The industry is ablaze with talk about automation and DevOps. The proliferation of tools across the rest of IT infrastructure has created pressure on networking teams to automate. And with the dynamic requirements underpinning cloud, they must.
In 2017, PwC conducted research with the primary objective of identifying what the major drivers in data center networking were. That research, made up of more than 250 responses from CIOs and IT leaders at large enterprises around the globe, suggested that the top priorities have shifted as IT charges towards cloud.
It is well understood that the technology that underpins the data center is changing. In fact, it’s not just changing—it’s accelerating. And that acceleration and change ultimately drives changes in how leaders think about how they design, build, and operate their infrastructure.
The role of IT is changing. As IT used to be viewed as primarily a services organization, modern enterprises of even moderate size and sophistication are relying on IT as a key strategic contributor. With the shift in responsibility, there is a commensurate shift in IT leadership priorities. This shift is the focus of recent research led by PwC.
It’s not that automation is not something that people see as important, but despite the desire, automation in networking has been an empty promise for decades. That said, every networking vendor has pitched some form of automation as part of their standard messaging for years. But the on-the-ground reality for the vast majority of people using this networking equipment is that automation is still a future, something that exists just beyond the horizon and never seems to get closer.