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Global Study Finds C-Suite Underprepared for Digital Disruption

NFV and SDN Technologies Prove Beneficial, but Growing Skills Gap Poses Challenges

Juniper Networks today released global survey results from over 2,700 IT and business decision-makers (ITDMs and BDMs), revealing that companies are not prepared for the inevitable impact of digital disruption.

Commissioned by Juniper Networks and conducted by Wakefield Research, the survey polled respondents from India, China, Juniper-Digital-DisruptionSingapore, Japan, Australia, United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany. Three hundred respondents were polled in India, of which 200 were ITDMs and 100 were BDMs.

Key India specific highlights from the report include:

  • 68% of BDMs surveyed believe that their company would perform better if the current C-Suite was more tech-savvy
  • 84% of ITDMs surveyed feel that the C-Suite at their company does not view the network as vital to company success
  • 52% of respondents in India have adopted SDN based technologies and 42% of the respondents have deployed SDN partially. In terms of adoption, India leads the race for regions that have already deployed SDN into their network infrastructure
  • 53% of respondents in India have predominantly adopted NFV based technologies into their infrastructure making India a close second to Australia
  • 79% of ITDMs and 72% of BDMs surveyed are excited about IT and network automation in India
  • 58% of ITDM respondents in India feel that it is likely that their company’s IT infrastructure would be an obstacle to accelerating a new product or service

“For over 20 years, Juniper has partnered with customers to embrace business growth by investing in network innovation,” said Rami Rahim, CEO of Juniper Networks“True innovation requires an understanding of the value that technology delivers. Now more than ever, savvy technology investments are vital to maintaining a business advantage. The C-Suite doesn’t need to code, but leading a company strategy for growth requires a strong relationship between those who set the strategy and those who execute.”

“It’s a strong signal of India’s maturity as a market that Indian enterprises have led the way globally in the adoption of emerging networking technologies like SDN and NFV,” said Amajit Gupta, Managing Director, India & SAARC, Juniper Networks. “But as competition grows fiercer by the day not just for Indian businesses, but for the region as a whole – it’s vital that the companies here embrace the digital disruption, and to future-proof our workforce for the challenges of tomorrow.”

Arm your current and future IT leaders for the disruption ahead

More than half of the respondents (55 percent of ITDMs and 51 percent of BDMs) expect a new disruptive technology, product or service to be introduced to their industry within the next two years. However, IT departments aren’t feeling prepared for the changes ahead. Almost half (45 percent) of ITDMs surveyed believe a quarter or more of their IT workforce will not have the skills they need to succeedfive years from now.

To address the skills gap currently hindering organizations from fully capitalizing on opportunities stemming from the expected digital disruption, Juniper Networks today announced an expansion of the company’s OpenLab program to seven locations worldwide. OpenLab provides customers, partners, academics and other industry leaders with hands-on access to network automation workshops, educational programs and dedicated lab resources.

School your C-Suite and brace for rapid change

Nearly nine in 10 respondents (84 percent of ITDMs and 84 percent of BDMs) admit their organization would perform better if their current C-Suite were more tech-savvy.

A lack of investment in IT creates a barrier to innovation, preventing business from keeping up with the pace of change and staying competitive. Nearly half of the respondents (46 percent of ITDMs and 50 percent of BDMs) expect it would take one or more years for their company to develop and support an improved product or service if challenged by a competitor. That’s time they may not have given the speed at which disruption can hit.

What’s worse, legacy infrastructure is slowing business growth. More than half of respondents indicated their company’s IT infrastructure would be very or somewhat likely to create an obstacle in accelerating a new product or service.

To remain relevant today, organizations need to address impending industry disruption by rethinking their IT approach to ensure they are investing in ongoing innovation. Market advantage is more likely to last when leadership stays at the forefront of technology innovation.

“Even access to the best tech doesn’t ensure digital success in today’s competitive environment. Companies must have the right mix of talent to lead and execute successful technology transformation. And they must continually ensure that their talent is ‘digitally ready,’ by both recruiting and training with an eye for the skills that will help them meet demand and scale in an agile, shifting technology landscape,” said Fiona Vickers, Senior Client Partner and Managing Director, Digital at Korn Ferry, the preeminent global people and organizational advisory firm, that recently published a report entitledLeaders for a Digital Transformation.

Invest in automation

To stay ahead of the disruption curve, organizations should prioritize network automation investments. Study results show that both ITDMs and BDMs see IT and network automation as essential for their company’s future competitiveness.

Nearly three in four respondents (70 percent of ITDMs and 72 percent of BDMs) say they’re excited by the opportunities network and IT automation create for their company. Of the ITDMs already using software-defined networking (SDN) or network functions virtualization (NFV), nearly all (93 percent) say it’s given them a significant edge over their competitors.

ITDMs at companies that have adopted SDN report greater benefits and capabilities than they originally expected; respondents were most likely to report cloud interconnect, virtual data center and security automation as the business benefits of SDN adoption. ITDMs at companies that have adopted NFV reported greater benefits and capabilities than they originally expected; respondents were most likely to report that NFV adoption enables virtual security, virtual routing and WAN optimization.

The study, commissioned by Juniper Networks, was conducted by Wakefield Research via an online survey of 2,704 respondents in India, the U.S., China, Australia, Japan, Singapore, U.K., Germany and France. Click here for more information or to download the full report.

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