Operational Automation: The Next Major Focus for Cloud Transformation
Automation and operational efficiency are among the biggest benefits of using next-generation networks like the cloud, but achieving these goals seems to be more difficult than initially expected.
Orchestration is often overlooked as operators dive into virtualization, network slicing and cloud in an effort to better target enterprise customers. This finding was revealed in a new survey of service providers by Heavy Reading and Netcracker, which highlighted that virtualization is well underway in many regions of the world, yet the vast majority of virtualized functions—77 percent—are not using orchestration to automate their network and services.
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Orchestration is critical for enabling service automation in hybrid networks, which are becoming increasingly popular as operators take steps to merge OSS silos and fill operational gaps associated with VNF licensing. Likewise, orchestration will be vital when managing the massive influx of devices that will come hand-in-hand with the increased prevalence of IoT and 5G.
Without orchestration, even the most well-planned digital transformation programs will eventually run into roadblocks. In fact, according to the survey, 74 percent of service providers say they are not yet seeing the operational benefits of SDN/NFV. And while the top benefits of the technology cited by respondents were reduced time-to-market and opex, it’s clear that the lack of operational automation that comes with orchestration is hindering those improvements and will ultimately impede the march towards 5G.
The survey found that operational complexity was the main stumbling block when deploying orchestration solutions. Specifically, orchestrating services across SDN, NFV and OSS domains represents their primary challenge. Other areas of concern include a lack of simple tools for service design, VNF onboarding, service assurance and VNF license management.
The automation of critical back-office operations is one of the founding principles of Netcracker’s Hybrid Operations Management solution, which enables a zero-touch transition to the cloud, 5G and IoT networks. It automates hybrid network service layers and makes it possible for service providers to bring new revenue-generating services to market faster.
Service providers are clearly on the path to virtualization and while some are ahead of others, they all understand the urgency of their journey to create a digital experience for customers, minimize risk and accelerate monetization of new services.
Download your free copy of the survey to learn more about where service providers are in their virtualization programs and what they hope to achieve.