Any change is tough. True transformation is even tougher –especially when we are talking about the transformation of your tried and tested networks to a new software-delivered model. Your network not only requires new technologies, but also new skill-sets and operational policies. I can’t imagine how difficult this type of transformation would be if you didn’t have help navigating through it.

Thankfully help is at hand.

Today we’re unveiling a new network readiness model that will put you in the driver’s seat as you embark on this exciting and challenging journey.

The Cisco Digital Network Architecture Readiness Model

After talking to hundreds of customers around the world, we’ve developed a network capabilities roadmap that maps out the different attributes generally exhibited at each stage of the journey. This framework will help you understand where you are on the journey and the benefits the next phase offers. The Cisco Digital Network Architecture Readiness Model,  or DNA Readiness Model for short, follows the standard five-stage maturity model approach (see image below ).


Source: Cisco DNA Readiness Model Overview 

 This blog introduces the basic architectural concepts of each stage of Cisco’s Digital Network Architecture Readiness Model.  The readiness model is built around the evolution of these five key attributes:

    • Architectural Approach – From hardware and device-centric to open, extensible, software-delivered and cloud-enabled
    • Automation – From fragmented, manual, device centric management to policy-driven, automated, self-optimizing capabilities
    • Security – From reactive perimeter-focused security to proactive near real-time threat detection and containment from edge through core.
    • Service Assurance From fragmented device-centric quality of service (QoS) to self-optimizing quality of experience (QoE)
    • Analytics – From device-specific event capture to integrated network-enabled IT, business and security data analysis and reporting

And it’s as simple as that (or at least that’s what they tell me). Stay tuned for a series of blogs that will introduce each of these concepts in more detail in the coming weeks.

What are customers telling us?

To better understand where organizations are on this digital network journey, we’ve been working with IDC Research to survey customers’ current network status on the roadmap and where they plan to be in two years time. The full survey results will be published in August; however the initial findings tell us this:

  1. 4/5ths of organizations have NOT yet aligned their business strategies and IT strategies.
  2. Those that have are seeing twice the revenue growth as those that have not.
  3. The percentage of customers with a fully software-delivered, and fully automation-capable network (stages 4 and 5) will more than triple over the next 2 years from 13% to 44%.image 3


    Source: IDC Infographic, sponsored by Cisco, How “Digital-Ready” is your organization network today? 2016

    Customers are planning to rapidly advance the capabilities of their networks across all the key attributes – such as architectural approach, automation, security, analytics and more. For example the graph below describes the rapid planned adoption of network-enabled analytics over the next 2 years (in red).

image 4

Source: IDC Infographic, sponsored by Cisco, How “Digital-Ready” is your organization network today? 2016

So what now?

Let’s say you decided to flip that switch in your head and acknowledged that your network really does need to evolve. Or maybe you are already there. What now; where do you start?

Your next steps depends on your role, but everyone does have a part to play. If you have responsibility for the network architecture, the first thing I would do is make sure you understand your organization’s digital plans. What digital initiatives does your organization have on the roadmap – and how well is your network positioned to support them? It’s critical to understand as that will guide how quickly you need to evolve your network to support the business.

Cisco and our partners will help you. We’ll work with you to align your business goals and technology requirements to create one vision. Then, we’ll help you investigate and evaluate your existing technology to prioritize areas that need enhancing to meet your business goals.

If you are a network manager, you will want to check out the new  programs that will provide you the basics of network programmability . Check out the latest announcement on Cisco DNA and be on the lookout for the next blog in the DNA Readiness Model series.

See if your network is ready today: Cisco DNA Readiness Model

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Prashanth Shenoy

Vice President of Marketing

Enterprise Networking and Mobility