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May 2017, Vol. 8, No. 4

Future networks jettison traditional networking thinking

Software-defined networking gets all the headlines, but there's another trend gaining traction in future networks: software-based networking. Enterprises are increasing their reliance on software -- rather than manual coding -- to automate tasks ranging from switch configuration to making it easy for a teacher to use her school's wireless network to give a presentation. In this edition of Network Evolution, we examine some of the steps organizations are taking to exploit the benefits of software-based networks. It's not just allowing IT staff to be more productive; it's saving them hundreds of thousands of dollars in future network expenses.

Also in this issue, we take a look at shadow IT. It might have a bad reputation, but some IT departments are finding unexpected upsides when users download and run their own software on the enterprise network. In today's app-store culture, keeping shadow IT in check is increasingly difficult. This feature highlights different approaches that help IT craft enlightened shadow IT policies and explores different approaches to unsanctioned app use that take security requirements and enterprise goals into account.

And finally, we reveal the results of TechTarget's annual IT Priorities Survey. Notably, network engineers said upgrading their existing networks was their top overall goal in 2017, with almost half of respondents saying their organizations would invest in software and systems.

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