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Networking the next Industrial Revolution

We are entering a new era of connectivity. As industries harness new technologies, networking must evolve to become agile, flexible and hyper-scalable. Accenture estimates that IIoT could add $14.2 trillion to the global economy by 2030. However, legacy networking is focused on connecting the user and not large-scale industries. Entering the next Industrial Revolution means service providers must transform their networks to enable the future of networking and connected industries.

Technology in the cloud, AI, big data and IoT has highlighted the need for alternative networking systems that can enhance innovation instead of limit it. The connected industries that use these new technologies will require a network that can transform its current model of connecting customers to one that can scale to serve billions of connected devices. These new technologies have the potential to change working and living environments globally. The challenge service providers are facing today is to make them a reality.

It has been forecasted by Gartner that there will be over 20 billion connected devices globally by 2020. To support these connected industry IoT applications, service providers need to change the way they connect by going beyond just connecting users.

Legacy services
The long lead times and fixed contracts that legacy networking services offer often hinder the ability to quickly serve growing demand. For example, if a manufacturing plant notices that its new IoT deployment is increasing productivity and reducing costs, it may want to utilize IoT in other parts of its infrastructure. To do this, the plant will need a network model that is agile, flexible and scalable to meet its operational objectives. It needs the ability to execute its plans quickly, without the long lead times of legacy networks that often take a long time before they are ready to deploy.

Networking the future
Service providers that can evolve to support innovation and new technologies will deliver the future of connected industries. This cannot be a factional change. Service providers must undergo a complete transformation by leaving behind traditional networking for a new networking model that is intelligent and automated. Resisting this change will mean they are left behind in a commoditized market selling traditional services and unable to generate new streams of revenue.

Capturing revenue
The growth in connected technologies brings with it a new era of solutions that will become the revenue drivers of the future. To realize the vision of connected industries, businesses will need to adopt a network-centric mindset to rapidly deploy, connect and scale their operations. Service providers who offer standard telecom services will become irrelevant in this future. They need to move beyond that and be able to take on new challenges by delivering network services with software-defined networking (SDN).

On-demand connectivity
In this new era, the traditional way of provisioning and managing networks is no longer relevant. SDN promises greater control and performance of the network while increasing flexibility, agility and hyper-scalability. Industries will be able to deploy and scale IoT on-demand instead of being tied down by year-long contracts. They can turn up or down network services with scalable bandwidth capacity and duration that meet their needs. This access to instant deployment will lead to higher service quality and experience for end users while mitigating risk for industries.

The speed of development in networking is the key to the success of connected industries. Networks that can accelerate transformation will be the driving force behind the smart manufacturing, autonomous vehicles, data-driven product development, global AI-powered logistics and smart cities of the future.

Service providers that are prepared to support connected industries with a strong global network fabric, SDN and on-demand provisioning will be able to forge a stronger future for their partners in the ever-growing connected world.

All IoT Agenda network contributors are responsible for the content and accuracy of their posts. Opinions are of the writers and do not necessarily convey the thoughts of IoT Agenda.

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