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Within IT & Network Process Operations community, automation started with the big hype and promise for “self-healing” solutions for systems, network, and process automation.  Remember the promise of “Robotics”!? Wouldn’t it be great to have our servers, systems, and networks solve their own problems? Leading to more stable systems and networks in which system administrators and network administrators would be free to work on higher priority activities and be more productive, improving the quality of Enterprise solutions. Though it is a noble goal, IT and network process automation did not deliver its full promise but instead started us in the journey towards the goal.

There are many reasons why IT process automation solutions for network domain has not fulfilled its promise. Many people have done in-depth analysis, which can be summarized as two big inhibitors for wide-spread adoption of automation in network operations:

  1. Need for out-of-the-box workflow templates for rapid development of network operation process automation for quick-wins
  2. In-depth understanding of complex network implementations with domain knowledge of the Enterprise processes and industry best-practices for support

Regular network operations include many tasks such as routine setup, repetitive maintenance, support processes, and very importantly time-consuming troubleshooting. The following figure shows key drivers for network operation automation:

Drivers for Network Operations Automation

Drivers for Network Operations Automation

With understanding of drivers for network operation automation, one should also understand the myth and long-held belief – that such automations are costly endeavors. If implemented without appropriate architecture and support, they can be. It is very important to understand that they don’t have to be. In fact, with the right solution and support in place, you can easily automate and streamline your network operations to actually save your business money in the long run.

Lastly, when it comes to network operations automation, you need to build on your success step by step. In my next blog, I would discuss steps to overcome inhibitors for network operations automation using appropriate solution architecture with in-depth intellectual properties in network domain and support services from industry experts.

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