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Virtualization's Promise of Agility is Unreachable Without IT and Network Collaboration

Large-scale SDN and NFV implementations require organizational changes that foster collaboration between IT and network departments.

Organizational issues, namely the lack of collaboration between network and IT teams, are among the main reasons why service providers have not yet been able to operationalize software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) at scale. That’s what we found during a webinar that we hosted with Light Reading.

Most service providers maintain separate processes and lifecycles for IT and networks, despite the fact that the two are becoming more interdependent as environments become software-based. To date, service providers don’t have an adequate governance model for fostering collaboration between IT and network departments.

In order to capitalize on SDN's and NFV's promises of IT and network process agility and automation, service providers need to bring together historically separate IT and network departments.

These organizational issues are indicative of the fact that network virtualization requires as much business change as it does technology change. Without collaborative IT and network processes, service providers will not be able to adapt network planning, design and deployment. Leveraging the inherent agility of software environments, as opposed to legacy hardware environments, in order to continuously improve and innovate is another reason to bring together IT and networking.

The end goal is to transform corporate cultures and organizational approaches to enable the creation of more collaborative and agile environments for bringing services to market quickly. This is how web-scale companies operate, and service providers that want to emulate them must follow suit.

When everything is automated, service providers can operate at what some would describe as “software speed,” enabling the quick and aggressive creation and delivery of services. It all starts with knocking down silos and bringing together traditionally segmented groups.

For more on insight into what it takes to deploy NFV and SDN at scale, please watch the webinar on Light Reading.