Our world is becoming more connected every single day. We’re experiencing the advent of autonomous vehicles, smart cities and 5G. New technologies like robotics, quantum computing and virtual reality are entering our personal and professional lives each and every day. In order to harness the power of these technologies at a global scale, a unified infrastructure network is needed to bring them together. This technology emergence also requires “technology convergence,” but what does this mean in practice?
The technology of the future doesn’t mean we will immediately have access to nanotech suits that are connected to a super converged network, like Iron Man. However, at an enterprise level, many organizations recognize the need for network convergence of their phone, video and data communication and are looking for agile, integrated solutions. This framework blends legacy network systems with cutting-edge technologies like cloud-based solutions to create a new standard for networked IT services, connectivity and unified communications.
Many of these technologies already exist in silos, but have yet to be brought together in a meaningful way. To unlock their potential for the enterprise, we need a global infrastructure to connect disparate technologies and achieve true convergence. The benefits are rich for providing the best available network for bandwidth and reduced latency, seamless mobility, and revolutionizing the way organizations communicate and operate.
The need for a global network infrastructure
To deliver on the promise of global infrastructure, network providers are in the midst of transforming global management across service integration, customer needs and scalable solutions. The first step is introducing customers to the benefits of a global network — a more reliable, fast and secure central hub of connectivity. Secondly, they should evaluate each customer’s current network solutions and decide what integrated services make sense for them on a global scale. A full conversion to a cloud-first network may not be the right fit at first, but a hybrid solution of traditional and cloud connectivity is an opportunity to begin the cloud migration.
In fact, Ovum’s 2019 Trends to Watch: Network Services report tracked how SD-WAN platforms and services expanded to larger enterprise and commercial deployments, moving toward hybrid networking. The report points to enterprises embracing virtualization in IT operations and supporting ongoing exploration of NFV services. Virtualization in IT operations increases operational efficiencies and frees up IT workers’ time to better address client needs and improve client and user experience.
Third, a full-scale cloud infrastructure needs to be available to customers, ideally from a single provider to streamline the digital transformation process. Providers are integrating networked IT, security and communications services by building a cloud-based core. This structure would move toward full network convergence, utilizing integrated services that are faster and more secure than ever. Moving to a cloud-first solution will provide enterprise customers with global connectivity and allow them to scale at pace with their growing workforce and business goals.
Delivering global connectivity
BT’s Global division regularly assists customers in reevaluating their IT strategy to scale for global networks. For companies with employees in every corner of the world, there can be unique challenges to maintaining high speed, efficient network connections. To address these challenges, BT offers solutions for end-to-end global infrastructure, which can be customized with unified communications systems, international networks for fixed and mobile calls, and cloud-first solutions. Global customers are increasingly looking for ways to reduce latency, and cloud solutions can support this need with secure internet gateways from a BT data center and cloud service agreements with cloud platform providers, including Microsoft, Amazon and Google. This integrated structure is the blueprint for how global enterprises will do business during the next decade —a cloud-first strategy that improves connectivity around the world.
The future of convergence
Technology convergence will continue to influence the network and cloud industries, and extend its reach to newer offerings like IoT and 5G. The Internet of Things is rapidly expanding to include more technologies and network connection points. IoT Analytics released a report that there were more than seven billion IoT devices in 2018, this is expected to grow to 10 billion by 2020.
While we won’t all be flying around the world tomorrow in a nanotech suit with connected networks at our fingertips, this convergence will soon impact our daily lives in meaningful ways. The arrival of 5G and other technologies will enable the networks we use to communicate and become even more powerful – allowing for a truly global infrastructure.
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