A survey of European business enterprises by CommScope, Inc. has revealed that the majority of businesses (55%) expect investment in network infrastructure to grow by 10 to 25 percent in 2012, despite the continued struggles of the global economy. This increased investment will be fuelled primarily by the implementation of environmentally-friendly IT solutions, with network reliability and network intelligence as other key drivers.

Demand for “green” IT solutions in the enterprise is already strong, with 84 percent of organizations having taken steps to improve the energy efficiency of their networks during 2011. Investment is set to continue next year with 46 percent of enterprises believing it is the most effective approach to achieving cost efficiencies in the network, which was cited by nearly half of all enterprises (49 percent) as the most significant goal of 2012.

According to 18 percent of the survey respondents, improving network reliability in the enterprise is the most important objective in the short-term. Reliability problems predominantly were attributed to a lack of network visibility (identified by 37 percent of enterprises), errors by technicians (21 percent), and power failures (17 percent). Investment to enhance network visibility, eliminate blind spots and reduce human error is expected through the continued integration of intelligence into networks at the infrastructure level. The research found that 38 percent of enterprises are either currently using or installing intelligent infrastructure solutions and a further 23 percent are ensuring they have a clear upgrade path.

Longer-term investment trends are being dictated by cloud computing and virtualization, which is expected to have the biggest impact on enterprise network infrastructure over the next five years. There is also a move towards hosted data centers, with 64 percent of enterprises either currently using or considering deployment of colocation solutions in the next three years. This approach is rapidly gaining popularity because of the time and cost savings and risk mitigation that a company can see as result of using shared data center infrastructure.

“Our research shows that network managers are focused on achieving more efficient, intelligent and robust networks. Crucially, it reveals a widespread strategy to achieve cost efficiencies by investing in solutions that are proven to optimize performance and increase reliability, as opposed to simply reducing expenditure or opting for lesser quality alternatives,” said Koen ter Linde, vice president of enterprise sales for Europe, CommScope. “The importance of these issues is only going to grow in time and we fully expect organizations, at the very least, to ensure they have a clear upgrade path to energy efficient and intelligent infrastructure, allowing them to deploy full-scale upgrades when the time is right.”