Future networks will cost about half of what traditional networks cost today, according to Dimension Data's 2013 Network Barometer Report. They will also require a smaller capital investment to roll out, and will be cheaper to operate because they’ll be easier to manage, provide unified access, and require less power and cooling.
Today, most campus networks comprise around 80 percent wired ports serving individual users, and 20 percent WLAN ports supporting multiple users. However, there’s a growing swell of users across the globe pushing organisations to create ‘bring your own device’ ready environments, and usher in the enterprise mobility era that will inevitably change the structure of networks.
First published in 2009, the report draws on data from Dimension Data’s proprietary Technology Lifecycle Management Assessment completed for over 1,200 organisations of all sizes from all industry sectors, and across all geographies over the past five years.
Raoul Tecala, Dimension Data’s Business Development Director for Network Integration says today’s users want the freedom to move around as they please, and still be able to access the information and tools they need, seamlessly, from wherever they are, and using their own mobile devices.
“Most campus networks consist of approximately 80% wired ports serving individual users, and 20 percent wireless LAN (WLAN) ports supporting multiple users. However, today, users don’t want to be tethered to their desks, and as a result, are putting pressure on organisations to facilitate enterprise mobility," he says.
“When comparing a traditional wired network deployment supporting 100 users to a wireless network of the same size, the reduction in physical hardware – LAN switches, discrete wireless LAN controller and cabling – makes the wireless network up to 50 percent less expensive. In addition to the capital savings, the operation and management of this user environment is also reduced. In our opinion, these cost savings add to the well documented benefits of a mobile workforce and will drive enterprise mobility adoption at an ever increasing rate," he adds.
According to Tecala, the data in the 2013 Network Barometer Report indicates that organisations aren’t upgrading their networks for enterprise mobility and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environments as aggressively as expected, but this will inevitably change to accommodate the new structure of future networks and the cost saving that this brings.
“We advise clients to think, plan and budget more architecturally, rather than reactively, when refreshing networks. The pressure to provide a more flexible, wireless environment conducive to enterprise mobility and BYOD will only grow stronger in the future,” he concludes.
Rodger Campbell, Dimension Data NZ Mobility Lead, provides his view on Dimension Data’s 2013 Network Barometer Report from a New Zealand perspective: “With regard to BYOD-network ready environments, New Zealand is very much on par with countries around the globe, but New Zealand organisations still have some work to do before they catch up with some regions in respect to strategic adoption of comprehensive and robust mobility implementations."
“Enterprise mobility has three critical benefits: increased productivity, decreased business expenditure and the ability to attract and retain skilled employees. Our organisations are rapidly waking up and realising those benefits, but still taking a more reactive approach to implementing a mobile strategy. Dimension Data has an Enterprise Mobility Development Methodology which we’re applying to a number of our clients to help them understand where they currently are on their mobility journey, and as part of these engagements we’re working with those clients to come up with a strategy to help make sure they’re in a more proactive state in the future," he adds.