A focus on Enterprise Networking in the APAC region

7 mins

An ‘enterprise network’ refers to the IT infrastructure that mid to large organisations use ...

An ‘enterprise network’ refers to the IT infrastructure that mid to large organisations use to provide connectivity among users, devices, and applications. 

It typically consists of physical and virtual networks and protocols that connect all users and systems on a local area network (LAN) to applications in the data centre and the cloud, as well as allowing access to network data and analytics.

The scale of enterprise networking is what sets it apart from other types of networking; while an individual may have access to a home LAN that connects a few devices to the Internet via a single router, enterprises use internal networks that connect thousands of devices to each other and to the Internet.

In an enterprise/business setting, data centres, branch offices, public and private clouds, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and employees all require reliable network connections. These connections enable enterprises to exchange data, run business operations, and monitor what happens on the network. As time goes on, devices and applications are becoming increasingly geographically distributed in the modern network, therefore simplified networking and security across wired and wireless infrastructure is now a business imperative. 

A modern enterprise network can provide this fast and reliable connectivity between end users and applications, by using a common networking and security platform that provides a variety of networking services such as routing, load balancing, firewalling, Wi-Fi, and service mesh for modern applications. This united approach helps eliminate operational divides and facilitates end-to-end network automation.

Enterprise networks are not open to anyone who wants to connect. Instead, connectivity is limited to specific users, devices, and facilities. The data that passes through them also tends to be encrypted by using virtual private networks (VPNs) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption.

How is enterprise networking being used in the APAC region?

The Asia Pacific Enterprise Network Infrastructure Market is set to witness market growth of 5.8 per cent CAGR during the forecast period (2022-2028). And, as with any market, growth is driven by demand. 

As businesses in the APAC region put more onus on digital transformation, embrace a plethora of increasingly data-intensive applications, and become progressively more security conscious, developments in areas such as enterprise networking are being propelled forwards.

The increased demand for high-bandwidth applications is prompting businesses to adopt advanced enterprise networking solutions to address current bandwidth shortages. A rise in cyberthreats has also impacted how business in APAC are sourcing secure network solutions. In Japan, in particular, incidents of cybercriminals using phishing emails or hoaxes to target victims surged during COVID-19. As a result, Japanese corporations have been working to strengthen their cybersecurity and The Japanese Ministry of Trade has asked businesses to exercise improved leadership and strengthen internal cybersecurity, warning of escalating attacks as telework grows.

The Chinese market has been dominating the Asia Pacific Enterprise Network Infrastructure Market since 2021 and is likely to continue to do so until 2028; by which time it is expected to have achieved a market value of $6,411.5 million. In Japan the market is poised to grow at a CAGR of 5.2 per cent between 2022-2028. And during the same time period, the Indian market is anticipated to display a CAGR of 6.5 per cent.

The Australian networking infrastructure market is also showing signs of a comeback following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with revenue growing year-on-year by 16.9 per cent, to US $230.7 million during the first quarter of 2021. And the enterprise WLAN market jumping by 24.9 per cent year-on-year in the same period, presenting the highest growth rate across Asia Pacific, excluding China. 

This recovery indicates that enterprises have started working on projects which had been abandoned because of uncertainty due to COVID-19. The chip shortages felt across the rest of the world also did not seem to have the same major impact on the Australian market, with vendors finding ways to mitigate supply chain issues.

The Australian market for ongoing projects within the network market, including 5G upgrades to mobile networks, National Broadband Network (NBN) improvements and the number of enterprises adopting newer technologies, is also expected to grow.

A need for Network modernisation 

As well as improving network capabilities, there is a clear desire among businesses within APAC to achieve greater enterprise network maturity in order to facilitate growth. So much so, that a Global Network Report of APAC business leaders revealed that 70 per cent of CEOs believe their network maturity level is negatively affecting their business delivery. 

Despite most enterprises embracing hybrid, distributed work environments with numerous connected devices, just two in five companies claim they are extremely satisfied with their current network capabilities. Clearly, there is a need for network modernisation, particularly as increasing numbers of businesses rely on secure connectivity, use cloud-based platforms and harness AI solutions. 

The emergence of SD-WAN

Another key area of growth within enterprise networking in APAC is the increasing popularity of Software-defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN).

Enterprise networks are composed of local area networks (LANs) that connect to wide area networks (WANs) and the cloud. A SD-WAN is a virtual WAN architecture that allows enterprises to utilise any combination of transport services, such as broadband internet or 4G, to securely connect users to applications.

SD-WAN allows organisations to transform the resource distribution in their network to suit users’ current needs and, as a result, is quickly becoming the preferred networking option to achieve optimum enterprise connectivity between business branch sites. It is this element which makes SD-WAN well suited to APAC’s diverse range of IT infrastructure and is therefore garnering investment interest.

SD-WAN’s benefits include: 

Streamlining operations – SD-WAN enables organisations to quickly provision new sites without expensive on-site administrators. A network of SD-WAN-capable routers can be reconfigured from a central command centre in minutes. This means that businesses can take a coordinated approach to network management, giving separate locations instructions simultaneously, all from one main office. 

Simplifies networking – The APAC region does not lend itself well to traditional fixed-line IT infrastructure, largely due to its diverse and sometimes difficult to traverse geography; ranging from megacities to jungles to heavily mountainous areas, which makes deployment and maintenance challenging. This means that a variety of systems are used throughout the region, depending on the surrounding environment. 

4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks and SD-WAN can take full advantage of this mix of systems, streamlining the management of traditional infrastructure connections and newer mobile networks at the same time. This is particularly crucial for the region’s developing markets, with emerging IT infrastructure, where operations often rely on a multitude of networks for different functions.

Seamless compliance – Numerous countries within the APAC region adhere to strict data sovereignty and cloud access laws, particularly China, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. The flexibility and remote accessibility of SD-WAN can help organisations to comply with these laws. The required data can be stored on a stack in-country, while the resources needed to run the business using that data can be sourced from elsewhere in the WAN.

Countries within the APAC region are on different trajectories when it comes to achieving effective enterprise networking, which is very much dependent on the success of the existing IT infrastructure. While countries such as South Korea, Singapore and Japan offer some of the world’s best internet connectivity, the region is also home to many of the world’s evolving IT markets, including Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Sourcing good quality talent will be key to fast-tracking secure and comprehensive connectivity across the whole region. And, as increasing numbers of business embrace enterprise networking, we expect to see surges in demands for jobs such as Enterprise Network Engineer and Network Development Engineers. 

Looking to test your skills in a new region? Get in touch with our team today to find out about our new opportunities.