Video currently has the biggest impact on business networks, according to network solution providers.
This includes video in all its forms - including live, collaboration and streamed. Google recently announced that its video-sharing service YouTube had surpassed four billion video views worldwide every day.
Due to the greater demand on the network, IBM said that it is seeing a trend among its customers for networking services to be integrated into projects.
"We are seeing a change in the scale and scope of projects. More and more customers are asking us to include network [services]...rather than as a standalone [requirement]," Daniel Rendell, enterprise services leader at IBM Global Technology Services, told a roundtable in London.
According to Rendell, IBM is seeing more investment in the network by organisations than 24 months ago. He said that the most successful business cases for investment in the network were those that were focussed on the business benefits, rather than on the IT.
However, Mark Urban, senior director of WAN optimisation solutions at network management company Blue Coat Systems, said that companies still need to have a good idea of the network impact so that they can justify the investment.
"The world on the network has become so complex that it makes it more difficult to understand what the allocation of the budgets are.
"A US federal customer was talking to us about the growth in bandwidth demand, and how he owned the WAN budget. He couldn't make a case for expanding the network service because he couldn't explain how the bandwidth was going to different mission-critical applications," he said.