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Networks: The digital backbone of tomorrow’s technology

Tricia Png, Director of Asia, Silver Peak | Feb. 23, 2015
Tricia Png of Silver Peak explores the relation between the WAN, and technology trends in 2014 such as BYOD, Big data and IoT.

According to IDC, companies in Asia Pacific have increasingly opened up BYOD over the past year and this trend is forecasted to spill over into 2015. Approximately 60 per cent of organizations polled across the region already have some form of mobility policy for BYOD. While policies differ from workplace to workplace, most companies are not draconian about the number of devices and connections each employee is entitled to have.

On the flip side, the generous amount of autonomy given to staff spells trouble for the corporate network. Countless horror stories have surfaced about how employees leech company bandwidth for personal use, most commonly associated with streaming videos. As a result, the quality of the network may suffer and overall productivity can be reduced - as business application performance degrades when sharing the network with un-sanctioned use. 

IoT: Driving different demands

What exactly is an IoT device? IDC defines an IoT device as a "uniquely identifiable device with its own IP address that connects over a network to transfer or retrieve information". An IoT device can be anything from a wearable computer to an eBook reader to a surveillance camera.

IDC projects the IoT market to grow by more than US$5 trillion over the next six years to reach US$7.1 trillion before 2020. Additionally, research firm Machina Research reports that the number of connected devices will grow to 24 billion by 2020. Within that pool, mobile connected devices will double from more than 6.5 billion today to more than 12 billion by 2020.

Although each IoT device may not consume a significant amount of bandwidth - since they have different needs and specifications depending on their application - the combined total of these devices and their connections can overwhelm networks. With these smart devices forecasted to further proliferate, they collectively can impact the WAN, especially when the WAN does not have the scalable capacity to handle the influx of data and network traffic.

WAN: Keeping it top of mind

In today's technologically driven and interconnected world, the network is the digital backbone of most, if not all, modern businesses. Yes, big data, BYOD and IoT may hold the key to making more accurate forecasts, improving tomorrow's workforce or disrupting the way we live in the future, however, such technology - no matter how advanced they become - will continue to rely on the WAN.


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