Is Network Automation Key to Reducing IT Budget, and Improving Security During the On-going Economic Slowdown?

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Is Network Automation Key to Reducing IT Budget, and Improving Security During the On-going Economic Slowdown?

The on-going covid-19 pandemic and the impending economic slowdown are major challenges for global enterprises. However, advanced network automation capabilities offer some amazing cost-cutting opportunities

Global enterprises are riding uncertainties and trying to survive in a precarious economic crisis.  According to the US Federal Reserve, the manufacturing output in the country dropped by 6.3% last month.  Additionally, the overall industrial production witnessed a 5.4% fall. This includes utilities, factories, and mines, among others. Moreover, this decline represents the steepest fall in production since the US demobilized after World War 2. Unfortunately, this will likely continue till fall.

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According to Pandemic experts like Dr. Fauci, the coronavirus pandemic will certainly return in fall. Hence, if global enterprises want to face the economic crisis wisely, they need to plan ahead. Drastic cost-cutting measures are the need of the hour for most companies, as household incomes fall, and demand exacerbates across the globe. One way of tackling this crisis head-on would be to automate networks to reduce major expenses.

Many IT and Non-IT companies invest heavily in digital networks to conduct direct sales operation. This will likely take a hit on two fronts. On one hand, due to the on-going lockdowns, the security measures for mobile employees will rise considerably. On the other hand, despite the falling demand, the costs will increase as WFH often leads to a loss of productivity.

Hence, WFH is often a luxury in countries like the United States. According to the National Compensation Survey, or NCS, only 7% of employees were eligible for telework. Moreover, the flexible benefit also was often offered to the manager, and other white-collar workers.  The study also reveals that employees who can telecommute have an average wage of $30.61 per hour. Moreover, the share of workers who can telecommute falls to 1% for workers with employees whose wages average of $13.25 per hour.

So, network automation promises to reduce operation, capital, and other costs significantly. According to a report by Juniper Networks, based on a survey done on IT decision-makers (ITDMs), network automation can free up 80% of staff time that goes into routine and mundane work. This is achievable with the automation of just 20% of the workload associated with networking. On the other hand, the report states that just 16% to 30% of the regular administrative tasks are automated. Moreover, human network operation often results in a 5-6 network error per month. Additionally, less than 40% of network administrators believe they have optimized their networks meaningfully to make the most out of this technology.

IT network automation faces major cost-barriers due to additional security, compliance, legacy network technology, and employee skill sets. However, changing organizational structure, and the rise of the mobile workforce will likely change priorities for global enterprises. The demand for WFH has steadily been rising.

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A recent LinkedIn survey says that almost half of the employees were already working from home at least once a week, even before the pandemic. Moreover, 67% of applicants enquire about WFH opportunities to recruiters. So, whether you are looking to upgrade operations, reduce costs, or create a more employee-friendly culture, network automation will be key in the near future.