innovation and customer experience.

Innovating across connectivity can be difficult as corporate needs have grown in complexity over the years, with demands around security, IoT, resilience, cloud application access, and reliability varying between businesses. Though many market providers simply provide an internet connection, connectivity covers much more, not least choice. Businesses must be offered an ecosystem of options around technology and carriers, and with over 40 carriers in the UK market and multiple technologies, choice is plentiful.

There’s also the ability to provide value-added services. As IT Teams manage more sites and complexity than ever, features such as comprehensive analytics and insight are proving to be game changers. Here, it is essential to incorporate cyber security to help businesses protect their networks and users, access critical applications securely with robust cloud connections, and support businesses with the safe shift from MPLS to SD-WAN or hybrid.

However, the biggest component to elevate your offering is customer experience. If you offer a reliable service that doesn’t compromise on the quality of support or performance, you are already ahead of most of the competition. By demonstrating faster deliveries, proactive support and monitoring, and high in-life customer service, the customer experience benchmark can be achieved, if not exceeded.

The in-demand technologies driving change

From a connectivity perspective, the spread of FTTP looks set to have a major impact. So, too, will 5G and IoT as more devices are connected within professional settings. As 100Mb Ethernet disappears, many businesses will be forced to change to FTTP, 1Gb – 10Gb Ethernet, or, as bandwidth reduces in price, adopt 100% cloud strategies.

From a technology overlay perspective, Secure SD-WAN and its cloud equivalent, SASE, are primed to revolutionise how businesses approach WAN solutions by enhancing security at both the WAN and Branch (LAN/WLAN) architecture level. Incorporating and delivering NGFW, Secure Web Gateway, and CASB across the entire network, with a single pane of glass to monitor performance and security, the technology is a colossal game-changer.

Challenges in the connectivity space and how they can be addressed

The threat of cybercrime remains persistent but can be mitigated by incorporating cyber solutions into the connectivity layer. Not only will businesses benefit from the ease of maintaining a single provider of connectivity and security, but both can be scaled together more efficiently.

Similarly vital is building the right connectivity solution for a business, using the right technologies and inherently incorporating resilience end-to-end. For example, SD-WAN has evolved from a simple on-site box to integrate security, automation, and orchestration at branch and WAN levels while guaranteeing performance to cloud applications.

Whatever challenges the future holds, by working with a proven connectivity and Secure SD-WAN specialist you can meet them with a renewed confidence.

 

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