Gartner Blog Network


Networking Predictions 2020 Edition

by Andrew Lerner  |  January 6, 2020  |  Submit a Comment

We’ve been known to make a predictions through the years, and here’s a list of my favorite networking predictions that Gartner has published over the last year.

We all have technical debt, and it is time to start actively managing it. Through 2023, I&O leaders who actively manage and reduce technical debt will achieve at least 50% faster service delivery times. One way to help limit accrual of technical debt is to improve the amount of automation and we expect that By 2023, I&O staff with automation skills will command up to a 40% salary premium, versus less than 10% today. Thus, In 2023, 60% of data center networking operational activities will be automated, which is twice the number in 2019.

Anyone who has ever had operational responsibilities knows that avoiding data center networking outages is a life-improver. Thus, my personal favorite prediction is that By 2022, 25% of data center switch hardware failures will be proactively avoided, due to predictive analytics embedded in vendors’ management platforms.

When it comes to the WAN, we predict that By 2023, to deliver cost-effective scalable bandwidth, 30% of enterprise locations will only have internet WAN connectivity, compared with less than 10% in 2019. Thus, not surprisingly, By 2023, 65% of global enterprises will employ unified communications solutions that are deployed over SD-WAN, up from less than 10% in 2018. However, it will not be an NFV/uCPE world as we believe Through 2024, due to relatively high immaturity, complexity and cost, only 10% of enterprises will implement premises-based network function virtualization (NFV) services. If uCPE isn’t the “next big thing”, than what is?  We predict it is SASE, and that By 2024, at least 40% of enterprises will have explicit strategies to adopt SASE, up from less than 1% at year-end 2018.  And despite the carnival barking associated with 5G, Less than 45% of CSPs globally will have launched a commercial 5G network by 2025.

Historically, our accuracy rate on networking predictions is about 70%. However, even when we’re wrong, we are usually directionally correct; so we may miss by a year or a dozen percentage points – but the trend is usually there.  After all, the point of predictions is to help position our organizations for success by targeting investments (people and product) to align with where things are going.

Regards, Andrew

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Andrew Lerner
Research Vice President
6+ years at Gartner
21 years IT Industry

Andrew Lerner is a Vice President in Gartner Research. He covers enterprise networking, including data center, campus and WAN with a focus on emerging technologies (SDN, SD-WAN, and Intent-based networking). Read Full Bio




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