How old are today’s networks?

The percentage of aging and obsolete devices in today’s corporate networks around the globe is at its highest in six years, signaling that the global financial crisis of recent years may still have a lingering effect today, according to Dimension Data.

More than 51% of all devices assessed are now aging or obsolete. In addition, 27% of all devices are now “later’ in their product lifecycle and at the point where the vendor begins to reduce support. Interestingly, the Americas included the lowest percentage of aging and obsolete devices (44%) out of any region worldwide.

Raoul Tecala, Dimension Data”s Business Development Director for Networking said, “Over the past few years, we’ve seen the proportion of aging and obsolete devices steadily increase, and the conventional assumption was that a technology refresh cycle was imminent. However, our data reveals that organizations are sweating their network assets for longer than expected.”

Tecala says there are three main drivers behind this trend. Firstly, following the economic crisis, organizations are keeping a sustained focus on cost savings – particularly reduced capex budgets.

Secondly, there is growing availability and uptake of as-a-service ICT consumption models, which reduces the need for organizations to invest in their own infrastructure. Finally, the advent of programmable, software-defined networks (SDNs) may be causing organizations to “wait and see’ before selecting and implementing new technology – a factor Dimension Data expects to become more influential in the next 18 to 36 months.

“We expect that growth in cloud computing, mobility and the number of connected “things’ will put additional strain on the network and that clients will have to re-look at their network architecture, not the individual devices,” explains Tecala.

Dimension Data”s sixth annual Network Barometer Report was compiled based on data gathered from 74,000 network devices within organizations of all sizes and industry sectors across 32 countries worldwide. Data was also gathered from 91,000 service incidents logged for client networks that Dimension Data supports.

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