The Internet has changed our lives in many ways. It has revolutionized how we communicate and travel, digitized and democratized the learning experience, shifted health tracking from doctors to our wrist watches and more. Each industry continues to face disruption and all of it begins with the network. Enterprises and service providers alike know that the next big disruption is coming. In fact, Juniper’s recent survey shows that the majority of business decision-makers and IT decision-makers anticipate a new disruptive technology, product, or service to be introduced into their industry in two years or less – and they don’t feel prepared.
For every problem, a solution
This lack of preparedness was reflected across service providers, healthcare, retail, and financial services companies. When it comes down to it, IT infrastructure is holding companies back. In fact, according to our survey, 66 percent of business leaders agreed that their infrastructure would keep them from introducing new products and services to meet disruption in their industry. And nearly half of the respondents reported that they would need at least one year to catch up. By then, it might be too late.
It’s difficult to prepare and budget your infrastructure without a clear plan or vision of what innovation you are preparing for. I explored these findings from a data center perspective to see how they are affecting enterprises today.
Many businesses want to keep up with the latest technology transformations and understand the importance in doing so, but lack the resources to move forward. IT and business decision-makers across a variety of industries are excited about the opportunities that SDN and IT network automation can create for their companies.
One of the issues impacting data centers is the hyper growth of applications. Given the clear need to support applications in a more efficient manner, SDN is a new way to abstract the data center that allows for easier and more efficient use of resources to accommodate application growth. Survey respondents agreed that automation technology is essential to maintaining a competitive advantage.
To address this need, SDN adoption is taking place industry-wide and companies are finding that the benefits and capabilities are far greater than expected. Some of those benefits include cloud interconnect, virtual data center capabilities and security automation. While the trend towards further SDN adoption in the enterprise is not slowing down, companies still have some work to do.
Getting at the root
We’ve discovered that the adoption issue is multifaceted. In order to get IT infrastructure to a state that improves a company’s bottom line, IT teams, the infrastructure itself and the C-Suite all need to align. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case today.
One issue organizations face is a lack of confidence in IT from business decision-makers. IT admins trying to keep up with the growing needs of companies are stretched thin. The survey shows that this has caused business leaders to turn to “shadow IT,” circumventing IT staff because they could not offer the capabilities or responsiveness needed for a new company initiative.
A second issue highlighted by our survey is that IT decision-makers perceive their C-Suite as out of touch. Despite saying that network automation is necessary for their companies to be competitive in the future, respondents agreed that the C-Suite doesn’t see the network as vital to their company’s success. Subsequently, IT and business decision-makers alike believe that their organizations would perform better if their C-Suite were more tech-savvy.
At Juniper, we believe that innovation requires an understanding of the value and opportunities that come with new technologies. This is why Juniper is expanding its program. OpenLab, the Junos Center for Innovation, is one way that we help bridge the skills gap and promote automation. It’s our way of enabling our customers to adopt automation solutions that work for their business. Read about some of those successes here.
Join us in transforming IT infrastructure through automation and SDN, and be prepared for the next big disruption in your industry.