Cisco: Security & sustainability key needs for consumers

As consumers shift towards a 'smarter' digital life, reliability, security and sustainability emerge as key needs, according to research by Cisco

Evolving consumer expectations will continue to reshape the future of the internet, a report by Cisco has found, which shows that reliability, security and sustainability will emerge as key trends.

The Cisco Broadband Survey, based on the thoughts of 21,629 workers across 12 countries, found people in EMEA are rethinking what they rely on the internet for, balancing classic demands for speed and reliability, with the intensifying needs of rising eco-consciousness, secure cloud infrastructure, and the consumerisation of technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT).

Consumers want to invest in sustainable broadband

The carbon-cost of broadband connectivity is a top priority for consumers, the report found. Almost two-thirds (65%) of consumers in EMEA said they are now concerned about the carbon footprint of their broadband, with young people aged 18-24 the most concerned (73%). In addition, 77% said they would be willing to pay more for sustainable broadband, with around a quarter prepared to pay a price premium of more than 20%. This supports a wider market trend, shown in a 2019 survey by Nielsen and a 2022 survey by Globescan, revealing widespread consumer awareness around the environmental impact of the products they use and a demand for companies to step up and mitigate negative impacts on the planet.

Connection to increase as consumers expand their digital lives

As the number of IoT devices online grows from billions to trillions, so does the demand for bandwidth and processing power to analyse all the data produced. According to the Cisco Broadband Survey, there's no sign of this slowing down. Consumers are instead embracing the shift toward a 'smarter' digital life. A majority already have, or expect to have, their cars (67%), lights (74%), appliances (71%), energy (76%) and water (64%) connected.

“The carbon footprint of the information and communications technology sector is estimated to account for around 2.1% to 3.9% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and more than half of that comes from networks and data centres,” said Gordon Thomson, Vice President Service Provider - EMEA, Cisco. 

“Cisco is on a mission to transform the economics and sustainability of the Internet for the Future. That means designing products with energy efficiency and security in mind, adopting circular economy principles in product development and business operations, and taking a smart and sustainable approach to lifecycle management. In addition to the cybersecurity threat landscape constantly evolving and expanding, we have to deal with the increasing threat of climate change. Prioritising sustainability and security in broadband infrastructure is therefore crucial to enable lasting and resilient digital transformation. 

"The old technology adage of 'faster, cheaper, better' has not been relevant for a long time. It's now about simplifying solutions and building networks that can fuel global connectivity and economic growth, facilitating and protecting the digitalisation and automation of everyday activities, all without losing sight of our impact on the future," he continued.

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