Prepare your digital enterprises for 2018

Embracing small-scale automation processes or changes to your existing network infrastructures will put you well on your way to meeting long-term business goals for the coming year.

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To gain the edge in today’s competitive digital marketplace, enterprises must update/transform from their old-school network services tools in favor of innovative solutions that revamp existing infrastructures. The best way to stay ahead of the digital evolution curve is to plan your digital infrastructures in advance and create strategic execution plans involving multiple teams. We’ve already determined that network automation is the ultimate solution, but challenges remain. In this article, we will discuss the visibility challenges ahead in 2018, and how to overcome them.  

Major challenges faced by network teams today

There are many automation technologies available for enterprises to strengthen digital infrastructures. Regardless of their availability, network teams are finding it extremely difficult to adapt. There is a huge misconception today that applying automation is a single-step process. The truth is, automation is a complex progression to put in place, as all existing infrastructures and processes must be redefined. Apart from this, network automation creates the demand for team restructuring, role defining, and allotment of access control for various tasks. Amidst these tasks, networking teams also face major visibility challenges when restructuring the digital networks. Below are few initiatives that can help businesses gain agility and security in 2018.

End-to-end network visibility – the root of all challenges

Complete network visibility is crucial to efficiently managing and monitoring all critical applications and network infrastructures. Lack of complete visibility restrains networking teams from addressing and solving major performance issues. This impacts enterprise productivity and compromises network security. Lack of visibility essentially results in loss of productivity and increased downtime potentially causing major financial damage for enterprises.

Migration to the cloud and the emergence of hybrid infrastructures are only adding to the problem. Network teams are now forced to manage data in-house and in the cloud, be it public, private or hybrid.

This increased complexity calls for a simplified automation tool that provides real-time end-to-end visibility of data, networks, digital infrastructures, processes and domain teams.  Networking teams need a tool that provides a single-pane-of-glass view helping them to streamline the tracking of data and task progress, ultimately increasing enterprise productivity and tightening security.

Solution #1: Auto-discovery of infrastructure services

By implementing an auto-discovery tool, network engineering and application teams can gain complete and comprehensive visibility of all network applications and infrastructures, allowing them to troubleshoot issues faster and more efficiently. Enterprises can get a detailed look at all the available network maps and various structures in the infrastructure, helping teams execute the plan of action. Using the feature’s maps and diagrams, network engineers and IT managers can deliver better results with less downtime and higher levels of performance, security, and change management.  Not only does auto-discovery provide end-to-end network visibility, but when coupled with automation, enterprises can enable automated network mapping to push their automation plans beyond the existing process. Also, auto-discovery is key to helping senior network engineers and IT managers prioritize digital strategies, rather than spending valuable time on mundane operational issues.

Solution #2: Automation workflows

Most IT organizations are currently facing significant challenges when it comes to network agility, even after introducing automation. The best way to overcome these challenges is by deploying automation workflows to the current networking processes. Application deployment is usually considered a very tedious, cumbersome, lengthy and convoluted process involving multiple technologies and teams, which are often difficult to coordinate. By creating an automation workflow, enterprises can effortlessly streamline and standardize application deployment across the organization.

Automation workflows can also help networking teams define a logical flow of activities or tasks that are necessary to execute a specific service from start to finish. This year, it is likely that automation workflows will come to be considered a necessity for successful application deliver. These pre-approved and well-defined workflows encourage rapid and error-free deployment of network and application services in an enterprise can be reused, ultimately cutting costs for the enterprise.

Solution #3: Automated provisioning through self-servicing

As enterprises grow and scale, any lack of cross-team collaboration and internal coordination can become a serious problem. When teams aren’t communicating properly, there is an increase in inefficiency, complexity and risk associated with manual hand-offs. Arming different teams (network and application) with self-servicing capabilities can help enterprises obtain the services they need quickly and efficiently, all on their own. By adapting self-servicing, network teams can rest assured the services they request will be delivered correctly and on-time. It allows them to request and track statuses on their own, significantly reducing workloads. By implementing automated provisioning through self-servicing, network engineers can free bandwidth to focus on more business-critical activities demanding their complete attention. Self-servicing can also empower multiple teams with a single platform enabling automated application provisioning without any auditing or compliance risks.

Embracing these small-scale automation processes or changes to your existing network infrastructures will put you well on your way to meeting long-term business goals for 2018. Get started now and stay ahead of your competitors this year not just by automating, but by doing it right!

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