Buyers' Guide is a paramount journey undertaken by our team every year. It is a mammoth and thankless task to capture concisely the innumerable products and solutions offered by manufacturers for the enterprise network industry and the carriers. Yet, it is a challenge we feel we need to take; we owe it to our readers, the buyer community.
Enterprise networking is on the leading edge of digital transition. While it presents opportunities for new products and business models, it risks sending old ones into obsolescence. As the shift to virtualized infrastructure gathers momentum, and there is increasing likelihood that as digital transformation unfolds, networking hardware will become commoditized, the market leaders find it imperative to reinvent themselves as software companies. It seems that the future enterprise will no longer be tethered to physical infrastructure, relying instead on dynamic, abstracted resources to drive productivity and bring value to data and processes.
In part, this is due to leading carriers feeling the heat to become digital service providers. The telcos need to partner with OTT players and deliver digital services through a revenue-share model. Although the majority of telcos still have a long way to go, they must begin the journey by creating a strategy and project roadmap. During the transformation process, they should strive to gain agility by consolidating their systems, where possible, and increasing process automation. A telco that is well positioned for success as a DSP will also have a strong partner relationship management strategy and will make focusing on innovation an ongoing priority.
The powers that be would be well advised to take a recently released report, Internet Shutdowns Cost Countries $2.4 Billion Last Year by Brookings, seriously. It quantifies the economic cost of Internet shutdowns that occurred in 19 countries between July 2015 and June 2016. It has identified 22 Internet shutdowns that occurred in India during that period and estimates that they cost the country Rs.6500 crore. As the digital economy expands, it will become more expensive for nations to shut down the Internet, and this damage is likely to accelerate in the future and further weaken economic development.