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Most Network Operators Expect Full Automation by 2023

ACG Research, commissioned by Ciena, shows aggressive movement to automate, also love of superheroes Hulk, Spiderman and Black Widow.

April 24, 2018

3 Min Read

HANOVER, Md. -- Organizations across the globe are transforming their networks with intelligent automation, programmable optics and advanced analytics capabilities to be able to adapt and respond dynamically to changing market demands. Understanding the critical role automation plays in responding to future business and market changes, Ciena sponsored an independent research report by ACG Research to highlight the current state of adaptive networking and further explore service provider motivations and implementations as they transform their networks to meet customer demands.

Overall, the study found that network automation investments are expected to grow by approximately 30 percent between now and 2021, with 75 percent of respondents expecting to achieve full or significant network automation in the next five years.

Other Key Findings:

  • The top motivations cited for increasing automation include: faster service delivery, improved customer satisfaction, the ability to support more complex and innovative services, and increased business agility.

  • Respondents stated that the top concerns and gaps they must address to ensure the success of their network transformations are: security, intelligence/analytics, and a skilled workforce that not only understands traditional telecom networks but new IT and software innovations, as well.

  • All regions ranked analytics and security as top requirements when asked what elements are needed to increase automation, but there were some differences of opinion on other requirements. For example, 68 percent of operators in Central and Latin America named the ability to access network performance data as one of the top 3 important elements while 55 percent of respondents in the European region and 40 percent of respondents in the Asia-Pacific region pointed to open, programmable infrastructure as being in the top 3. Overall, 60 percent of respondents across the globe indicate openness and interoperability as being “very important” for their automation solution and 82 percent plan to use open source software from vendors or a mix of sources.

  • When asked what superhero they want their future network to be associated with, respondents’ top three answers were: The Hulk, Spider-Man, and Black Widow. When asked why, the top responses included Strength, Speed and Intelligence.

"We all realize that network automation is happening, but we really wanted to delve deeper into service provider and large enterprise experiences, expectations and challenges with automation," says Tim Doiron, principal analyst, Intelligent Networking, ACG Research. "One of the key survey findings that stood out to me was the need for trained, skilled personnel in the area of programmable networks and automation. Operators expect their vendor partners to be able to help them with not only products and services but also with bridging the skills gap between telecom and IT as they execute their automation journey."

The report is based on insights from 208 decision-makers from 200 different service providers and large enterprises across the globe. This was an independent study conducted by ACG Research, a leading analyst and consulting firm. Ciena was not involved in identifying any of the survey or interview participants.

Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN)

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