CIOs are being tasked with figuring out how to move more of their ‘run the business’ operational expense into innovation efforts…. They have to be able to do things differently,” according to Lui Fogalini, vice president of services at Cisco.

The reality is, as many organizations explore new IT initiatives, the resulting complexity has outstripped their manual operational capacity. Maintaining operations of a complex infrastructure that has grown over time has left IT with poor visibility to its assets and resource intensive, costly operational processes.

The current environment limits IT’s ability to respond to demands for new solutions and can lead to business groups bypassing IT altogether and finding alternate solutions such as going outside to a third-party cloud-based application provider. In the long run, this can lead to bigger issues such as increasing long-term management costs and risk.


Saving to Invest

The answer lies in simplifying and streamlining IT infrastructure management. Cisco Services has successfully helped customers do this to improve overall IT efficiencies and reduce operation costs. The benefit? The cost reductions can translate to savings of as much as 20 percent for a typical organization, which can be invested in IT innovation and enhancing overall performance of the infrastructure.

Crucial to the savings are Cisco Services with smart software-enabled services with automation capabilities. These smart services in the enterprise can help simplify and automate some manual tasks used to manage, support, and optimize the network and IT infrastructure. They also help provide greater visibility and actionable knowledge about the IT environment, with automated collection and analysis of diagnostic data. And by proactively identifying potential problems and accelerating resolution, they help increase infrastructure availability and reliability.

By incorporating software automation rather than relying solely on human intervention to solve many infrastructure management and support issues, organizations can adopt a proactive rather than reactive strategy.

Using Automation to Simplify and Streamline IT Management

Network Infrastructure Management and Planning

Consider the case of a major international finance organization that struggled to effectively manage a large, complex, and multinational network. It was difficult for the organization to get an accurate view of its network, from which devices had been added, to their location, to software update and lifecycle information. The organization used a manual, error-prone, and resource-intensive inventory methodology.

Without a better way to manage its network, the organization would continue to struggle in managing its operating expenses (OpEx) and put its next-generation network at risk. Ultimately, the finance organization decided to move to a single installed-base management platform from Cisco that uses automation software to provide greater visibility and improve network lifecycle management to support long-term business planning.

Infrastructure Optimization

Having an effective optimization and change management strategy that incorporates automation and the latest analytics and diagnostic tools can help improve performance and availability. It can also increase speed and accuracy when implementing changes to your infrastructure, providing time and resource cost savings.

As an example, a major medical services customer with global operations chose Cisco to provide network optimization services after its network expanded to 1600 devices and more than 200 versions of iOS. Network performance analytics delivered through Cisco’s smart analytics tools quickly identified exceptions and helped the company improve compliance with policies and better prioritize resource utilization.

Managed Services and Automation

And for those organizations looking to adopt a managed services model, there are CapEx savings to be gained. Cisco’s managed service portfolio enables you to outtask routine management tasks or augment IT resources to support new technology solutions. Advanced analytics and diagnostics capabilities help proactively manage and monitor your infrastructure to keep it operating at its peak, preemptively seek out potential problems, and accelerate resolution of known issues.

Putting IT Back in the Driver’s Seat

Today, IT must respond to unprecedented market transitions, new trends, business challenges, and opportunities. But the burden of infrastructure operations and management can make responding difficult.

By using Cisco Services expertise, intellectual capital, and software-enabled smart capabilities, we can help IT organizations simplify and streamline operational processes. Organizations can realize annual cost savings that can then be invested in IT innovations in cloud, mobility, big data, security, social, and the Internet of Everything. The IT organization is back in the driver’s seat instead of passively watching the budget slip away to business groups.

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