Intent-based networking sparks business innovation

Neil Anderson, practice manager of mobility and access at WWT, discusses how Cisco intent-based networking has eased network management and brought new business capabilities for customers.

July 9, 2018 2 minute read

Posted by Cisco on July 10, 2018:

The network used to get in the way of business initiatives. Today, with intent-based networking, it's enabling them.

For years, networking infrastructure has been an easy target for criticism.

When the network is sluggish, or security is compromised, blame tends to fall on IT. The business often perceives networking as a necessary evil blocking business agility.

But today, networking is enabling new capabilities such as network programmability and automation. These reduce the time and error associated with tasks that can be better achieved through software code.

Dubbed intent-based networking, this network programmability enables IT pros to deploy, manage, or troubleshoot network devices via application programming interfaces (APIs) to gather data and automate network functions.

Experts say APIs enable IT pros to manage the network as a uniform entity and build new capabilities on top of it. “It turns the network into a centralized platform to manage apps and infrastructure,” said Brandon Butler, senior research analyst at the analyst and research firm IDC.

Cisco partners and integrators are seeing the benefits of intent-based networking in action.

“We can very quickly build apps which extend the out-of-the-box functionality because of the APIs and programmability,” said Neil Anderson, practice manager of mobility and access at World Wide Technology (WWT), a Cisco partner. The St. Louis company has built a mobile app on top of Cisco intent-based networking.

Data from research and analyst firm Enterprise Strategy Group suggests that companies now see the network as the onramp to business benefits. Specifically, companies see the following networking capabilities as most beneficial to the business: network security (46%), the ability to incorporate Internet of Things (IoT)-connected devices (23%) and enabling new applications (23%).

Mobile Network Management

Over the past 10 years, the world has gone decidedly mobile. But IT pros have been able to manage the network effectively only by remaining within the confines of network operations centers (NOCs).

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