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Network security investment booms
Research by A10 Networks (www.a10networks.com) reveals that UK communication service providers (CSPs) expect to see robust growth in traffic volumes continuing in the next two-three years with 67% of those surveyed saying they expect traffic to rise by 50%, with one quarter (25%) believing it will soar by 75% or more.
“These predictions align with the sustained traffic growth we’ve seen in recent years,” says Anthony Webb, Vice President, A10 International. “Although the pandemic created a one-off burst in growth which we witnessed in our 2021 survey, with 98% of UK CSPs surveyed stating this, we are now seeing more sustained patterns emerging which show continuing growth at a considerable rate. Likewise, these growth levels are creating both the urgency and the confidence for CSPs to undertake substantial investment projects.”
In the report, Global Communication Service Providers: Market Growth Fuels Security Investments, respondents cited their three priorities for network security investments include: simplification and integration of disparate, disconnected point security solutions (cited by 32% of respondents); ransomware and malware protection services (32%); whilst 30% of respondents said upgrading firewalls was in the top three of their IT agendas.
“Although upgrading firewalls and other security appliances was in the top three, this was less dominant than it was two years ago when we did our first CSP survey,” continues Webb. “This points to the fact that today's network security strategy must be wide-ranging, with a well-rounded approach that can handle the full spectrum of emerging threats to maintain a high quality, reliable, and secure service for customers.”
Alongside investing in network security, 63% of UK respondents say they are expanding their networks to unserved/underserved communities, while 49% are planning to expand for an uplift of more than 10% of their current subscriber base (with a further 14% are expanding for an uplift of more than 50%), and 37% are planning to build additional data centres and expand to provide additional capacity for other service providers.
“Connecting communities is central to reducing inequality and supporting digital opportunities, so it is heartening to see this positive direction of travel,” continues Webb. “Combining this with robust security strategies will result in more people and communities worldwide benefitting from safe, reliable digital services.”
The report shows that enterprise cloud migration has been a strong trend over the past decade – accelerated by the pandemic – and overall, 69% of UK respondents report a positive outcome related to their cloud transition, with 27% saying it has directly generated revenue, whilst a further 42% say they have evolved to offer public cloud and managed data centre services and can now offer more differentiated services to meet the evolving needs of their customers.
“It is interesting to see that one in four CSPs say they have gained revenue as customers have distributed workloads and data centre functions between private, on premises and public cloud. This cloud transition is also evident when it comes to key purchasing criteria for network equipment, as being in a cloud-native form factor was a must-have criteria, with 30% saying this,” says Webb.
Worldwide demand, as CSPs globally add more subscribers, has made IPv4 addresses scarce. Providers therefore need to plan for transition to IPv6. However, the report shows that only 34% of UK respondents expect to achieve this in the next two to three years, with more than one third (34%) expecting to adopt a strategy of carefully managing their IPv4 pools and gradually transitioning to IPv6, whilst 32% aim to run the two in parallel.
“This shows that CSPs are adopting a more cautious approach to IPv6 adoption, leveraging existing investment and carefully managing existing IPv4 addresses or running the two in parallel, rather than accelerating full transition plans,” explains Webb. “Our research shows that CSPs are at a crucial point as they aim to capitalize on demand and seize opportunities to grow and diversify their business. To realize their full potential, service providers need to scale and protect their networks so the infrastructure they provide is secure and highly available.”
The report, Global Communication Service Providers: Market Growth Fuels Security Investments, is the outcome of a study undertaken by independent research organization, Opinion Matters, to gauge the views of 2,750 senior IT professionals from 11 regions around the world around investment, preparing for growth, expanding services to meet underserved communities, and seizing opportunities to expand into new markets.
The full report is available at https://www.a10networks.com/wp-content/uploads/A10-EB-Global-Communication-Service-Providers-Market-Growth-Fuels-Security-Investments.pdf