Automation and the Route to Professional Sanity

December 6th 2023

In Our Opinion - "Automation and the Route to Professional Sanity"

It's Saturday afternoon, your son's about to get on the pitch, and you've just finished discussing match predictions with another parent. The work phone rings, and the number you hoped wouldn't call appears on the screen.

A network infrastructure change hasn't gone to plan, and it's affecting critical business services. Begrudgingly, you need to step away from the pitch, join a call and find out what's happening.

Most major transformation projects often have a few bumps along the road. These small bumps should be expected and planned for. However, escalation after escalation, week after week, is not sustainable and can result in a hostile environment both at work and at home when the family feels the pain of that quick call turning into a twelve-hour marathon.

Critical Questions for Reflection

But it's not just at home. The tension within the team is palpable. Project milestones are slipping, pressure is mounting, and there’s no end in sight.

To set the scene first, here are a couple of questions to consider - and answer honestly, no one will hear. How confident are you that your team can work autonomously without dragging you into every call? How confident are you that the network can withstand unexpected failures without the business being adversely affected? How confident are you in being able to execute your network development plan?

The backbone of any great organisation is its network infrastructure. We must strike the balance of maintaining network reliability whilst still innovating. However, there is often a tug-of-war between the demands of an organisation to achieve project milestones and the ability of the network team to successfully implement those objectives.

Innovation Through Automation

The insatiable appetite of the business for network solutions does not always align with the level of resources (money, people, skills) available to the network delivery team. Every year, we are forced to do more with less and to do it faster. There is no quick fix. We need to find more innovative ways to do things which traditionally have taken a long time. In our experience this innovation is achievable with network automation.

To free up more of your team's time, you must remove the repetitive tasks that eat into their days, drain morale and stifle the team's initiative and development. Network automation can reduce the potential for misconfiguration and mitigate network disruption while freeing up time to focus on higher-value activities, which benefits everyone.

Proactive Automation Strategies

Be brave and empower your team to look for ways to automate their tasks and ensure they document their progress. Share any learnings with the broader team, celebrate the wins and track how effective the automation has been. Finding quick wins for your team through automation can go a long way to restoring their flagging morale. 

Teams should make network automation provisions for all new major projects. These provisions include allocating budget, training and providing a safe environment where engineers can hone their new skills without risk to live services. Network automation isn't just something that you can go and buy and then turn on. Admittedly some turnkey vendor solutions offer the illusion of a quick fix, but nothing is as effective as adopting the right strategy and equipping the business for success.

Looking Ahead: Your Automation Journey

The adoption of network automation is no different to other technologies, and we must enable all relevant staff to ensure success. Dependencies on a few engineers reduces the chances of success across critical projects.

We recognise the pressures our chosen profession is suffering under. While we accept that there are no quick fixes, with careful prioritisation, planning and execution, we can simplify the implementation of repetitive tasks, leaving more time to address the higher-value projects like watching your son score the winning goal.

Although it can be challenging to find the time and resources to seek out routes to automation, integration through proper planning is critical. In our next post in this series on automation, we'll help you with your journey and talk about some of the best ways to get started and help you sell automation as a solution to the critical decision makers within your organisation and your team.

Explore Further

While you’re waiting for the next article on selling automation as a solution, you might want to check out  “How to deliver faster projects and take new products to market quicker with automation”.

Hi. We’re BestPath. The unsung heroes, working quietly and competently behind the scenes to inspire and empower our Fintech clients. Combining curiosity with innovation we deliver agile, secure and trusted network infrastructures that enable Fintechs to deliver exceptional services and outstanding customer experiences. Let’s chat about how we can do just that, for you.