The demand on networks is growing exponentially. According to Cisco, this year global internet users will reach 4.8 billion and there will be 28.5 billion networked devices and connections.
This requires networks to grow alongside demand, placing new pressure on IT administrators to ensure their networks are up to the challenge. And as networks scale in size and complexity, automation is becoming central to effective management. In fact, streamlining operations across devices, while keeping costs down, is nearly impossible without automation. The following insights are essential to your enterprise’s network automation journey.
1. Automation Drives Consistency and Reliability
Automated networks run more consistently—and consistency builds reliability. This is largely because automation drastically reduces the risk for human error, which is one of the top causes of network issues. Automated networks operate according to predetermined protocols. They correctly perform repetitive processes time after time, offering a reliable experience for administrators and customers alike.
A good example of this is an automotive manufacturing assembly line. If a windshield installer is off a few millimeters either way on each vehicle, the overall production consistency will be very low. However, an automated assembly line can be carefully calibrated to ensure each windshield installation meets exacting standards. The manufacturer’s vehicles built on an automated line are overall more reliable, resulting in happier customers.
The same is true for your network. Consistency leads to reliability, which leads to satisfaction.
2. Your Network Team Can Focus Resources on More Important Areas
Inconsistent network architecture means your engineers must spend time correcting network problems. An automated network is less prone to problems, and when problems do arise, easier to troubleshoot and repair. This is because changes are performed logically without having to go under the hood and “turn wrenches” so to speak. Fixes are performed from one place and applied network-wide.
An automated network frees engineers to deliver on projects that keep your business competitive within the market.
The ability to focus on business problems vs. IT problems saves your business time and money and allows IT teams to move along the spectrum from cost centers to revenue drivers.
3. Do it Wrong and Everyone Will Know
With great power comes great responsibility. Automation’s foundation is built on repeatable processes. If a process configuration is incorrect, it is performed incorrectly over and over again. An incorrectly automated network can bring down service and result in a poor experience for end users and customers. This is why it’s so important to provide the proper training to your team and partner with a trusted advisor who can guide you on your network automation journey.
4. Do it Right and Everyone Will Know
Network automation lays the groundwork for competitive agility. Customers are constantly expecting better and richer features sets within the applications and services businesses provide. An automated network means a less bespoke and more easily managed network. Easier manageability allows your team to introduce new technology faster and more effectively, delivering on your customers’ demand for better and faster digital experiences.
5. Skill Sets Matter
The traditional way of managing networks is quite different from the approach used in network automation. However, this doesn’t mean traditional teams can’t learn new automation skills. Network automation is scalable. Teams can start small where they feel comfortable and grow their automation program as their own skill sets grow. This is another area where an automation advisor can be exponentially helpful in pointing your team in the right direction for training and skill set development.
Want to learn more about how automation can improve speed, costs, and efficiency for your business? Download our Guide to Relentless Automation.