RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • Only 36 percent of executives report that their networks are fully ready to support the needs of their business.
  • Less than half (43 percent) indicated their networks are completely ready to support their business’ cloud and digital initiatives.
  • Misalignment between IT and business needs was most frequently cited as a top-three barrier to limiting the effectiveness of enterprise networks.
  • Significant work remains to achieve network capabilities that meet the bandwidth, performance and security requirements of today and tomorrow.


Executive summary

Accenture surveyed 300 senior IT and business executives on enterprise networks ability to meet today’s demands and future requirements. We looked at factors driving increased demand on enterprise networks, such as IOT, edge, analytics, and digital experience. We found that while many companies were satisfied with their overall network capabilities, only 36 percent were "very satisfied"—bandwidth and reliability were top concerns. Less than half (43 percent) indicated their networks are completely ready to support cloud and digital. The key barrier most frequently cited in keeping networks in line with business demands was the misalignment between IT and business needs. We also heard that business demands have outpaced the ability of IT to deliver services. Most companies were in the process of deploying SDN in parts of their organization to address the challenges they face, but even though many organizations said they were moving toward a unified enterprise network approach, it was clear that the majority continue to see their networks in pieces and parts. Companies will have to undertake significant work before they will achieve a unified enterprise capability to support business needs today—and tomorrow.

Introduction

Businesses today are moving to the cloud and embracing digital. According to the Accenture Technology Vision 2019, 94 percent of executives say the pace of innovation in their organizations has accelerated over the past three years. However, most enterprise networks are built to serve the needs of another era. The shift toward cloud and digital is putting networks under tremendous pressure to meet demands for greater bandwidth, performance and security. Accenture surveyed 300 senior IT and business executives to discover how ready enterprise networks are to meet today’s demands, and how prepared executives feel about meeting future requirements. The study took into account several aspects of networking—including overall capability, performance, bandwidth, security and reliability. We also investigated which barriers posed the greatest threat to networks keeping pace with business demands. Finally, we looked into the uptake of several critical technologies and the ease with which network initiatives were established and funding secured.

We conducted a blind survey with executives from companies with annual revenues in excess of US$1 billion. Respondents came from 10 industries and seven countries. Participants from IT included CIOs/CTOs, their direct reports (denoted in the report as CIO/CTO-1), and vice presidents (VPs) or directors of infrastructure/network. The business respondents included line-of-business executive vice presidents (EVPs) and VPs.

Less than half (43 percent) indicated their networks are completely ready to support cloud and digital.
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