The New Role of Networking: Beyond Connectivity

We are on the brink of a revolutionary shift in networking, and it’s not just about transmitting data anymore. In this new era, networks are evolving to become an intrinsic sensor that aims to de-risk our infrastructure. As Operational Technology (OT) devices, previously insulated through air gaps, merge onto the enterprise grid, the function and role of networks will change dramatically, expanding their boundaries and responsibilities.

Networks as Sensors

Until recently, the main purpose of networking was to ensure packets of data traveled from one point to another. But as our dependence on digital infrastructure increases, it’s no longer enough for networks to just be highways. They need to become intelligent entities, constantly monitoring and assessing traffic to detect anomalies and safeguard the system. Think of this new network as a vigilant sentinel, always on the lookout for threats, continuously adapting, and ensuring optimal performance.

Integrating OT Devices

Historically, OT devices were air-gapped, a method that ensured their isolation from other systems. It was a protective measure, keeping critical devices insulated from potential external threats. But as businesses are continuously pushing for integration and efficiency, these devices are now being connected to the main enterprise infrastructure. While this integration can drive operational efficiency and data-driven decision-making, it also opens up new vulnerabilities.

The Transformation of NOCs and SOCs

As a result of these shifts, Network Operations Centers (NOCs) and Security Operations Centers (SOCs) can no longer operate in their traditional silos. Instead, they’re evolving into integrated incident response centers, with a mix of networking and security engineers working side-by-side. Their mission? To continuously monitor, defend, and optimize the enterprise infrastructure.

Imagine a bustling command center where every blip, every spike, and every unexpected packet is analyzed in real-time. Engineers don’t just wait for alerts; they proactively look for patterns, detect potential threats, and ensure that all systems are running smoothly. This combined approach ensures that both the infrastructure’s integrity and the data traveling through it are secure and optimized.

Speed of Business: Trust and Value Creation

All these changes are not just for the sake of technological evolution. They serve a larger business goal. In a world where businesses are digitally transforming at an unprecedented pace, the infrastructure needs to keep up. It’s not just about preventing downtime or breaches, but about creating an environment where businesses can thrive, innovate, and deliver value to their customers without second-guessing their infrastructure’s reliability.

By evolving the way we perceive and manage networks, we’re not just ensuring a more secure and resilient system. We’re also paving the way for businesses to trust their digital backbone implicitly, allowing them to create value at the real speed of business, unencumbered by doubt or hesitation.


Networking is poised for a profound transformation, one that sees it expanding its role from a mere conduit for data to an intelligent, proactive guardian of the enterprise infrastructure. As OT devices integrate and NOCs and SOCs blend into holistic incident response hubs, businesses stand to gain from a robust, trustworthy infrastructure that enables rapid value creation. Embracing this shift is not just about staying updated; it’s about ensuring a future where technology and business align seamlessly for unparalleled growth and innovation.

Author's Bio

Nick Lippis