According to a report from NS1 organisations are beefing up enterprise network and application modernisation budgets to add automation, traffic management, and monitoring

The NS1-sponsored study, ‘Meeting Application and Access Network Modernisation Challenges’, conducted by IDG examined enterprise network and application modernisation efforts, defined as the transformation of IT platforms of all types, applications, governance, and processes to achieve desired business outcomes.

“Modernisation was already on the radar for many organisations, but the pandemic has shocked the system and created a heightened sense of urgency,” Kris Beevers, co-founder and CEO, NS1, said. “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.”

Efforts to modernise

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

In the UK, while 31 per cent said that they had made significant progress with IT modernisation, 15 per cent reported that either no progress had been made at all, that it was on their radar, or that it had just reached the planning stage. Only ten per cent had achieved their initial objectives and were optimising operations. Looking forward, however, 75 per cent of UK respondents reported that IT modernisation budgets were expected to grow over the next three years.

Within the broad scope of IT modernisation, companies are prioritising transformation initiatives for mobility (70 per cent), remote data access (68 per cent), automation (65 per cent), security (61 per cent), and IT resilience (60 per cent). Other areas where efforts are accelerating include public and private cloud deployments (58 per cent and 57 per cent respectively), improvements to scalability (58 per cent) and deployment velocity (56 per cent). In the UK, the priorities are slightly raised for automation projects where 67 per cent of organisations expect acceleration in the year to come.

Gap in talent and skills

Challenges to modernisation include a talent and skills gap, in particular for US companies (45 per cent) compared with the UK (26 per cent), and competing priorities, which 37 per cent of UK firms cite as an obstacle. Aging networks and the outdated, inflexible organisational structures that often come with them are also highlighted by 40 per cent of German respondents, compared with 36 per cent in the US and 27 per cent in the UK.

“Static, legacy tech drags down modernisation 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 modernisation projects, automating network management tasks, and increasing efficiency and operational velocity in complex heterogeneous environments.”