Intelligent CIO North America Issue 6 - Page 46

CIO OPINION that the users and business leaders care about . They are not as interested in how esoteric aspects of the network are performing , but rather , they ’ re more concerned about whether a specific user had a poor Zoom experience .
Staying the course on automation in network operations
Tied to understanding the needs and experience of end-users is the maturation of network automation . But automation progress is not equal across the entire networking paradigm . In the data center , which is a more controlled environment when compared to the WAN or LAN , adoption is farther along . Changes in a data center are driven mostly in a naturally hierarchical structure and is thus easier to understand and manage through automation scripts .
The pandemic has also heightened the interest in networking automation at the Edge among CIOs and IT leaders .
must contend with multi-access edge compute ( MEC ) workloads – both private and public – all the more requiring dynamic approaches to security policy that must evolve beyond the user-centric workflows that Zero Trust is primarily optimized for today .
End-user satisfaction is king
Key IT metrics are also evolving . It ’ s no longer sufficient to just keep the network infrastructure up and running . The metric du jour is user satisfaction which , from the CIO standpoint , is tied to employee productivity that can ultimately impact business profitability .
The Edge ( both LAN and WAN ), on the other hand , is a more chaotic environment because changes are triggered by factors that are not totally within IT ’ s control – namely human and device behavior patterns that are constantly changing . There is a big need for leveraging AI and Machine Learning models to sense changes as soon as they occur and respond to the ones that seem persistent , even if for a short period of time . The maturity of deployed solutions that provide this learning component of automation at the Edge will improve significantly in 2021 . There will also be significant progress in combining these with APIs and other automation tools that will deliver on the promised efficiencies and insights that IT leaders crave .
The pandemic has also heightened the interest in networking automation at the Edge among CIOs and IT leaders . According to a survey of 2,400 IT decision makers across the globe , 35 % plan to increase their investment in in AI-based networking , as they seek more agile , automated infrastructures for hybrid work environments .
Making 2021 a success
Networking and security teams are now focused on dynamic experiences that end-users want and expect with the services and applications they choose to use for improved productivity . Instead of asking just what kind of devices are connecting to the network , they are also required to focus on maintaining flexibility and agility while minimizing risk . The goal of network control goes hand-in-hand with business agility . By applying the appropriate security measures , CIOs can better facilitate this increasingly dynamic IT environment .
Ultimately , CIOs want insights beyond the network itself and into availability and performance applications
In 2020 , businesses and the economy were rescued by a raft of communication technologies developed over the past 40 years , ranging from security , cloud connectivity , to managed and supported applications over the network . Now in 2021 , the four trends outlined here can provide CIOs and IT leaders with the tools to be better equipped for navigating the unpredictability of today and beyond . They empower IT leaders from the top down to strategically position IT as the crucial function businesses need to successfully maneuver whatever the future holds , from pandemics to accelerating shifts in work culture trends and environments . p
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