SAN JOSE, California — Service providers overwhelmingly expect significant or full network automation in the next five years, according to ACG Research. Oh, and they also want their networks to be associated with the Incredible Hulk.
“We surveyed over 200 different service providers around the globe and did a number of extensive interviews,” said Tim Doiron, an ACG Research analyst, at this week’s NFV and Zero Touch World Congress. “What we found was 75 percent of survey respondents indicate they expect full or significant automation to occur.”
And when asked what superhero they want their future network to be associated with, respondents’ top three answers were: the Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, and Black Widow. When asked why, the top responses included strength, speed, and intelligence.
Ciena sponsored the research, which also found that network automation investments are expected to grow by about 30 percent through 2021.
Researchers asked the service providers what motivated them to increase network automation. “The top four items were faster service delivery, a desire for happier customers, also I want faster and more frequent new services, and I’d really like to have more agility,” Doiron said, noting that reducing costs was at the bottom of the list in the No. 8 spot.
“If I were to fixate on costs, I could do that at the expense of poor delivery, at the expense of not having an agile network,” he said. “If I focus on these top four [motivations], almost as a consequence of that in my move toward automation I will derive improved operational expense as well.”
The top things limiting progress toward automation include security, intelligence/analytics, and a skilled workforce that understands traditional telecom networks and new IT and software innovations.
“Obviously people are concerned about protecting the network,” Doiron said, adding that automation can improve security but also comes with its own challenges. “With automation comes the opportunity to eliminate human errors. But it also gives us the opportunity if we do security wrong to replicate those mistakes really broad. There certainly is the potential to get into trouble bigger and faster.”