Tech Intelligence Bulletin (HG Insights) – HG Insights brings you the key takeaways from an NS1 study examining enterprise network and application modernization efforts, defined as the transformation of IT platforms of all types, applications, governance, and processes to achieve desired business outcomes.

The study entitled Meeting Application and Access Network Modernization Challenges surveyed more than 400 technology leaders from mid- to large-sized companies across the USA, UK, and Germany.

“Pandemic has shocked the system”

Results revealed that 80% of organizations are struggling to reach application delivery requirements with their existing infrastructure. But, amid pandemic concerns, efforts to modernize networks and applications to address this challenge are accelerating with 83% reporting budget increases for these initiatives over the next three years.

“Modernization was already on the radar for many organizations, but the pandemic has shocked the system and created a heightened sense of urgency,” said Kris Beevers, co-founder and CEO, NS1. “Our research shows that IT leaders are accelerating projects aimed to increase efficiencies and business agility, improve application performance and user experiences, and drive additional revenue.”

Prioritizing transformation initiatives

Within the broad scope of IT modernization, companies are prioritizing transformation initiatives for mobility (70%), remote data access (68%), automation (65%), security (61%), and IT resilience (60%). Other areas where efforts are accelerating include public and private cloud deployments (58% and 57% respectively), improvements to scalability (58%), and deployment velocity (56%).

Even with the heightened sense of urgency and budget behind them, survey respondents reported facing a number of obstacles in their IT modernization projects. Although four out of five acknowledge some progress with modernization, only 8% report that they have achieved their initial objectives, and 28% report “significant progress” (75% or greater). Challenges to modernization include a talent and skills gap and competing priorities (37% each), as well as aging networks (35%) and the outdated, inflexible organizational structures that often come with them.

“Static, legacy tech drags down modernization efforts because it lacks the flexibility and agility necessary to support dynamic, scalable applications and IT environments,” added Beevers. “Successful digital transformation starts with the underlying enterprise network and application infrastructure — DNS, DHCP, and IP address management. When purpose-built for speed, reliability, and scalability, these foundational technologies are critical in expediting modernization projects, automating network management tasks, and increasing efficiency and operational velocity in complex heterogeneous environments.”

The NS1 study examined the adoption of modern technology across mid- to large-sized companies and uncovered the following trends.

DNS, DHCP, and IP Address Management (DDI) Adoption and Use Cases

The study found that 45% of respondents are currently using DDI, and another 48% plan to adopt the technology within 12 months. Adopters reported the most common use cases to be accelerating service discovery in microservices environments (60%) and connecting cloud and on-premise applications and data (56%). Those with plans to implement DDI cited the following use cases as the most appealing:

  • Connecting cloud and on-premise applications and data (59%)
  • Accelerating application delivery (55%)
  • Automating network management tasks (54%)
  • Accelerating service discovery in microservices environments (42%)
  • Controlling costs associated with application and network management (40%)

Modern Application Stack

Nearly all companies are adopting modern application stack solutions, many of which are aimed directly at addressing network and application performance requirements, including:

  • Network monitoring tools, which 96% of respondents were either already implementing or planning to implement within 12 months
  • Public/private cloud, multi-cloud (94%)
  • Automation and orchestration solutions (93%)
  • Intelligent traffic management (87%)
  • Multi-CDN (85%)

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