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Cisco predicts NZ data traffic to double by 2020, says CIO role more critical than ever

Cisco predicts NZ data traffic to double by 2020, says CIO role more critical than ever

Growth highlights the imperative of having the right role to lead digital transformation.

These findings underscore the need for more comprehensive security measures to protect data and reduce network exposure to such risks

Cisco Visual Networking Index

New Zealand’s IP traffic – comprising internet and managed networks such as video on demand services - is forecast to double by 2020, according to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index.

Glen Bearman of Cisco at a CIO roundtable discussion on collaboration
Glen Bearman of Cisco at a CIO roundtable discussion on collaboration

The CIO role is as critical as it ever was in terms of ‘keeping the lights on’ and being a strategic advisor


Cisco says this is the equivalent of all movies ever made crossing New Zealand’s IP networks every 25 hours. In 2020, the country’s Internet traffic will reach the equivalent of more than 72,000 DVDs per hour.

The report likewise predicts the number of Kiwis online to grow from 3.9 million in 2015 to 4.4 million by 2020, an impressive 94 per cent of the population, it says. Globally, only 52 per cent of the population will be internet users by 2020.

Cisco, however, says the dual trends of digital transformation and Internet of Things will have an even greater impact on traffic growth.

By 2020, it says New Zealand’s IP networks will support 17 million more devices and connections, up from 20 million in 2015 to 37 million by 2020.

Applications such as video surveillance, smart meters, digital health monitors and a host of other machine-to-machine services are creating new network requirements and driving traffic increases.

By 2020, machine-to-machine connections will account for 70 per cent of New Zealand’s total IP connections and there will be 7.7 devices /connections per capita, according to the report.

Read more: Software audits – why vendors’ clauses may not be as strong as they think

Faster broadband speeds are also driving growth in IP traffic, with the Government-sponsored Ultra-Fast Broadband rollout playing a leading role.

New Zealand’s average fixed broadband speed in 2015 was 19.5 megabits per second (Mbps), says Cisco. However, this will jump 2.5 times by 2020 to reach 49.1 Mbps.

These speeds will see New Zealand jump ahead of the global average of 47.7 megabits per second in 2020, and rank near the fastest speeds globally, which will average around 51 Mbps across North America, Western Europe and Asia-Pacific.

With the growing dependence on mobile and fixed broadband networks, security concerns are increasingly becoming top of mind for service providers, governments, businesses and consumers, says Cisco.

DDoS damages

Cisco says it worked with Arbor Networks to help quantify the current and future threats of DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks.

DDoS incidents can paralyse networks by flooding servers and network devices with traffic from multiple IP sources. The new DDoS analysis suggests that these types of breaches can represent up to 10 per cent of a country’s total Internet traffic while they are occurring.

Over the next five years, Cisco says DDoS attacks are projected to increase from 6.6 million to 17 million attacks globally.

“These initial findings underscore the need for more comprehensive security measures to protect data and reduce network exposure to such risks.”

Glen Bearman, head of digital transformation, Cisco New Zealand, says a key consideration for businesses today is having the right role to lead digital in the organisation.

He asks, “Should it be the CIO or CDO (chief digital officer)?”

“The CIO role is as critical as it ever was in terms of ‘keeping the lights on’ and being a strategic advisor,” he says, in a statement. “But with digital, it may not be necessary to create a new CDO role. Instead, it could be consumed ‘as a service’ just like many other areas of IT.”

He says digital likewise needs strong leadership from the top. “Executive sponsorship of a digital transformation programme is critical,” he says. “The executive must set a clear plan, and lead by example - and that means using new digital tools and processes to give others confidence that innovation really does work.”

The State of Global Information Security 2016: The convergence of digital and cybersecurity


Send news tips and comments to divina_paredes@idg.co.nz

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Tags Glen BearmancybersecurityDXdatadigital transformationbig datacollaborationIP NetworksCIOUXanalyticsDDoS attacksCDOcisco

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