IDC: Covid-19 Strikes SD-WAN, data center gear; Venture impact varies

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We’ve seen two years of age IT digital transformation in two months

Though the formerly hot SD-WAN economy has slowed along with IT budgets general are under pressure, the COVID-19 pandemic has created demand for other network capabilities such as improved network-management and collaboration applications, according to IDC.
The virus has generated recessionary market that has forced enterprises throughout the world to rapidly and dramatically alter their surgeries, based on Rohit Mehra, vice president, Network Infrastructure at IDC. “The fact of that is we’ve seen two decades of IT electronic transformation in just two weeks,” Mehra told the online viewers of an IDC webinar about the impact of the pandemic on enterprise media.

Citing the June outcome of an IDC survey of 250 large- to medium-size companies, Rohit said 40% of them hope to invest more money on data centre infrastructure management. That’s 9% higher that economists reported March, Mehra said.

What has changed yet is what they’ll be spending cash on: community management and collaboration software mostly, IDC found.

Nearly half of respondents — 48% — reported that they will boost investment in advanced automation platforms to reduce the manual direction of the network. Furthermore, 46 percent said they were increasing spending managing remote network operations. Additionally, 43% said they’d increase investments in the use of cloud-based management systems.

Closely related was that the greater investment in analytics as well as other resources to increase visibility into applications, devices and users on the system, Mehra stated. “The need for analytics visibility and intelligent net ops have come to the fore,” he explained.
On the other hand, IDC expects the demand for disaster recovery, business continuity, and also remote-worker communication tools will as work-fromhome mandates continues. Survey respondents said they expect nearly 30 percent of their workforce will be operating from home in 2021 vs about 6% pre-COVID.

With so many remote workers application availability is becoming a problem, stated Brandon Butler, senior researcher, Enterprise Networks at IDC. Butler said 84% of remote users lose access to applications at least once a week, and 11% said that it happens every day.

While that is obviously a issue, poll respondents listed safety as the greatest obstacle with remote tech support, slow broadband to the home and too little remote management of home apparatus as other obstacles. “We have seen vendors respond to this — for example SD-WAN sellers extend VPN concentrators for safety to manage remote users — but the important takeaway is that the struggle of work-from-home employees is not going off, and network-based safety will be a challenge the near future.”

Probably the most startling quantity is from the SD-WAN arena that has seen its yearly growth rate — that was nearly 40% through about March, drop to less than 1 percent in June.

“This really was a time of retrenchment for all and we expect to reunite fast expansion in 2021,” Casemore said. “All of these demands secure access into the cloud and cloud access optimization continue to be there and will continue to grow.”

What’s happened, IDC analysts contend, is that many large scale venture network projects are cancelled or postponed. For instance, over the WAN side, 38 percent of IDC respondents said they had postponed WAN upgrades, and 14% had cancelled altogether. And 37 percent said they had postponed campus-network changes, together with 15% saying these changes were cancelled.

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