Accenture: Networks Lag Business Demands for Modern Workloads
About two-thirds of survey respondents say IT can’t support efforts around IoT, analytics, edge
Enterprises are adoption such modern digital technologies as the Internet of Things (IoT), edge computing, big data analytics and digital customer experience, but most are unsure whether their networks are ready to support those efforts, according to a recent report by professional services firm Accenture.
The Lowdown: The report, done in conjunction with Cisco and based on a survey of 300 senior IT and business executives from large enterprises, pointed to a “misalignment” between the needs of IT and business as the key barrier to ensuring networks can meet business demands.
The Details: Enterprises are facing the challenge of finding ways of making sure that the networks they’re running can keep up with the demand of the business side that wants to take reap the benefits of the cloud and digital technologies. Key findings in the survey include:
Businesses are adopting modern technologies: 83% are embracing big data analytics, 78% are adopting a digital customer experience and 77% are getting into IoT and edge computing.
Networks aren’t keeping up: Less than 40% of respondents were “very satisfied” with the overall capability and bandwidth from the network. Half or less were “very satisfied” with the network performance, security and reliability.
The problems: 48% said a misalignment between IT and business needs is keeping networks from meeting business demands. Other challenges were complexities between business requirements and operational needs (45%) and demand for such capabilities as bandwidth and performance running ahead of the ability to deliver (45%).
Differing perceptions: Executives viewed different barriers as the greatest challenge depending on their role (such as CIO/CTO, infrastructure and network leaders, and line of business executives). In addition, 58% of CIOs and CTOs said the process for making network decisions are “always collaborative,” while 45% of business executives agreed. Only 28% of direct reports said the process was “always collaborative.”
The Impact: The survey results are a warning to enterprises that are looking to take advantage of these advanced technologies. The struggles they’re having now in ensuring that networks can keep up with business demands could roll into the future. About the same percentage of respondents who were concerned that networks now couldn’t meet the demand believe that the problems will persist over the next 18 to 24 months.
The Buzz: “Business demands have outpaced the ability of IT to deliver services. Our research shows that organizations 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,” said Prasad Sankaran, senior managing director and global lead of intelligent cloud and infrastructure at Accenture. “Our clients must be ready for the future amidst escalating costs, legacy infrastructure and compliance requirements. Supporting new digital services with existing networks requires a clear strategy for increasing capacity, deploying new technologies, and efficient network management. It’s about having a comprehensive device to cloud infrastructure plan for innovation.”
“The key barrier most frequently cited in keeping networks in line with business demands was the misalignment between IT and business needs,” the report’s authors wrote. “We also heard that business demands have outpaced the ability of IT to deliver services. Most companies were in the process of deploying SDN [software-defined networking] in parts of their organization to address the challenges they face, but even though many organizations said they were moving toward a unified enterprise network approach, it was clear that the majority continue to see their networks in pieces and parts. Companies will have to undertake significant work before they will achieve a unified enterprise capability to support business needs today – and tomorrow.”
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