Do new technologies make IT easier?

Technologies that automate and streamline network tasks and infrastructure can lighten the workloads of IT pros, but they can also create new burdens.

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Software-defined networking, intent-based networking, SD-WAN, and a host of other technologies are focused on making IT work easier through automation. Rather than manually configuring every part of a system, these technologies offer templates, AI assistance, and, in theory, a much lower workload for the IT worker in the field. Whether that theory translates to practice, however, remains a matter of debate.

Outsourcing can ease technology adoption

For some, the advantages of networking automation and outsourcing have proved wildly successful. Stewart Ebrat is the CIO of the Vera Wang Group, a fashion chain with 10 stores in the U.S. and several hundred around the globe. He’s been in IT for more than 20 years and has worked for IBM and the New York Stock Exchange, among others.

In his earlier days in IT, Ebrat said, the focus was heavily on just making sure all the interconnections worked – he cited clients and mainframes as particular pain points. And at the outset of his time at Vera Wang five years ago, the IT shop was much more traditional, relying on virtual private LAN service to link stores to a data center and handling operational tech like point-of-sale locally.

Under his stewardship, Vera Wang has embraced the as-a-service availability of new technologies, more or less outsourcing every part of its IT infrastructure to vendors. For example, Aruba/HPE handles the networking, including SD-WAN, to connect stores to one another and to an Azure back-end, and it also handles most of the day-to-day IT support for the stores.

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