46% EMEA enterprises feel network automation does not meet requirements

By Arun Shankar   14 December, 2017
46% EMEA enterprises feel network automation does not meet requirements

Marcus Jewell, Senior Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Juniper Networks.

Juniper Networks, a global vendor in automated, scalable and secure networks, announced the results of independent market research that examined the status of network automation projects and strategies across the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, as well as the region’s aspirations over the next two years. The research, conducted by IDC in summer 2017, surveyed the automation achievements, attitudes and plans of a diverse range of organisations across France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and UK.

Between 58 and 61% of respondents indicated that they will adopt network automation in some form across different network areas over the next two years, according to the survey. The results also suggest that network automation is now a strategic business priority for many organisations with 77% of respondents confirming that related purchase decisions are being made by their senior IT and network decision makers.

Expectations and concerns attached to automated network security among respondents and the organisations they represent are almost equal. While some are confident that reducing potential human error from security deployment and operation in the network provides greater protection for data and users, others are concerned that automation will mean IT loses control over devices and data that was previously protected.

The research results suggest that there is still work to do among organisations in EMEA, with 46% of respondents said that they feel network automation does not yet adequately fit into their organisation’s transformation strategy.

  • The top three drivers for network automation adoption among the organisations surveyed are improved operational efficiency 43%, deployment of innovative services 41%, and enhanced security capabilities 34%.
  • Considering the specific business benefits delivered by network automation, respondents cite minimised human error 44%, reduced Capex and Opex 43%, and improved security levels 39%, driving a competitive edge as their primary motivation for adoption.
  • Despite the clear advantages perceived by respondents, they also see the need for caution when adopting network automation. The three main inhibitors are security concerns 41%, steep learning curves 39% and up-front expenses 38%.

These pros and cons may appear contradictory, which highlights an interesting dichotomy around the perceived business risks and rewards of network automation.

“With the adoption of digital transformation, fueled by 3rd Platform technologies cloud, mobility, big data and social, many organisations are changing their technology and business from the ground up. Ever higher requirements for speed, scale and security are driving organisations to automate manual processes in their networks, which are the bedrock of digital business.”

“IDC believes that network automation will therefore move steadily up the adoption curve over the next two years or so, but to avoid potential challenges, enterprises should align technical capabilities and business goals carefully and select technology partners with strong, proven automation skills,” Chris Barnard, Vice President, European Telecoms and Networks at IDC.

“This rigorous research from IDC that looks at organisations currently navigating digital transformation aligns perfectly with what we’re hearing and seeing from our customers across the EMEA region. In my experience, the smartest projects are those that factor in network automation as a fundamental part of an organisation’s digital transformation infrastructure, enabling dynamic agility and innovation capabilities to be built in and to embrace ongoing system and process change.”

“We are working closely with our customer base to leverage automation as a way to simplify networking and to drive business innovation,” Marcus Jewell, Senior Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Juniper Networks.

The methodology was 600 organisations, each comprising 1,000+ employees, underwent telephone interviews with IDC during July and August 2017. Organisations surveyed were enterprises 540 and communication service providers 60 located in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia of Saudi Arabia and the UK. Survey respondents were IT management professionals responsible for the design and operation of network and security architecture across datacentres, storage and server installations.

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