IoT, edge and big data causes network overload with rearchitecture the answer, report notes

Enterprises are evidently adopting emerging technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and edge computing – but the network is struggling with the demands being placed upon it.

That’s the key finding from a new study by Accenture. The Network Readiness Survey, which was based on a poll of 300 senior IT and business executives, found that while more than three quarters (77%) of organisations have invested in IoT and edge, just over a third (36%) said they were ‘very satisfied’ their network had the capabilities required to support their business needs.

Bandwidth scored similarly – only 38% of respondents said they were satisfied – while network performance (43%), security (50%) and reliability (50%) fared little better.

The report advocated a ‘misalignment between IT and business needs’ as the primary concern, cited by almost half (48%) of those polled. Other key issues included ‘inherent complexities between business requirements and operational needs’ – cited by 45% and ‘demands for bandwidth [and] performance outpacing the ability to deliver’ (45%).

Naturally, this often boils down to how much collaboration is taking place between line of business and IT. More than half of CIOs and CTOs said their relationships were ‘always collaborative’, making an interesting comparison with 45% of business executives and 28% of direct reports.

“Business demands have outpaced the ability of IT to deliver services,” said Prasad Sankaran, senior managing director and global lead of intelligent cloud and infrastructure at Accenture. “Our research shows that organisations have more work to do to ensure that network limitations do not prevent them from meeting their current and future business goals.

“IT and business leaders need to collaborate more when making decisions about the network,” added Sankaran.

The report ultimately argues that a new network paradigm is needed, bolstered by the need for improved collaboration. “Network advances may be progressing across multiple fronts but have yet to be integrated into a unified enterprise capability,” Accenture concluded. “While a company may deploy [software-defined networking] or a software-defined data centre in a few select locations, it may see limited benefits due to the restrictions introduced by the remaining legacy components.

“Outdated technology creates bottlenecks in the flow of information and overall performance.”

You can read the full report here (pdf, no opt-in required).

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