Organizations need to have agile networks for their businesses to remain
competitive – and network automation is necessary to make it possible.
The speed and scale of cloud computing, coupled with the ever-intensifying business competition, widespread remote working culture, and the rise of video conferencing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic – attest the need for network agility. The modern-day networks must be more flexible than the manual changes so that people can quickly adapt to the changing business needs.
On the contrary, many organizations keep delaying the critical infrastructure projects like this. So, this is the perfect time for enterprises to start the process of automation adoption, to gain an early-mover advantage of agility.
Setting the Culture Right
Adopting automation is more a journey than a destination, and like any journey, this will also take time. The biggest hurdle here is the cultural differentiation. The transition from the legacy PBX systems to IP VoIP is a major cultural shift for technicians. This indicates a big learning curve for the people too.
With digital transformation coming in, people are moving towards automation adoption so that employees will be switching to an entirely different mechanism. The same transition is taking place as network engineers switch from configuring one box at a time to working with software-based control systems that can simultaneously configure multiple network devices.
And a smooth digital transformation journey is driven by the leaders – bringing about the cultural changes.
Defining Goals and Requirements
It is essential to define requirements for an automation system. Post culture, this remains the second-most vital step to getting the automation transformation right, because it’s critical for determining which type of system to use. Market research and competitor analysis are essential for the understanding of different requirements and how they can influence the choice of the open-source package or commercial products.
Set the Budget Up
Next on the list is to issue of cost and how to tackle it. Identifying hidden costs of open source packages and other commercial products is a critical factor that determines the creation of reasonable estimates. Sometimes, surprisingly, the commercial product may actually become less expensive after everything gets included.
Following these are other aspects like skill mapping, training, and documentation.
Agility Playing a significant Role
In the post-pandemic era, agile companies will lead the race as they will be able to adapt readily to be the winners. Some CEOs and CFOs talk about continuing work-from-home policy for some parts of their workforce. It takes limited efforts to extend this to a work from-anywhere paradigm – adding UC automation to the mix.
Automation is necessary to streamline and accommodate all these new system changes – to add, move, update, or delete processes involved with the “new normal.”