EMA Network Management Megatrends 2024

New report focuses on skills gaps, hybrid and multicloud, SASE, and AI-driven operations.

EMA 2024 Network Management Megatrends

Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) has published its “Network Management Megatrends 2024” report with a focus on skills gaps, hybrid and multicloud, secure access service edge (SASE), and AI-driven operations. Since 2008, EMA has been surveying IT professionals to track and trend their approaches to managing, monitoring, and troubleshooting their networks. The biennial study reveals interesting details on the techniques that have stood the test of time and innovative approaches to responding to the ever-changing technology landscape of digital transformations during this cloud-era period.

Of the 406 IT professionals that participated in this year’s study, 65.3 percent were in North America, 43.7 percent were from Europe, and 62 percent came from companies that employed more than 2,500 employees (43 percent had between 2,500 and 9,999, and 19 percent had more than 10,000).

Study Overview

The 2024 study includes many repeat questions to illuminate respondents’ systemic issues, improvements, and/or concerns related to troubleshooting, managing, and monitoring their networks. For instance, from an overall perspective, EMA’s study reveals a concerning downward trend between 2016 and 2022 in respondents’ belief that their network teams were completely successful monitoring and managing their networks has shown a major shift to the positive in 2024. From 2018 to 2022, the significant drop from 47 percent to 27 percent was tied to a rapid rise in hybrid multicloud architecture and cloud-native applications, much of which occurred during the COVID remote work period.  However, the 2024 survey revealed improvements, with the success of the network operations organization jumping to 42 percent.

Graph showing responses from survey conducted every 2 years starting 2016

Question: How would you rate the success of your network operations organization over the past year?

Critical Network Management Considerations

Some of the data and analysis found in the 2024 “Network Management Megatrends” study covers critically important network management topics, including:

  • Network operations strategy, technology investments, operational priorities, network operations toolsets, and data requirements
  • Updates on hiring and retaining skilled networking professionals
  • Trends in network operations in multicloud environments
  • New operational challenges in supporting SASE introductions and ongoing management
  • Impact of artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) on network management and operations, including use case examples

Recent Outages Illuminate Importance of Network Management

This report comes at a critical time not only for network operations and management but also for the CIO/CTO suite as they see a flurry of headlines related to highly public customer- and business-impacting performance disruptions, including:

The ripple effects from these outages can be significant and far-reaching. As these examples show, public embarrassment, loss of confidence, and reputational damage are likely outcomes. Revenue can be hit hard due to customer attrition and the hesitance of prospective customers. Additional costs for employee overtime and other issues raised by the outage can occur as well.  The 2024 “Network Management Megatrends” report provides strategies and tools to help organizations become more proactive in this critical function, potentially even avoiding catastrophic outages such as the ones listed here.

Learn more about the report’s findings and conclusions, including what’s influencing network operations teams and network management tool strategies, in the white paper “Network Management Megatrends 2024: Skills Gaps, Hybrid and Multi-Cloud, SASE, and AI-Driven Operations.