Traditional networking architectures weren't designed for today's distributed enterprise. Users, applications, workloads and devices are now everywhere, and network architecture must change accordingly. To successfully deliver new levels of security, productivity and user experience, it's incumbent upon networking leaders to transform their global connectivity architecture.
Three major factors are contributing to the need for this paradigm shift.
The first is a return to work. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed weaknesses in the ability of traditional network architectures to support distributed employees at scale. While organizations managed through the crisis with quick-fix solutions like remote access VPN, it's become clear that fundamental changes to the architecture need to occur for long-term success. Now, as employees return to offices and embrace hybrid working, the network must enable consistent and seamless experience as well as policy, regardless of where an employee is working on a given day.
The second is cloud adoption. As organizations adopt cloud and software as a service (SaaS), the majority of applications most users rely on are now outside the private data center. To be productive, access to applications regardless of where the workload is running (e.g. private cloud, public cloud or SaaS) needs to deliver a great user experience. Due to the nature of cloud and applications, "offline" working is rarely productive, necessitating very reliable and consistent user connections to workloads.
Lastly, automation of connectivity infrastructure has become critical to creating repeatable, consistent configurations derived from a single source of truth. This is increasingly necessary for achieving secure and reliable infrastructure. These factors are creating a macro need to approach every connectivity implementation with an "automation-first" mindset.
Networking leaders will be best served by focusing on areas that accelerate the adoption of innovative solutions while moving toward a new way of architecting the network for high-performance, secure connectivity for all users, devices and applications, regardless of where they're located.
In this report, we offer our list of the top five networking priorities of 2022 to facilitate a global connectivity architecture suited for these challenges.
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