While data has long been the lifeblood of businesses – critical to making the right decisions at the right time to drive revenue, experiences, and outcomes – connectivity provides the means to keep that data in motion. And, connectivity has become a priority as employees, businesses, and consumers increasingly look for digital resiliency, where digital experiences are supported by ubiquitous, reliable and robust connectivity. Enterprise network must scale to support the ever-growing volume of data coming from both inside and outside the organization.
When we discuss the Future of Connectedness, we recognize that there is no actual end state to connectedness. Rather, it is an evolutionary path that leads to improved agility, increased business flexibility, and more adaptability for organizations as markets and business conditions inevitably shift. Employees and customers have come to expect that any digital interaction with things, applications, processes, or other people is guaranteed no matter where, when, or via what medium they choose.
Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a key driver of change. The transition to hybrid work and more distributed workforces has created greater expectations from employees, customers, and partners for seamless anytime-anywhere digital interactions to mission-critical systems and processes. The convergence of physical and digital workspaces and storefronts and the evolution of smart spaces require business leaders to align technology, policy, and operations to drive agility and revenue.
As businesses look ahead to 2023 and beyond, they face added stressors – from inflation and economic uncertainty, regional conflicts, supply chain constraints, and a shortage of workers and staffing that align to key skill sets. While these forces play a role in key decisions, IDC data shows that 81% of organizations are still prioritizing connectivity programs. We expect companies to continue to leverage those investments to automate key processes, transform workplaces, improve customer experiences, and increase corporate resiliency. Connectivity programs will embrace 5G, edge, and cloud infrastructure and services to keep data moving. More importantly, these programs will continue to improve efficiency and enable data to provide real-time insights to the business. As networks evolve and business needs scale or change, enterprise network and IT departments must align systems and processes. This will ensure business continuity, empower greater employee productivity, and help organizations quickly adapt to changing business environments and requirements.
IDC’s worldwide Future of Connectedness 2023 top 10 predictions are:
- Prediction 1: By 2024, 75% of enterprises will leverage cloud-based APIs to create customer engagement applications that integrate UCaaS/CPaaS platforms with multichannel options to improve customer experience.
- Prediction 2: By 2025, 50% of digital organizations will augment “cloud first” with a “wireless first” multi-access network fabric using diverse technologies for mission-critical and business continuity use cases.
- Prediction 3: By 2025, only 30% of organizations will benefit from defined 5G use cases due to fragmentation and lack of leadership among connectivity, technology, and managed services providers.
- Prediction 4: By 2026, 40% of enterprises will double investments in hyperconnected digital spaces to increase productivity, improve collaboration, and boost energy efficiency.
- Prediction 5: By 2024, 50% of large enterprises will use a hyperscaler’s cloud WAN service within their network, either directly or indirectly, pushing telcos further toward the role of service integrators.
- Prediction 6: By 2027, the metaverse will account for 70% of annual media traffic growth on the internet, where both consumer and business use cases will drive increased bandwidth demand.
- Prediction 7: By 2023, 40% of enterprises will benefit from optimized operational efficiency, enhanced security, and reduced network costs by leveraging SD-WAN and security for cloud-managed networking and security.
- Prediction 8: By 2024, 30% of enterprises will extend network attentiveness across all major IT teams (e.g., SecOps, DevOps, and AIOps) by expanding skill development, screening requirements, and NetOps interactions.
- Prediction 9: By 2026, 40% of companies will lag in executing a resilient connectivity strategy due to budget shortfalls, as workplace transformation becomes the new normal for customers, employers, and partners.
- Prediction 10: By 2027, 80% of G2000 enterprises will require LEO satellites to cover gaps in network coverage for remote, rural, and high-risk international locations.
Interested in learning more? Watch our on-demand webinar, IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Future of Connectedness 2023 Predictions.