Five Key Factors Drive the Internet Growth Trajectory

Cisco issued results of their annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast (2011-2016). It's the company's ongoing initiative to forecast and analyze Internet Protocol (IP) networking growth and trends worldwide. The VNI Forecast update projects the significant amount of IP traffic expected to travel public and private networks -- including Internet, managed IP, and mobile data traffic generated by all users.

This year, Cisco has also developed a new complementary study -- the Cisco VNI Service Adoption Forecast, which includes global and regional residential, consumer mobile, and business services growth rates.

By 2016, annual global IP traffic is forecast to be 1.3 zettabytes -- (a zettabyte is equal to a sextillion bytes, or a trillion gigabytes). The projected increase of global IP traffic between 2015 and 2016 alone is more than 330 exabytes, which is almost equal to the total amount of global IP traffic generated in 2011 (369 exabytes).

This significant level of traffic growth is driven by five key factors:
  1. An increasing number of devices: The proliferation of tablets, mobile phones, and other smart devices as well as machine-to-machine (M2M) connections are driving up the demand for connectivity. By 2016, the forecast projects there will be nearly 18.9 billion network connections -- almost 2.5 connections for each person on earth -- compared with 10.3 billion in 2011.
  2. More Internet users: By 2016, there are expected to be 3.4 billion Internet users -- about 45 percent of the world's projected population according to United Nations estimates.
  3. Faster broadband speeds: The average fixed broadband speed is expected to increase nearly fourfold, from 9 megabits per second (Mbps) in 2011 to 34 Mbps in 2016.
  4. More video: By 2016, 1.2 million video minutes -- the equivalent of 833 days (or over two years) -- would travel the Internet every second.
  5. Wi-Fi growth: By 2016, over half of the world's Internet traffic is expected to come from Wi-Fi connections.

The Cisco VNI Forecast Methodology

The annual Cisco VNI Forecast was developed to estimate global Internet Protocol traffic growth and trends. Widely used by service providers, regulators, and industry influencers alike, the Cisco VNI Forecast is based on in-depth analysis and modeling of traffic, usage and device data from independent analyst forecasts.

Cisco validates its forecast, inputs and methodology with actual traffic data provided voluntarily by global service providers and more than one million consumers worldwide. The following Cisco VNI Forecast resources and tools are available online:
  • The updated Cisco VNI Forecast Highlights Tool provides key forecast predictions in short sound bites that can be chosen on a global, regional or country level (these include device, traffic and network speed projections).
  • The Cisco VNI Forecast and Methodology, 2011 – 2016 White Paper provides the full detailed findings of the study.
  • The Cisco VNI Forecast widget provides customized views of the growth of various network traffic types around the globe (revised for this 2011 - 2016 forecast period).
  • The Cisco VNI Service Adoption Forecast White Paper provides a unique view into global and regional trends of next-generation residential, consumer mobile, and business end-user services and applications, underlying addressable markets and relevant devices and connections.
  • The Cisco VNI Service Adoption Forecast Highlights Tool provides primary global and regional takeaways on user and subscriber, device and connection, and service adoption penetration rates.
  • The New Cisco Data Meter application (beta version 1.0) for Android smartphones provides users with the following valuable network-related data: estimated and projected bandwidth consumption, individual app usage, Wi-Fi and cell connection speeds, and the location of nearby Wi-Fi networks.
    Historically, Cisco VNI projections have generally been viewed as conservative; however, the forecast has proven to be quite accurate throughout its six-year history.
    • In the initial 2007 VNI Forecast, Cisco projected an overall IP traffic volume of 28.4 exabytes per month by 2011. The actual volume in 2011 was 30.7 exabytes per month. The actual volume was about 7 percent higher than what Cisco projected five years ago.
    • In the 2008 VNI Forecast, Cisco predicted that in 2010 Internet video would surpass P2P in traffic volume. In 2010, Internet video surpassed P2P in traffic volume -- confirming the Cisco VNI Forecast.
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    Top 10 BYOD and Virtualization Market Insights

    Like it or not, some enterprises have already entered a post-PC world -- where their business communication network must accommodate new user-driven choices. These include traditional applications, mobile apps, social apps and operating systems; various server architectures; and an array of mobile devices ranging from smartphones to tablets and other mobility tools. Are you experiencing this phenomenon? If not, you will soon. Moreover, this latest business technology trend has huge ramifications.

    Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) conducted extensive research and analysis to uncover key insights about BYOD (“bring your own device”) and desktop virtualization trends in U.S. enterprises. The Cisco IBSG Horizons BYOD and Virtualization study surveyed 600 enterprise IT leaders from 18 industries.

    The Top 10 Market Insights

    Insight 1: Mobility Is Pervasive
    • Seventy-eight percent of U.S. white-collar employees use a mobile device (e.g., laptop, smartphone, or tablet) for work purposes.
    • Respondents indicated that 65 percent of white-collar workers in their organizations require mobile connectivity to do their jobs.
    • Forty-four percent of knowledge workers telecommute at least once per week.
    • Cisco IBSG estimates that telecommuting once a week saves $2,500 per employee annually.

    Insight 2: Growth of Mobility Has Impacted IT Profoundly
    • By 2014, the average number of connected devices per knowledge worker will reach 3.3, up from an average of 2.8 in 2012 (18 percent increase).
    • On average, mobility initiatives will consume 20 percent of IT budgets in 2014, compared to 17 percent in 2012.

    Insight 3: How Much Longer Will Traditional Funding Models Exist?
    • Sixty-two percent of respondents’ organizations pay for both employees’ devices and their voice/data plans.
    • Seventy-five percent of respondents expect the share of employee-owned devices connected to company networks to increase “somewhat” to “significantly” over the next two years.
    • Forty-one percent of respondents indicated a majority of smartphones connecting to their company network are actually employee-owned.
    • According to Cisco IBSG, employees are willing to invest to improve their work experience. Cisco BYOD employees, for example, pay an average of $600 for their preferred devices.

    Insight 4: BYOD Is Here, and It’s Not a Bad Thing
    • Eighty-eight percent of surveyed IT leaders perceive growing technology “consumerization” in the enterprise.
    • Seventy-six percent consider consumerization “somewhat” or “extremely” positive for their companies.

    Insight 5: BYOD Delivers Several Benefits to the Enterprise
    • Among respondents, the top two perceived benefits of BYOD were improved employee productivity (more opportunities to collaborate) and greater job satisfaction.
    • The benefits of BYOD vary based on an employee’s role and work requirements. Cisco IBSG estimates that the annual benefits from BYOD range from $300 to $1,300, depending on the employee’s job role.

    Insight 6: BYOD Does Bring Its Share of Challenges
    • Respondents cited the top challenges of BYOD as (1) ensuring security/privacy of company data and (2) providing IT support for multiple mobile platforms.
    • Thirty-six percent of respondents said that their organizations’ IT departments provide full support for employee-owned devices connected to the company network, with an additional 48 percent indicating that their IT departments support selected devices. Eleven percent said that their companies tolerate employee-owned devices but don’t support them, and just 5 percent said their organizations forbid employee-owned devices.
    • According to Cisco IBSG, 86 percent of BYOD costs are non-hardware-related, highlighting the importance of choosing the right governance and support models to control these costs.

    Insight 7: Employees Want To Control Their Work Experience
    • Employees are turning to BYOD because they want more control of their work experience, thus improving productivity and job satisfaction.
    • Forty percent of respondents cited “device choice” as their top BYOD priority (the ability to use their favorite device — anywhere).
    • Respondents’ second BYOD priority is the desire to perform personal activities at work, and work activities during personal time.
    • Employees also want to bring their own applications to work. Sixty-nine percent of respondents said that unapproved applications — especially social networks, cloud-based email, and instant messaging — are somewhat to much more prevalent today than two years ago.

    Insight 8: Desktop Virtualization Is on the Rise
    • Desktop virtualization enables employees to enjoy a similar experience across a broad range of devices — from desktop and laptop PCs to smartphones and tablets. This capability is alternately referred to as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), hosted virtual desktop (HVD), desktop as a service (DaaS), and server-based computing.
    • Eighty percent of respondents indicated that they are “very aware” of desktop virtualization, and 18 percent said they are “somewhat aware.”
    • Sixty-eight percent of respondents agreed that a majority of knowledge worker roles are suitable for desktop virtualization.
    • Fifty percent noted that their organization is in the process of implementing a desktop virtualization strategy.

