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As new technologies are adopted and become mainstream, they have a significant impact on the way organizations build, manage and operate their networks – creating complexity along the way.

Most organizations now realize they need AI in network operations (AIOps), automation and analytics as the number and type of endpoints in their network grows rapidly, along with new ways to manage them. It’s nearly impossible to make business progress without acting on granular, real-time network analytics in an automated manner.

Once organizations have derived insights from their analytics, they want to cue certain actions or attend to urgent issues automatically; then, going beyond the analytics, they want AIOps to detect patterns and make recommendations.

Automation also extends beyond monitoring and reporting to include software patching and upgrades, security reviews and vulnerability assessments, inventory management, change management, proactive maintenance and event management. These activities are already automated in many organizations’ networks, according to NTT’s 2022–23 Global Network Report.

Other major trends in technology with an impact on the network include:

1. Blockchain and cryptocurrency

Blockchain plays a prominent role in financial transactions, but it is also used in cybersecurity, IoT sensor and device authentication, and communications (email, voice calling). Establishing the right network foundation to take advantage of this technology and its benefits will become a far wider requirement.

2. Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and 8K video in the immersive metaverse

Immersive technologies that could become mainstream and that use bandwidth-hungry applications, such as 4K, 8K and AR or VR video, will have an incredible impact both on the internet backbone and on organizations that start making internal use of metaverse applications.

3. Quantum networking

This is associated with the need to balance compute processing and carbon-footprint requirements. The speed and processing power of quantum computing should lower the energy required to process and analyze data.

4. Photonic computing and networking

The explosion in data and applications leads to ever-increasing power demands. There are severe technical challenges ahead in balancing sustainability and energy consumption – photonic computing and networking hold the promise of reducing the power footprint of networking technology.

5. AI on networking

The ability of AI-driven solutions to identify and respond to network events much more rapidly will forever change the shape of network operations.

AIOps gives you essential and fast-developing tools to process and make sense of the increasingly vast amounts of data generated by modern networks, as is also highlighted in our ebook, The Future of Networking in 2025 and Beyond.

These tools allow you to maintain and optimize your systems in line with business changes. As they evolve and become more mainstream, they can even help you mitigate skill shortages.

6. Beyond 5G

NTT’s private 5G already gives our clients a comprehensive private 5G network partnership with global availability, seamless systems integration and as-a-service delivery.

But even as private 5G revolutionizes edge computing and other use cases, 6G is already in development – and what comes after 5G and 6G will be an important factor in designing and deploying new network architectures.

7. Network as a service

Buying network as a service makes organizations more agile, as they can more easily adopt innovative and leading-edge technology without the need for specialist skills to operate and monitor that technology.

Organizations may well feel like they are floundering in this river of technological progress. To bridge their in-house skill gaps and keep pace with the need to innovate, they are looking to managed service providers such as NTT for help in moving to a centrally managed network, which 97% of executives say they are willing to do, according to the 2022–23 Global Network Report.

Download our full 2022–23 Global Network Report now for more insights into how to keep up with the evolution of network technology.

Amith Dhingra is Executive Vice President of Enterprise Network Services at NTT