You’d be totally wrong (and you’d deserve it – never trust a vendor peddling a product).
Speaking of network automation workshops: I mostly replaced them with the network automation online course and network automation webinar track, but if you really want to attend an on-site event I’ll be running one in Rome in October 2017 and probably another one at Troopers 18.
I always started them with “what do you think is the biggest obstacle in your IT and how would you automate that?”, and once I got this reply from someone whose perspective was slightly larger than just networking:
If only we could deploy VMs faster. It takes a month to get a new VM because so many teams (server, storage, security, backup, AD, monitoring…) have to touch it. How could we automate that process?
Lesson learned: figure out what your most pressing problem is. Contrary to what the vendors claim, it might not be the network.
Next step: follow the 80-20 rule and fix the first 20% of the problems you have. They are usually the easiest to fix, and might result in biggest payoffs.
Finally: sometimes it’s the process, not the technology. You’ll never fix a broken process by replacing it with technology, all you’ll get will be a technology-assisted broken process.
Also: replacing whole teams with technology sounds great if you hate dealing with pesky underlings, but you’re just replacing your team (example: network engineers) whose only focus should be the well-being of your company, with someone else’s team (example: programmers working for an intent-driven vendor) whose focus is completely different (example: generating revenues for the vendor). Why do you think that would give you better results?
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