Demand for virtualised applications, services and virtual network functions (VNFs) in the UK has tipped into the business mainstream with nearly two-thirds of enterprises either already investing in some form of virtualised application or planning to do so in the next 12 months.
The significant extent of the adoption of virtualised applications, enterprises’ purchase preferences and strategies for these technologies was among the findings from an independent study commissioned by Ciena and conducted by Opinion Matters.
The study assessed virtualised applications, such as software-based managed services like routers, encryption, firewalls and WAN optimisation services that have traditionally been based on dedicated hardware. The survey illustrates the investment plans and views of enterprises around virtualised service delivery and their key decision factors when selecting vendors and managed service providers to implement these technologies.
- Almost all (93%) respondents rate a mix of best-of-breed, interoperable virtual solutions as important or very important versus single-vendor solutions. This highlights the need for open, multi-vendor, multi-domain environments and unique partnerships that can deliver more disruptive, user-enabled services.
- Speed of new service deployment was flagged as very important by 41% of respondents, while more, 49%, highlighted the importance of virtualised applications to support rapid expansion of company IT infrastructure to new business units, partners and branches. This is in line with the drive to a DevOps-style approach to help modify new services and add new resources more quickly and easily.
- When selecting network function virtualisation (NFV) solutions or virtualised enterprise applications, 56% of respondents prefer working with established, major IT vendors, followed by their existing connectivity service providers (37%).
- ‘Bill Shock’ – the potential for run-away and unexpected costs resulting from an unplanned increase in the use of on-demand virtual services – is a significant concern. More than one third (37%) of respondents still want a fixed monthly contract or a flat annual fee (34%) to insulate from the costs of a demand spike.
Commenting on the findings, Joe Marsella, CTO EMEA at Ciena said: “Software and virtualisation, combined with new DevOps style approaches, are key components for flexible and adaptive ICT – and also essential to establish a more agile business culture. By enhancing services with virtual applications that appeal to enterprises, improve service velocity and incorporate the flexibility needed to build, trial and release applications more rapidly, service providers will strengthen their ability to compete in today’s challenging business environment.”
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