“Necessity is the mother of motivation”: F5’s State of Application Strategy 2021 Survey

JOHANNESBURG – June 28, 2021 – Applications are so central to how we live, work, and interact today that the technologies used to deliver those apps and protect application security have become essential to business growth. Because of this, an application strategy is now a crucial component of any successful business strategy.

F5, which delivers cloud and security solutions, has recently released its 2021 ‘State of Application Strategy Report’. Writing about the release of the report, F5 Principal Technical Evangelist Lori MacVittie advises, “The year 2020 will be remembered for many reasons. In the history of technology, it will be indelibly associated with accelerated digital transformation…

“Millions of consumers were motivated by necessity to use digital business for the first time. Businesses were motivated to accelerate their transformation in response, driven by that same necessity. What would otherwise have taken years has, based on our annual research, taken just months. That conclusion has been echoed by the industry and a plethora of independent research… we were struck by how swiftly organisations have moved to adopt the methods, technology, and application architectures necessary to progress on their digital transformation journey.”

MacVittie says ‘the future is data-driven’ and that this is substantiated by this year’s F5 research report. She writes, “The importance of the functional capabilities of technologies that deliver and secure applications as well as the telemetry they generate cannot be overstated. More than three-quarters of respondents - all decision makers in their respective organisations - view application delivery and security technology as being important to meeting SLAs (80 percent) and improving the customer experience (79 percent).”

At the same time, even as this phenomenal digital transformation journey has taken place, security is a huge concern. MacVittie adds, “As the primary digital interface with consumers, applications are constantly under attack. The business is increasingly targeted as attackers begin to discover how to abuse digital business in new ways.”

Another key finding in the report has been the expansion to the edge, which has been enabled by millions of new digital consumers and the increasing prospect of a distributed and remote workforce: “This reality has made expansion to edge the new imperative. Just over three-quarters (76 percent) have or plan to deploy applications at the edge.”

According to the report, application delivery and security technologies today are deployed as follows:

  • Cloud and on-premises: 48 percent
  • Cloud and edge: 13 percent
  • On-premises and edge: 11 percent
  • Cloud, on-premises and edge: 10 percent.

MacVittie comments, “When we asked specifically about where application delivery and security technologies were deployed today, we were a bit surprised to see edge figure so prominently in the mix. We were not surprised to find that the majority of organisations operate these technologies in more than one environment. Less than half (41 percent) stick to one—and it's primarily on-premises. For the majority, however, a mix of cloud, on-premises, and edge is clearly the norm.

“This will have an impact on the technologies, tools, and methods used to operate an increasingly distributed and diverse set of workloads… The ability to seamlessly deploy and operate applications and the technologies that deliver and secure them is quickly becoming a must-have as organisations run afoul of operational inefficiencies caused by trying to stitch together too many different tools to keep the business running.”

“Digital transformation is a business journey that is accompanied by a technology evolution,” says Esti Bosch, F5 Product Manager at Networks Unlimited, a channel partner of F5 in sub-Saharan Africa. “If we agree that the future of business is digital, then this means that applications, and the technologies that deliver them and keep them secure, lie at the core of the business.

“It is of crucial importance to collect, analyse and act on data that is accrued by applications in order to have a positive effect on business outcomes. The business and IT must therefore travel the path towards digitisation together, in partnership,” she concludes.

Please click here to access the full report: F5 'State of Application Strategies 2021'.

About F5

F5 brings adaptive applications to life. F5’s automation, security, performance, and insight solutions empower organisations to develop, deliver, secure, and optimise adaptive applications that increase revenue, reduce costs, and better protect users. F5 delivers cloud and security solutions that enable organisations to embrace the application infrastructure they choose without sacrificing speed and control. For more information, go to f5.com.

About Networks Unlimited

Networks Unlimited is a value-added distributor, committed to empowering African businesses through innovative technology solutions. Our focus includes the world's leading security, networking, storage, enterprise system management (ESM) and cloud technologies. As a company, we are dedicated to taking our partner ecosystem to new heights. We support our partners through operational excellence, a competitive pricing strategy and strong focus on education, with the view of investing in long-term relationships. We work with competitive, resilient businesses, who are leaders in their field of excellence.

Our offerings include a portfolio of products highly regarded by Gartner, such as Altaro, Attivo Networks, Carbon Black, Cofense, Fortinet, F5, Hitachi VantaraNETSCOUT, NVIDIA, ProLabs, RSA, Rubrik, SentinelOne, SevOne, Silver Peak, Tenable, Tintri and Uplogix.


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