Network Automation: Resistance is Futile
Mention the word ‘Automation’ to any group of IT professionals and you’ll likely solicit a wide range of comments, ranging from genuine interest to that of horror or laughter. You’ll...
Jan 30, 2023
If you’ve been in enterprise IT over the last several years, you’ve probably heard a lot of buzz surrounding the concept of “low-code” and “no-code” development. These innovations don’t mean that coding languages are never used or needed; it means that the codebase is abstracted into templated models that a non-technical person can use to build an application or a process. While low-code and no-code network automation technologies have proliferated in the business application space, they are just starting to scratch the surface of what they can achieve in the IT operations space, particularly for network operations.
Why Is Now the Moment for No-Code Network Automation?
Regardless of specific use cases, no-code network automation solves the same problem. No-code network automation untethers the building of solutions from a small, overworked group of professional developers, empowering non-technical business users to build enterprise-grade applications and processes. No-code tech achieves this through visual interfaces that don’t require knowledge of coding languages or scripting – and it’s becoming mainstream at a critical moment. In 2020 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that IT job openings will grow at a rate of 13% from 2020 to 2030, adding a little under 700,000 new jobs. At the same time, “the great resignation” taking place across sectors has exacerbated a shortage of trained IT workers. This is translating into a skills deficit at a time when demands on enterprise IT are higher than ever, and enterprise networking is no exception.
Low-code and no-code technologies have led to the rise of the “citizen developer”, someone who can take their understanding of a business objective and use a no-code network automation template to build an application or process to meet it. Gartner’s research indicates that 41% of non-IT employees do some form of traditional IT work and are generating a lot of momentum for the no-code network automation movement. By 2025, Gartner estimates that half of all new low-code/no-code network automation clients will come from line-of-business buyers outside of the IT org.
However, no-code network automation and citizen development have not been as common in network operations teams. The ability to automate common troubleshooting tickets and management tasks is largely dependent on finding Python and Ansible-fluent engineers. And every time Python or Ansible is used for any task, the result becomes a hardwired ‘scripted’ solution to a specific problem on a specific device. The concept of ‘similar’ simply does not exist for mere mortals using those approaches, so with thousands of service tasks occurring per month, those brute force approaches, even if possible, simply do not scale. This brute-force hardwired approach also leads to problems when those authors move on to other roles, or when they leave the company or retire. When one or all the above happens, organizations find themselves unable to meet the mission-critical network needs of the business, and consequently, outcomes suffer.
The demands on the hybrid network are not decreasing over time. In fact, both the scale and scope of digital infrastructures continue to increase for every organization as business transformation and related mergers and acquisitions continue. According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Trends, 2017–2022 White Paper, Business IP traffic will grow at a CAGR of 23% between 2017-2022. This speaks to the growth and increased mission-criticality of enterprise networks. To provide the type of network experience enterprise users require to ensure business outcomes, network troubleshooting, and problem resolution must be automated. And to scale automation in the face of skill shortages, network operations teams must embrace no-code development.
Scale No-Code Network Automation with NetBrain
Fortunately, there is a way forward with no-code network automation for network operations. Today, you can deploy NetBrain Next-Gen to provide scalable service ticket acceleration and address more than 95% of all network tickets. With NetBrain Next-Gen, ticket MTTR can be reduced by 75% or more, by eliminating the tedium and preliminary diagnosis, and by applying your SME’s best-proven solutions that have previously been captured and made available across the organization. In summary, NetBrain Next-Gen provides the industry’s leading no-code network automation platform for the automation of network operations… everything! Regardless of the combination of network equipment and vendors or the volume of network tickets, NetBrain Next-Gen intelligent automation platform democratizes network automation, allowing your entire IT team to collaborate for the fastest resolution of all types of network tickets and tasks.