Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

2021 Global Networking Trends Report: Spotlight on Business Resiliency

January 11, 2021

Unprecedented times shape new Global Networking Trends Report

Last year when we launched the inaugural Global Networking Trends Report it was all about transforming the network to respond to business requirements with agility, insights and intent.  No-one could have foreseen that these characteristics would be put so fully to the test with a completely unexpected new challenge.

The network has been asked to respond  to the seismic shifts in business operations created by a global pandemic. Those that were most advanced were able to do so most effectively and with the speed demanded. For the rest it has been an opportunity to reappraise and reimagine.

The network has played a critical role enabling a remarkable transformation to running businesses remotely. Roles previously carried out in the workplace had to be rapidly reimagined into the home-office.  And the network was leveraged to support new requirements never previously anticipated – such as occupancy and proximity monitoring to assure new safety protocols in the workplace.

In short, the network has been at the heart of keeping businesses and organisations running.  So a big shout out is in order for all the teams that made that possible.

Business continuity and the future

It therefore comes as no surprise that the focus of the 2021 Global Networking Trends Report is centred around the business continuity response, and what is needed to ensure the network is prepared to support the requirements of business resiliency in the face of as yet unknown future challenges.  This is a moment for reflection, for acknowledging that we couldn’t and didn’t anticipate the nature of this collective emergency.  And to consider how to better prepare the network for the next unexpected disruptive event.

The network at the heart of the business

Whatever your experience, whether your network was agile and ready to respond, or whether you were faced with the heavy lifting of manual adjustments, our experiences of 2020 have certainly reinforced the critical importance of the network, and its need to be able to respond to the needs of the business.

While a second pandemic is hopefully not imminent, what we have learnt is that what the future holds and what the next big disruption will be is likely to be unpredictable and unanticipated.  We need to have strategies to prepare for this unknown eventuality whether it happens relatively soon or, as of course we naturally hope, a long way off.

2021 Global Networking Trends Report: Business Resilience Special Edition

With this in mind, the 2021 Global Networking Trends report has focused on 5 key trends that will be critical for enabling business resilience.

These key pillars for the network are not unique to the pandemic situation, but they were uniquely tested.  It is clear that the network needs to continually evolve and be ready to respond to meet new business requirements, to deliver faster and to respond to changing working practices, new applications and changing processes.  What we have all been tested with during 2020 was much more abrupt change, and a completely new situation to adapt to.

To learn about these key trends, the network considerations to prepare for the next disruption and the adoption status to benchmark yourself against, I recommend:

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