2024 Global Networking Trends Report

IT teams are under greater pressure to operate more efficiently, securely, and sustainably—putting the network at the epicenter of IT and business strategy.

Architectural changes are underway to advance digital business. A network platform, AI-enabled operations, and converged security are proving pivotal to network strategies. 

The network: A catalyst for digital business success

Business improvements driven by networking investments over the past 12 months:


Increase in customer satisfaction


Increase in employee productivity and satisfaction


Growth in revenue

“The network builds transformational innovations like cloud. In return, it’s transformed by them. The cloud and the network are synonymous... I see the same with AI; there is no AI without the network and the data that drives it.”

Jonathan Davidson, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Cisco Networking

Strategic networking areas driving digital business

Architecture transformation

A network platform, integrated partner ecosystem, and digital experience assurance are expected to simplify operations and drive innovative experiences.

Two-year outlook


of respondents said they expect to embrace a network platform architecture across one or more networking domains.

Security convergence

Converging network and security technologies and workflows are a top priority and a best practice as security concerns expand with continued cloud adoption.

Two-year outlook


expect to have an integrated multicloud networking and security management platform in place for secure workload mobility, network and application visibility, and policy management.     

AI operations

AI-enabled automation is a strategic priority to close the IT skills gap while streamlining operations, assuring digital experiences, and mitigating risk.

Two-year outlook


of IT leaders and professionals expect to have AI-enabled predictive network automation in place across all domains to manage NetOps.

Data center at scale

Data center infrastructure modernization is underway to meet AI workload and new application demands at scale.

Two-year outlook


of respondents expect they will deploy a next-generation enhanced Ethernet network, providing standardized packet lossless technology to support AI workloads.


Sustainability advancement

IT is looking to networking platform features that advance telemetry and visibility, and create smart, sustainable buildings to advance net-zero goals.

Two-year outlook


expect to be focusing on energy management using real-time telemetry, platform dashboards, and other networking tools.


Every organization leverages a network to connect their users. And having the most consistent network experience is critical to making sure our organization functions properly… without a solid network that your organization is running on, you wouldn’t have that organization or the ability to connect its users.

Michael Kutka, Network Architect, Insight Global

Network evolution journey

Customers and employees expect unified, seamless, and engaging digital experiences. Always.

This demand has sparked a journey for organizations across industries to evolve their networks and provide operational efficiency, secure connectivity, and IT innovation to advance digital resilience.

About the research

The 2024 Global Networking Trends research was conducted in November 2023 by Cisco in partnership with IDC. Responses were gathered from over 2052 IT leaders and professionals from 13 markets and 10 industries assessing their top networking challenges, priority IT and business outcomes, architectural advances, and future-looking investment strategies.


Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Singapore, U.K., and U.S. are the markets analyzed in the report.


The research covered the following industries: Education, Financial/lnsurance Services, Government, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Mining, Retail, Telecom, and Transportation.

Get ahead with key insights from IT leaders