    Insight 9: Desktop Virtualization Also Poses Challenges
    • While 70 percent of IT leaders recognize that half or more of their organization’s employees could benefit from desktop virtualization, they also expressed some concerns.
    • Respondents’ top concern (33 percent) was data protection — ensuring that only the right people have access to sensitive company and customer data. The No. 2 concern was business continuity — the ability to continue operations under adverse conditions, such as interruptions due to natural or man-made hazards.

    Insight 10: Desktop Virtualization Will Impact Much of the Business
    • Desktop virtualization is already making its mark and will continue to have a significant impact on enterprise business. Survey respondents noted the following as the three areas that will benefit most from desktop virtualization: (1) business continuity, (2) employee productivity, and (3) IT costs.
    • Among devices, respondents listed their top desktop virtualization priorities as laptops (81 percent), desktops (76 percent), smartphones (64 percent), and tablets (60 percent).
    • Survey respondents stated that the top four job roles being targeted for desktop virtualization are (1) field-/customer-facing employees, (2) employees who handle sensitive company data, (3) employees who work from home frequently, and (4) executives.
    • Desktop virtualization and BYOD are changing the way applications are provisioned to employees. For example, 35 percent of respondents said that employees can download only pre-approved applications from the company app store, while 23 percent indicated that both approved and nonstandard applications are available from the company app store.
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    How CIOs Migrate their IT Applications to the Cloud

    As the role of cloud computing is growing around the globe, many CIOs and other senior IT decision makers are facing challenges with their existing network infrastructure -- to support the migration of their business applications to the cloud. A new international study by Cisco Systems revealed the ongoing challenges associated with public or private cloud deployments.

    These latest research findings provide insight into the current state of cloud service adoption and the chasm between IT expectations and network realities. The survey also examines the experiences of IT professionals regarding the level of difficulty and time required to update their networks and migrate their applications to the cloud.

    The 2012 Cisco Global Cloud Networking Survey addresses the applications that are most critical for businesses to move to a cloud services delivery model, as well as the network challenges and potential disruptions and road blocks they are facing during this process. The report also takes a closer look at the typical length of these cloud migrations, and how confident IT professionals are in the ability of their own network deployments to securely deliver an optimal cloud application experience.

    Among its findings, the study reveals that updating the network is one of the top focus areas for cloud migration. In order to successfully move more applications to the cloud, the majority of respondents cited a cloud-ready network (37 percent) as the biggest infrastructure element required for further cloud deployments, ahead of a virtualized data center (28 percent) or a service-level agreement from a managed cloud service provider (21 percent).

    This data expands on the Cisco Global Cloud Index, which predicts that more than 50 percent of computing workloads in data centers will be cloud-based by 2014, and that global cloud traffic will grow over 12 times by 2015, to 1.6 zettabytes per year – the equivalent of over four days of business-class video for every person on Earth.

    Key findings from the global market study include:

    Cloud Deployments in Perspective
    • Almost two in five (39 percent) of those surveyed said they dread network challenges associated with private or public cloud deployments so much that they would rather get a root canal, dig a ditch, or do their own taxes.
    • At the same time, nearly three quarters (73 percent) feel they are confident with enough information to begin their private or public cloud deployments. However, the remainder (27 percent) feels they have more knowledge about how to play Angry Birds than the steps needed to migrate their company's network and applications to the cloud.
    • In a clear sign that many IT organizations are still considering and planning cloud migrations, nearly one quarter (24 percent) of IT decision makers said that over the next six months, they are more likely to see a UFO, a unicorn or a ghost before they see their company's cloud migration starting and finishing.
    • Without proper processes and planning, more than one quarter (31 percent) said they could train for a marathon in a shorter period of time than it would take to migrate their company's applications to the cloud.
    • A majority (76 percent) predict their cloud applications are likely to be breached, yet only one quarter (24 percent) are confident to the point in which they believe the odds are better for them to be struck by lightning than have their cloud applications breached by an unwanted third party.

