Discussion paper: ”The coming obsolescence of the enterprise network”


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A new Ericsson discussion paper suggests the demand for accessibility and flexibility is changing enterprises attitude towards their networks, moving the focus from protecting the perimeter of the enterprise network to protecting the business-critical data and application environment. It opens up opportunities for telecom operators to provide as-a-service offering. Read the paper and talk to Ericsson to find more about, for example, how to address this transformation, what a winning strategy looks like for operators, what bundled offerings are like to gain most market traction.

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Discussion paper: ”The coming obsolescence of the enterprise network”

  1. 1. The coming obsolescence of the enterprise network
  2. 2. Highlights Adoption of new technologies has traditionally begun in enterprises and then shifted to consumers. Over the past decade during the mobile boom, however, we have seen just the opposite. Driven by mass mobile adoption and the BYOD trend, enterprise IT organizations have been forced to turn their focus towards network security and virtualization beyond servers and storage. As a consequence, we predict that enterprise-owned and operated internal networks will soon become obsolete. This will open up a major opportunity for operators to provide a range of as-a-service offerings, such as end-to-end Enterprise Network-as-a-Service (ENaaS).
  3. 3. Discussion Paper: The coming obsolescence of the enterprise network 3 Introduction Every CIO requires a clear vision of the IT transformation that mobile adoption, BYOD and the cloud are bringing about: the necessity to reach beyond server and storage virtualization and to rethink network security. This transformation will lead to the obsolescence of internal network infrastructure – and network operators should be ready to take advantage of this opportunity. Technology adoption has traditionally begun in enterprises and then moved to consumers. But over the past decade, we have experienced a revolution in the consumer segment that is now coming to enterprise. As consumers, we have instant access to information, communication, location services and video, using any device, fixed or mobile, on any network. But many enterprises are still stuck using telephony and e-mail for communication and collaboration, and that is about it. This disconnect between our lives as consumers and our lives as enterprise employees is the root cause of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend as well as the consumerization of enterprise IT. Mobile adoption and BYOD, however, are not without their drawbacks. Both are the cause of major concern within IT organizations today, largely because providing security for mobile devices is significantly different from doing so elsewhere in the enterprise. To meet the increasing and often-contradictory demands of users and business organizations for increased device flexibility and productivity, while still maintaining corporate security, IT organizations have to rethink everything from network security to network infrastructure to what employees have on their desktops. From guarding the fences to protecting information at the source In a classic end-to-end, perimeter-protection scheme, the strategy is to minimize risks by not trusting users, by maintaining the status quo, and by allowing only locked-down devices managed by the IT department. However, with an increasing variety of mobile devices within an enterprise (including BYOD), plus a huge number of connected machines and sensors, maintaining such an environment will be an uphill and ultimately futile battle. If business-critical information is going unprotected, even as the network perimeter is maintained, it’s clear the conventional security model is broken. Enterprise IT organizations may instead need to change their network security strategy to protect information at the source, not on the perimeter. And when the focus shifts from protecting the device to the application environment, this allows for any and all device types, even BYOD, while the really valuable components – user data and business- critical information – remain safe. In this shift to protecting information at the source, we predict that desktop virtualization technology will play an important role. Furthermore, as a result of the decreasing importance of perimeter protection, the enterprise access networks have to be separated from the core network. This separation of the access and core networks then triggers a significant shift: the obsolescence of the enterprise network.
  4. 4. Discussion Paper: The coming obsolescence of the enterprise network 4 The obsolescence of the enterprise network In a world where perimeter security and end-point protection were the first and last lines of defense, the power to command or control the internal enterprise (W)LAN network was key. But when the focus shifts to protecting business-critical information rather than controlling and protecting the access ports to the corporate intranet, the enterprise (W)LAN is no longer a strategic asset. Instead, any internet connection that offers acceptable coverage and capacity is essentially fine. If IT departments no longer need to command or control the access network, why not let someone else provide that service, if they can do it better, faster and cheaper? The value of owning internal infrastructure then becomes a question of operational efficiency, minimized TCO and increased availability, agility and robustness of network services. For companies that both equip their employees with a virtualized desktop and move all their business- critical applications to the cloud, the entire intranet infrastructure might disappear from their balance sheet altogether. The operator opportunity The cloud holds many advantages for enterprises. The pay-as-you-go business model enables enterprises of all sizes to gain access to powerful resources and solutions without any capital expenditure. The cloud enables companies to focus more on their business and less on the technology technology needed to run it. By moving enterprise network infrastructure to the cloud, enterprises can take advantage of future economies of scale. This shift is also advantageous for network operators. For them, the obsolescence of enterprise- owned and operated internal networks opens up an unprecedented opportunity for growth in the years to come, by providing end-to-end Enterprise Network-as-a-Service (ENaaS). Figure: The move from classic, perimeter, end-point protection of the corporate intranet to protecting business-critical information at the source. As perimeter protection becomes less important, enterprise access networks become separated from the core network
  5. 5. Discussion Paper: The coming obsolescence of the enterprise network 5 Let’s keep talking This arena will be a vital battlefield in the convergence of telecom and IT. The telecom industry already possesses essential components that could completely change the dynamics of enterprise networking.  But there are a few fundamental questions:  How should the industry address this opportunity?  How do we achieve economies of scale while leaving room for differentiation?  What does a winning go-to-market strategy look like?  Which bundled enterprise offerings are likely to get the most traction in the market? Come and talk to us!