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Juniper Networks 2023 Predictions: How New Ways of Working are Impacting Connectivity


Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2023.  Read them in this 15th annual series exclusive.

How New Ways of Working are Impacting Connectivity

By Mike Bushong, GVP, Product Management, Cloud Ready Data Center at Juniper Networks

As businesses continue to settle into the new world of permanent hybrid work and continue to integrate technology investments into their workflows, it's become more and more clear that the massive shifts of the past three years have fundamentally changed how networking teams operate, from the systems they use to manage their network, to how they operate on a day-to-day basis to how they recruit.

Hybrid work has widened the tech talent pool opening the door to new types of workers. At the same time, the cloud has changed networking fundamentally, leading to a greater disconnect between legacy workers trained on vendor CLIs vs. new networking talent who cut their teeth in the cloud. Below are three of the main ways that these trends will further reshape the networking industry in 2023.

Networking teams will begin to thin out, and there is little help on the horizon. The Great Reshuffling has forced a lot of companies to rethink how they replace talent. On top of that, the work-from-home phenomenon means that tech giants can hire from anywhere. What used to be local monopolies on talent in non-silicon-valley locales is now a fertile recruiting ground for cloudscale companies with a desire to lower their costs. And of course, there is an aging contingent of network engineers who entered the workforce in the 90s and are now rapidly approaching retirement. With all these retention issues, where will companies look to replenish? In the past, common certifications were used as a proxy for expertise. People are majoring in cloud, not vendor-specific networking, which means that teams will need to recruit folks with different skills. The future of the user interface will more closely approximate the cloud variants already in play, meaning the grip of vendor syntax will loosen over time until it basically becomes our industry's version of COBOL-useful in legacy deployments but not the foundation of the next great thing. 

The promise of "lift and shift," will start to sour. A lot of companies moved to the cloud with the premise that costs would be cheaper. They engaged consulting companies or partners to help them lift their existing applications and move them to the cloud. But, doing the same exact thing from a different location doesn't always have the tangible benefits you had hoped. The future seems decidedly hybrid, but not in the sense that applications will dynamically move from on-prem to cloud and back. Applications that are not cloud-native but that are still needed, will likely stay where they are. New applications will be built with a specific hosting location in mind. But the move to the cloud has given these companies a taste of cloud operations, and that will be enough to trigger a general adoption of cloud-like workflows and interfaces in on-prem infrastructure.

Multicloud connectivity will start to follow the path of SD-WAN. Companies have realized that a single cloud is not sufficient to handle modern networking, and it's bringing into focus the need to handle multicloud connectivity. It's a short step to move from lifecycle management to centralized control and policy management, which means multi-domain operations should start to hit peoples' radars shortly. This will lead to more marketecture-led decisions, where the future is considered just as much as today. If the future requires another seismic operational upgrade, companies will be stranded. It forces them to examine the possibilities now. This will complicate decision-making as there is great divergence in market offerings today. That will lead to a great role for value-added resellers who can credibly navigate the gap from where companies are to where they need to be. 

From design to operations, the combination of hybrid work and the cloud will continue to lead to major shifts in the networking industry in 2023.




Mike Bushong is GVP, Product Management, Cloud Ready Data Center at Juniper Networks. Mike spent 12 years at Juniper in a previous tour of duty, running product management, strategy, and marketing for Junos Software. In that role, he was responsible for driving Juniper's automation ambitions and incubating efforts across emerging technology spaces (notably SDN, NFV, virtualization, portable network OS, and DevOps). After the first Juniper stint, Mike joined datacenter switching startup Plexxi as the head of marketing. In that role, he was named a top social media personality for SDN. Most recently, Mike was responsible for Brocade's datacenter business as VP of Datacenter Routing and Switching, and then Brocade's software business as VP of Product Management, Software Networking.  

Published Wednesday, January 04, 2023 7:35 AM by David Marshall
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