by | Jun 25, 2014 | Industry News

Annual report reveals the percentage of aging and obsolete devices on corporate networks globally is at its highest in six years

Dimension Data logoNEW YORK – June 25, 2014 –Dimension Data, the $6 billion global ICT solutions and services provider, today unveiled the findings from its 2014 Network Barometer Report, which presents aggregate data gathered from Dimension Data Technology Lifecycle Management (TLM) Assessments conducted for clients around the world throughout 2013. This year’s report found that 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. More than 51% of all devices assessed are now aging¹ or obsolete². 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.

First published in 2009, Dimension Data’s sixth annual Network Barometer Report was compiled based on data gathered from 288 client TLM Assessments throughout 2013 – spanning 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.

Additional findings from the 2014 Network Barometer Report include:

  • The Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe saw relatively high increases in PSIRT (Product Security Incident Response Team) percentages for Cisco devices from last year, while Australia and Middle East & Africa remained relatively stable. There is likely a strong correlation between this growth in device vulnerabilities and the above-mentioned increase in aging devices, contributing to increased overall operational risks due to owning an unmaintained network.
  • Only 16% of 91,000 IT service incidents logged with Dimension Data service centers in 2013 were related to the network device itself, while the other 84% were related to non-device issues, such as human error, telecom failures or environmental issues. The largest category of IT incidents was due to human error, with nearly one-third of all incidents (6% configuration errors plus 26% other human errors) potentially avoidable.
  • While organizations continue to invest in pervasive wireless connectivity at the edge of their networks, they are also starting to invest in the access network infrastructure needed to support this wireless connectivity. For example, the percentage of gigabit access switch ports increased from one-third of all ports last year to 45% this year. Also, the percentage of switches that support 10-gigabit uplinks increased from 11% to 23%. Interestingly, much of the access switch upgrades are occurring where the installed device still has several years remaining in its product lifecycle. So, while networks are generally getting older as organizations sweat their network assets for as long as possible to save costs, organizations are upgrading their networks when the need for specific new features becomes more pressing.

Click here to view the infographic summary of the Network Barometer Report 2014.

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