Business leaders have faced a number of challenges in the rapidly changing landscape of corporate networks over the past year. While businesses have become acclimated to building more robust networks, there are still a number of advancements in communications, networking speed, flexibility, and technology that have yet to reach their full potential. potential.
Businesses should expect advancements driven by hyperautomation, artificial intelligence (AI), SASE and more in the coming year. To help understand these emerging trends, we’ve outlined seven of the top networking developments to watch for in 2022.
Hyper-automation is basically identifying and automating as many processes as possible. Many solutions adopted under the umbrella of hyperautomation are driven by AI and machine learning (ML).
In fact, the development of hyper-automation is already manifesting itself through the rise of robotic process automation (RPA) tools. These solutions allow you to use robots and automate simple and routine processes within various software applications. In a way, RPAs signal the potential for hyper-automation in the future.
The two main benefits of hyper-automation are improved employee skills and business efficiency. Because many automated solutions are getting weaker or without code, advanced techniques are open to the everyday user. This brings a general improvement in the skills of all employees in the company.
Likewise, because your employees have access to more advanced technologies, business operations become more efficient. Employees can empathize with different departments and their weak points to further increase this efficiency.
Also read: Bring hyper-automation to ITOps
As businesses continue to leverage hyperautomation in different facets of their operations, solutions built with AI will be a priority.
AI finds three main applications for businesses:
- Cyber security: Cyber security tools are one of the fastest growing applications for AI. Businesses are finding these solutions more important than ever because of 5G cybersecurity concerns.
- Automation of tasks: As we mentioned earlier, many AI-based automation solutions, such as RPAs, are gaining popularity with businesses. They are a precursor to the full potential of AI-based automation.
- Virtual assistants: Virtual assistants are one of the most convenient ways for businesses to continue to leverage AI in their business operations. Sales and customer service teams use them to automate and learn from customer support.
With the advancement and standardization of 5G comes the idea of businesses powered by 5G – essentially businesses that leverage 5G for their operations.
5G promises faster and more flexible ways to connect with each other. It will likely increase the number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices as well. This is one of the most exploitable benefits that 5G offers to businesses, which can deliver and offer services that would previously have been too expensive to operate. While IoT devices can bring a tectonic change to corporate networks, the benefits of 5G will also lead to cybersecurity challenges.
Software Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN) are the modernization of traditional WAN infrastructure. And, since 41 million American employees are planned to work remotely for the next five years, SD-WAN will continue to grow.
Indeed, SD-WAN enables more flexible and efficient remote operations. In fact, businesses are encouraged to embrace several transport options over SD-WAN as cloud infrastructures continue to advance. The main reason many businesses are adopting SD-WAN is its increased stability and lower operating costs.
Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) architectures are similar to SD-WAN. Their biggest advantage, however, is their ability to increase the visibility of the business.
One of the main consequences of the shift to remote working has been the loss of enterprise-wide visibility that key stakeholders faced. In a sense, business leaders have lost control of business operations due to remote working.
SASE counteracts this by allowing businesses to manage users and track network traffic in real time. Again, just like the rapid adoption of SD-WAN, businesses are expected to keep up with the boom in the SASE market due to the future of remote working. This visibility is also one of the main reasons why SASE offers an additional layer of security.
Also read: Networking 101: Understanding SASE
Because so many other technologies and advancements, such as hyper-automation, AI, and 5G all have security implications, cybersecurity will be a major topic for businesses.
One of the main reasons that cybersecurity will evolve is due to the large amount of data that businesses process. Traditional IT departments are starting to implement AIOps to manage this amount of data. AIOps, along with the rise of data democratization, could help mitigate cybersecurity threats by opening up analytics to a wider range of departments.
Conversely, however, this means that any breach could be detrimental to businesses due to the large amount of customer data that cyber attackers could gain access to.
Another point of vulnerability for businesses is their adoption of 5G networking. 5G cybersecurity is a growing concern for many companies and has even been addressed by former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who argues that companies need to embrace a “new cyber due diligence”. They also need to adopt new business standards to mitigate risk.
Ultimately, issues surrounding cybersecurity must remain at the forefront by 2022.
Finally, just as unified communication and collaboration tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams have developed during the pandemic, new frontiers for communication in the metaverse have developed.
The metaverse refers to online spaces where humans can interact in more engaging and immersive ways compared to our existing modes of communication. With the rise of other blockchain technologies such as cryptocurrency, the metaverse has become a main topic of discussion for businesses.
There are three main benefits businesses can expect as the metaverse grows:
- Unique modes of customer and business relations
- New currencies and transactions, such as cryptocurrencies and NFTs
- Simplified remote communications with employees.
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