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Legacy networking causing cloud transition problems

More customers want to invest in the cloud but many are reporting problems building it on legacy networking

Anyone making a digital transformation pitch will be fully aware that one of the major problems holding back customers is the thorny question of how to handle the legacy kit.

When Riverbed Technology went out to talk to customers about the future of networking it found that the overwhelming majority (97%) revealed that legacy networks would struggle to keep pace with the cloud.

Old networking infrastructure was also blamed for causing performance issues with more than half suffering problems several times a month.

Some of the answers that the channel can propose include SD-WAN, with many customers looking to invest in that technology at some point in the next four years.

“This survey and the resulting data reveal the tremendous pressure that IT decision makers are under to execute their cloud strategies, achieve digital transformation and keep pace with the speed of innovation that is the norm in today’s hypercompetitive markets,” said Jerry Kennelly, co-founder and CEO, Riverbed Technology.

“It was almost unanimous that to have a successful cloud strategy, organizations must adopt next-gen software-defined networking immediately to support it," he added.

A lot of vendors have reacted to the legacy problem by trying to use gateways to enable old technology to speak to the rest of the network but if the problem is embedded in the infrastructure then the issue is much more challenging.

The Riverbed research came out at the same time as IT management company ManageEngine said that just shy of three quarters of the firms it spoke to were planning to increase their investment in cloud next year.

That research is fairly typical and underlines the crunch point that most customers are dealing with as their cloud plans come into conflict with legacy networking inhibitors.

The positive that ManageEngine did unearth was that the IT department did seem to be aligned with management able to influence business decisions.

“One of the cornerstones of business-IT alignment is shared objectives and vision,” said Raj Sabhlok, president of ManageEngine. “This survey clearly shows that businesses in the UK have found a way to consistently get their IT and business managers on the same page and moving in the same direction. You can see this success in their high levels of cross-functional knowledge and in the positive impact that IT is having on the bottom line.”

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