Why IT Leaders Stand to Benefit from the Natural Process of Network Programmability
The programming of network resources is not just a trend, but also a way to future-proof IT and business needs.
This blog series examines how infrastructure programmability is providing a faster time to competitive advantage and highlights the differences between programmable infrastructure and traditional infrastructure, and what programmability means for your entire IT infrastructure.
By the end of this year, the number of mobile connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and U.S. businesses alone will spend more than $13 billion on cloud computing and managed hosting services. In addition, the growing convergence of mobile, cloud and the network is demanding that organizations implement the right combination of strategies, processes, and infrastructure.
As the industry is changing faster than we can imagine, we are shaping the future with a new model for IT. Today’s infrastructure must be simple, smart, and secure.
A piecemeal approach to leveraging new technology—in the midst of a fast-paced market—could leave businesses disaggregated and left on the sidelines by faster competitors.
Unleash Fast IT, an operating model that delivers simplification and orchestration through automated, agile, and programmable infrastructures. The concept of Fast IT embodies IT being agile enough to operate at the speed of business. This means that in order for your organization to be successful in an increasingly complex world you must have an infrastructure that runs at a speed and scale never before seen.
There are three core principles for Fast IT: simplicity, intelligence and security. In some ways, this model is markedly different from the current IT model, which can be highly complex and closed.
How will Fast IT transform your network?
Here are six key ways you and your organization will benefit:
1) Automation replaces manual configuration processes. With Fast IT, the highly manual, repetitive processes are automated, speeding up the rate of change and eliminating human error.
2) Management moves from a box-centric to a network-centric model. Organizations that shift to a Fast IT model will manage the network as a single, holistic entity rather than a collection of boxes that need to be managed independently.
3) Provisioning time is cut by orders of magnitude. When process automation is combined with the network-centric model, the time it takes to provision the network goes from weeks and months to hours or even minutes in some situations.
4) Closed systems become open and programmable. Legacy network devices are often closed, making it difficult for the network to “talk” to the compute and application infrastructure. With Fast IT, the network is open and programmable, meaning application changes can invoke network changes. For example, when a video conference is initiated, the video application could talk to the network to allocate the appropriate QoS level until the session is over.
5) Network data is transformed into business intelligence. “Big data” and analytics have become a top initiative for business and IT leaders today. Historically, raw network data was used to help understand how the network functioned but had little to do with business performance. With Fast IT, network data is transformed into information and insights that can be used to provide a new level of business level intelligence.
6) Adjusting security policies through software rather than manually. Through Fast IT, policies and processes for people and information can be implemented to all physical and virtual locations in an automatic way to help mitigate security concern and thwart cyber-attacks.
Overall, if we can address complexity, agility and security, we can not only provide value to the business and simplify existing initiatives, but we can capture more of the Internet of Everything (IoE) value at stake. Capturing value through connecting people, process, data, and things could be a critical tactic in answering stakeholders’ demands for growth. But it is one that can be achieved by leveraging the benefits of the natural process of infrastructure programmability.
How can a programmable infrastructure transform your business?
Visit Cisco Executive Perspectives to learn more.
- Read the blog What is Infrastructure Programmability? by Cisco’s Jim Grubb
- Watch the video Innovate at the Speed of Business: Fast IT on Cisco’s YouTube channel
- Read the research paper Pay Attention IT: A New Convergence is Afoot by Moor Insights & Strategy
- View the 2013 Global IT Impact Survey Interactive Infographic
- Read the research whitepaper Cisco APIC Enterprise Module Simplifies Network Operations by ZK Research