    Cloud Deployments Expected to Increase Significantly by the end of 2012

    • Presently, only 5 percent of IT decision makers have been able to migrate at least half of their total applications to the cloud. By the end of 2012, that number is expected to significantly rise, as one in five (20 percent) will have deployed over half of their total applications to the cloud.

    Most Critical Infrastructure for Cloud Deployments

    • In order to successfully move more applications to the cloud, the majority of respondents cited a cloud-ready network (37 percent) as the biggest infrastructure element required for further cloud deployments, ahead of a virtualized data center (28 percent) or a service-level agreement from a cloud service provider (21 percent).

    Top Infrastructure Roadblocks to Cloud Migration

    • During the cloud migration process, data protection security (72 percent) was cited as the top network challenge or roadblock responsible for preventing a successful implementation of cloud services, followed by availability/reliability of cloud applications (67 percent), device-based security (66 percent), visibility and control of applications across the WAN (60 percent) and overall application performance (60 percent).

    Top Choice of Application for Cloud Migration

    • If given the choice of only being able to move one application to the cloud, most respondents would choose storage (25 percent), followed by enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications to manage HR, customer relationship management, supply chain management, and project management systems (20 percent). Email (16 percent) and collaboration solutions (15 percent) followed.

    Reality Check: Status of Cloud Application Migration

    • When asked which applications have been moved, or are being planning to be moved to public or private clouds in the next year, the majority of IT decision makers cited email and Web services (77 percent), followed by storage (74 percent) and collaboration solutions such as Web conferencing and instant messaging (72 percent).
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    Cloud-Based Collaboration Services in Asia-Pacific Gov

    Government agencies are reportedly one of the primary benefactors of managed cloud services. According to the results from a recent market study by IDC, IT decision-makers across the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan) found that 59 percent of public sector respondents are confident in the ability of their internal IT departments to deploy private cloud environments.

    However, IDC Government Insights cautions that high levels of private cloud adoption may not bode well for a collaborative and citizen-engaging government and preemptive measures should be taken for collaboration to take place across organizational boundaries. More insights can be found in the IDC report entitled, "Cloud Computing for Government: a View from Asia-Pacific."

    Frank Levering, Research Manager for IDC said, "An efficient and productive internal IT department is definitely a good to have in any organization, private or public. However, a department that is highly confident in running its own private cloud environment may run the risk of not reaching out to other internal departments to collaborate on cloud opportunities."

    To counter this possibility, IDC recommends that whenever possible, governments should consider cloud-based collaboration services rather than independent private cloud solutions.

    Although governments will initially be seeking cloud-based solutions to deliver cost advantages and better manage resources, eventually, cloud implementations need to be about inter-department collaborations and citizen relationship management in order to reap the full benefits of its capabilities to deliver optimal citizen services.

    This is particularly important for key initiatives like data classification for security purposes; if agencies do not align their security levels, it would prove to be a massive obstacle for future joint efforts.

    A positive sign is that governments across the region are growing to recognize the need for collaboration within the cloud space. There is already a significant installed base of collaborative applications in the cloud and the numbers will grow significantly in the next 12 months.

    To optimize the benefits of cloud services, IDC offers recommendations to governments:
    • Evaluate all aspects of cloud computing. Read everything you can get your hands on. Most suppliers will have recognized that the key to their long-term success is their short-term role as an educator. Since security is a big concern, develop security profiles for all suppliers being considered.
    • Service-oriented architecture (SOA) first, then cloud. The right SOA needs to be in place to facilitate a smooth connection to external cloud services. Government agencies needing to build a robust SOA require a plan that tackles the transition in bite-size pieces while solidifying long-term migration to the shared services architecture. Remove the key barriers to cloud computing.
    • Challenges like security concerns and decentralized data storage will be blocking issues until they are acknowledged and appropriately addressed. Many of the more complex scenarios, like customer/citizen relationship management and inter-department collaboration will depend on a government's ability to get the basics right.
    • Know your current environment. An inventory of the current environment should provide a good indication of whether systems contain sensitive data, including taxpayers' personally identifiable information and/or mission-critical data and (legacy) applications. This will provide an excellent start to planning for cloud services adoption.
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