Nokia study reveals network automation can slice off two thirds of operational costs

New research from Nokia and Analysys Mason has suggested operators can expect up to a 65 per cent cost avoidance after implementing IP network automation across three operations categories.

Analysys Mason extrapolated the quantified benefits that can be expected from automating IP networks. The researchers found process automation reduces the labour time requirement for manual workloads by up to 68 per cent, with the time needed to roll out new services consequently is reduced by up to 88 per cent.

In addition, less manual tasks also means less human errors and higher predictability, with overall time spent to process errors reduced by up to 85 per cent. Automating alarm correlation and root cause analysis offers a significant improvement to the mean time to repair by up to 71 per cent.

Larry Goldman, chief analyst and project director, Analysys Mason, said, “Our study shows clear benefits at the domain layer, and we highly recommend operators automate network management processes for their IP services. Network automation will be critical to enable future network slicing-based business models. Operators should also look for a network automation platform to reap the benefits of automation and ensure the efficient and automated management and control of network slice-based services.”

Mike Thompson, head of IP network automation at Nokia, added, "While we have seen significant network automation gains for service delivery, the greatest savings are achieved by automating network lifecycle management. There are still many manual tasks in the areas of network and service migrations, device provisioning, and upgrades that can benefit significantly from network automation. Automation not only improves operator productivity but significantly reduces outages caused during maintenance windows. Network and service assurance automation enables operators to identify root cause, automate restoration, and fix network issues significantly faster.”

The study was based on the hypothesis that network automation is a key driver for improved network services agility, greater operational efficiency and increased network availability. To quantify the benefits from network automation at the domain controller layer, Analysys Mason interviewed a group of global operators on their network automation strategies and results and collected more than 60 data points.