The best solutions start with the right problems.
It seems obvious, but it’s nearly impossible to arrive at the right conclusion if the journey starts with the wrong premise. Indeed, in the IT space, many projects—and even some companies—have failed because they embarked on a journey to what ultimately proved to be the wrong destination. Even now, as companies grapple with broad technology shifts like cloud, multicloud, operations and more, it’s somewhat shocking how frequently people move right past the ‘why’ so they can get on to the ‘what’.
For example, according to Frost & Sullivan’s THE STATE OF THE CLOUD: Results from the 2020 Frost & Sullivan Global Cloud User Survey, DECEMBER 2020, 85% of businesses will use cloud services by 2022, with three different cloud providers on average. But why? Is cost the driver? Perhaps it’s agility? Maybe it’s a corporate mandate? There are lots of valid reasons to make an architectural shift, but without putting proper time into developing the ‘why’, the resulting ‘what’ can be disappointing.
Some of this is learned behavior. Over the last decade, a lot of the IT landscape has been converging on some fairly important building blocks—like cloud for workloads, fabrics for networking and so on. When everything is headed in the same general direction, the ‘why’ is perhaps less important. If all roads lead to Rome, then in the end, it doesn’t really matter which path is taken.
For example, automating the entire network lifecycle to simplify design, deployment and operations and deliver assured experiences, for both applications and operators, requires rethinking data center operations. By simplifying and automating operations from design to deployment (Day 0 and 1) through everyday operations and assurance, organizations can achieve significantly faster time to deployment, resolution and a reduction in OPEX.
This era of convergence is coming to an end. While there has been general agreement across the industry on the big foundational bits, the future is decidedly less certain. As innovation shifts from in the box to above the box, we are entering what will be an era of divergence. It’s not that companies are building their own versions of the better mousetrap. As operations take center stage, there are divergent views of what problems are even worth solving. And as the ‘whys’ diverge, the resulting ‘whats’ and the ‘hows’ will be wildly different.
The implication here is simple but important: because not every solution will lead to the same outcome, the stakes in today’s IT decisions are greater than at any other time in the last decade. Accordingly, there will be winners and there will, unfortunately, be losers. The challenge is that by the time we get to the ‘what’, our fate is already determined. Success in networking over the next decade starts with ‘why’.
Tune in to a conversation with Roberta Gamble, a 20 year analyst with Frost & Sullivan, during Juniper Networks’ webinar, “2022 – Don’t Look Down! Consequences of the “Why” of Networking”.