or many businesses, 2017 was a year of trends that prioritized enterprise mobility and better engagement with employees. These included a surge in cloud integration, IoT adoption, and workers practicing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Now, close to two-thirds of all workers use their personal device at work.[1] Though important for streamlining processes and maximizing efficiency, the rapid adoption of this tech has left many wide open for security breaches, a hot topic in 2017 that promises to stay at the forefront of the industry moving forward. As we prepare to enter 2018, additional trends in enterprise networking are as much a response to 2017 as they are forging their own path.

1. Artificial Intelligence

A boogeyman for some industries, machine learning has appeared on-stage during many of the hardware industry’s top players this year. For businesses, adapting to such a game-changer like AI means staying nimble and aware. AI security in particular has implications for 2017’s major trends like BYOD and IoT. The larger and more connected networks get, the more vulnerable they are for attacks. Developing AI security systems that learn as they block threats could be the difference in breaches and peace of mind.

2. Meeting Storage Demands

In InformationWeek’s 2018 survey of 150 IT leaders, 21% said they are planning to purchase network hardware or storage in the next 12 months.[2] The next most common response was an interest in encryption. 2018 is shaping up to be a year of expanding and securing what’s already in place. 

3. Giving Bandwidth a Boost

A steady increase in traffic has networks straining to meet this demand. By 2021, the US alone will be laden with 2.6 exabytes of traffic daily. That’s nearly a full exabyte leap since 2016.[3] With the rise of advanced video usage and the proliferation of IoT applications, this demand for bandwidth will only continue to rise faster with each passing year. 

4. The Cloud is Here, But Not Everywhere

Despite the growing influence and presence of the cloud, data centers are still going strong. Nearly a third of respondents to InformationWeek’s survey suggested they plan to spend at least half of their IT budget on data centers in some capacity. These areas of investment include increasing servers, server virtualization, and providing public cloud services.

5. Wearing What You Buy

Wearable and immersive experiences are already growing in popularity, with Augmented Reality technologies at the forefront of this trend. As Apple adds their ARKit onto the iOS 11 update, many expect AR will become a mainstream tech in the coming months. With applications ranging from entertainment to workplace training and efficiency, AR will be on everyone’s minds in some capacity. Determining how to leverage this technology to improve productivity and drive improved profits will be the biggest factor in how far it truly reaches. 

The common theme among all these trends is the need for businesses to remain adaptable and tuned in to new developments, not just in their markets but across the wireless industry. The latest innovations are blurring lines between various industries as each new technological advancement finds greater utility across a wide range of businesses. Falling behind on the latest could mean being left in the dust.


[1] http://www.information-age.com/enterprise-mobility-trends-2018-123469550/

[2] https://www.networkcomputing.com/data-centers/8-infrastructure-trends-ahead-2018/489496113

[3] https://www.networkcomputing.com/networking/7-enterprise-networking-trends-2018/1081393934

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