Organizations around the world are looking to transform their operations through increased network automation. A recent survey by ACG Research found that the market for network automation is expected to grow about 30 percent annually through 2021, with three-quarters of respondents saying they expect to achieve full or significant network automation in the next five years.
Increased automation offers myriad benefits. Organizations can eliminate error-prone manual processes, support more complex and innovative services, and respond dynamically to changing market demands. Ultimately, however, organizations considering an automation initiative must feel confident that it makes good financial sense.
Of course, return on investment (ROI) is one of the key metrics for evaluating the potential value of technology expenditures. Put simply, ROI is a formula for determining how much money you make for every dollar you invest. It’s typically calculated by dividing the net profit by the cost of the investment, with the result expressed as a percentage.
Generally speaking, network automation solutions show a positive ROI because they can reduce operational expenses by eliminating manual processes. In the case of Cisco’s Digital Network Architecture (Cisco DNA), the metrics point to a remarkable value.
Based on their interviews with eight organizations using Cisco DNA, IDC analysts found they are capturing significant value through increased efficiencies, improved security, and enhanced network and user analytics. IDC projected that Cisco DNA projects will pay for themselves in only nine months and produce a five-year ROI of 402 percent!
IDC projected that the average annual benefit per 100 users is $48,117, with $24,052 coming from IT staff productivity improvements, $14,347 from business productivity benefits, $5,773 from IT infrastructure cost reductions, and $3,945 from risk mitigation.
The research firm also quantified a variety of other operational efficiencies. WAN branch deployments were 42 percent faster with Cisco DNA, application delivery was 17 percent faster, and IT staff efficiency improved 28 percent.
According to the IDC report, the eight organizations reported using a mix of Cisco DNA solutions for a variety of use cases. They reported key benefits in three main areas — automation, security and analytics.
Users cited automation features for speeding the deployment and configuration of networking equipment, enabling faster branch office provisioning and simplifying upgrade and change management processes. Security benefits included automated user authentication, enhanced visibility into network and user behaviors, and improved breach detection and remediation. Improved network intelligence and analytics provided actionable insights into customer behaviors and enabled the development of data-focused services and applications across disparate locations.
Estimating Your Results
While IDC’s findings won’t necessarily be an accurate representation of Cisco DNA’s value to your organization, it does provide a gauge for making decisions. You may get an even better idea by using Cisco’s DNA ROI Calculator. The interactive, online tool develops a cost model based on a variety of inputs regarding your users, hardware and devices, as well as QoS settings and security policies.
The calculator simplifies analysis by modeling examples across eight industry categories, including healthcare, financial services, cities, education, manufacturing, government, retail and other. With customized inputs, you can generate a downloadable report tailored for your organization.
While the growth of mobile, cloud and analytics technologies have vastly expanded the possibilities for most organizations, they’ve also contributed to network complexity. Cisco DNA relieves complexity and improves operational efficiency by injecting increased automation and programmability into network designs. Check out Cisco’s ROI Calculator to get an idea of the value DNA can produce for your organization.