Legacy networks are holding up businesses’ digital transformation. More than 90 per cent of firms agree that their cloud strategy will only reach its ‘full potential’ with the support of a next-generation network; but 85 per cent feel that they are ‘several years’ away from that point due to the limitations of their existing networks.

Riverbed Networks’ global Future of Networking survey shows that almost all (97 per cent) of the 1,000 IT leaders questioned agree that legacy infrastructure will struggle to keep up with the changing demands of cloud and hybrid networks. A similar figure (98 per cent) feel that a next-gen network is ‘critical’ to keeping up with business and end user demands.

Jerry Kennelly,CEO of Riverbed: “It was almost unanimous that to have a successful cloud strategy, organisations must adopt next-gen software-defined networking immediately to support it. Riverbed is dedicated to ensuring this transformation is successful and that organisations are able to achieve the operational agility needed to thrive through the use of SD-WAN for cloud networking.”

Almost two-thirds (58 per cent) of businesses say that their legacy infrastructure causes cloud-related network issues several times a month; and 93 per cent said that it impacts their business monthly. Unfortunately, SD-WAN adoption was still found to be low at just four per cent, although 52 per cent plan to migrate within two years, and 93 per cent within four.

Respondents told Riverbed that they would be willing to sacrifice their own free time or convenience if it led to less time spent getting networks to perform at an ‘adequate level’. 54 per cent would take a longer commute; 53 per cent would take shorter lunch breaks; and 51 per cent said that they would handwrite all of their emails. 42 per cent even said that they would stop drinking coffee.

Some of the main benefits that respondents named to SD-WAN included greater efficiency due to better use of bandwidth (48 per cent); increased productivity (47 per cent); and greater opportunities to expand (46 per cent).