A survey of 2 000 IT leaders and network strategists by Cisco has revealed where these individuals plan to invest and and the current state of networking.

The top priority for IT leaders is maximising the value of IT and aligning it more closely with business needs.

As many as 40 percent of leaders surveyed said that this was more important than simplifying operations, optimising productivity and minimising security events.

In order to to this, investment in AI tech is crucial with 50 percent of respondents saying they believe that the use of analytics and AI will help to enable the ideal network.

“IT teams today are running complex mission critical networks that are increasingly capable of providing rich data. But using that data to improve the operations, security, or business impact of the network requires new tools. That’s why IT teams are embracing intent-based networking, AI and machine learning — because the business demands it,” country manager for Cisco South Africa, Garsen Naidu, explains.

On the matter of intent-based networking, Cisco found that while there is activity in this sphere, it’s slow going.

Only 28 percent of respondents said they have deployed an intent-driven networking solution. Worse still, only four percent of respondents said that their networks have moved from software defined networks to intent-driven solutions.

With that having been said, 78 percent of respondents said that their networks would be intent-driven within the next two years or at the very least they would be moving in that direction in that time frame.

The report also sheds light on something rather worrying. IT leaders say that their teams aren’t able to explore new solutions as they are reacting to issues such as maintenance.

As much as 73 percent of respondents said that their teams can’t become more proactive they spend more than half of their time maintaining the network.

This is not due to the fact that teams aren’t prepared, they are, However IT related skills are in short supply with 27 percent of respondents claiming a lack of necessary skills is holding back network progression.

Cisco’s inaugural 2020 Global Networking Trends report is available to download right now and it’s well worth reading if you are working in that space.

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