How is digital networking evolving?

Emerging technologies are still being created and implemented at a rapid pace across all industries. Digital technologies are changing the face of business in a variety of ways, from cloud communications and cryptocurrency to autonomous vehicles and telemedicine. Despite the fact that these technologies serve very distinct purposes, network architecture supports them all.

Digital networking is, in essence, the future of business and everyday life. To keep up with the pace of innovation, networks must be diversified while also being located close to the technologies they support. Enterprises that push forward with their digital transformation strategies will need next-generation network architecture to succeed.

In the realm of digital networks, there are three major trends at the moment: the deployment of 5G networks, network cloudification and efforts to define ‘the edge.’ In a rapidly changing world, these trends will determine whether businesses keep up with their competitors or fall behind.

5G network deployment

5G is one of the most recent network connectivity frontiers, and it is now being deployed in several countries around the world. Although it is substantially quicker than 4G, its availability is currently limited. 5G networks are being implemented in major metropolitan areas in South Africa, however fibre networks are still the clear favourite.

China is now the leader in the deployment of 5G networks, with over 20% of mobile connections in the country being 5G. Other countries throughout the world are expected to adopt this technology in the near future, resulting in an increase in private 5G LTE networks for businesses. These provide better security, privacy and cost savings in the long run.

5G networking can benefit healthcare providers, manufacturers, financial institutions, government agencies and retailers in terms of network speed, responsiveness, improved capacity and reduced latency. Since fibre is the backbone of 5G, the two technologies complement rather than compete with one another.

Network cloudification

Manual labour is still required to modernise and improve a company network, when it comes to on-premise servers, modems, adaptors and firewalls. However, organisations are increasingly turning to cloud-based solutions instead of physical infrastructure. This cloudification process has been popular for a few years, and its prevalence is only expected to grow in the coming years.

Cloud-based computing, workload management, file storage, automation and operations are all becoming commonplace in today’s business world. Networking operations and processes can be delivered with more agility, scalability and flexibility by using the cloud. Since the cloud environment can be accessed from anywhere in the world, it has significant benefits for global corporations and businesses that have made the transition to remote working.

Defining ‘the edge’ 

‘The edge’ refers to the what and where of networking architecture. It can be defined in a variety of ways and there is no commonly agreed upon definition. The edge is essentially a distributed architecture in which data is processed at the network’s periphery (the edge).

The growing number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices is generating large amounts of data that must be kept somewhere other than central data centres. To process this data, organisations require low latency and reliable edge computing services.

To maximise the potential of their networks, businesses must choose customised edge solutions that integrate with the cloud. Cloud networking is unquestionably the way of the future in digital networking. To remain cost-effective as a company grows, its computing, data storage, and network infrastructure must be flexible, agile, and scalable. Every modern business requires tailored technology and the implementation of cloud-based networks.


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Written by Taryn Hill

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